On my perpetual never-ending quest to ‘get rid of stuff’ a la Marie Kondo and the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up I have used a number of apps and websites to help me attempt to achieve the enlightened state of minimalism. A few I’m sure you’ve heard of (ahem, Craigslist) but there were a few that surprised me that seemed to work quite well.
Of course, to get cold hard cash for your stuff is even better than just simply getting rid of stuff.
3 Websites and Apps to Help You Get Rid of Stuff
Craigslist, the old favourite and the biggest one on the block (and in the world). I’ve had most success with Craigslist for bigger ticket items such as furniture and wedding decor. Of course there are flaky people and when they email me to ask “is this still available” I politely reply and then provide my phone number for them to text to set up a meeting if they are interested. However, if someone wants the item, you can usually tell by them responding promptly and with a sense of urgency in their words. To avoid the inevitable “is this still available” question, you could always post “if the item is posted on Craigslist, it is still available”. Thankfully Craigslist has “Mail Relay” now so that you don’t have to share your email address with the person interested in buying your unused stuff.
Tips to make sure your Craigslist post is successful are to post clear pictures, write down where the pick up location is, make sure you put up measurements (especially if it is furniture), and write out a clear description.
Tips to make sure the person you are meeting isn’t a creep or a burglar are to meet in public (don’t buzz them up to your place if you live in an apartment) and in daylight. Meet them downstairs in your lobby if you are living in an apartment to screen them first if you have furniture in your apartment that they are buying.
Varage Sale is definitely safer and less creepy than Craigslist and I have had some success with it. It stands for “virtual garage sale” hence the catchy name “Varage Sale”. I have made around $300 with it selling my unwanted items. You are screened and approved based on your Facebook account (so your face is attached to Varage Sale and your full name is attached to it) and you can ‘review’ each other so you know you’re not dealing with a creep. It’s a bit similar to Airbnb in a way. Before you are approved you are screened by a community moderator and then you can start buying and selling within your community (it’s even divided into neighbourhoods within lets say, Vancouver, and in the suburbs such as Richmond).
When you post items you have to “bump” them to make sure other people are looking at them regularly. You are allowed a certain number of bumps per hour. The best time to bump the items (according to my friend who has sold over $1000 on Varage Sale) is on weekends. Varage Sale is best known and used for family friendly items, like kids clothing or toys.
The annoying thing about Varage Sale is that they send you vibrating notifications (I usually turn everything off, I don’t turn on the ringer on my iPhone) anytime someone messages you, so it’s a bit jarring at 1:00 AM when someone messages you on Varage Sale. I’m sure I could turn it off somehow but am lazy to find out how.
Letgo to me, is like the Tinder of all of these apps and websites. It’s an app that you can download on Android or IOS. Basically you focus on taking a picture of what you want to sell and then just list it on Letgo. You can add a description to your item but the Letgo app automatically tries to describe what you are selling. You swipe up and down to look at pictures and you swipe left to look at the next item. You can also press automatic message questions such a “Is this item still available?” or “Is the price negotiable?” so you don’t have to waste time typing.
It’s a bit overwhelming to see all the stuff for sale, it’s very visual, and can be shocking to see what people are selling- there’s so much junk out there! The messaging aspect within Letgo is easy to use and it sends you notifications (if you allow it) to your phone.
Letgo seems to just automatically rotate what you posted and so you don’t need to be ‘bumping’ things up to the top. You can pay extra (under $3) if you want your item to be seen at the top of the screen for people when they log into the app.
The great thing about Letgo is that it is easy to use.
Of course, you could always get rid of things the old fashioned route, such as by having a garage sale (which is always fun when people get to exercise their negotiating and bargaining powers) or by taking your unwanted goods (especially clothes) to consignment.
Readers, have you tried these methods of getting rid of your stuff? Any others that you would recommend?