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Sell that stuff

The contents of your junk drawer, or that box you’re scared to look in that lives in the back of the closet, could fetch hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of dollars online.

For retirees, a slight decrease in income coincides with a dramatic increase in time.

Days previously spent in the office, rushing around after children, or a combination of the two, are suddenly and gloriously your own. You can take a spontaneous trip, enjoy a long, midweek lunch, redesign your home, go to the theatre; the options are truly endless.

And yet, this often requires extra cash. Those items you’ve never had the heart to throw away can actually be worth a lot of money. Pieces of Lego, old VHS tapes, retro jumpers and dusty books are all in demand, meaning that you can declutter and start planning your next holiday.


There are a wealth of available opinions on the best way to declutter your home. In her bestselling book, The

Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Japanese lifestyle guru Marie Kondo advises throwing away anything that does not “spark joy”, a tactic that has attracted hordes of devoted followers who praise it for simplifying the decluttering process.

Meanwhile, Oprah suggests that clothes hoarders try the

‘Closet Hanger Experiment’. This requires you to hang your clothes backwards on their hangers. After you wear at item of clothing, return it to your wardrobe facing the correct direction. She recommends discarding anything that is still facing the wrong direction after six months, but more ruthless declutterers might want to give themselves a shorter period of time.

Joshua Becker, author of the bestselling decluttering manual, More of Less, suggests applying this technique to a number of ‘clutter areas’ in your home, such as linens, tools, stationery, books, and even the dreaded ‘junk drawer’.

However, Becker personally favours the ‘four box method’. This requires you to bring out four boxes to the area of the house you are decluttering: items to be thrown away, to be donated or sold, items to keep, and items to be relocated within the house.

Whichever decluttering technique you use, the end result should be the same: a pile of items to throw away, a pile to donate and a pile to sell.


Where you chose to sell your pre-loved items depends, to some degree, on the item in question.

For most items, Ebay, Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace are good places to start. These                                              online platforms are widely used, trustworthy and attract serious buyers looking for a range of items, from furniture, to fashion, to board games.

Ebay is the more sophisticated of the three. When you register as a seller they will send you postage labels, which entitle you to discounted shipping rates.

They also have a ‘Valet’ service available for certain items, meaning a courier will collect the items from your home and a third party will manage the sale. However, it is worth noting that Ebay takes a 10 percent commission and, if you chose to use the valet service, they will take an additional 20 percent.

It is free to list your items on Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace and these platforms do not take a commission. However, unlike Ebay they don’t have payment functions built into them, meaning that you either have to meet up with the buyer and exchange cash or arrange for a bank transfer.

There are also digital marketplaces for specific items. For example, and Book Depository are the most suitable places to sell second hand books, while the parents of particularly enthusiastic Lego players might also want to look at, where pieces of lego can sell for hundreds of dollars.

Brick and mortar consignment, antique and thrift stores still exist, and are not to be entirely ignored. They are certainly an efficient way of selling your pre-loved items as they merely require you to go into the store, where the buyer will either purchase the items they believe will sell directly off you, and sell it at a markup, or they will take around 50 per cent of the profits when the item sells.

Whichever direction you choose to go, spend some time on online to get an idea of what items are selling, and how much the market is willing to pay for them.


- The top selling brands for clothing and accessories on Ebay in Australia are Mimco, Nike, Oroton and Birkenstock.

- What’s old is new again. Your Jenny Kee jumper from the 1980s can fetch upwards of $400 on Ebay.

- Collectors and hipsters alike are willing to pay hundreds of dollars for VHS tapes, especially bad VHS tapes. Tales From the Quadead Zone, a forgotten horror movie from the 1980’s recently sold for $700 on Ebay.

- Lego enthusiasts are eager to pay big money for specific pieces or sets. has a wishlist so you can identify which pieces of your forgotten collection could represent a veritable goldmine.