Cash in the attic

Until recently I never bothered selling our unwanted stuff.  Generally it would sit in the loft (or the lovely big garage that we used to have) just in case we found a use for it in the future (which obviously we never would!)  But about a year ago I discovered the wonderful world of Facebook selling and the second-hand market for baby and kids stuff and now I’m a total convert and sometimes find myself looking round the house for stuff to sell!

If, like me, you have kids then you know how expensive it can be to buy all the equipment they need as babies and then the toys as they get older.  Also, I think these days being a parent has become quite socially competitive, as parents want to be seen with the best brand of pushchair, the latest toys and accessories.  Buying all this new would cost a fortune (I know, I bought much of it myself!) but this is why the second-hand market is booming and why it provides such a great opportunity to make a bit of cash.

Where to sell:

  • Facebook groups – these are my number one place to advertise lower value items. Most towns will have a baby & children’s selling page, and you can join the ones for neighbouring areas as well.  They’re free and you can do it from your phone in seconds. Your post will pop up on someone’s news feed so they will see it even if they were not actively looking for it.
  • Gumtree – brilliant for larger or more specialist items where you want to reach a wider audience.
  • Ebay – this used to be the go-to place for making money from old stuff.  Personally I now find that by the time you’ve paid listing and PayPal fees and gone to the effort of posting items, it’s just not worth the effort.
  • Car boots – I can’t comment on these as have honestly never been to one!
  • Baby & children’s markets/NCT sales – Again I’ve never sold at these, but they can be good as lots of people through the door.  Be aware though that you will have to pay a fee either for the table or a % of the sales.

What to sell:

img_7086Items that seem to sell well are the premium brands that are often out of people’s price range to buy new.  You’re unlikely to make a whole lot of money selling on items that you bought cheap in the first place (unless you just got a great deal on a top brand item!)

Other things that sell well are the items that only get used for a few months and are therefore still in as new condition, like Bumbos and Trunkis.

Items I’ve sold on Facebook include Bumbo (£15), Grobags (£5 each), bouncy chair (£20), sling (£17.50), extra pushchair seat (£60) and mesh cot bumper (£10)

img_7084Gumtree sales include pushchair (£275!) and cot with mattress (£50)

I have never tried to sell clothes, as all my kids clothes get passed on to friends, but from what I’ve seen it is difficult to sell clothes unless you are selling excellent quality designer items at a bargain price.  It can be a lot of effort for not much return.

How much to sell for:

I can only comment on Facebook and Gumtree as these are the two places that I use regularly, but I find that on Facebook items seem to go for about 30-40% of their original full price.  Gumtree seems to achieve slightly higher prices (40-50% of original price) but doesn’t reach such a large audience so quickly.

How to sell (online):

img_7085Always include a photo and a description.  Mention any defects and picture them if you can, that way it is harder for someone to try to knock down the price when they come to collect. Always say where collection is from and, if applicable, state that it is a smoke (& pet) free home.

If your item hasn’t sold in a couple of days then it can be beneficial to “bump” it up the page so it doesn’t get lost. On Facebook you should be able to do this just by commenting on the post. Gumtree try to sell you this opportunity but instead just delete the ad and repost for free!

Stick to your price – as long as you have priced your item realistically then don’t accept the offers of peanuts that you will often get.  Whilst writing this I have received a message from someone asking if I will accept £10 for the Ikea Poang chair that I’ve advertised for £25…no of course I won’t! It may take a while and you may need to post and re-post across a few different sites but 9 times out of 10 you will find a buyer who is prepared to pay an acceptable price.

Double your savings:

Once you get into the swing of selling stuff your eyes will be opened to a whole new world and you can start buying things second-hand as well as selling!  Even if you didn’t fancy buying all your new baby items in a pre-loved condition, the second hand market is fantastic for toys once the kids get a bit bigger.

Some of my best second-hand purchases are my daughter’s first bike (£10 vs £70 new), Little Tikes activity cube for garden (£10 vs £80 new), Mamas & Papas wardrobe (£40 vs £300 new), Little Tikes police car (£20 vs £45 new), Tidy Books bookshelf (£20 vs £100 new), dollshouse with furniture (£40 vs £100 new)

If you’re clever about it you could make that initial investment in all that baby equipment last for years, by selling it and using the money to buy second hand toddler toys. Then further down the line you can sell those and buy your child’s first bike, and so on. Suddenly that extortionate amount you paid out for your travel system doesn’t seem so bad!

Hopefully I’ve got you thinking about the amount of money you may be able to make just by simply selling on the items that you have sitting in your loft.  It really doesn’t take that much time and you never know, you might even make enough to afford a weekend away from the kids!


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