How About…Selling Things on Craigslist?

Ah, Craigslist!

That circus of humanity where you can buy haunted dolls for $1 or a $1.3M Bugatti Veyron.

While there is certainly a myriad of items for sell on Craigslist, have you ever thought of using it to downsize and even make some cold, hard cash?

Full disclosure: I have never sold anything off Craigslist myself. I am much more of an eBay seller. I guess the introvert in me likes the nameless, faceless interaction eBay offers. But I have friends who have made a surprising mint on this site.

Here are some ground rules that you, as a single lady, should keep in mind as you ponder what to sell on that crazy Craigslist (tips are courtesy of my BFF Angie, a Craigslist maven):

  • Only accept cash payments. Checks can bounce, and why bother getting a Square account for plastic?
  • Don’t hold anything for someone who will “pay later.” You want the item? You pay now! Why would you hold an item for someone who may or may not pay you? If you have a good item for sale, first come, first served.
  • If at all possible, meet in a public place. In broad daylight. With lots of people around. Coffees hops, fast food restaurants, and parking lots of big box stores are all good ideas.
  • If they are coming to your house, have backup. Angie has her dad over. Get your sweetie to hang around. Or a couple friends. There is safety in numbers!

Now that we got those deets out of the way, here are some ways my friends and family have profited from Craigslist triumphs:

Kellsey from NE: I bought a total lemon car…a 2000 Dodge Intrepid. We test-drove it, my stepdad said it looked OK, and we talked them down to $1,200 from the $1,700 asking price. I found a bunch of change left in the center console, and they told me to keep it! Plus I got to flirt with the handsome son of the owner ;).” (You can actually find money in your purchases!)

Ashley from TN: “My husband told me I could fill our home with knickknacks off any money I could make selling our old appliances and such when we rehabbed our home. I went Craigslist crazy and made $842 selling our ‘trash.’ It was a bit more than he expected!”

Dad from NE: “I had a 1984 Toyota Corolla. It was 24 years old, barely worked, and I thought I would be lucky to get $50 for scrap metal. I listed it for $250 on Craigslist one Tuesday morning, and had a woman test-driving it and paying cash for it within an hour. A barely usable car that was a curse for my family turned out to be a blessing for hers!”

BFF Angie from NE: “Do you want to hear about the $500 coffee table I got for $50? That was a magnificent bargain. Or once when I was moving I had a freezer I had to get rid of. It worked fine, but there was a funky odor coming from inside. So I offered anyone $50 to take it off my hands. Six people replied in less than 90 minutes.” (Moral of her stories: You can flip extraordinary bargains if you have the time, you can declutter your house with a few clicks of your mouse, and you can even find random gigs on Craigslist that actually pay!)

So whether you are looking to unload stuff for extra cash or looking for side gigs to earn some money, give Craigslist a thought. Give your unwanted items a new lease on life and give them to a good home!

Except the devil dolls. You can keep those.

What is the best thing you’ve ever found on Craigslist? Comment below!

You Should…Sell Your Stuff on eBay

How is a girl supposed to make extra cash?

It’s hard to get ahead when bills pile up and you work 40 (or more) hours a week and you still need some extra money. What can you do that’s easy and won’t take a ton of time?

Have you ever considered selling stuff on eBay? Founded in 1995, Pierre Omidyar sold a broken laser pointer for $14.83. What began as an experiment in his living room turned into a business that leveled the playing field for selling your old stuff. No longer do you have to take out ads in the paper or post flyers around the neighborhood. You can sell clothing, jewelry, handbags, and anything else you want to get rid of on eBay, ThredUp, or any number of similar sites. You can do it from home in your jammies, and here are some reasons you should consider selling your stuff:

  1. Clean out your closet. I bet there is half a closet full of things you never wear anymore. What easier way to simplify your life, create more room in your closet, and live clutter-free than by selling some of your unused stuff?
  2. It’s easier than consignment. There are lots of places to sell clothes, jewelry, furniture, etc. on consignment. But you get a smaller slice of the pie than by selling on eBay. By cutting out the middle woman (or man), your profits can grow exponentially.
  3. You can do it in your spare time. Got 20 free minutes? Put a shirt on a hanger, take a couple photos, write up a paragraph about it, and post it on the eBay app. You may have just made $30 in those 20 minutes!
  4. Listing couldn’t be any easier. Once you have a template listing, you can have things listed on the app in as little as five minutes.
  5. Give your items good homes. Have you ever taken a bag of clothes to the Salvation Army or Goodwill and felt more than a twinge of guilt? Those are good organizations, but let’s face it…sometimes we get attached to stuff. That book you got as a present you’ll never read. That dress you wore to your best friend’s wedding. If there’s emotion attached to these items, is it easy to part with them? Maybe not. But selling them on eBay gives them a second life, and they are going to people who really want and will appreciate it.
  6. Eliminate the creepers on sites such as Craigslist. I’m not a huge fan of Craigslist, though I know lots of people are. Personally, I like being able to sell items to people who I don’t have to meet in a Wal-Mart parking lot. I just slap the item in an envelope to a winning bidder and post it. No fuss, no muss.
  7. You can create an entire side business around selling. If you get really good at selling a particular item, you can have a whole second income from selling items on eBay. My sister’s good friend sells ugly Christmas sweaters and gently used baby clothes she finds at garage sales and makes hundreds of dollars to supplement her family’s income. A friend of my brother’s has a fulltime business selling Pyrex cookware and Fiesta dinnerware to hipsters, and he makes a good living at it.

Hopefully this has given you some ideas about why selling on eBay is such a great idea. Take one item and try to sell it on there – you may just discover a new way to generate income.

Have you ever used eBay? What was the best thing you ever bought? Comment below!

Where the Hell Has the Plus One Woman Been the Last Three Months?

It’s ironic my last blog post was “What to Do When You Don’t Get the Job.”

The very next day, my boss’s boss sat me down and told me in no uncertain terms that I was no longer employed.

I’m not going to get into the whys, the hows, or the long saga – that is all water under the bridge. Over the next few months, I will share lessons I learned – there were a lot. And suffice it to say, it was heartbreak followed by six scary weeks of unemployment. But I want to explain why I have been on hiatus and why I have chosen to come back now.

I stopped blogging because my biggest priority was self-care: getting my butt out of bed daily, filing for unemployment, getting health care situated, and forcing myself to eat and interact with people. I lost 15 pounds in three weeks, and my depression took me to some scary places. In good conscience, I could not blog about being a strong, independent woman when I was always one sad song away from bursting into tears.

While unemployment is harder than hell, I found a few truths that I can engrave on my heart:

God provides. I am not overly spiritual, but God had a plan for me. I left a job that no longer sustained my and brought me to a new workplace, and I work with nicer people than I ever dared hope for.

Family is everything. To keep my spirits up, all my siblings treated me to a movie. I got out of the house to see several movies and deepen my relationships with my brothers and sisters. My parents fed me dinner every day and let me watch TV at their house in the evenings. That prevented me from going crazy alone in my apartment.

Friends are life. My best friend was a HUUUUGE support for me, inviting me over for dinner, letting me hang out at her house while I applied for jobs, and providing a friendly face. Other friends introduced me to people looking for writers, and I was lucky enough to score some wonderful writing gigs!

Getting unemployment is a joke. Laws vary in every state, but it took my state two weeks to receive my paperwork and another two weeks to process it before I saw a dime in unemployment. Even then, I couldn’t earn more than $90 a week working even a part-time job, or else I would lose my benefits for the entire week. How is that an incentive to have people work stop-gap jobs while they look for work? And the state’s unemployment website made me apply for jobs on it every week. Many of them were either for minimum wage or for jobs like nursing, which I am definitely not qualified for. In any case, my heart goes out to the under- and unemployed.

The Affordable Care Act is a godsend. You may hate Obamacare with every fiber of your being, but it allowed me to get the medical care I desperately needed. I was able to afford my antidepressants to get my through this difficult period, and I know I would have been suicidal without them.

I learn from my mistakes. I am determined not to make the same mistakes in my new job that I did at my old one. So far, so good.

Sometimes all you can do is put one foot in front of the other. The first two or three weeks was the hardest. I would cry because I wasn’t hearing anything back for interviews. I know now HR works on a different timeframe than I do, but it was hard not to feel like a huge pile of poop. Taking one day at a time, an hour at a time, even one breath at a time was a challenge. But I kept walking. And eventually I won.

Now that I am back in a routine of working a new job, I now have the energy to devote to this wonderful blog and I am excited to be back! I missed you all so much!