- Jun 14, 2018
They say springtime is the best season to rid the house of clutter. In my case though, any time is a good time. See, my family has an uncanny tendency to hoard stuff. So now we not only have overflowing closets and cabinets full of old useless things, but also items that are still unused today - bought decades earlier (some still in sealed bags with price tags intact!).
If we hadn’t stashed them away and rendered them out of sight and out of mind, we or other people could have benefited from using those things. Sadly, most of them now show signs of wear and tear, have expired, or are out of trend or technologically outdated. In short, we wasted time, money, and storage space for nothing.
I sat down with my family the other day to decide how to remedy this situation together. We also agreed to nip this bad habit in the bud, as we’d like to live in a simpler fashion while saving money for things we really need. I suggested a yard sale, which my wife instantly vetoed. She doesn’t like the idea of hauling everything out in front of the house and having strangers poke through our things without buying anything, with us hauling all the unsold stuff back inside again.
The wife and I were seriously considering just throwing most of them away when the kids, who are online all the time, suggested using apps to sell our excess items. I was like, what? You knew how to sell our stuff online and you’re only telling me this now?!
To appease their frazzled dad, they agreed to help me come up with a list of apps that will help us declutter while making money from some of the gently used to nearly-new stuff we have.
With an app name like that, who could resist using it? I decided to check out how Decluttr could make our lives less messy and more organized. The first thing I noticed when I visited their homepage was the 5-star rating they got from TrustPilot, which I considered a good omen. The site also has helpful videos and bite-sized information on how to be a seller or a shopper, as well as a customer reviews page complete with video clips to help put your mind at ease. Personally, a user who is willing to put their voice, name, and face to vouch for the legitimacy of service is a great testimony in itself.
Decluttr’s tagline is “Sell it. Send it. Spend it”. Their how-to video illustrates more clearly how this is possible, managing to mention their next-day payment policy, how they’ve paid out $100 million to 3 million users so far, along with how you can easily know the value of your item with the barcode scanner that goes with the apps (aside from the valuation feature they have on the site). They also reiterated how fast, easy, and environmentally-friendly their entire process is. You can also sell all the stuff you want on a one-time transaction to save time!
Oh, and shipping is free, as well, which is pretty cool.
The kids have hundreds of toys, games and stuff they have from growing up, while the wife and I have so many used DVDs gathering dust in piles in our basement. A closer inspection of this stash showed they’re actually in pretty good condition, and those nostalgic collectors would still be able to see their value - as long as we have a good online selling platform to showcase them, that is.
Enter 5Miles, an app that aims to make the online marketplace experience an enjoyable, hassle-free, and safe one. Now I know there are many sites where you can try to sell or consign your items while you wait to get paid, but I’m wary of those stories about how unreasonable listing fees could get, and those selling sites that exploit the personal information you give them.
5Miles takes pride in keeping your user information secure, and in providing a support team to help you with your concerns at all times. Uploading the items on their database is pretty easy, requiring only a clear photo and a short description per item. Basically, the app will use your location to advertise your items to potential buyers within your area. You can also “like” your fave items and “follow” other interesting sellers, just as you would in a social media app!
My daughter actually sang that Frozen song when she stumbled upon this app, prompting me to tell her to let go of her plush toy collection because they’re just gathering dust. She avoided me for a full day after that
LetGo is a relatively new location-based app, but it already has a steady stream of good feedback from both the App Store and Google Play Store. They allow users to buy and sell used clothing, furniture, decor, collectables, and other useful stuff.
What makes this app unique is that they boast of utilizing artificial intelligence and image recognition capabilities to up the user experience and make it easier and more enjoyable. This makes uploading hassle-free because they automatically ID your item, place them in the appropriate categories, and titles them based on the image you upload. On that note, I think these features will come in handy when I upload items by the batch.
This was a tough app to check out because it involves branded clothes - used clothing, yes, but still designer ones for the most part. There are two options to click on the site how-to: I am a Seller vs I am a Buyer, and while I was ready to click on the former, my wife, after seeing the array of trending brand names on the homepage, wanted to click on the latter.
There is the “posh” in Poshmark, after all, which she seems to find irresistible. I had to gently remind my sweet wife that we’re here to A) let go of stuff, not buy more; and B) that she already has a closet full of designer label clothes she hasn’t worn in years.
Having carefully navigated that particular obstacle, I finally was able to investigate what Poshmark has to offer. It’s easy enough to make a listing as a seller with them. You just need your smartphone’s camera to upload a picture of the items of clothing you want to sell. Afterwards, you share your listing with your network and if someone wants to buy your stuff, you simply ship it to them using a box with a prepaid label. You get paid once the item is delivered.
They promise free authentication for designer labels and luxury items, which takes away the hassle of having to prove to potential buyers that you’re selling the real deal. There’s also a protected payment system in place at Poshmark complete with a fair refund policy for buyers. They also offer expedited shipping via USPS Priority Mail, with postage already paid for!
My wife and teenage daughter both love makeup - like, a lot. It’s gotten so that the first-floor bathroom medicine cabinet is now dedicated solely to their makeup stash, so my son and I have to use the one upstairs for our own grooming stuff. They just can’t resist buying whatever those celebrity and Instagram influencers endorse along with their makeover and tutorial videos. Really, they are such pushovers for the latest color palette and beauty tool that we consider the package delivery guy practically a family member by now.
Now I know selling used makeup isn’t exactly the most sanitary and hygienic e-commerce practice. In fact, I think eBay has banned that practice altogether. But since my favorite ladies have tons of unopened and unused makeup that are well within their sell-by dates, I saw the potential of GlamBot in helping us free up precious storage space, and teach my wife and daughter to be less impulsive in the cosmetics shopping department at the same time.
All items at GlamBot have to be in “sellable” condition, and I’m listing some of the site’s more important requirements below:
- Not expired - has to be sent in at least three months before the printed expiration date on the item
- The container has to be in a presentable condition - no dents or cracks, not too worn or scratched, with all closures or hinges fully functional
- There has to be at least 50% of the original product remaining (on a personal note: we decided not to sell used makeup for hygienic reasons)
- Brushes have to be new or clean (see note above regarding used makeup and tools)
- Nothing with reusable applicators
We now live in interesting times when online bargain hunting is all the rage, and people are actually proud to have made a good deal instead of boasting about how much they paid for a brand-new luxury item.
My family and I checked out all the apps I listed above, and many have good systems in place to make selling online a breeze. I personally recommend any online platform encouraging both recycling and decluttering among consumers because it’s both an environmentally and financially logical practice. This is why I’m glad that my family and I decided to go the app route in letting go of our excess items, instead of the more traditional ways of garage or yard sales, or even brick and mortar consignment shops.
A declutter app that will clear away the messes and mistakes we made in the past sounds like something I would get behind, but since our technology isn’t there yet, I will settle for these apps that help make life more organized, while discouraging impulse buying in the process. Hopefully, these apps and others like them will help us be more frugal and thoughtful about purchasing and recycling items in the future.
Have you ever used an app to sell something still of value but you no longer have any use for? Please share them on this thread so we can update our resources!