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How to Sell Your Stuff When You Move Abroad

May 29, 2018
Long Term Traveling

So you're taking the leap, huh? Packing up your life in a few boxes or suitcases and moving across the planet isn't necessarily an easy thing to do, especially if you don't have plans to come back any time soon. We really never realize how much crap we have until we are forced to shove it all into a confined space and carry it around with us.

Now, I will be honest. Part of this I can write from experience but some of it I have to write from all the research I've done in trying to figure out my own life while half a world away and seeing what my friends went through when they made similar choices. I wish I had my shit together (figuratively and literally) when I left home but I guess hindsight is 20/20 and well, I see 20/100 without my glasses.That can be my excuse.

Truth is, I left a lot of this stuff undone and I still have a lot of boxes to check off. When I go back for a short time in the fall/winter, I will have a lot to do. In short: don't be like me. Get your shit together and sell it.

How to Sell Back Your Textbooks

Check first to see if your school or school library has a program to buyback textbooks. Some do, and some have really pitiful ones where you may have paid $300 for this, but now they will take it back for $4. Take this as a last resort: sure it clears the space, but you can get more than pennies for these books.

Textbook Buyback Companies

These websites make it pretty easy to sell your textbooks. Enter in the ISBN number or the book information and they will show you how much you can get for it. Accept, print out the sticker, and mail that sucker in. I've mailed about 4 old textbooks back and while I didn't get the original price, I still got way more than I would have through my school. Here are some websites to get you started: 

Textbook Maniac

Textbookrush

Bookscouter

How to Sell Your Clothes

If you haven't worn that top in the last year, I don't recommend you bring it with you when you move abroad. There are plenty of ways to get rid of your clothes but honestly, I don't expect a lot of money when doing this.

Local consignment shops

These can be convenient but quite often you won't get more than a few bucks on a big bag of clothes. This is a quick and easy way to be disappointed.

ThredUp

ThredUp is great because it does most of the work for you. Send in a big thing of your clothes and they will decide what to accept and sell, and what will go to charity. You get a percentage of what they make selling it. Either way, all of your clothes are taken care of. So far this has been my favorite way to sell my clothes. I am not a big label person so a lot of my clothes wouldn't do well on sites like Poshmark. So I get a good deal on what I do have and the rest goes to charity. Either way, it's all gone and taken care of. One less thing to worry about.

Tradesy, Poshmark

Upload your images of your clothes and the company takes a percentage of the sales. Really helps if you have good labels when you're selling on these platforms.

How to Sell the Big Stuff

Furniture and vehicles are another thing Your necessity to sell these really do depend on how long you are planning to be away. If your move isn't permanent, it may be a good idea to store some things at a family member's house if possible. There are plenty of ways to get rid of these things once you decide to part with them.

Facebook

Try using the Marketplace aspect of Facebook but also look around for buy/sell groups in your area. This is a quick way to connect with people who are looking for exactly what you're selling.

Craigslist and eBay

Pretty straight forward.

LetGo and OfferUp

These are apps that offer a local marketplace of people getting rid of or searching for stuff. I haven't personally used them but they are a pretty popular option when you're trying to get rid of things around the house. Simply take a picture of whatever it is your selling, offer a brief description and price, and sell away!

Gone

Trying to get rid of some of your techy gadgets? The Gone mobile app will do most of the work for you. Send in your electronics and they will verify it and ensure the quality, and put it up for sale. They handle all the customer contact and shipping and give you the money to your bank account, PayPal, or as an Amazon gift card.

Other Tips and Tricks

Consider a yard or garage sale as your last resort

Inviting the neighborhood over to scour through your personal belongings looking for some sort of worth isn't going to get you a chunk of change at the end of the day but it will likely rid you of the odds and ends you weren't sure how you would get rid of anyway. If you're short on cash, don't start with a garage sale where you will be bartered with to lower your prices until your throat runs dry.

Donate what you can

You need money for your new adventure, I get that. But if you aren't going to get much for your gently used clothes anyway or that coffee table you always hated, consider donating it to charities in your area. There are always people in need and in return, you free up some space in your luggage for your move abroad.

We don't realize just how much junk we have until we try to pack it all in a suitcase or in a couple boxes to store at mom and dad's house. It's a waste of money and space to carry around this junk to your next home so be sure to get rid of it before you jump on that plane!

| Voyaging Viking | How to Sell Your Stuff When You Move Abroad
Siggi Einarson

My name is Siggi-dubbed by my American friends because of the Icelandic yogurt-I am a writer, polyglot, and aspiring expat, not a cup of yogurt (unfortunately).

My love for travelling began with a trip to Iceland and Sweden to visit my family when I was just 15 years old. I spent so long dreaming of the possibilities of life abroad but I always figured these dreams were too far reached. Flash forward almost 10 years, here I am again, both cursing and thanking this damn travel bug.

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