A major aspect of any home renovation project is clearing out the old to make room for the new. Whether it’s old furniture, old shower doors, old closet doors, or miscellaneous household items, the expenses related to disposing of these items can add up quickly. This is especially true if you’re not doing one large demolition where you may have a dumpster ready to haul everything away at once. Even then, if you have a lot of stuff (which most houses do), you may want to utilize these tips to maximize the use of your dumpster.
I have literally saved my clients hundreds and even thousands of dollars over the years in disposal fees and labor fees for removing items that are no longer wanted or needed.
It’s a very simple tactic, but if done wrong, can cause a lot of anguish.
The easiest way to save thousands of dollars in disposal and labor fees is leveraging Craigslist! Yes, Craigslist – the online garage sale portal. I know, I know…you hate selling stuff on Craigslist.
I understand. Selling on Craigslist can totally suck and Craigslist shoppers can be the absolute worst! We’ve all had our share of nightmare experiences with people who are flakey, want to negotiate when they arrive, they can seriously work your last nerve. Well, I’ve “mastered” the art of selling on Craigslist and am sharing my approach with you step-by-step below.
Tip #1: Post an Ad under FREE STUFF on Craigslist.
As much as we all want to make a few bucks on reselling items, there are times when we need to get over that part and focus on the goal. The goal is to get the items moved out of the house quickly and easily. There’s no time to waste waiting for the right buyers to come along. By posting your items on Craigslist FOR FREE, you are leveraging FREE labor from the “buyer” and FREE disposal because they’re taking it away with them. Plus, the bonus is you’re also helping the environment by recycling an item that is still useful to someone else.
FREE LABOR is HUGE because if you were to hire movers to assist you, the going rate is $75/hour for 2 guys with a 2 hour minimum. That’s $150 right there. Yes, of course you can go pick up some inexpensive labor at Home Depot, but there’s still other factors to consider such as your having to go pick them up and drop them back off (let’s not even talk about the trust factor), you still need a vehicle to load your stuff into and you still have to take it to the dump to dispose of it and pay the disposal fee. It’s not so inexpensive in the long run AND…there goes several hours of your time.
NOT WORTH IT!
Here’s how I have a successful Craigslist sale EVERY. SINGLE. TIME!
Tip #2: Create a comprehensive Ad
- Take pictures of the item for sale. This is very important because everyone wants to know what they’re getting whether it’s free or not. Take pictures at different angles, showing flaws and all. Include the photos in your ad.
- Provide a good description. Give them the good, the bad, the ugly. Dimensions are always helpful. Point out any flaws so people can decide if it’s worth it to them. You don’t want to waste anyone’s time, including your own if they come and decide not to take it because you didn’t disclose it all upfront.
- Give specific instructions. THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT. You are in charge here. Spell it out.
Example: I recently sold a 12′ wide mirror closet door. I needed it out ASAP for the new closet door to be installed. It was in excellent condition so it would be a shame to just take it to the dump; it’s HUGE (three 4’W x 7’H panels), and the door company was going to charge me $150 labor/disposal fee. We needed the doors in place until we had a scheduled install date. As soon as I had that, I posted an ad under FREE STUFF as seen below…
At the end of the ad, I always include the following verbiage…
Contact Alice at 510.XXX.XXXX via TEXT ONLY (emails will NOT be responded to) to arrange for pick up.
NOTE: If you are selling for money, I also include: CASH or VENMO ONLY! NO RETURNS/NO REFUNDS!
So, the ad goes up and my phone starts blowing up with interested parties.
Tip #3: Control the Sales Process
I am very fair. I will go by first come, first served order. I find out when they can come pick up and prioritize based on who can come first. Be careful, they will start asking for your address immediately. DON’T give it out! You want to get a firm commitment from the person first.
How many times have you sat around waiting for someone to come pick something up and they flake and usually without even a courtesy call. Trust me, you want to leave no room for error.
When I get a time commitment, I confirm the 3 criteria outlined in the ad – do you have tools? do you have someone coming with you to help you move the items? do you have the right kind of car? Unless they have confirmed all of these criteria with me, I do not commit to them.
Only when all the criteria has been met and a time has been confirmed do I give them an address.
In the meantime, I have a back-up or two just in case the first person doesn’t work out and I always circle back to all interested parties letting them that the item is no longer available when the transaction has been completed. This is a courtesy. Trust me, NO ONE ever does this. I just feel the need to close the loop.
Trust me, this works if you follow it step-by-step as I’ve outlined. I do this regularly! You skip a step and you’ll open yourself up to frustration and create more work for yourself. The person drove 1.5 hours to pick up that 12′ W closet door. That’s 3 hours round trip and he sent me text updates on his location every 30 minutes or so. He was committed! He sent me a text letting me know that his wife was very happy when he returned home with the “goods”. That was cute!
I’ve done this with landscape rocks in my backyard, planter rounds in my clients yard when we were redoing their landscaping, furniture in various homes…(almost anything) and everything is sell-able, especially FOR FREE!
I hope you found these tips helpful and that you will put them into practice the next time you want to leverage Craigslist for FREE LABOR & DISPOSAL. You can’t beat it. It can be quick and easy or it can be hard and annoying and/or very expensive…your choice!
Until next time…
Here’s a video explanation of the same…