The Coronavirus lockdown has turned us all into a nation of homeworkers, and for some of us, we now have a fair bit of free time on our hands. There are a lot of people talking about ways to make the most of this extra time and one common suggestion: make money from a good home clearout.
There are lots of benefits to organising your office space but while we’re having to spend so much time in our homes, a good house sort-out makes this lockdown experience a lot easier when it’s clutter-free. It not only makes your home and workspace more pleasant to be in, but it can also be a great way to boost your income. This might be welcome if you’ve been furloughed or had your working hours reduced.
In this article, Robbie Fowle, from H&T, shares his tips for getting rid of all that clutter, along with some advice on getting the best price for it.
Create an action plan
While we might not be proud of it, nearly all of us have clutter hotspots in our homes. These are those storage areas where we tend to put everything that we don’t know what to do with and then forget about — like a garage, attic, or cupboard under the stairs. As a result, clutter gradually builds up over time, until the problem has grown so out of control that sorting through it seems like an impossible task.
There’s no point trying to tackle all of these areas at once — before long, you’ll just get tired and give up. So, create a long-term action plan that will allow you to tackle one small area at a time. For instance, you could start by spending just thirty minutes each day going through one cupboard, box, or drawer. It’s much easier to make rational decisions about what you do and don’t need, and how comfortable you are selling something, if you leave yourself plenty of time. After a few weeks, you should find that your home feels like a much calmer, less cluttered space.
Sell on platforms that match the product
The easiest way to make money from a home clearout and sell your unwanted items online is to list them on the biggest online marketplaces and auction sites, like eBay or Amazon. But while these can offer a straightforward way to sell on a diverse array of items, you’re not necessarily always going get the best price for your old possessions.
Depending on the items you want to get rid of, you may be able to sell certain pieces on specialist sites. These are niche platforms that focus on just one type of product, meaning they’re often frequented by shoppers who are willing to spend more on your items. For example, Depop is a popular app for selling on used or vintage clothing, while The Hoarde is great for trading vintage and second-hand homewares and antiques. There are specialist sites for nearly everything these days and, while it might be more work to manage several different sites at once, it could be well worth your time if you’re able to make more cash.
Create listings with care
People are often willing to pay a higher price if a listing has plenty of detail on the condition of the product, as they’ll know exactly what they’re getting. So, be honest and upfront — you certainly don’t want to mislead shoppers about the condition of an item, as this will only cause trouble further down the line. Many people are more than happy to buy less than perfect items, they just want to know exactly what they’re getting before they part with their cash!
Good photography is also very important, especially for clothing and jewellery. If shoppers can see high-resolution, artfully taken photographs, they’ll be much more tempted to go ahead with the purchase. If you’ll be selling a lot of clothing or accessories, it’s well worth displaying them on a dressmaker’s mannequin, or even modelling your items yourself, if you feel confident in front of the camera. This will help the viewer get an idea of what the item looks like when worn, which in turns helps them picture themselves wearing it.
Don’t assume broken items are no good
One mistake many people who are just starting out make is assuming that broken or faulty products can’t be sold online. But this is far from true. Here at H&T, for example, we buy scrap gold, regardless of the condition of the jewellery it comes from. We consider the quality and weight of the gold itself, ensuring a fair deal. And you can also sell on most kinds of tech to companies that will repair or recycle them, even if they’re faulty or broken. Sites like MusicMagpie and Zapper can give you an instant quote for your electronics online — then, all you need to do is box them up and post them.
Be organised when it comes to postage
You’ll also need to make accurate estimations for how much postage and packaging will cost per order, otherwise this will eat into your profits. The Royal Mail’s price finder will allow you to make an accurate prediction, so there are no nasty surprises when you go to post your item. Given the difficult circumstances we’re currently living through, you’ll also need to be very organised with your postage so you’re not making several trips to the post office every day. Instead, wait until you’ve built up a few orders before heading out to mail them.
Now that the lockdown has confined many of us to our homes for the foreseeable future, it only makes sense to do a bit of spring cleaning to get the space we live and work in looking shipshape. So, why not make a bit of money while you’re at it? Take the tips I’ve shared on board and you could have a cleaner home and some extra money in the bank before you know it.
About the author
Louise is an award-winning journalist and speaker who focuses on working from home, remote work and wellbeing. She is the founder of The Homeworker, which is dedicated to helping you thrive when you work from home. The Homeworker publishes articles that are designed to keep you healthy, happy, fulfilled, and more productive in work and life.