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How the F*** Do You Sell Your S***?

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By Nicole Lapin on March 14, 2012


You know how the saying goes: “A girl can never have too much stuff.”

Or can she? There are actually many reasons that you might need to ditch some of your stuff: spring cleaning, moving to another city or perhaps moving in with your sig-o (do you honestly need two coffeemakers?). Strangely enough, it can be tougher to get rid of than you think, especially if you live in a densely populated area. Read on, ladies, as we help you to lighten the load.

Problem: You moved in with your boyfriend and now you have two of…everything, including large items like furniture and electronics.

Solution: Your local Craigslist listings are a great place to start. For a speedy sale, time your post with big moving dates. Most leases end on the 1st or 15th of every month, which means that you’ll be reaching potential buyers right as they move into a new place and are looking for furnishings. Be sure to post plenty of photos of the item for sale; after all, people want to know what they’re paying for! And, if possible, ask your buyer to pay in cash. The last thing you want to do is to deal with a bounced check when that couch is already out the door.

Problem: Your wardrobe is bursting at the seams, and filled with a ton of pieces that you’ve never even worn. Some of them still have the tags on them! Okay, so this isn’t exactly a problem but … a lot of it is pretty nice stuff. You need a wardrobe purge but don’t want to just give it away — so where to sell your shwag?

Solution: There are some great national chains out there that will take your new or gently-worn clothes and sell them for you, including Plato’s Closet and Crossroads Trading Co (also Wasteland in L.A. and San Francisco, and Beacon’s Closet in NYC). They typically give you cash up front, so unlike a furniture warehouse sale you leave the store with money in your pocket. We recommend ironing dressier stuff and freshening knits and sweaters with a quick dryer-sheet cycle on tumble dry. These are small upfront expenses that could result in a better cut of the final sale price. Carry dresses and workwear on hangers; if the salespeople see that you care for your clothes, they’re more likely to accept them. Keep in mind that they have limited space for inventory, so most likely they won’t be able to take everything … and you might have to stomach handing over those J. Brand jeans for what feels like daylight robbery.

Problem: You landed your dream job (yay!) but it’s in another city, and you need to be out of your apartment in just two weeks (boo!).

Solution: Check your local listings for used furniture warehouses, because classified ads can be tough when you’re on a deadline. These experienced dealers will take your furniture off your hands and sell it for you in their showroom, and then give you a cut of the sale (typically it goes 60 to 70 percent to you, 30 to 40 percent to them, but it can’t hurt to negotiate!). While you won’t make as much dough back as you would by selling directly, that chair will be out of your apartment and in your rearview mirror ASAP. Some companies will even pick the furniture up for you, free of charge. Moving before it sells? No worries — they can mail you the check.

If all else fails: there’s always donating or recycling. And Oprah. Yes, Oprah. Her team put together this state-by-state guide of resources for where to donate and recycle anything from furniture to kitchen appliances to your wedding dress (seriously), and it’s just the place to find a worthy home for your stuff.

Nicole Lapin is the founder and CEO of Nothing But Gold Productions, a multi-media company that creates accessible financial content for TV, print and digital outlets. She is also the editor-in-chief of Recessionista.com, the only online destination that provides non-judgey female-focused money news. Sources say she was the youngest anchor ever on CNN and CNBC. Follow her on Twitter @nicolelapin.
 

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