Politics and Business

How to Make Money from your Trash

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The COVID-19 pandemic has brought regular life to a screeching halt. The world is in lockdown in the hope that we can return to normality in the not-so-distant future. This crisis has burdened millions of people. Some have lost family or loved ones, and others have lost their jobs or financial security.

Without overlooking the tragic elements of the pandemic, it’s important to note that with every crisis comes an opportunity to become better. There have already been many positives, such as reduced pollution, community spirit, fundraising, and increased family time. Best of all, healthcare workers are finally being recognized as the heroes they are.

Quarantine has also forced people to take care of household projects that have been on the back burner for months, or even years. Whether you’ve been spring cleaning, redecorating, or decluttering, you’ve probably realized that there are a lot of things in your home that you really don’t need

Being confined to our homes has caused many of us to put greater value on the things we truly cherish. While you’re in this headspace, perhaps now is the time to rid your home of the things that cause unnecessary clutter. It can do wonders for your home, your mental health, and your pocket.

So the saying goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. Although much of your hoarded items might need to go straight to the trash can, there may be items of value. With online shopping on the rise, and people looking for bargains around every corner, now is the perfect time to make some extra cash from your trash.

Here’s all you need to know about selling your household objects.

Decide what to sell

Go through your bags of clutter and figure out what has value. Workout equipment and furniture are bulky items that take up a lot of room. If they are in good condition, they can have a significant sell on value. Bicycles, kids toys, and baby equipment are other examples of valuable items that you may no longer use. 

Some things you might not have thought of are clothes, kitchenware, electronics, books, comics, DVDs, CDs, records, jewelry, tools, and art.

Create a master list of items to sell.

Know what should go in the trash

The title of this article is “how to make money from your trash”, but a line has to be drawn somewhere. Some old items are fit for the trash can only. Know what’s of value, and what you shouldn’t sell.

Where to sell?

An old fashioned yard sale is probably off the cards right now, but luckily there are plenty of options when it comes to home selling. 

Facebook Marketplace is an excellent option for targeting people in your area. It’s free and easy.

Research Facebook groups that are dedicated to people buying and selling second-hand items.

eBay is a tried and tested selling platform. However, there are millions of sellers that may be flogging similar products to you. It might not be the quickest way to get rid of your items.

Amazon can be used to sell too. The problem is that they sell on your behalf, so you’re not in complete control.

There are even more options out there, with some being more suited to particular niches. Alternatively, you can opt for more traditional selling platforms like local markets, car boot sales, or fairs.

Write excellent product descriptions

If you’re selling online, go the extra mile to write excellent and detailed product descriptions. Make the buyer’s job easy by providing concise information and using enticing language. Tell the reader why your product will add value to their lives.

Set realistic prices

Don’t undercut the value of your second-hand items, but avoid overcharging. Research the marketplace and set fair, realistic prices.

Be honest

Be truthful and forthcoming about any faults or damages to an item that you’re selling. This shows respect to your buyers, and it will save you long term issues. Most of your items have been used, so it’s understandable if they’re a little rough around the edges.

Take great photos

Good pictures sell products. There’s nothing worse than finding a product online that has fuzzy, dark, or distorted images. Don’t sell yourself short by taking bad photos.

Most people own iPhones or smartphones with amazing cameras. Here are some tips for capturing the best photos:

Set a plain backdrop with good lighting.

Take photos on your iPhone with the image quality settings turned up.

Transfer photos from iPhone to Mac.

Examine the photos and make slights edits if necessary.

At this point, your photos are ready to be uploaded.

Consider selling in bulk

A great way to get rid of a large number of items is to sell in bulk. Consider selling bundles of items at a discounted rate. This encourages larger purchases and offers higher perceived value to the customer. 

It’s best to bundle like with like. For example, you could sell single t-shirts for $2, but offer three t-shirts for $5. This demonstrates clear savings. There is no sense in offering a discount on a t-shirt when you buy a lamp.

Other items suitable for bulk selling are DVDs, CDs, records, books, toys, and kitchenware.

Prepare yourself for time-wasters

If you are selling a lot of items online, you are likely to run into some time wasters. These come in many forms. Some people will agree to purchase something, arrange a time and place to exchange, only for you to never hear from them again. Others will try to haggle their way to massive discounts, then decide that they’re not interested. 

Time wasters can be unavoidable. If you spot one coming, cut off communication early. If you’re meeting someone, choose a location and time that’s convenient for you.

Be safe

Selling privately has it’s dangers. People may try to scam, take advantage, or harm you. These cases are rare, but they do happen, so precautions should be taken. Here are some tips to ensure your safety.

  • Limit the amount of personal information you give out to strangers.
  • Don’t arrange meetings for sales at your personal address.
  • Don’t travel alone when meeting a buyer. 
  • Don’t share your bank details – opt for cash sales only.
  • If you are using a selling platform, follow their rules and regulations carefully.
  • Document proof of shipping.
  • Take photos that clearly show the condition of all items before selling them. 
  • Following the above steps should make for a safe and pleasant selling experience.

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