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Marketplace King

How did we downsize from a three bedroom/one bathroom to a 250 square foot travel trailer?

Facebook Marketplace.

Not a yard sale. Ain't nobody have time for a yard sale when you're moving a family of five across the country, and selling all of your belongings, in a sixty day time span. Realistically, I would have lost my damn mind haggling with old ladies over 50 cent DVD's. And believe me, I love a good yard sale. But I am not the gal for having my own.

Not Craigslist. Sketchy.

Facebook Marketplace was the key to our downsizing success.

And when I say "we" I mean Jake. I do not have the patience to sell items on Facebook. If I had it my way, we would have driven truck load after truck load to Goodwill, just to be done with it.

I am so glad we did not do things my way. Jake insisted on selling our junk, and in doing so he paid for our entire trip from Maine to Georgia. Our junk also paid for the maintenance on both of our vehicles before we made the trek south.

In our situation literally EVERTHING had to go, so we had quite a few (socially distanced) interactions. Here are my husband's five tricks to securing a five star review (and actually make money) selling your used junk on Marketplace:

5. Keep the listing simple

This is not a story, it is an ad. Keep the listing short, sweet and to the point.

4. Clear Pickup/Delivery Communication

List two or three public meeting locations. Jake's choices were two local convenience stores and a near by Dollar General. As a general rule we do not schedule pick ups at our home, for obvious reasons.

Jake has delivered a few big items to Marketplace buyers, but we always charge an extra fee for delivery. People who really want something will pay for it to be delivered.

3. Be Available

We live in a world of instant gratification. Marketplace is no different. If someone is buying something online it is likely they are actively searching for an item they need. Be dependable when you schedule a drop off. Do not keep people waiting.

2. Fair Pricing

Do not price items for according to your value of them. For example, we sold our kitchen table. A large solid wooden table. I colored Easter Eggs on that table as a young child, so did my younger sister. All three of my children have left similar marks on the same table. To me it is priceless. Even though our need for this table had ended I could not be responsible for the listing price. Jake looked at the large wood tables currently for sale on Marketplace, and listed our beloved beauty at a hundred dollars. She was scheduled for pick up the next morning. She (yes, the table) went to a good home, and at a fair price. The moral of the story is if you have a strong sentimental attachment to something, let someone else set the asking price.

1. Good Pictures and Descriptions with Measurements

Be transparent about imperfections, scratches, defects, etc. Let people know exactly what they are purchasing. If there are no surprises people are generally happy with the transaction. I thought we would be bringing our couch to the dump. Our dog has spent two years on the right cushion. Our three children have spilled milk, juice, and God knows what else, all over it. Our cat poked a hole underneath it, so he could make a home inside of the couch, to mess with said dog laying on the right cushion. My point is this couch has been extremely loved. My husband bet me a steak bomb that he could sell our couch. I was ready to pay ten dollars to dispose of the damn thing at the dump, but I let him post the ad, even though I was horrified for the world to see our couch without it's universal Amazon cover. By the time we went to bed that night the couch had been sold for forty dollars, picked up, and the steak bombs consumed.

The next morning Jake woke up to an inbox full of people who wanted our couch. A list of people who wanted our gross couch! I couldn't believe it. My point is. We took pictures of the couches imperfections. Pictures of both reclined chairs (in all positions). We listed the couch low, pictured its details, good and bad, and Jake was available to meet immediately.

We have made over three grand by selling our "used" and "pet-friendly" items on Facebook Marketplace. Most of the items in our house were used when we bought them. We have always been very cautious about our environmental footprint, but realistically we have kids. Kids mess shit up, so we don't buy new. My point is... if people wanted our painted on table and extra loved couch, they will love your extra stuff too.

Do not bring your junk to Goodwill. Take the time and energy to sell it on Marketplace, or ask your husband to do it. I promise, people buy the strangest stuff. The money gained by Project Empty Our House has been nice, but the entertainment provided has been even better.

Pictured above: 95% of our belongings, after downsizing.

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