Retired? Declutter For Profit

Ah, the holidays, one of the most magical times of the year. Time with friends and family, even if it was only virtually this year, great food and plenty of festive decorations. And let’s not forget that annual viewing of It’s a Wonderful Life.

And the best part? Children and grandchildren excitedly falling asleep dreaming about what awaits them in the morning.

But the holidays also mean you’re going to end up with a lot more stuff. Sweaters and slippers. The latest best seller. A Blu-Ray box set of WKRP in Cincinnati. Oh, and that new gadget you have no idea what you’re supposed to do with.

So, you’re left with one question: what am I going to do with all this stuff?

One solution may be to get rid of some of it. And the good news is it’s easier than ever before to make a few bucks when you ditch that old stuff.

A recent Kiplinger article, Retirees, Declutter for a Profit has a really great perspective.

It seems logical that decluttering would be especially important for people who are about to retire or are already retired. After all, many people at that stage in their life are downsizing their home, which naturally means a lot less space for all that stuff.

In fact, the article notes roughly 40 million Americans older than 50, about 60% of that demographic, report they have way too much stuff.

In the last several years, there’s been an absolute explosion of apps that make decluttering for money easier than ever before. These apps often have specific audiences in mind. For example, Decluttr and NextWorth are designed to sell electronics.

While apps Mercari, ThredUp, Poshmark The RealReal are for selling clothes.

One thing our listeners may want to note, if they aren’t big app users, is that they may need to get a little creative with their spelling when they’re in the app store. For example, the Decluttr app is spelled d-e-c-l-u-t-t-r. That kind of attention-getting spelling is fairly common with apps.

Before you get too far into the selling process, you’ll want to spend some time researching various selling apps. Compare what you’re planning to sell against items currently on the app. If similar products are available, you’ve probably found the right place.

Some apps are pretty much self-service, while other apps do a lot of the work for you, in exchange for part of your profit.

If you find an app that looks like it will be a good fit for what you’re selling and it’s more self-driven, you’ll be the one styling your items, snapping photos of them, measuring them and potentially answering questions about them. So, it’s a little more work, but it also means more of the eventual sale
price is going directly into your own pocket.

But popular clothing selling apps like Decluttr, ThredUp, NextWorth, Poshmark and The RealReal simply ask you to send your items in a prepaid box and they handle all of the selling details. But, as we mentioned earlier, they’re going to keep some of your profit.

But if you’re eager to simply get rid of a bunch of stuff, and aren’t overly concerned about making some money, having a middle-man handle the details may not be such a bad thing.

And before you get into business with one of the middle-man apps, you’ll want to spend a little time going over their customer service policies and chat features and other contact information to determine how responsive they’ll be should someone interested in your items need help or more information. You should pay particularly close attention to the app’s return policies.

Now let’s look at some specific apps.

The first app our listeners may want to check out is Decluttr, which we mentioned earlier. As the article notes, this app is sometimes affectionately referred to as the “lazy man’s Ebay” because you don’t need to deal with photos, manage an auction, or wait around for a buyer.

You simply share the make, model, and condition of your items with the app and within a few weeks you’ll get a price quote and prepaid shipping label. After your items are received and their condition is verified, you’ll get paid.

If you’re intrigued by this option, you should remember to delete all your personal data and return the device to the factory setting. Don’t worry, it’s a very simple process you can accomplish in just a few clicks on your device’s menu.

ThredUp is very popular app for selling clothes you no longer need. ThredUp is unique because it seeks specific brands and styles. As Kiplinger notes, ThredUp users favor brands like Lululemon, the North Face, Anthropologie, and J. Crew. It’s also considered a good app for selling children’s clothes still in good shape.

ThredUp will send you a prepaid bag to place your clothes in. Once they receive your items, they’ll let you know which ones they want and how much you’ll be paid. You’ll receive your payment through Stripe, PayPal, or through a credit to shop on ThredUp or one of its affiliated websites.

Be aware, however, you’ll have to agree to donate the unwanted items to charity or pay to have them shipped back to you.

The RealReal app also works in much the same way as ThredUp and is a place to sell your higher-end designer clothing and accessories. With this one, you’ll get 60% of the eventual sale price.

The RealReal is looking for brands like Chanel, Celine, Hermes, Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Rolex, Gucci and Prada. Once your items are verified and sold, you’ll be paid via direct deposit, a check, or a store credit.

This next one, Poshmark, is a little different than the others we’ve mentioned because it has a significant social engagement element. You can share items and comment on other people’s items. The photo uploading process is easy and a flat shipping cost for buyers further simplifies the process.

If putting some money in your pocket is as much your goal as decluttering, you may want to consider other options, because Poshmark charges a 20% commission on sales more than $15 and they take a $2.95 of smaller sales.

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