Author Topic: Newbie/Selling on Craigslist to cover debt  (Read 3586 times)

Aoede

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Newbie/Selling on Craigslist to cover debt
« on: October 24, 2016, 06:17:17 AM »
Hi, I'm a total newbie and my financial knowledge is almost zilch, though I'm putting in as much time as possible educating myself. My husband has been the person in charge of finances since we got married (and before that, my mom, I never even looked at my own bank account before a month ago). He revealed that money gave him panic attacks and so he wasn't actually looking at our finances and all budgeting was spend until the bank emails to say the account is low. I was totally horrified and volunteered as tribute. I got him to link up all our accounts into ynab, and managed to pay off two low balance credit cards this month. Of then I started googling how to pay off cc debt and found you guys, so I know I did it wrong.

I still have two credit cards to go (and then student loans that are currently in deferment and that I'm a little scared to look at) one that has $7,258.45 and one that has $826.01. The 826 is 0% over 12 months, so I plan on dividing that up over the remaining months and paying each month while throwing the rest of my money at the debt with interest (a month ago I didn't know that cc had interest, or what it was - yeah, it was that bad).

I'd like to pay off the debt fast and I've cut our eating out budget as a first step (husband was not on board over selling his car, my car is actually pretty mustache-y and is free and clear). So with the options open to me with out pissing off the hubby too much, I think selling our extra stuff on Craigslist is the way to go since this is an emergency and all.

We have a garage full of sporting equipment and all sorts of everything and I have a boot collection that my post partum feet are never going to fit into again. Before I realized we were drown in debt, we were Konmari-Ing and were going to take it all to Goodwill.

First I want to check and make sure this is a sane thing to do and second, I've never sold anything on Craigslist before. Is there a most mustachian way to go about it? I don't want to screw this up.

slb59

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Re: Newbie/Selling on Craigslist to cover debt
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2016, 06:26:26 AM »
Hi,

I don't have much to add on the Craigslist stuff, but I've seen and bought sporting equipment from there before so it sounds like a great idea to me!

Mostly, just wanted to say congratulations for educating yourself and starting to track these things. I similarly took over finances from my husband. When I was in grad school, he would remember to log in and pay the credit card bills whereas I would not, but like your husband his idea of "we can afford this" is "our bank balance is positive", and when it got low he was completely stressed out with no idea of how to make it better. Tracking your spending, setting up a budget, and figuring out which loans have what interest rate will make a huge difference for you.

Good luck!

fa

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Re: Newbie/Selling on Craigslist to cover debt
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2016, 06:43:50 AM »
Congratulations on signing up for YNAB.  It is the best thing you can do in your situation.  Craigslist is a great idea.  At least you get some money for the stuff you will never use again.  There are books written on how to list and sell on CL, but it boils down to doing it.  Take a look at some of the listings to see what you like and then copy those ideas.  Good photos are essential.  The more specific your description the better.  Make sure you list blemishes, damage or missing pieces, IOW give an honest description of the state of the item.  Don't drive far.  Let the buyer come to you.  Whenever I can I set up a meeting away from my home, but some items are just too big to do that.  The nearby Starbucks is a good meeting spot.  Never accept anything other than cash.

Best of luck!

bridget

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Re: Newbie/Selling on Craigslist to cover debt
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2016, 07:10:32 AM »
Many local police stations suggest using their parking lot as a meeting place for Craigslist sales. It's a public place, usually plenty of parking, and has good security and lighting (although try not to meet at night). I've also used library and grocery store parking lots for the same reason. Avoid having them come to your house unless it's really necessary (like picking up large furniture). No reason for random strangers to have your address.

I agree with the previous poster - good pictures, detailed and honest description, links to the original item online if possible so the buyer can see more specs. Be responsive to your texts and emails; sometimes I'll reach out to a CL seller and if they take too long responding, I assume it's gone or mentally lose the motivation for the sale.

Accept that there will be a little haggling. I'll usually agree to up to 20% off my list price, on the condition that the buyer meet me today and with cash. (ALWAYS use cash - both as a buyer and a seller). I factor the likely haggling into my listing price, nudging it a tad higher than I really need it to sell for. You can also list stuff at an ideal price, and if it doesn't get any interest after a few days, take the posting down and re-list it at a lower price. (Don't just edit the original post, you want it to pop up in the "recently added" feed. A post that's more than a few days old is pretty much useless).

Del Griffith

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Re: Newbie/Selling on Craigslist to cover debt
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2016, 07:59:17 AM »
In addition to Craigslist, if you are on Facebook, your town/area likely has a yard sale group worth joining. I have had a lot of selling success with this as long as you price your stuff right -- they usually have thousands of members in these groups (although they may not all be active). Like others have said, good clear pictures, fair prices and being responsive go a long way. I usually meet folks at a busy well lit parking lot near my home. For bigger things, I will post on both Craigslist and Facebook and indicate in the ad that the item is cross posted.

snogirl

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Re: Newbie/Selling on Craigslist to cover debt
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2016, 08:33:59 AM »
Hi OP! Congrats on your ideas to get out of debt. It took me 2.5 years to get rid of 45k worth of consumer debt. My plan was as follows
1. A small notebook to track every single cent spent & earned daily.
2. A spending plan. The positive spin on Plan vs budget. You have a goal. Budget psychologically worked against me. My spending plan is a lifestyle change. 
3. Spending pause no frills, gifts, extravagant dinners out or lunches.
4. Drastic measures. I cut absolutely every single once of Fat, amazon prime, Costco, comcast, home internet, the gym, subscriptions to audible, Pandora.
5. I sold tons of stuff on CL. Take good pictures. Be direct. Expect about 50% of what you paid new. Add 20 bucks to that amount for negotiation. Meet in a public place. I also spell out my phone number. Do not fall for stupid spammer texts asking you to email them. Just delete. Ask people to call you & speak in person. It makes it go faster. They might still email you through the relay (don't use your real email). You will get lowballers who send ridiculous offers. Send out positive vibes around your sales. It really works! I have met so many interesting people & have never felt threatened nor scared. Common sense is your friend. If the buyer sounds to good to be true or has outrageously out there demands, just say no thanks.
You can do this!

Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk


meandmyfamily

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Re: Newbie/Selling on Craigslist to cover debt
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2016, 08:42:11 AM »
Great job!  I always try the local Facebook groups first then Craigslist.  Take good pictures and give a good description.  Meet up somewhere local and busy.  Not at your home, etc.  Good luck!

bestideaever

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Re: Newbie/Selling on Craigslist to cover debt
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2016, 09:51:25 AM »
I'd add selling on NextDoor as an option I prefer, as it seems safer to have neighbors somehow "vetted"/trackable. Almost like an online neighborhood watch in my mind when it comes to sales, but it might all be made up :).

Aoede

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Re: Newbie/Selling on Craigslist to cover debt
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2016, 10:48:43 AM »
Thanks you guys! I'm impressed by all the helpful comments, and so fast!

Do you think the local grocery store parking lot is ok, or should I figure out where the local cops are? I feel pretty safe at the local grocery store and would probably drag husband with me.

I'm getting together all the stuff to post now and will report back how much I made. Now to figuring out my next step!

Catbert

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Re: Newbie/Selling on Craigslist to cover debt
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2016, 11:03:37 AM »
What about your "boot collection"?  Craigslist is probably not the best option to sell these.  Are these in new conditon?  You might try consignment stores.  Are they expensive, designer models?  There are some online places that specialize in designer clothes.  Sorry, no recommendations b/c I don't have that type of clothes (or boots).

I personally think a grocery store parking lot during the daytime is fine especially if you aren't talking about huge amounts of money.  Somebody might chance a grab and run for a thousand dollar item, but not so much for a $50 or $100 item.

bikebuzz

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Re: Newbie/Selling on Craigslist to cover debt
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2016, 11:27:00 AM »
Congratulations on the progress so far!

Check out Tradesy and Posh Mark for your boots assuming they're in good condition.  I have several friends who use these and make decent money selling the clothes that no longer fit or they don't like.

meandmyfamily

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Re: Newbie/Selling on Craigslist to cover debt
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2016, 12:11:58 PM »
Grocery store should be fine.  The highest thing I have sold was $125.  I always meet in a busy gas station parking lot right up front by my house.

Aoede

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Re: Newbie/Selling on Craigslist to cover debt
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2016, 03:06:55 PM »
My boot collection is more like Docs, Red Wings, Wolverine and a couple of steel toed Harleys. Some are nice and in good condition and others I wore in the pit when I worked in a museum doing trolley car conservation. I'm not sure they would sell well on a fashion site. Nothing I own would sell well on a fashion site :)

bridget

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Re: Newbie/Selling on Craigslist to cover debt
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2016, 03:32:50 PM »
Thanks you guys! I'm impressed by all the helpful comments, and so fast!

Do you think the local grocery store parking lot is ok, or should I figure out where the local cops are? I feel pretty safe at the local grocery store and would probably drag husband with me.

I'm getting together all the stuff to post now and will report back how much I made. Now to figuring out my next step!

Grocery store is fine. Just do it out in the open in a public place that tends to have other people milling around, and as a bonus in a place that's likely to have security cameras. A grocery store parking lot hits all three.

Although I think selling extra stuff on CL is a great place to start and to get some momentum going, remember it's just a one-time use and the battle isn't over once you're done with that. To really see long-term changes to your relationship with money, the real value is in optimizing your recurring costs. A case study on this forum is a really good way to get suggestions for trimming some of those ongoing or recurring expenses.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Newbie/Selling on Craigslist to cover debt
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2016, 03:42:39 PM »
Congrats on your progress, and welcome!

MMM did a blog post about selling on CL. It was five years ago, but the advice on how to be the ad people will respond to is spot-on.

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/08/11/get-rich-with-craigslist/

Goldielocks

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Re: Newbie/Selling on Craigslist to cover debt
« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2016, 05:30:07 PM »
I have had very good luck with CL selling, for items over $60 in value. 
Example, This year I have sold a cooler, tent, construction materials, snowboard boots, tent awning, trombone, violin, etc.  "durable" items sell well.  Heck, I even sold a 2 year old toilet on CL before!

I have people come to my home, as it is easier, although i have met others in parking lots to buy from them.  Most will negotiate at least a little bit, but if you have the lowest price on CL, sometimes no bargaining -- they just want to check it out.

Price it right (30-60% of the original price). 

Price boots quite low--20% to 30% original full price. they will require a lot of time / people showing up unless you price them very low.  Be certain to post the shoe size and pics of any damage.  BUT, if they are work or hiking boots, they should sell on CL.   I tried to buy hiking boots on CL, and it is SUCH a pain to buy boots this way, that the price has to be very, very low for me to drive somewhere to check to see if the condition and fit is right.

Expensive Sporting equipment is especially good on CL, try to time the season (skis in summer may not sell, for example).  There may be a wave of people checking out CL after Black Friday, too.

Good Luck!

Aoede

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Re: Newbie/Selling on Craigslist to cover debt
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2016, 07:12:17 PM »
Although I think selling extra stuff on CL is a great place to start and to get some momentum going, remember it's just a one-time use and the battle isn't over once you're done with that. To really see long-term changes to your relationship with money, the real value is in optimizing your recurring costs. A case study on this forum is a really good way to get suggestions for trimming some of those ongoing or recurring expenses.

Okay, I found the sheet for a case study, but don't have most of the info (honestly, I don't know what some of it is even asking for, this learning process is slow). I'm going to print it out and see if I can get husband to give me our numbers without creating a full blown melt down. Right now I only have access to what shows up in ynab which is the checking, savings and cc.