Downsizing: How Do I Sell My Stuff?

Posted on: April 21, 2022

You might think of downsizing as just getting rid of everything. But if you have furniture, china, or other items that you no longer need, you likely want to make some money from selling them.

Read our tips for selling your items and getting the most value from what you sell.

Why Sell Your Stuff?

When you’re downsizing, you’ll likely find you have several categories of items:

  • Those you want to take with you to your new home
  • Those you want to give to other family members or friends
  • Those you want to donate
  • Those you don’t need but may be valuable

We’ll focus on that last category in this blog post. And that brings us to our next topic…

What Can I Sell?

The most valuable “sellable” items are often things like furniture or collections. These may fetch a high price if you can find the right buyer. Keep in mind that certain trends and styles may influence demand and the price you can ask.

For example, according to a Kiplinger article, items like older TVs or computers, or entertainment systems, aren’t popular right now, and you may have a hard time finding a buyer. The same goes for upholstered furniture or anything in bad shape.

However, these items are usually popular at estate sales:

  • Jewelry and designer clothes
  • Tools
  • China sets
  • Vintage decor – like typewriters
  • Fine art
  • First-edition books
  • Small appliances

If you think your items are worth selling, it can be a good idea to have them appraised for value. And if it turns out they’re worth something, or you have a lot of items to sell, you may have more options when it comes to finding them a new home.

If you have unique historical items, like a Civil War belt buckle, you may consider donating these items to a local museum where they can be properly displayed and appreciated.

Where Should I Sell It?

There are a few options for selling your more valuable items.

One is estate sales, mentioned above. Think of them as super-powered garage sales. They’re for more valuable items and often more items in general. You’ll likely want to hire professionals to assist if you opt for this type of sale. Auctions are similar.

Some companies want your items to be worth at least $10,000 in total and will charge 35-40 percent of the proceeds, so think about this option carefully.

Another option is consignment or antique shops. This can be a good idea if you have just a few items but want to make a little cash from them.

Finally, selling items online – like via eBay or Craigslist – is another option. You’ll need to do the most manual work here, including taking photos, setting up a listing, finding buyers, and arranging pickup or shipping. A bonus is you can easily search to see how much similar items are selling for.

Looking For More Downsizing Tips?

Check out our newest on-demand webinar, Smooth Moving Downsizing, presented in partnership with Ask Amy Staging. Amy Zumberger is a downsizing, moving, and staging expert who will guide you through more of the basics of starting your downsizing journey.

Click here to watch the 45-minute webinar at any time.

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