Making Money Selling Second Hand Stuff

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making money selling second hand stuff. garage sale

We’re in the process of decluttering, losing our possessions, ready to hit the world for a few years. But here’s a thought, minimalism is great, I’m loving owning less, but should we all be so hung up on making money selling second hand stuff?

Selling our stuff was part of our scheme to raise money for long term travel,we had the garage sale, raised about $2000 and I’m slowly selling the stuff that the garage sale pickers didn’t buy, via the internet.

My garage has been stuffed to the gills with second hand stuff for the last month and the car has been languishing in the sun and rain on the driveway.


I’ve Had Enough of Selling Stuff!

Yesterday I cracked, couldn’t take it any more. I started boxing things up to take to a charity shop. Luckily, I ran into a friend, she is a single Mum with four young children and can always do with a few bits and pieces, so I dragged her into my shop garage to take her pick. we managed to find enough to fill the back of her truck. Clothes for her and the children, books to read or pass on, a few toys and my best shoes.

I loved those shoes, glorious wooden heeled leather platforms of a sort not often found in Far North Queensland, but the reality is, they don’t fit me any more. Five years of daily flip flop wearing in tropical Port Douglas has spread my feet to the size of barges and I really can’t wear them. They were in brilliant condition, worn only a few times as they were always “best” ( and fairly impractical). I’ve been trying to sell them for weeks. No joy. But this is my point.

Should we Really Expect to be Making Money Selling Second Hand Stuff?

Would you want my second hand shoes? Or clothes the kids have grown out of? I was so desperate to make a few dollars selling off our old stuff that I had mountains of pre loved garments hanging around in the garage.

A few years ago, pre Ebay, we threw out our old stuff or donated it to a charity shop, these days we all want to turn our junk into money. Is it worth the stress?

I’ve been worrying about how to sell this stuff for months, lying awake at night, working out plans, squirreling it all away in boxes and suitcases ready for  The Big Garage Sale.

I think I could have saved myself a lot of stress by just giving it away to start with.

As I said, my friend took a truck load, a second truck load was quickly dispatched to the charity shop.

We can use our garage again!

Giving Stuff Away Feels Good

I”m not saying we should have given away our bed, dive gear, or kayaks, those were valuable, in demand and still almost new. That’s the sort of stuff we made the $2000 on. But really, the clothes? I was living in a dream world.

So it’s gone to a lady I love and her adorable children. Maybe she’ll use them, maybe she won’t. But at least I waved goodbye to my shoes with a smile on my face and a hope that she’ll be out on the town extremely well shod and funky.

The stuff that went to the charity shop was really no good to anyone. Sure, there were a few very expensive items in there, my Karen Millen wedding trousers that I rode an elephant in were hard to see go, but they were too small and stained by tropical storage . Goodbye, you’re gone, I don’t have to worry about you ( or fitting into you) any more!


So, no, I don’t think it’s worth it, a few dollars for weeks, if not months, of stressing over this. I really wonder why we all hold on to so much stuff, the things aren’t the memories, the memories are in our heads. If you’re really struggling with getting rid of stuff, take a photo, like I did with my best trekking pack ever. Things only drag us down, give us extra housework and make us worry over their well-being.

It’s all very Buddhist. I wish I’d taken a photo of those shoes.

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About the author
Alyson Long
Alyson Long is a British medical scientist who jumped ship to chase dreams. A former Chief Biomedical Scientist at London's West Middlesex Hospital she started in website creation and travel writing in 2011. Alyson is a full-time blogger and travel writer, a published author, and owns several websites. World Travel Family is the biggest. A lifetime of wanderlust and over 6 years of full-time travel, plus a separate 12 month gap year, has given Alyson and the family some travel expert smarts to share with you on this world travel site. Today Alyson still travels extensively to update this site and continue her mission to visit every country, but she's often at home on her farm in Australia.

14 thoughts on “Making Money Selling Second Hand Stuff”

  1. We have been selling our used stuff and some of it I am wondering if ti is worth it. If ti will ever sale though we had a lot of success early on. It really takes a lot of time to manage. Good luck

  2. Oh I completely agree with you – best to just get rid of it! It does feel hard though and I hated parting with stuff I know if I tried harder I’d have got a little bit of money from, but that feeling disappears once you can no longer see the said item!

  3. We too had the same dilemma but found an answer,

    Karma sale!

    No prices marked, just a box that folks can leave their money in

    No hassles and no worry about how much you got for items 🙂

  4. Oh I agree, its better to get rid of it, and be done!
    Its EVEN better to not have bought stuff in the first place! We’ve learnt our lesson the hard way!

  5. I am new to your blog and hooked! I loved reading how you met your husband and look forward to reading your travel adventures. Bron

    • It was over a weekend, but there were some big ticket items in there, 2 kayaks that went for $300 each, a set of cupboards at $250 a bed frame and some shelves at $80 each, $40 for some dive fins. The rest was just odds and sods, books and DVDs $2 each, $4 for a pile f old magasines, it added up. I now know that you cannot sell cuddly toys in a garage sale and that aggling over prices is a cultural thing. The Brits haggle, Australians don’t, if they think the price is too high they walk.

  6. I am TOTALLY with you on this. We were planning on selling all of our stuff, but it ended up being too much hassle for not a lot of money. One day I gave all the sacks of clothes to charity and didn’t even look in them to see if there were any really “good” items; it was liberating and felt good at the same time. We still have big items that we will sell, but if they don’t get bought in a certain time they will be given away aswell, otherwise they will just take up space in the loft! It’s was torture thinking about it, but soooo easy once we started doing it.x

  7. Selling stuff is hard work. The big ticket items are ok but when it comes down to the little bits and pieces you have to put a value on your time and decide if it’s worth the effort for the reward. I’m a big fan of just giving stuff away to people I know or charity shops too.

    I’m really looking forward to having a few garage sales and getting rid of our stuff!

    • It’s a great feeling Bethaney, empty drawers and cupboads and a generally minimalist home are so much easier to look after. The less clothes you have, the less laundry, love getting rid of the stuff!

  8. Hi there!
    I read this blog after spending a day managing our used sale ads, boxing things up for charity and other ‘stuff-ectomy’ activities! it was vey timely!! hehe. Espcially the part abou the shoes – I keep walking past my collection of favorite boots and I KNOW the day is coming when I will have to make the choices and give away the ones that don’t make the cut! for me, the stuff I am attached to in some way has to be given to someone I know will appreciate it, the stuff that is too bothersome to sell goes straight to charity and the furniture tends to hit the used websites. That way we make a bit of money towards preparing for the trip and don’t have to invest a tonne of time into it!

    We are a family of 7 getting prepared to travel indefinitly, with a solid plan for at least 2 yrs. part of that plan is to get rid of everything, and that process we started back in Sept. I have been trying to keep friends and family informed on my blog – and will be building a website dedicated to our traveling chronicles in the next month.

    Maybe we will meet you and yorus on the road someday!

    • Hi there! That all sounds very familiar! But a family of! That’s a lot to take on, but I guess you’re used to it. Thanks for connecting, we’ll be watching out for that blog for sure, stay in touch post a link on our facebook age once it’s up and running, there are a lot of others like us out there. We leave in July, but there are only 4 of us to organise. Have fun with it! I’m on a roll now, so much stuff that I’ve been hanging on to for years is just going in the bin, I’m over all that sentimental stuff and trying to make money out of it, it’s no use to anybody else. Happy family travelling!


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