Author Topic: Sell Your Junk to Buy Something Nice  (Read 5208 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Sell Your Junk to Buy Something Nice
« on: September 09, 2014, 03:29:37 PM »
I'm sure this type of challenge has been done before, but here goes anyway: I'm going to finance an expensive purchase by selling the junk I already have!

This challenge will only really work once (hopefully!), and it won't work for people who already live a clutter-free life, but I happen to have a lot of selling potential at the moment. ;)

I think this challenge will kill a bunch of birds with one stone, including:
1 - Motivating me to actually get rid things I don't need or use, and making me more ruthless about what gets cut (no more "I might use it someday")
2 - Giving me some monetary value back out of things I was probably just going to donate (though donating would have had its own moral/societal value)
3 - Motivating me to be frugal in my final big purchase rather than let scope creep get the better of me
4 - Converting many low-value things in my home with one high-value thing, which feels very mustachian
5 - Getting something I want without really having to spend any money

Since I got this idea, I've been seeing all sorts of things all around the house that I can try to sell. I'm trying to make sure I don't get too overeager and sell off anything that I actually use, or like a lot, or things that don't belong to me.  ;) But we have a lot of things we don't really use that fit in with our lifestyle anymore, and the thought of this challenge is finally the kick I need to get rid of them. I'm anticipating that it might be tough to sell some things, or to make more than $5 at a time, but hopefully I can get there.

If anyone else wants to take this challenge with me, I'd love to hear about what you want to buy and the things you'll sell to make it happen!

As for me...

I've played piano my whole life, and it used to be one of my favorite hobbies, but I haven't had a piano in my living space for the past 9 years due to space/living issues (college dorm room, second-floor apartments). It's something I really miss, and every few months or so I'll get hit by a wave of piano nostalgia and longing.

You can get an old upright piano for pretty cheap, but the issues are always paying to have it moved every time you move (and we've moved 7 times in the last 5 years), and worrying about bothering neighbors (I can't even do a Zumba dvd without getting paranoid that I'm bothering the people below us).

The clear solution to my problem is to get a nice digital piano that feels close enough to a real piano. It would be easily portable and I could adjust the volume or use headphones to reduce or eliminate the noise. The problem is that nice digital pianos are pretty pricey. I seem to have a LOT of hobbies, so the husband is hesitant to let me indulge financially in another one (and I am, too). One previous hobby purchase that comes to mind is a $200+ synth I bought when husband and I thought we were going to start a rock band together. It's a cute little thing, but I don't know how to use a synth and I never got around to learning. So I thought... "What if I sold the synth?" And then I thought "What if I sold enough other stuff to pay for the whole piano?!"

I'm anticipating the piano will cost somewhere between $500 and $800, and the synth sale will luckily get me a good chunk of the way there. I think that a lot of other sale items will come from other past hobbies that I've lost interest in (some craft supplies, costumes/wigs, etc.) along with general household clutter.

I'm pretty excited to get started!

NYC Stach

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Sell Your Junk to Buy Something Nice
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2014, 05:38:53 PM »
Sounds like a great long as you get some value out of the digital piano.  Everybody has to find what motivates them to make a change.

The wife and I are in the process of selling what little used items of value we have remaining.  This will finance the restoration of a vintage Airstream trailer we will call home next year as we travel the country.  Towing a trailer back and forth across the country with a diesel truck doesn't seem like the most Mustachian or environmentally friendly idea, but we are trying to make up for that with a lot of slow travel and environmentally friendly modifications (solar power, composting toilet, etc...).  We are about three years from FIRE if we keep working full-time, but this just seems right since we are planning a cross-country move post-FIRE anyway.

Penny Lane

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Re: Sell Your Junk to Buy Something Nice
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2014, 05:41:00 PM »
Positronic, you need a piano!  I have a Roland with headphones and you are inspiring me to get back with it.  I would love to earn how to play some jazz; I was a classical player and also studied harpsichord many years ago so love me some Bach.  I think you can definitely do this!  I am going to try to sell some stuff to support something wanted in my family/circle of friends that would not happen otherwise.


  • Stubble
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Re: Sell Your Junk to Buy Something Nice
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2014, 05:55:57 PM »
We're doing this too... Don't have time to take pics/post/mail yet, but we have started the gathering phase and have been surprised at all the junk we have to sell...


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Sell Your Junk to Buy Something Nice
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2014, 12:47:01 PM »
@NYC Stach:
I think I'll definitely get value from the piano. I remember it being a very relaxing activity for me where I could just turn off my brain and enjoy what I was doing. I've also noticed I don't do much for leisure these days besides watching TV. I'd love to have something skill-based that I can enjoy in my free time. The Airstream trailer sounds great! You guys are doing the extreme version of this challenge =) There's no doubt about the value you'll get out of your plans, it will be amazing to travel so freely. Best of luck!

@Penny Lane:
Haha, thanks, I agree! You should definitely get back into playing. Jazz would certainly be a departure from your classical background, could be very exciting. And it's always just nice to feel good at something. The "would not happen otherwise" factor is key for my situation as well, I think. If I don't sell all this junk, there's no way I'm getting that piano, and that's a huge motivator. Good luck!

Awesome! I have a feeling the gathering part is the most fun of this challenge =) Looking forward to hearing your progress.

Thanks for all the replies! I always get nervous posting on the MMM forum, worried that people will say something like "You're going to *buy* something with the money you make? What's mustachian about that??" But everyone is always moderate and nice here.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Sell Your Junk to Buy Something Nice
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2014, 01:42:17 PM »
We're paring down our video game collection to buy a Spanish guitar! :D It's almost a hundred games, so I think it's A-OK to bring in a guitar once we sell them all - whoo!!

@NYC Stach - I love your trailer idea! Have you seen the tiny houses ( They have a lot of ideas on how to make an low-impact, small, portable living space.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Sell Your Junk to Buy Something Nice
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2014, 07:15:14 AM »
I don't have a lot of things to sell, but I did sell a few collectable computer security badges on ebay a few weeks ago.  I made like 150 dollars.  Very exciting and I got the idea from this thread. 


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Sell Your Junk to Buy Something Nice
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2014, 10:48:36 AM »
I want a new computer, or at least a significant upgrade.  It'll cost $275-375, and there's no money in our budget for it.  But we have lots of clutter, including lots of older computer parts.  So I'm selling parts on ebay.  Three video cards listed last night...


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Re: Sell Your Junk to Buy Something Nice
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2014, 11:05:29 AM »
I'm going to try to convince DH to get on board with this. He is drooling over a new camera now and his electronics envy has his eye on a $900 camera. Yikes! There's no way we have $900 worth of stuff to sell (maybe more like $150?) but it would at least supplement the purchase a bit. Also, it will impose a waiting period before buying to see if there are other comparable cameras that we could compromise on for much cheaper.

I will also include in my challenge items I've put off returning for ages.

Señora Savings

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Re: Sell Your Junk to Buy Something Nice
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2014, 07:46:42 AM »
Ooh, I just bought a harp, and I've still got boxes of comic books and kids toys that I need to sell... I'm going to try doing this backwards, selling stuff to cover what I already bought.


  • Stubble
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Re: Sell Your Junk to Buy Something Nice
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2014, 12:26:52 PM »
I need to do this.  I have 3 bags of miscellaneous items that are ready to be donated, but I am sure that I could probably get a few dollars for some of them.  I'll make it my mission to take photos tonight to get some things listed online.  I have a list of lenses that I would love to buy.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Sell Your Junk to Buy Something Nice
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2014, 03:43:57 AM »
I've been doing this! I let go of a kitchen buffet, a kitchen table, some dining room chairs, a desk, a desk chair, a sewing machine, and am still trying to shift a living room chair, as well as a bunch of old clothes and shoes. I've been keeping up with the progress in a spreadsheet, and so far I've made about 360 out of the 460 possible, if everything sells for the listing price. Out of that, I bought an espresso machine for my gf, and some power tools for myself! I found it really satisfying to convert all the old crap I didn't want and didn't use and didn't have room for into something I had been coveting but had been unable to justify the expense of.

Retired To Win

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Re: Sell Your Junk to Buy Something Nice
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2014, 06:48:58 PM »
I NEED to do this!

We've got about 200-plus boxes full of stuff on shelves in our basement and in a large outbuilding.  Not to mention quite a few pieces of furniture that have nowhere to go -- and dozens of art pieces for which there is no wall space.

Holy clutter crap!

Maybe your idea is the catalyst we need.  Target buying something NICE, but vow not to use any money that doesn't come from selling some of that boxed, mystery stuff.

Now... what shall I buy???


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Sell Your Junk to Buy Something Nice
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2014, 09:30:27 AM »
I'm a pianist and I've owned a Yamaha Clavinova since 2002. I love it (despite thinking that I'd never want a "fake" piano) and it is certainly Mustachian in that you don't need to pay to tune it or move it. Mine has seen a lot of use and I only had to have a few keys repaired once (for maybe €25). Do you homework on the brands available when you're ready to buy (try some new ones) so you know what you like. Then shop for a used one of the brand you like.

Roland uses Steinway samples and has a very nice tone; Yamaha Clavinovas use samples from Yamaha grands and also sound good.

Good luck with your selling/buying plans -- I think you're making a good trade!


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Re: Sell Your Junk to Buy Something Nice
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2014, 09:50:42 AM »
I'll accept this challenge.

I'm moving into a much smaller apartment in February with my bf. I'm planning on selling a bunch of furniture/clutter/excess stuff, and I think I should be able to make at least $800 easy.

The "nice" thing that I will buy is new storage to meticulously organize our new, tiny apartment.  :-P