Thursday, April 7, 2011

16 April Challenge: Project "Purge" {Selling the Living Room Purge}

Ok, things didn't go exactly as planned.....

Does that ever happen to you or am I the only one?

It's kinda like when my eyes are bigger than my stomach... only this time my ambition was bigger than reality.  I do that sometimes.  I try to be an over-achiever and this time I threw in the towel...

I shared with you here my living room purging plans.  I placed all my items into a giant utility tub and sat down last night to list them on Craigslist and eBay.  I hadn't done this in awhile and forgot the time investment that goes along with it.  And then I started to looking at some of my items and if they weren't going to be a quick and easy listing, they didn't make the cut.  That's right, I nixed some of the items.... and I am OK with that, because I never feel guilty donating anything.  In fact, it's a great feeling each and every time.

I had picked out a couple pairs of Steve Madden heals that were in really great condition, but I had zero information about the shoe, style or even what size they were... so I decided to cut my losses.

I thought I might be able to sell an old VHS video cam.  Yeah, again, the more I thought about it, who would really want it?  And how much could I really get for it?  Totally not worth the time investment.  It will be taken to my local Best Buy store with my old digital camera and disc man to be recycled.

I also made sure to research selling prices on most items before listing them, to make that yes or no decision.  I looked up a Playstation 2 video game... it was selling for a couple of dollars on eBay, thinking about the time to list, the time to package and ship... again, not worth it.

Only the best of the best made my list.

Not only does the purging process reap HUGE benefits for the home and our lifestyle and encourage us to live more simply and eliminate duplicate and unnecessary clutter and items... it also gives you a chance to make a little money as well.  I decided that I am adding a side challenge for myself personally, to my original purge 30 items in 30 days challenge.

I have been saving for and dreaming and wishing of adding a couple of supplies to my iHeart Organizing business plan.  2 GIANT items in fact...

First, I have been oogling one of these Silhouette machines for quite some time:

Imagine the labels I could create with that amazing machine!  My Etsy shop could totally ROCK and expand and become so much more inclusive!  I am such a dreamer!

Secondly, I also have been pinching pennies for this little guy:

I think that a flip cam would be a great way to add additional content to this here blog.  Things like a home tour and video organizing tutorials and more interaction with all of you fabulous friends.... Oh it could be grand! 

Of course I know they would be great tools for expanding this blog and business, however, it takes time to tuck away a penny here and a penny there... 

The good news?  The hubs and I agreed that any moola I make from selling my goodies this month during my "30 items in 30 days" project purge... I get to put back into iHeart Organizing!  So wish me luck!  And if you ever wanna help this gal out {because you just love iHeart Organizing so much}, you can go here to do so. 

So if you are wondering the "whys" behind the items I am selling, well, now you know!

I chose to sell items on both eBay and Craigslist.  eBay offers a larger audience since you can ship to pretty much anywhere, where Craigslist is great for local pals.  However, I also live in the middle of nowhere, so I feel slightly at a Craigslist disadvantage from that perspective.  So, larger items that would cost oodles to ship go on Craigslist, smaller items hit eBay.

I started out with my Jacobean Area Rug:

That is totally a pick up only type of listing {due to it's size and the fact that because it's 100% wool it weighs quite a bit} - Craigslist it is!  And you can see the information provided and how I linked to the actual website selling the item as a brand new product, within the listing.  I do that so customers can see the original price and any additional details regarding the product.  It could be a good or bad thing, just trying it out!

I also listed a DVD Cam that we had:

We wavered on this, however, since I am looking to snag up a Flip Cam as a replacement, it doesn't make sense to keep something we have used twice in two years.  A flip cam will be much easier for me to take quick videos with and move them straight to the blog.  If you asked me how to use the DVD cam and then get a video from the DVD to the computer.... I wouldn't have a clue in the world how to do that...  Although the image quality is probably superior in the DVD Camcorder than the smaller digital versions, it isn't fitting into my current lifestyle and taking up space in a drawer. 

And that was the extent of my Craigslist posts for the Living Room purge.  However, I browsed Craigslist just for smaller random things {since I typically just head straight for used furniture}, and I was in awe how many random things are sold on there.  It got me wondering if I am really using Craigslist to it's fullest potential.

Off to eBay I went.... I thought I would show you how easy it was to list my "Lot" of Sims 2 PC games.  A "lot" of items is exactly as it sounds, multiples/many of the same type of thing grouped into one single listing.

When I first logged into eBay and clicked the "Sell" link, I received this screen:

What's it worth?  Yes please, tell me!!

That was such a quick and easy tool!  LOVED it!  I knew that the average lot of Sims 2 games would sell at around $42.  All I had to do was decide if that was enough for me.  Since I am making nothing off of them just sitting here wasting space and going unused... it was a no brainer.

Another new thing I noticed {since I haven't sold anything on eBay in eons}, is that they no longer charge you to list {unless you sell}, for your first 100 items if you follow some simple rules:

You can also put in a barcode {or search by product name} in to pull up the exact product information which will almost create the listing for you!

However, since I was selling more than just the main game, I opted to input all of my own details...

To do this, I found the item{s} on places like or their actual websites, and used their product descriptions and benefits, as an aid to use in my own listing!  I also used the stock photos of the products as well!  Here is a snapshot from Amazon.

Because eBay will charge for additional pictures above and beyond the first photo, I decided to combine all of the stock images of the individual games into one image to reduce the number being uploaded...

And when determining starting prices, that was the hardest part.  I wanted to go low enough to sell them, however, high enough to make it worth my time... that's always such a gamble...

Here is a link to my listing:

Then, I just followed the same steps for the rest of my "purged" items:

Doc Martens Listing:

The O.C. Season 1 DVD Box Set Listing:

Becky Higgins Project Life Album Listing:

Total time investment in selling 6 purged Living Room items:  3 hours.  Ewe.  But the good news is that I got faster as I went! 

My eBay/Craigslist selling tips:
  • Decide if the item is worth your time to sell.  Do you research to determine what the item value was, is, and how much it is selling for.
  • Take pictures in natural light.  They offer the best and most realistic visual of the object you are trying to sell.  Flash can wash out colors or create glare.
  • If selling multiple items, take all your photos as once and list all at once, you will get faster as you go!
  • List with the expectation that you may not sell the item.  I am OK if some of my items don't sell, because I ultimately know what a good feeling it is to donate and be gone of the excess in my life.

Alrighty pros, what am I missing?  What other selling tips do you have for inexperienced listers like myself?  Anyone else hoping to save up some dough this month for something new?  Kind of like a reward for all of your hard work?   How are your purges going thus far?  Any surprises?

Oh, and is something missing?  A set of popular vintage inspired skeleton keys?  Stay tuned... more on those later today!

I decided a little challenge would be fun! This month we are spending the next thirty days saying goodbye to thirty things!  Wanna Join in?  Take photos and blog about your awesomeness as you go!  I am hoping to do a giant, "We did it!" celebratory post where we can all link up our purging success stories at the end of the month!


  1. If I'm just going to throw out or donate something, I always try and Craigslist the item. People will buy pretty much anything. I find it to be a quick process: photo, short description, $5 or $10 price tag, first come, first served. Even if it is worth a little more, it's possible someone won't pay it. Since I was just going to give it away for free, $5 is certainly better.

  2. I hope you'll be able to get the Shihouette & the Flip!! Good luck!
    I can't wait to hear about your keys!!! I looked on the Pottery Barn website yesterday so I could order them and they don't ship to Canada!! I am so bummed out! The closest shop to me is 8 hours away & won't ship if it's not in the current catalogue!
    Seriously can't wait to find out what you're doing with them!

  3. Fantastic information! I also like to sell used books on Amazon because the listings last until you sell them and they make it easy to connect buyers to sellers. Another benefit? You can ship items media mail to maximize the cost-benefit ratio.

  4. Wow! You're quite ambitious. My purging so far has been more electronic. {}
    And the coloring books that I went through this morning {on Saturday's post} ended up in the recycling bin.
    If I tackle my closet {a BIG if} I will probably just donate everything.
    I'm quite impressed!

  5. I'm glad you scrutinized your items before listing. There is nothing worse that investing all that time only to discover whatever the item is will not recoup the value of your time because let's be honest, our time is valuable.

  6. Hope you get the Silhouette! It is my one true <3!! Best gift that my human true love has ever gotten me.

  7. {applauds for you} I'm just a garage sale kind of girl. I don't want to spend all that time putting stuff online and then having to ship. I work full time all week, so a garage sale once a year works for our house. We made pretty good money last year, so it works for us. Good luck with your listings and good luck with your new toys you want. :)

  8. I love this post. Thanks for sharing!

    I used to sell stuff on eBay all of the time when I lived in the dorms. It was the only way I made money when I was in school.
    Tiffany @ The Nest Effect

  9. I am a huge CL seller!! We got rid of alot of our baby stuff and baby clothes as well as other household items. I have to say we have had very good luck with this although others I know haven't. I have never sold on ebay.

  10. I recently did some spring cleaning and purged my video game collection to make a little extra money. I decided to try my luck at the new trade-in-store.

    You can read my initial post here:

    And my update post here:

  11. I would love a flipcam!! I've been pining for one since Christmas. I love the pattern on this one!!

  12. I like that rug, in fact, we've been considering a similar one for our kitchen nook. I have been purging too - already made one trip to the Goodwill, one trip to drop off at the church rummage sale, and another couple of boxes to take to the consignment shop. I will also list some items on eBay when I can find the time. I'm hoping that this purge will be a reminder to me not to bring so much stuff into the house and to regularly unclutter. Leaving it for too long really makes it a task to deal with.

  13. Hey Jen! I just wanted to take a moment and leave a quick comment. I found your blog over at pieces of my heart, and I just have to tell you, I love your blog! I can't wait to read more of your posts. I am now a follower of your blog! Have a great day. :)

  14. Jen, do you have a local "freecycle" yahoo group in your area? We have 3 in my area and I love it. The rule is has to be free. It's similar in a way to craigslist although again, it has to be free. You can list an item or box of items or whatever. And by listing you can just say you have an old VHS camcorder; done! You can also ask the group for certain items. It's awesome because you could post your old VHS camcorder and I'm certain someone would want to use it. It's just another way to help keep things out of landfills. I mean I know you are planning to recycle it, but you could also recycle by giving it to someone. I've even see people post and pick-up broken items, like laptops or electronics because chances are it is fixable by the right person. Just wanted to give you yet another option for your purge items!


  15. First off, you'll love the Flip! We have one and it's so handy to keep with you and was great on our vacation.

    We're preparing to move from CT to CA so I've been working on purging for several months now. Your post is so timely because just last night I sat down and researched a pile of eBay things I had set aside to see what was worth listing. It's been ages since I listed anything so it's great to see the portion where they give you information on items that have sold. We also use Craig's list a lot and it's a great resource.

  16. I sold my Sims 2 games on ebay too! I think I had 5 games and they went for $30 or so.
    I list on both ebay and craigslist. Same as you, those that are hard to ship or would be expensive go on craigslist. Clothes, shoes, books, etc. go on ebay. I'm trying to purge more things from my living room this week!


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