At what point do I just give up on ebay and charity shop all this stuff? I cannot bear the clutter but really need the cash!

(49 Posts)
Jemster Wed 02-Oct-13 18:19:25

Hi
I'm getting myself really stressed out. Trying to declutter as we have far too much stuff and loft is full to bursting. We are going through a very difficult time financially and have some debts to clear.
My thought was to put literally everything I can on ebay but it's just not selling. If it does sell I am making a pittance i.e just sold baby bath for 99p.
I tried an NCT nearly new sale and only sold half the stuff so the rest is now cluttering up my living room.

I just can't bear the thought of charity shopping it when I once bought all this stuff and want to recoup some iof that money. But the time involved trying to sell it and then getting peanuts for it is making me question all of this.

I work 5 half days too and even when I do sell on ebay it's a struggle to get to the post office.

Please give me some advice. I have a permanent headache from worrying about money and feeling guilty for chucking stuff out but the clutter is doing my head in! Thank you

lljkk Wed 02-Oct-13 18:25:38

You could probably think straighter & cope better with your life without all the clutter.

giving to a charity shop is a good deed.

I would only try flogging stuff on Ebay you think you'll get at least £10 for (Advanced search -> Completed listings). Not worth the aggro, otherwise.

Little is selling well on Ebay right now, by the way. Long story & rumours about why.

RubberDuck Wed 02-Oct-13 18:28:01

What about trying a car boot sale, then just boxing up whatever's left and dropping it at the nearest charity shop on the way home?

Iwaswatchingthat Wed 02-Oct-13 18:30:50

Local paper? Usually free to list things under £100 and people pick up at your house or you drop off. We sold our double buggy this way - it had not sold on eBay. We took it round, got the cash and went out for a meal with it!!

Local supermarkets usually do cards for free too.

Why not delegate a room for all the 'to sell' stuff and work through it bit by bit.

reddaisy Wed 02-Oct-13 18:31:43

Try Facebook selling sites and then charity shop the stuff if it doesn't sell. It is very liberating to get rid of stuff.

stringornothing Wed 02-Oct-13 18:40:17

Well if you sold half of it at an NCT sale then that's great progress and you'll probably get rid of at least another quarter if you do the next one, especially if you're a bit more ruthless about pricing.

Choccyjules Wed 02-Oct-13 18:42:09

Gumtree where you set the price, for those things you'd really like to get some money back on, otherwise I agree, charity-shop it and feel free!

I sympathise with your position - I am in exactly the same situation.

I used to ebay and do a bit now for collectable type items where the collector may be distance away. There is so much not working now with ebay - very sadly.

I also do NCT NNS (up to age 8) - selling 50% is really good. You at least know that the % you pay is going to a charity that does help local communities and is very good targeted selling. Do ask for extra tickets - you may be able to price up more than 50 items. I also book for back to back sales in my area - saves re pricing. I put the unsold back in and the new items for that sale.

I love going to boot fairs but find them quite depressing to sell at. Everyone wants everything for a £1 or less so not much good for more expensive items. However I have just signed up to an indoor boot fair for only £6. You could try organising one.

In the last year I have found facebook selling groups the best apart from collection. I live in a village outside the town and people are so reluctant to come and pick up the bargain they greedily baggsed first. So I now say collection or I will deliver for 45p per mile return trip. Funny - they normally collect quickly after that. Perfect for childrens books, toys and clothes.

I think adult books are probably best going straightaway to charity. Most schools do a textile collection for old resalable clothes (or try the local scouts - it is a good fundraiser for them in my area). Even charity shops will take rag marked as such on the bag. I do like as you can tell targeted recycling and sales smile

usualsuspect Wed 02-Oct-13 18:49:15

Car boot or gum tree.

bail16 Wed 02-Oct-13 18:53:29

There are lots of Facebook pages in most areas to sell bits?

PoppyWearer Wed 02-Oct-13 18:54:54

That sounds intriguing lljkk!

sara11272 Wed 02-Oct-13 18:55:53

I find ebay unpredictable and a bit depressing, mostly.

I agree with the other posters about local paper (this has worked really well for me) and Facebook and NNS both sound good though haven't tried either myself.

Also, if you have lots of wearable clothes, is there anyone near you who comes and buys bags of clothes for £ per kilo? We have a couple who pay either £5 or £6 per 10 kilos so this is quite a good way to ditch volume clothing that's ok but not worth v much. They sometimes take towels, curtains, shoes etc too.

I had loads of car boot sale clothes that we'd taken several times and not sold...part of me thought 'but these are worth £1 each'...but part of me just thought they're not, actually, until someone actually pays you £1 for them...so you might as well get rid.

Good luck getting rid of it all, it's so satisfying! I still have lots to go but am making progress, like you.

Rooners Wed 02-Oct-13 18:59:48

Sorry to hijack but lljkk - could you elaborate? I've found the same with ebay lately, it seems not to be worth the bother but have not heard any rumours.

HokeyCokeyPigInAPokey Wed 02-Oct-13 19:03:00

I have just taken loads of stuff i would have normally sold on ebay to the charity shop.

I have had an ebay account for 11 years and it is awful at the moment and i am only listing stuff i know will sell well, Boden, Converse ect.

lljkk Wed 02-Oct-13 19:15:08

The ebay discussion boards are full of it. I don't know how much is just grumpy moaning & exaggeration by disillusioned Ebayers. But my own sales (my old clutter) are sharply down, too.

When you search Ebay for things you use their proprietary search engine to search their database. it used to be Voyageur, but new version is Cassini. Rumour is that Cassini prioritises what to exclude on basis of poor quality (long story how they define quality). So some listings people pay listing fees for maybe never get displayed, no matter how hard you search.

In theory some sellers are benefiting hugely from Cassini, I suppose most of them are too busy to talk about their success online.
I haven't tested it for myself. Google Cassini to find out more.

other long-standing rumours about geographic distortions in search results, this seems less likely to be true.

lljkk Wed 02-Oct-13 19:17:29

The main thing to understand is that almost everything you ever thought you understood about Ebay buying and selling: is false. Has changed hugely. Ebay users need to start all over again in understanding how the site works.

Rooners Wed 02-Oct-13 19:19:30

Thankyou for explaining. Off to google!

Jemster Wed 02-Oct-13 19:30:23

Thanks for the ideas. I have loads of individual things to sell but nothing that would fetch £10.00 or more on its own.
Even if did facebook, gumtree etc I've still got to find the time to list things and I just don't think it's worth my while.

I've done car boots before but can't be doing with haggling over 10p so I think I'd rather give it to charity. I do feel good when I take a bag to charity shop as they are so grateful but my heart sinks when I think how much these things cost me in the first place.

PigletJohn Wed 02-Oct-13 20:18:37

The free cards in Supermarkets are handy for stuff that will not sell well on ebay (e.g. too heavy to post) and is not very expensive.

Even a few pounds will be better than chucking stuff away, and less trouble than boot sales as they can phone, and call to collect for cash at a convenient time. You will get some no-show buyers.

On Freegle people will even carry away heavy household appliances, provided they are in working order.

PrincessWellington Thu 03-Oct-13 22:45:55

Put an ad on Gumtree - bag of car boot items £
Sell it in one go

expatinscotland Thu 03-Oct-13 23:03:31

I've had way more success on our local FB selling page.

hazchem Fri 04-Oct-13 06:08:00

Do they have have garage sales in UK? In Australia you can open your garage/ front lawn and people come over and buy from there. Similar to a boot sale I guess but you can access your own toilet and make coffee and lunch.

123bucklemyshoe Fri 04-Oct-13 06:16:48

We have beeen carbooting stuff recently to get rid of stuff. It's a bit mixed - but usually make enough to make it worth it. However, clothes seem to sell really badly.

MissMarplesBloomers Fri 04-Oct-13 06:23:58

Please consider your local Womens Aid if going down the charity route, always grateful for anything found in the house!

monkeytennismum Fri 04-Oct-13 06:32:52

In the same vein as MissMarples have you tried your local HomeStart? They are a charity which support vulnerable families / people in your area. They will take ANYTHING as the people they work with often have nothing - women from refuges / asylum seekers etc. I know you get no money from it but I personally really like knowing that my stuff is going directly to people who really need it. Esp. baby stuff - as it all gets loved again smile

lljkk Fri 04-Oct-13 19:53:45

We do get yard sales, Hazchem, but weather is not reliable, so not many such sales. They are big in California, too.

Whereisegg Fri 04-Oct-13 20:03:24

Def try your local fb selling pages as already suggested.

You can specify collection only, and if your things are all different (so no bundles of clothing, or different kitchen bits for example), just sell as a job lot for carbooters.

I have sold job lots of stuff to people cheaply who will sell on, and bought stuff cheaply and made a profit (my best was £90 profit in 3 hours on a pram I bought!), it's addictive grin

Mintyy Fri 04-Oct-13 20:10:09

Charity shop one third of it. So, get a pile of stuff in front of you and every third item, donate to charity. So 1/3 of the clothes, 1/3 of the toys, 1/3 of the book etc. That will make everything seem more manageable.

Have you tried the NetMums local selling forums? I did mean to say NetMums there, not Mumsnet btw, Mumsnet Local is not really a happening thing just yet ime.

Jemster Fri 04-Oct-13 20:11:43

How do I get to my local facebook pages? Sorry, I've never done it before and didn't know they existed.

Mynewmoniker Fri 04-Oct-13 20:20:59

Try Freeads (local) and Gumtree. Easy peasy to upload photos and add details. One of them reminds you to 'bump' if it hasn'r sold.

PoppyWearer Fri 04-Oct-13 22:25:58

Jemster my local Facebook group requires you to be invited/approved. So ask your local friends?

IsleOfRight Fri 04-Oct-13 22:42:57

I had four big bags and was going to do carboot sale then at last minute couldn't be arsed and took to charity shop. Regretting it a bit now. Good cause though and have cut back charitable donations recently as not earning as on mat leave so I guess this is in lieu.

ShoeWhore Fri 04-Oct-13 22:49:02

I had a similar pile of stuff OP and took it all to the charity shop and haven't regretted it for a second. Was quite a weight off tbh.

Whereisegg Sat 05-Oct-13 10:21:38

Jemster you have to 'ask to join' my local ones.

Just search your local town name, plus the words buying/selling and you will probably find loads!
The admin are near me are quick to add people smile

Meglet Sat 05-Oct-13 10:34:29

Same here. Loads of clutter than is clogging up the house <<aaghhh>>.

I've got a pile of stuff for a NCT sale next week. But I've done them before and I'll price it low to sell. Car boots are impossible as I'm a LP so I'm going to try and shift a few other items via a FB selling page. I haven't used e-bay in a year but had a look yesterday to get an idea of pushchair prices, it looked pretty sad. No bids on loads of items on their final day, even decent pushchairs confused.

Good tip about trying Homestart. I do have some bits they might find useful smile.

Supertonic Wed 15-Oct-14 14:04:00

Or Freecycle? They have local pages too

But have you actually tried donating to charity shops? I can understand that they want good stuff which they can sell but they are so picky its not true. I'm clearing my parents house and sorting out stuff that can be sold on, the rest is going to the tip. Some of its pretty good stuff, unused and in its original packaging. Lots of hard back, good condition books. I have a room ful now. I've washed & cleaned the clothing - good quality, barely worn designer shirts and suits - yet 2 charities (Age Concern and BHF) who say they'll collect just haven't bothered phoning me back. When I take things into the shops, they don't bother saying thank you, just 'have you done gift aid?' I'm really losing sympathy with the shops, yet I know there are people out there who would benefit.

EarSlaps Wed 15-Oct-14 16:17:39

Another vote for Facebook groups. I've sold stuff on ours (baby things and clothes after I lost weight) and given it away (saves the trip to the tip and gets goodwill locally). I've also given things away to shelters etc.

I really can't be bothered to eBay after all the stories of dodgy buyers disputing things and getting the goods for nothing.

erin99 Wed 15-Oct-14 16:29:11

Stuff like furniture has sold well on eBay for me lately, as collection only and on BIN rather than auction. I'd do that with anything worth £5 or more, and car boot the rest.

BinarySolo Wed 15-Oct-14 16:42:37

Interesting about eBay. I've found it rubbish lately for buying and selling. Don't seem to get much for items but at the same time I don't think you quite get the same bargains as before.

Someone must be doing ok, but it's not me!

SacreBlue Wed 15-Oct-14 16:54:59

When I was on benefits I was so appreciative of people who had donated to St Vincent De Paul's - I had just moved house and my son was moving from cot to bed and they were able to help me out thanks to donations from the public.

Later I was able to pass on the bed, and many of his early years toys & books, to a charity helping asylum seekers.

Ebay, car boot & gumtree can help you get some money back if you really want or need it, do figure in the time it's going to take you though.

I found it easier to give things away as, once I was earning more, having more space was more important than the money, with the added bonus of being able to help out people who, like I had been, were maybe struggling a bit.

Having struggled myself I know the feeling of parting with things you have paid money for, and seemingly getting nothing in return by giving them away, but regardless of scare stories of scammers, most people are very appreciative of goodwill gestures.

I will never know who donated that single bed to SVP, but I was so grateful for it I can't even tell you.

WerkSupp Wed 15-Oct-14 17:01:20

Another vote for FB selling pages. So much less hassle.

Appervine Wed 15-Oct-14 18:52:00

I was going to say Facebook pages too. I've shifted loads of stuff that way. Ours is also a swapping page so you can exchange smaller things for other bits and bobs that you need - often people ask for fruit or chocolate or packed lunch snacks etc. Added bonus that they come to you so you don't have to queue at the post office.

whatsonyourplate Sat 18-Oct-14 09:12:56

For Facebook groups try searching for yourtown sell/ selling/ sale/ Carboot/ preloved. You usually have to request to join. Once you are on that group you will probably get suggestions of other similar groups to join. Have a look to see which group is most active. Once you've listed your items keep bumping your post every day or few days so more people get a chance to see it.

OnIlkleyMoorBahTwat Sat 18-Oct-14 09:30:30

When eBay started it was the perfect place for individuals to buy and sell their second hand bits and pieces to each other. Fees were reasonable and it was accepted that the buyer paid for the item to be posted to them.

But then it got too big and now only wants to earn massive fees from bulk sellers selling large numbers of new items to the public, while pretending that postage is free, a bit like Amazon.

It's rarely worth it for individuals these days unless dealing in collectables. I've been doing the Marie Kondo thing and I've got a small pile of things that I might ebay, but 95% of things that are not total junk are going to the charity shops, food bank etc.

Biscoff Sat 18-Oct-14 10:58:36

Wow! Interesting about ebay.

Jemster Sat 18-Oct-14 11:05:56

I'd like to try Facebook selling so have joined a local group. If I put something on to sell will all my friends be able to see the post of what I'm selling, so will it pop up on their facebook feed?

FloatingPorpoise Sat 18-Oct-14 11:08:32

I'd say Facebook pages too. Do you have a camera on your phone? It takes seconds to post if you do.

MTWTFSS Sat 18-Oct-14 12:24:59

Remember books can be traded in on amazon for vouchers :D

whatsonyourplate Sat 18-Oct-14 13:35:20

Jemster, if it's a closed group only group members will see posts, if it's an open group it might come up on your friend's news feed. It should say at the top of the group if it's an open or closed group.

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