Want to learn how to turn clutter into cash? Selling on Facebook Marketplace may be easier than you think.
Even if you are already a seasoned veteran for selling on Facebook, you may find some ways to make the process a whole lot easier.
I had a goal for my clutter.
About a year ago, I set a goal. To make $1000 selling items from my garage to use to create an organization wall for purses, coats, hats, and shoes. A makeshift mudroom for my 1000 square foot condo.
The mission felt lofty when I set out to conquer it. How on earth was I going to make that much money, as my garage was full of junk? But you know what they say, one man’s trash, another man’s treasure. Boy they weren’t kidding!
What I didn’t realize was that buried under all the dust and trash, were things that could easily be converted into cash via Facebook Marketplace.
With some encouragement from a friend, I decided to tackle the overwhelming task of clearing out the clutter.
To be fair, this wasn’t my first attempt, nor my last attempt to declutter.
There was the “great declutter of 2015/16” when I made room for my new baby boy.
There was the “divorce declutter.”
Then, there was the “COVID downsize my business of 12 years declutter” to come.
Jump-Starting the Decluttering Process
My journey to sell my clutter started out slow. I was listing things like fondue sets and Keurig machines, used items I had been gifted but had never used. These things that were easily let go.
I was making money, but it was at a bit of a snail’s pace—$5 here, $10 there, the occasional $20. It was like I was warming up for the main event.
At some point, my mentality shifted, and I realized I needed to face the more challenging items. Items that were taking up prime real estate AND represented BIG BUCKS! Items like cribs and strollers that represented SO MUCH MORE!
You see, by listing items like these, I was saying goodbye to the idea of having another child—something at the time I desperately wanted. But given the divorce, no romantic prospects, and zero desire to parent another child on my own, I knew the likelihood of having another child was slim.
Every time I walked by these precious baby items, it felt like a slap in the face to this reality!
Besides, I was finally able to ration, if by some miracle from the heavens, I met someone I wanted to parent with, while I was still in the baby-making window, I COULD ALWAYS BUY NEW GEAR! Such a novel concept for the frugal pack-rat in me!
And so, with much encouragement from my loved ones, I set forth listing the big stuff. And the rewards began to compound. Five months into my Facebook selling journey, I achieved my $1000 goal.
It felt so good to be reclaiming my space and to let go of things that were weighing heavily on my heart. To begin dwelling in possibility.
The COVID Downsize
Now, I still have yet to reap my reward of an organizational wall, COVID changed that for me.
On March 13th, 2020, I made the painful decision to downsize my massage business of 12 years. And the organizational wall took a back seat. My financial situation suddenly became a little more tentative, and my time and energy shifted.
I had serious work to accomplish!
I would be downsizing from a four-room treatment center, with a waiting room, retail area, multiple bathrooms, and plenty of closets to a one-room office in the middle of a suite of offices.
After occupying a charming 100+-year-old home for my office over a decade, I had accumulated some stuff!
I had antiques from my grandmother, relics from my grandfather’s stationery store, massage supplies and equipment, and retail to sell. To say the place was brimming would be an understatement!
IT WAS DAUNTING!!!
It took me the solid month of April to move everything from the quaint office to my garage, my 1000 square foot condo, and a short term rental property I own. These are the spaces I just cleared out months prior!
All three of these locations were packed to the gills. You couldn’t slide a credit card into my two-room rental property. It was that full.
But instead of panicking, I knew exactly where to turn…Facebook. I had experience selling items on Facebook!
I’d learned a thing or two about selling via Facebook in my casual attempt to earn enough for my organizational wall. Now was the time to get serious.
I had one month to liquidate everything from my rental property before renters moved in on June 1st. Talk about feeling the pressure!
And amazingly, I was able to accomplish my mission. On May 27th, a few days early, my rental unit was cleared of goods and ready to be rented.
My home and garage another story (a story still in progress), but the rental unit was empty. I was elated, and I had Facebook to thank!
11 Pack-Rat Tips for Selling on Facebook Marketplace
1) Set a goal and a reward.
It is amazing how much this can motivate you to keep going when things seem hopeless!
2) Keep track of what you sell on Facebook.
It is easy to feel deflated when you have a $5 day, but if you keep track, you can easily see how your efforts compound.
3) Have an accountability friend.
This tip is beyond important! You want to be able to share your progress with someone who will celebrate your wins and cheer you on when you get discouraged!
4) Research and join all the different selling groups in your area.
I am apart of 6 different Facebook selling groups in my area. The more places I list my items, the easier it is to sell them.
5) Don’t be afraid to list small items.
I have a rule that I won’t list something for less than $5, but I sell a lot of things for $5, and it adds up. Also, I learned that people are often more inclined to pick items up for $5 than were it free. Strange, but true in my experience.
6) Set a daily goal/limit.
I say goal/limit because selling on Facebook is a little different from selling via the more traditional route of a garage sale.
When you have a garage sale, you want to plump up your inventory so that people have all kinds of options, and they spontaneously purchase items they didn’t even know they needed.
With Facebook, it’s a little different. You are going to get multiple inquiries for every one of your listings. It is easy to get overwhelmed with messages if you don’t limit your daily numbers, especially when you are getting the hang of it!
When I first started selling on Facebook, my daily goal/limit was five items. Five items was what I could manage between playing tag with my son, answering phone calls, making meals, and generally getting through the day. This may not sound like a lot, but trust me, it was plenty.
7) Designate specific days for selling on Facebook.
It is easy to waste time scheduling pickups and then have people be late or decide to come another day.
If you designate certain days as Facebook selling days, you can schedule pickups throughout the day without trying to juggle your other daily demands.
Which brings me to my next point…
8) First come, first serve.
Pretty simple, and it may seem heartless, but you will thank me later for this one!
Facebook is full of fickle people. They will seem interested. Potential customers will even set a time for pick-up, then…nothing.
One easy way to prevent no-shows from stinging is to implement a first-come, first-serve protocol. First one here wins!
9) Venmo is your friend.
In the beginning, I would get soooo frustrated trying to schedule meetups, people would say they were coming, and I would decline others offers, and then they wouldn’t show. Enter Venmo.
Want me to hold an item for you? Cool, just Venmo me the funds, and it’s yours.
10) Some items don’t sell well on Facebook.
Don’t be afraid to look into things like Thred-Up, local consignment shops, or ‘gasp’ the trash can.
11) Have customers come to you.
Living in a small town, I haven’t had any trouble having folks meet me at my home. But, if you don’t feel comfortable having people come to your home, bring items to your office or a central location to exchange.
Pre-COVID, this was an excellent solution for me. Instead of trying to schedule and reschedule times, I would give them a window of time where they could pick things up from the receptionist at my office.
Now Get Out There And Sell Your Clutter
I hope I’ve inspired you to sell items on Facebook Marketplace!
Making cash from your clutter is a rewarding journey on so many different levels!
There is the thrill of making cash from “junk”, the reward of creating space, and the joy of watching others get excited about your old gear!
I still have a long way to go in my decluttering journey! But I’m getting there, and, I’ve gotten rid of a ton!
Speaking of tons, I even set a new goal. Once I’m done decluttering my home, my son, and I will get a puppy named Ton-Ton.
Ali Boehm is a Massage Therapist in the mountains of Colorado. She has been on a decluttering journey for years but finally hit her stride after a major downsize to her business due to COVID. Selling on Facebook Marketplace was a game-changer for this mission. To learn more about Ali, her business, and her podcast, visit The Massage Business Mama.