If you’re anything like the average person, you have unused items lying around your house and garage from hobbies long gone. I started to realize that many of the possessions that weren’t giving me any real benefit were also potentially valuable to others. So I sold my Xbox and games that hadn’t been used in several years.
This process was about as painless as you can imagine – the games went on eBay because they are light and easy to post, and the Xbox itself went on gumtree (Australia’s version of craigslist).
In my situation selling was obviously the right thing to because:
- I immediately earned $350
- I hadn’t used the item for over 2 years
- Selling wasn’t time consuming or expensive
- It removed any temptation to buy a game which would have wasted both time and money
- The Xbox wasn’t providing me with any service or benefit I couldn’t get elsewhere
When you should consider selling junk
- If you haven’t used the item for more than 6 months
- If the item is redundant because of another item you have
- If the item is valuable to others
- If it’s lightweight or able to be posted cheaply
- If it’s in storage – strongly consider how much you really need this stuff!
- If the cost of purchasing the item again is not much more than the potential sale price
- If there is a sizable second-hand market for the item – like Xbox games
Clearly it’s a matter of discretion, but by and large, if you haven’t used something for a considerable period and it’s still a valuable item, consider selling it. The money is much more profitably used by paying down debts, investing or setting up an emergency fund if you don’t already have one.
Selling old items avoids depreciation costs
When you keep an item that is worth $1,000 that depreciates by 10% per year, it’s costing you $100 every year to own.
Even if you might one way want that item again, selling it can still be a good option because it forces the market to wear the cost of depreciation for you. For example, in my case the Xbox sold for $200, but in 3 years it might only be worth $50.
By selling, I am gaining $200, the ability to use that money while I’m not using the Xbox, but also I’m avoiding the cost of the depreciating asset.
If I want to purchase the Xbox again in three years, I’m $150 better off.
It also means you don’t have to store or maintain the item – not so relevant for an Xbox, but consider the camper-van you haven’t used for three summers, or the spare car?
Cast your eye around the house and see if you can find an item that would be more useful as cash in your pocket. It takes only a little bit of effort and time, but the results can be quite dramatic. Particularly if you’re fond of a minimalist lifestyle or find that your possessions own you rather than the other way around – get rid of the junk!
Do you have anything lying around the house you’ve been thinking about selling?