Downsizing to an RV and make a few dollars too
Let’s face it when we are selling off all our personal possessions to downsize into an RV we aren’t actually making a profit because we purchased everything probably at full value. However, now that you are considering moving into an RV and have a house full of furniture, personal belongings, toys, and everything in between it’s time to eliminate most of it. Rather than having a GoodWill shop come to your place with a big truck and donate everything why not take the time to list and sell things online or locally.
Make a few dollars to help pay for your new lifestyle. It doesn’t have to be difficult but it can be time consuming. As each item is sold or gotten rid of it becomes a big sense of relief that we are moving forward towards downsizing into an RV
We are doing this right now!
We full timed for a few years, moved back into a house and now our house is up for sale and we are going back into an RV and first of all I am jumping for joy but I am also working on getting rid of most everything we have accumulated during the past few years. We have furniture, electronics, books and more books (I love books), sports equipment, tools, pictures, dishes and you can probably relate to the list I’m sure.
One of the reasons I have considered selling off our things a little different this time is because I really want to get the most money possible for each item. I also want to know if through selling on sites like Amazon, Ebay, Easy, Craigs List, etc if I can actually learn how to possibly do this to earn extra income when we are traveling. So as I go through all of our belongings I am looking carefully at ways to sell them properly and learn about each listing service as much as I can.
Our Kids get first choice
To be fair if any of our kids need or want anything they get first dibs on it. Once that is taken care of it’s time to list the rest online or sell them locally.
Determine the Value
Figure out how much you spent for the item new or what it would cost if you wanted to replace it. Then look online at different sites where people are selling the same item used. How much are they selling it for? Remember, just because someone has it listed for a certain price doesn’t mean that’s how much it will sell for. On sites like Ebay it’s possible to know how much things sell for and that will give you an idea as to what you might charge if your item is in the same condition.
Next, by checking these sales sites it’s easy to figure out if the item is easily available, is rare, or has lots of the same listed with no sales. Remember the goal is to downsize to an RV and get rid of everything but you still want to get the best price. Know what you are comfortable accepting or what you can receive for it. There’s a fine line between allowing your buyer to get a good deal and for you to make money.
Not every item is good for each method of sales. I’ve listed below what some of the sales sites might be considered the best for certain items. No guarantee but it may help. Where possible list your item with photos – increases sales. There will be fees with some of the sales sites but only after you sell the item and the purchaser has received the goods. You may have to have a Paypal account to accept payment which is easy to set-up. I use paypal almost everyday for buying and selling and have not had any problems. Be familiar with their guidelines.
Craigs List has really taken over from newspaper classifieds and can be good for listing items that are better being sold locally. You can list just in your local area with Craig’s List or expand further. Everything possible can be sold here but remember larger items will need to be shipped, payment has to be assured before shipping, etc. Free.
Most cities or towns have a for sale group on Facebook. This can work really well in small towns where everyone knows everyone else and through word of mouth as well items get sold. For example I am currently in Logan Lake and there is a Logan Lake Online Yard Sale Page. See if there’s one in your community. Free.
You can list everything from your actual house, to everything inside it on Kijiji. This is a Canadian website and items can be listed anywhere in the country if that’s what you want. For bigger items because I don’t want to get involved in shipping, accepting payment from someone I haven’t met I only use it for local listings but I know others aren’t as concerned as I am and use it for everything. If I want to get involved in shipping, etc I list on eBay and Amazon where it’s more controlled and also it will make a difference which items I’m listing. Free. There are paid upgrades available.
You will need a good description and a photo for any items sold on eBay. There will be fees involved after the item is sold. Games, toys, electronics, books, computer equipment and video games can be sold here quite well. Listings are show internationally and if you list in the US buyers in Canada can see your listing for most items and vice versa if you list in Canada, American buyers can view your listing. Provides more visibility.
Amazon – Canadian and American
Selling on Amazon has become big business and I am currently listing all my books on Amazon. I sold the first one in a day and have four big boxes on their way out to the Fulfilment Centre in Canada. There is Amazon.ca and Amazon.com. Familiarise yourself with the ins and outs of Amazon depending on where you live. If you’re only selling a few items and not on their FBA program the thing to watch out for is whether you will be paid enough for shipping the goods. I sold a book awhile ago that I had to ship in Canada and it almost cost me more for shipping than what I made on the book. It was a big lesson. Having said that I am doing my best to learn as much as I can on selling through Amazon because it may also be a way to earn extra income while traveling. I’ll say more on this in a future.
Books, toys, electronics, video games are good selling items on Amazon but I don’t really think there isn’t a limit as to the items that can be listed. If you are an Amazon buyer you probably have a good idea as to what can be listed. It’s almost limitless.
This is Canadian and most areas of the country have a section on this website. I listed a number of things on UsedOkanagan when I was selling some of my parents furniture and had really good success. There may be a site like this in the US but I haven’t been able to find it as of yet.
I am just starting to get familiar with Easy but I like what I see. It is becoming popular as a site for selling crafts or anything you make yourself and used clothing. As I get more organised I will definitely be listing things on Easy.
I used to be the Yard Sale Queen. Not only do I love having yard sales, every Saturday morning I was in my car and hitting the streets with a listing of all current sales, a map and a big cup of coffee. It was an adventure that I loved. It just takes a little bit of organisation and planning and can be a lot of fun. A word of advice – have everything ready the night before, price tags on all goods and have a bag of coin for making change. You will probably get less money for items during a yard sale but its perfect for getting rid of large quantities fast – if priced right.
Depending on your city or town there may be bylaws about putting up signs but I usually get in my car about 7:00 am and place signs in strategic spots to get traffic. Be prepared though – avid buyers will be there bright and early and want you to open up! Set a time on your advertisement and try to stick with it although it may be impossible and you have to start selling before your first cup of coffee! Have fun!
It doesn’t really matter which method you decide to use for selling off your worldly possessions there are always scammers out there just waiting to take advantage of you. Be careful and use common sense and you should be fine. Each sales site has tips and warnings for sellers to follow – make sure you read them.
Not everything has to be sold when you downsize to an RV
If in doubt put everything in storage, come back in a year and re-evaluate. There’s no harm in keeping everything until you know for sure that the RV lifestyle is for you. There’s a storage fee to budget for but if that’s in your comfort zone there’s nothing wrong with it.
As we sell our things and really start to downsize to an RV it gets more and more real and the excitement is starting to build, although our house hasn’t sold yet. But I am confident it will this spring and by that time most of what we need to sell will be gone and we will be ready. I’ll be posting more on selling online in future posts as I start to figure out not only how to sell off all our stuff but possibly do a little selling online while traveling to help subsidise our pensions.
PS; OUR HOUSE HAS SOLD AND WE SOLD WHAT WE WANTED VIA FACEBOOK, YARD SALES, CRAIGS LIST, KIJJI. THE SECRET IS PRICING IT RIGHT TO SELL. 🙂