Sunday, October 18, 2015

What to do with it all? Craigslist!




The journey had begun, but there were still many items that needed to go. So, what did we do next? Well, we went the Craigslist route. I'm sure most of you have used Craigslist a time or two, it's quite simple.
We had a few large items, power tools, mini fridge, things that needed to be sold local for a simple sale with no shipping. Craigslist has gotten a bad name because of some bad people, but in our case we always communicate a few times before giving any phone number, address, etc. Also, only a select group of folks would pay the price we were asking for the power tools, specifically ones that knew it was a good quality tool and they were getting a good buy.
We have sold all of our items except for the mini fridge, which seems to attract folks but they never respond back. And we have a large price antique that we will be listing, just waiting to get it all ready for pics.
We had the folks come to our home for the tools because; they needed to see them before buying, they are heavy and it worked best for them to come here and they needed to be plugged in so they could test them. Everyone was beyond nice and we would do it again in a heartbeat. We made a very good price on our items, generally only about 25% less than what we paid if the item was fairly new.
I always thought if I were going to meet someone for a Craigslist transaction I would have them meet us right next to a police station parking lot. If they didn't show up or you someone pull up and then leave, you know you're dealing with a dishonest person.
As I said, our transactions all worked out well and we were able to pick up some cash while weeding out the 'un-necessaries'! (yeah, I know it's not a word!)
The journey continues...

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

What to Do with it all? Facebook Destash Groups/Our Experience and Tips Part II

Not my pic but a pretty good idea of what we had, ours was probably six times this amount.



Clutter is a big problem, even bigger when you've made the decision to move towards a more minimalist lifestyle. Statistically 78% of the households in the U.S. have borderline hoarding amounts of 'stuff' in their home. You've seen the 'hoarder' shows on TV, right? Well, that statistic is enough to get this girl moving to get rid of it!
There are some different venues available these days to move that stuff out of our homes and make a little cash in the process. These are the ones that we've decided on. I thought I would share our experiences with them.
Facebook destash groups: These are perfect for those items that are a very specific category. In my case I had a lot of items for soapmaking and scrapbooking. My decision was to get rid of all of the scrapbooking items. For the soapmaking I knew that we needed to keep just enough to make our own soap for our home.
Since these are specific items that only scrapbookers or soapmakers would see for their true value, the destash groups are the perfect venue. Not only are these folks going to get a good deal on some partially used or new items, they also want to help out a fellow crafter/soapmaker. It truly is a win/win situation.
First, you have to identify yourself as an honest person, I had been in both crafting and soapmaking groups and had an online store so they could see that I was a 'real' person, if you're thinking about doing this join the groups now, so people will know who you are. From there you just need a paypal account. Be prepared, with shipping supplies, to ship a lot of items. 
I just put it out there that I was getting rid of my business and started listing the items on the group. I found it best to use invoices through paypal, honestly that helps keep all of it organized and you know who bought what, who paid, etc.


Now for the soapmaking products.  Soapmaking products consist of oils (in 5 gallon pails), fragrance oils, essential oils, colorants (mica, liquid colors, etc.), lye (in large quantities), lots of powdered items such as titanium dioxide, different clays, etc., different molds, bowls, silicone spatulas, etc. Lots of supplies!

So, after establishing myself as a member of their group and pointing them to my etsy shop so they could see that I was a real person, I began listing.

Immediately these folks started questioning what I would be listing next, could I give them a heads up, would I be willing to sell to them first. I found the best thing to do was simply state in the group itself that everything would be listed in it's own time and I felt it wouldn't be fair to sell to someone off list.  Of course their fear is that they'll miss something as I list it or someone else will snatch it up first, that is just the nature of these groups, first come, first served.

A lot of my items had been used so I would simply state how many ounces were left and price it accordingly. It helps to keep up the sites that you purchased from for your own reference to pricing, but keep in mind that folks don't always go to those sites, some just buy from re-sellers. Without a doubt we made all of the money back on our products, we priced everything according to how much it would be to buy that amount from the sites and it all sold.

This was approximately 3 weeks worth of listing and shipping. In the beginning I state that I would only sell to U.S., then had someone beg me to change that so I did. She decided she wanted appr. $150 worth of products and said she was willing to pay the shipping to Australia.  After I added all of it up, decided on shipping charges, etc. which took a couple of hours, she decided she didn't have the money.  From there I definitely left it at U.S. only.  That was a rare case but I didn't want to have to deal with that again.

Since I had been selling scrapbook items I kind of messed up in the beginning of the soapmaking selling in that I priced shipping wayyyyy to low. We quickly fixed that and found that folks were happy to pay as much shipping as was needed.  *Oh so important to get that shipping correct, in our case we're talking about multiple 16oz bottles so that's a lot of shipping.

Within those three weeks we had everything sold except our 5 gallon pails and multiple bottles of lye.  There are many rules in shipping lye and honestly we didn't want to have to deal with that.  So, in the end we just showed everything we had left in a pic and a soaper drove appr. 2 hours to come and get it all from us.  We did offer her a discount but truly we would have been stuck with it all and I was tickled to help our a startup soaper!  We ended up gathering up items we had seen before and filling her car up when she came, she was happy and so were we!

Once again at the end of our selling soap supplies, we made a good amount of money. According to my calculations we made spot on what we had paid for everything, minus the little shipping boo boo from the beginning. Now our soap making supplies fit on a wooden shelf in our basement all nice and tidy for when we'll need to make more soap.

Now, the office is more streamlined with the sale of the scrapbooking supplies and our basement has been cleared of appr. 6 shelves full of items.  

Next step, we'll talk about the next step in the minimizing!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

What to Do with it alll! Facebook Destash Groups/Our Experience and Tips

Clutter is a big problem, even bigger when you've made the decision to move towards a more minimalist lifestyle. Statistically 78% of the households in the U.S. have borderline hoarding amounts of 'stuff' in their home. You've seen the 'hoarder' shows on TV, right? Well, that statistic is enough to get this girl moving to get rid of it!
There are some different venues available these days to move that stuff out of our homes and make a little cash in the process. These are the ones that we've decided on. I thought I would share our experiences with them.
Facebook destash groups: These are perfect for those items that are a very specific category. In my case I had a lot of items for soapmaking and scrapbooking. My decision was to get rid of all of the scrapbooking items. For the soapmaking I knew that we needed to keep just enough to make our own soap for our home.
Since these are specific items that only scrapbookers or soapmakers would see for their true value, the destash groups are the perfect venue. Not only are these folks going to get a good deal on some partially used or new items, they also want to help out a fellow crafter/soapmaker. It truly is a win/win situation.
First, you have to identify yourself as an honest person, I had been in both crafting and soapmaking groups and had an online store so they could see that I was a 'real' person, if you're thinking about doing this join the groups now, so people will know who you are. From there you just need a paypal account. Be prepared, with shipping supplies, to ship a lot of items. 
I just put it out there that I was getting rid of my business and started listing the items on the group. I found it best to use invoices through paypal, honestly that helps keep all of it organized and you know who bought what, who paid, etc.
The first group we began selling through was the scrapbooking group, every single item we listed sold and sold very quickly. The beauty of this is that you're within a group that treasures these items as much as you do, you would never get that on ebay, yard sales, etc.
Also, you can list your items for just a couple bucks less than you paid, some items had become hard to get by the time I listed them and people were begging for more. Make sure you do a bit of research before listing each item, you don't want to miss out making that little bit extra folks might have paid or put something out there with too high a price that no one will pay. 
For the scrapbooking items, I estimate that I initially paid appr. $2500 for everything new.  I had some of these items for a lot of years, plus everything I had was bought with coupons or sales, I very seldom pay full price, so these items probably were would have been at least $4000 new.
After selling all of these items, I had well over $3300 in my paypal. After the shipping costs I made made $3072. Yep, I actually had more money than I had paid out of pocket for all of it.
The downside to selling your treasures is....well, they're your treasures...I LOVE crafting items! But, the pain eases once you see that money sitting in the bank. And guess what?...that was our motivation to get started on selling the soapmaking items through a destash group. 
More about that on the next post!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Living Deliberately

Thoreau said we should 'live deliberately'. 

Living deliberately for him meant to live as though you planned your own life.  

I do not define it as such. I want to live my life knowing that God has a plan for me. As much as I do enjoy reading 'Walden', the Bible is my 'guide'. Christianity, seemingly, was not something Thoreau chose for his life. It is what I choose.

So for me, 'living deliberately' must be defined by my knowledge that God is in control. I can make choices for my life, but ultimately He is in control.

For many years I have had the longing to live an off grid, simplistic life. Not that I want to get away from 'people', I just want to raise a garden; have some critters; do more canning and preserving; etc. I don't want to move back in time, I want to live in this century, but make use of the 'old skills'. Thankfully, my hubby dreams of a more simplistic life also, together we hope to move toward that goal. Our timeline has us moving within the next 12 months. We are working hard toward the goal, enjoying each moment of every day and praying to Him for wisdom along the way.

Those choices are what I refer to as 'living deliberately'.