Monday, 2 August 2010

Tips on how to recycle and make money

In two weeks time, I will be rejoining the corporate world after a three year break. This has happened because a number of forces came together. Ironically if you had told me that running a conference for co-active coaches in May 2010 would have led to a three day week contract with PwC from August 2010, I would not have believed you. It has given me the focus I need however to sort the house out before I start because I know it will never happen after I go back. I am on a high because I have managed to shift quite a lot of my baby stuff - and about time too you might add if you know me well because the youngest is almost three - and made around £600! It has inspired me to write these tips because up until now I kept putting it off for one reason or another. So here's my top ten tips on how to do it:

1. Have a deadline in mind: for me it is knowing that I start on 16 August and I want all this sorted by then.

2. If you have one get your partner on board because then you can split tasks and be much more effective and efficient.

3. Be very clear about what price you want for stuff. If you are not sure of the going rate in the used market then check out ebay, there is bound to be a few of the items you are selling for sale. If you are taking it seriously place a watch on a few items because then you can go back afterwards and look at the bid history. This is key because not only do you need to know the end price you want but also the start price needs to be low enough to entice people in to bid so that they keep bidding because they really want the item.

4. Pricing strategy on ebay: start low. We had two items on at the price we wanted and so buyers did not see them as a bargain. This meant we got loads of watchers and in one case no bids.

5. Don't be discouraged. We made a private sale on one item because the buyer saw it and missed the auction. The agreed price was still twice what others were getting for similar items but less than our asking price so it was another win-win.

6. Don't rely on one platform to sell your goods especially ebay. Tell everyone you know what you are doing and you will be surprised who buys stuff. Some relative of our cleaner's has bought the cot bed and we got more than the going rate on ebay for it. Another channel has been facebook. We have also used the local village shop as a place to advertise and online with the local newspaper which means people come and pick up thus saving the faff of posting it.

7. If using ebay then spend a bit more and put on extra photos of big ticket items and use the photo package that allows potential buyers to zoom in and enlarge at will.

8. Give stuff away too. We gave away brand new baby towels and unused sheets and blankets with the cot bed. I am sending an extra toy in a pack of stuff for a friend. It makes everyone feel good. I have also picked out some beautiful clothes for a friend's baby and sent them in two garden waste sacks!

9. Be ruthless about what will sell. There is a bin liner and a huge Next sale bag of stuff including a hardly worn suit of the OH's going to charity because that makes more sense then trying to flog it.

10. Trust the stuff is going to sell and it will but perhaps not the way you intended. It feels great because items that have hardly been used are going to a new home and we are recouping some of the cost back. It's a win all round ;-)

I hope you enjoyed this post and I would love to hear your stories of making money through recycling used items below.


  1. Good post Kate, and very timely. In September, with no4 going off to preschool for 4 days a week, I'm going to clear out the house. The thought of it was making me feel quite stressed, because there is SO much, and I could see it going on forever. The idea of setting a timescale makes it much more do-able. I'm going to give myself a month, and after that anything gets taken to the charity shop or the tip.

  2. That sounds like a plan Rachael. One other tip is that I use freecycle for any unsellable items. In other words you get no money for it but someone who needs the item comes and collects it which saves on the landfill. Andy is packing up the bugaboo for posting as I type! Good luck with it all. Loving Tales from the Village btw.

  3. Good luck with the new job (I start mine on 16th August too so shall be thinking of you)

    I'm gradually de-cluttering, mostly not selling on ebay because of the hassle factor (unless its a few of the higher value things) instead I'm trying to do one bag to the charity shop each week - baby step by baby step

  4. Well we will definitely have to compare notes then. I have taken the lower value items to the charity shop too but managed to sell a cot bed, a cot, a monitor and a travel system. Just need to find someone to buy the child carrier and I will be happy ;-) We must compare notes next week.