Why is it so hard to sell my stuff? 

Back in 2020 (before Covid) it was so much easier to sell your belongings and you could actually make a little money to purchase something else.  Today it has become so hard to sell anything – sometimes you can’t even give stuff away for FREE.  

I have been checking the Buy and Sell groups in my area and there are many items for sale and no comments.  The same ads seem to be there forever. There are likely newer things that are selling like Air Fryers or Keurigs or maybe absolutely needed items like dressers, etc. – older items not so much! Vintage and old (sturdy) furniture is just not popular anymore. People want lighter, smaller, easier to move around furniture. I am sure its very discouraging for people who just want to make a few bucks.

Antique Shops and other small businesses are struggling and many have closed down. Garage Sales are a lot of work and really bring in little money.  Unless its a fun pastime or hobby for you its really not worth it.

We tend to think our stuff is more valuable than it actually is especially if we paid a lot of $ for it. We think that we “should” be able to get some money for it. Right?  However, it seems that no one wants to buy our things. Why?

Why has this changed? Some thoughts from peers……..

“I could buy this item new for fairly close to that price from a discount store. That way I know its new and it might even come with a warranty”

“The current economy has changed.  Any money I have is going to rent and food and other basic needs items”

“I can get stuff I need or want from FreeCycle sites on Facebook or Charity Shops”

“Everyone is decluttering, the charity shops are full and some even shut down their donations during busy times”

“It’s an inconvenience to drive around the city when I can just get things online” (sometimes cheaper too) 

“I already have too much stuff and I have been working on not acquiring”

Why have most people decided not to sell their stuff?

“The money I could make is not worth the hassle of bartering, no shows, scammers, my time, etc.” 

“If I am working on downsizing, decluttering and organizing, trying to sell some of my things just slows down the process” 

“I know I am not going to get the $ back that I paid for the item.  It’s not worth my time to try and sell the item.  I have already spent the $ (maybe years ago) so I just want it gone.”

“It is so much easier to give things away for free.  It feels so good to give things away knowing that they will go to someone who is in need.”

“Most people are not interested in collectibles that I have inherited from my parents. It’s just better to donate them.”

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I believe that more and more people are wanting a simpler life. There is a trend for people to be more conscious about what they purchase and what they bring into their homes. There is the awareness that if you buy something and then you decide you don’t want it or need it, how do you dispose of it.

Have you tried to sell your stuff without success? Or maybe the opposite has been true…….What has been your experience?

About Kim

I’m Kim, your go-to Professional Organizer and Virtual Coach! I’m beyond excited to embark on this clutter-free adventure with you. With a background in mental health and a passion for transforming spaces, I bring a holistic approach to decluttering. It’s not just about neatening up physical spaces; it’s about fostering a mindset shift that radiates throughout your life. I founded Space For You Clear the Clutter, Heal Your Life and have been working with individuals and groups for about 15 years. I've also trained with Professional Organizers of Canada and the Institute for Challenging Disorganization.
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10 Responses to Why is it so hard to sell my stuff? 

  1. I ran a garage sale for a client this past weekend. She had lots of little cute collectibles that sold right away.
    The dining table and chairs did not sell, nor did most of the books.
    I agree with your assessment. It’s easier and feels good to give things to a charitable organization that you believe in or want to support.
    Selling things is hard work unless you do it as a profession.

    • Kim says:

      Hi Diane, Yes, I have been involved in my fair share of garage sales and I have 0 interest in actually hosting one. Even stopping at a garage seems to have lost its appeal for me. I just think its all junk and I just want to get rid of my own.

  2. In my area, there are many thrift stores (large and small). While people love to buy vintage clothing there, they also sell furniture and home decor pieces. It’s a smaller section than the clothing, though.

    • Kim says:

      Hi Sabrina, Yes, I guess there are still some cute little shops that are successful so that is good. I am sure it must be frustrating to be in the business of selling items. Of course people want to pay as little as possible for the items.

  3. I have almost never had any luck selling used stuff, other than business equipment, so I don’t even try. Depending on what it is, I will offer it to someone I know, post it on a give-and-receive group on Facebook, or donate it. My father was great at selling stuff and would have been horrified to know that I’d given away a dehumidifier, vacuum cleaner, and other items of value.

    • Kim says:

      Hi Janet, I totally know what you mean about your father. Things have changed so much and in some ways I really don’t get it but I can see why people would want to buy new if at all possible. Thanks for commenting!

  4. My experience is that selling is always “work.” Whether I do it myself, or pay someone to help me. In some cases, it is worth it. But that is more the exception than the rule. If I had some valuable art, for example. Furniture rarely seems to be worth it. The other time selling has been helpful has been when we wanted to clear a whole house and did an auction. That is easier than taking little items for donation one at a time.

    • Kim says:

      Hi Seana, I can see where auctions can be more successful although I haven’t been involved in one. I had a picture that was of some value. It was a numbered print with a certificate and no one wanted it. I ended up donating it. Why keep it stored in my basement. Right!

  5. With the exception of a few clients who have actual antiques (for whom the appraisers are often happy to suggest introductions to buyers) and estate sale companies, I’ve found that trying to sell is a losing proposition. The consignment shops won’t take clothes purchased (and never worn!) from just before the pandemic because it’s “too many fashion seasons ago” even when those same items are on the shelves now. And, as you mentioned, most older stuff (furniture, decor) is too heavy or inconvenient to shlep around for the mostly mobile lifestyle people lead.

    I’ll be honest, I don’t think I’d ever buy anything used or second-hand; the only used clothing I’ve ever owned has come from my mother or sister. It’s easier to donate or leave things at the curb than deal with having strangers come to your home (or no-shows, as you mentioned, NOT come). I think it’s essential to think of all purchases as items to use, and not to expect to re-sell. If nothing else, it’ll make people think twice about their purchases.

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