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How to Downsize For a Move (and Why It's a Good Idea to Do So)

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August 28, 2023

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When moving to a new home, it’s wise to start packing for your move day sooner rather than later. It’s at the top of the list with planning a budget for your move and creating an inventory list for your home.

Let’s talk through how to downsize for a move. 

Where Do I Start When Downsizing to Move?

When starting the downsizing process, many people feel overwhelmed or even paralyzed. Overcome that by starting small. Set a timeline for your project. 

Pick one room or even just one drawer or closet. Start in a room that you don’t use very often. You’ll find it easy to go through rarely-use items before moving on to everyday ones. 

Then, go through the room, separating items into the following piles:

Now, if you’ve taken an inventory and have decided to downsize before you move, it’s time to sell items in good condition online. 

Best Place to Sell Things Online 

Selling things online is convenient, with a wide variety of online marketplaces, auction sites, and apps available based on what you’re looking to sell. Each site’s benefits and drawbacks vary based on your goals. For example, a highly trafficked site with higher fees might be more convenient if you're looking to sell quickly. Looking into smaller sites may be your best bet if you want to get the most bang for your buck. With so many to consider, let’s review some popular options' pros and cons.

Online Auction Sites

Selling online is convenient and allows you to reach a broader potential customer base, but remember that you’ll likely be required to purchase a selling plan for whichever site you use and possibly pay a fee on each sale. A big plus, however, is that you don’t have to meet your buyer in person, which can be a potential safety issue.

Amazon

Amazon has become one of the largest online marketplaces since its foundation back in 1994, and you can sell pretty much anything on their site. However, specific categories may require Amazon approval or an upgraded selling plan.

In a standard Amazon selling plan, you’ll pay $0.99 to Amazon for each item you sell, including a referral fee, a percentage of the item’s final selling price (usually 8-20%). Media items (i.e., books, movies, CDs, etc.) also require a closing fee of $1.80.

The Amazon professional plan is a flat fee of $39.99 a month in lieu of the $0.99 per item fee. This plan is ideal if you sell more than 40 items in a month. The standard plan is your best bet if you only want to sell a few things.

eBay

eBay is still around and is one of the most visited online auction sites. The selling plan structure is simpler, with eBay taking 10% of the final sale on most items. If you post more than 50 items for sale in a month, eBay may start charging an additional $0.30 an item.

eBid

eBid is similar to eBay but based out of the UK. eBid takes 3% of the final selling price of your item, that doesn’t include shipping costs. Like Amazon and eBay, you can upgrade your seller account for a monthly or weekly fee and eliminate the percentage they take out of your sale.

Etsy

Etsy is an online marketplace for handmade goods or vintage items. You pay $0.20 to list an item and then a 5% fee on the final sale price. You must also use Etsy payments, which charge 3% plus an additional $0.25 to process. Etsy is also a reasonably specific marketplace for homemade items, so you’ll have to look elsewhere for general household items.

Bonanza

Bonanza has a similar setup to Amazon and eBay, but they also offer to advertise your post online for a higher percentage fee of your final selling price. However, their pricing structure is a little more complicated.

Bonanza charges a 3.5% fee based on the final sale price of your listed item, and they also charge on any shipping costs over $10. For example, if you sold an item for $50 and it shipped for $12, they would charge you 3.5% on a total of $52 (roughly $1.82). If you sell something for $500 or more, you pay 3.5% on the first $500 and an additional 1.5% on any amount over $500.

Selling Through Online Apps and Marketplaces

If maximizing your profit is a priority, local online marketplaces are a great option because they don’t take a cut of your sales. However, you are responsible for handling all the arrangements, including meeting with your buyer. Also, if a buyer flakes, you’re out of luck.

Craigslist

Craigslist has continued to prove its handiness over the past 25 years. Posting items for sale is free, and it’s as simple as selecting “post to classifieds” and answering a few questions.

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace has become a simpler version of Craigslist and is arguably one of the best places to sell things online. You can find everything from apartment listings to cars—even houseplants. To sell an item, select “sell” on the marketplace page, select the category it falls under, add videos or photos and a description, and you’re all set.

Nextdoor

Nextdoor isn’t just an online community for your neighborhood to share news and updates. It’s also a free platform for buying and selling clothing, electronics, furniture, and more items. This is a better option for those who don’t want to meet up with strangers to handle transactions because you can find out more about who you are dealing with.

OfferUp

OfferUp combines features of Craigslist and eBay with a local focus. It’s also incredibly user-friendly — you can chat with potential buyers, negotiate prices, and everyone who uses the app has a profile and reviews. It then uses technology to tag your items and post them based on location. Lastly, it doesn’t charge a fee to sellers or shoppers.

5miles

Selling locally is cheaper and more convenient if you’re not interested in jumping through hoops to sell your stuff. On 5miles, your listings are only available to those within five miles of you (hence the name!). The site even offers safe location suggestions for meeting up with your customer.

Huge closet filled with used clothes, sloppily shoved and hanging from shelves and hangers. Wardrobe mess

Tips for Downsizing 

Most Americans have an excess of belongings, many of which we may not need in our new home. Downsizing makes the moving process more manageable because there’s less stuff to contend with. Following these tips for downsizing ensures you’re bringing the things you need, not just packing up everything you own!

Check Off the Next Item on Your List

Now that you’ve managed to sell what you no longer need, what’s next? Book your local or long-distance move with a full-service moving company and check two items off your move list — moving day services and stress-free moving. AAA Movers has been delivering excellent service for over 50 years. Call our certified professional movers today or get your free online moving quote.

 

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