Cleaning House

A different type of post for me today, but still tech related. In about 45 days (hopefully) I’ll be moving into a new home that I’ve spent the last five months planning and building. With the big move approaching, I’m taking the opportunity to clean through all my stuff and make sure that I only move what’s absolutely necessary.  I pride myself on not accumulating “junk” and I would never call myself a “pack rat” but how many spare USB cables does one person need anyway? I packed up a large storage tub full of spare cables and old software and took it off to my local Mac Users Group with a sign that read: “Free to Good Home.” I came back with an empty tub. I’ve also donated boxes of books to our local Friends of the Library and taken several more boxes of household items to charitable organizations.

However, there were a few tech and larger items of value that I wanted to sell and try to recoup some of the investment, especially considering I had some significant moving expenses coming up. I despise eBay. Maybe selling an item here or there is okay, but I can’t stand how eBay takes a cut every step of the way. Listing fee, final value fee, PayPal commission, it just keeps going on and on. For tech related items that are still sold,  I much prefer selling on the Amazon Marketplace. Amazon takes a cut too, but one cut at the end, and they tell you up front exactly how much they’ll take at the time you list your item for sale.

I could go on for several paragraphs explaining how the Amazon Marketplace sales process works, but my friends over at CNET recently published a video detailing the process (direct link - also embedded below) that’s worth checking out. The one new addition that CNET didn’t cover is that now Amazon also integrates with and allows you to print shipping labels and charge posting directly to your Amazon account which effectively deducts it from your profits. I really like this feature, especially because I have access to a postal scale at work and can easily weigh and package my shipments.

Another avenue I’ve used for selling larger items that are impractical to ship is Craigslist. You have to be careful on Craigslist because there are scammers and you are meeting people face-to-face to conduct business and sometimes inviting them into your home. So be careful. I found the Craigslist Mobile iPhone App has helped greatly in my sales process. I can take photos with the iPhone camera, write a brief description and post, all directly from my iPhone.  Best yet, it’s free.

These services have helped me clean house, hopefully they'll help some of you too.