With COVID-19 and overwhelming climate change effects, we need to be smart about the kind of life we live and the items we purchase and possess. Unfortunately, many of our old items will only end up in a landfill should we choose to dispose of them instead of selling or donating them. At the same time, there are a lot of items in our homes that can still make us some serious buck should we choose to sell them. But first, here is a list of items you can still sell and you might find a market for:
- Clothes and shoes that still look good
- Childhood toys
- Bottles made from different materials
- Home furnishings
- Used gadgets that still work, like cameras
Here is a list of items you should definitely throw out:
- Used and/or expired makeup and other skincare and hygiene products
- Items that have visible and suspicious stains that can no longer be removed
- Ratty personal items like towels
A note on donating to charities: Anything that no longer looks appealing, you should consider throwing away. Donating stuff that no longer works only places more burden on the charities that organise donation drives, so don’t hesitate to toss anything that isn’t usable for the recipients. Let’s only give quality items to the underserved. Find a local green organisation that knows what to do with recyclable items (plastic and textiles) instead.
Here are some tips and pointers for making money off our preloved items:
Hold a physically distanced neighborhood garage sale.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a home with a front yard, don’t hesitate to use it to hold a physically distanced garage sale. Announce your garage sale through your social media accounts and let the people in your life get first dibs—you never know if any of them has seen items in your home or your wardrobe that they were interested in. Here are some things to remember while organising a garage sale:
- Organise the items in appealing ways—follow retail store layout rules like following your country’s traffic flow (clockwise for the U.K. and Australia and counterclockwise for the U.S.)
- Remind shoppers to keep a distance of six feet from others at all times.
- Pepper every side of the garage sale with hand sanitisers.
Rent a space.
If you don’t have a garage or a front yard, or you want to reach more shoppers, look into renting a space in your state or city’s public markets. The rent is considerably lower than choosing a space in commercial areas like malls. At the same time, public markets have a reputation for improving local economies and saving retail stores struggling due to the COVID-19 crisis. Invest in quality shop fitting solutions—they help make outfits look more appealing to consumers, and the best part is that you can re-use them in your home as an open closet after you’ve sold all your items.
Use as many online platforms as you can.
As for the digital sphere, don’t hesitate to use as many platforms as possible to reach as many people as possible. Use Facebook Market, eBay, and other platforms that allow secondhand selling. The best part about online selling is that you’re able to get the word out about your items without leaving the comforts of your home. Here are some tips for marketing your garage sale:
- Marketing is key. Make sure the photos of the items are clear, properly lit, and well-styled. It’s possible to present the item as accurately as you can without sacrificing photo quality.
- Come up with engaging captions; don’t just put product details without saying something fascinating about them.
- Pay attention to the times and trends. If summer is coming, then hold off on selling your preloved coat until early fall.
Flip previously owned items and transform them.
If you have a penchant for arts and crafts, turn flip or re-purpose your items into something more beautiful. An old piece of furniture can instantly transform with some oil-based primer and paint. Your old but still high-quality fabrics like blankets and clothes can turn into face masks. With a lot of creativity and resourcefulness, you can turn your old items into new products that are not just beautiful but also useful and practical.
We can do so many things with our old and unwanted items aside from just throwing them out. By choosing to make the effort of selling them, we help save our planet while at the same time making some extra cash from them.