Still Struggling as a Hoarder: the mission to sell the excess.

hey pals

I had a pretty great time selling my second hand items online through lockdown, I sold so many items I’d had up for a while plus loads I’d gone through and put up throughout lockdown. people were bored and online shopping and it’s trendy to second hand shop, plus I’ve sold quite a few button bundles because people have been getting into crafts during this time! I really purged quite a lot of items and made myself a pretty nice little bit of extra money (not that much coz I try to keep most of my items priced reasonably) and things have slowed down since the rules have changed and people are being told to start going back to work and the shops are open or opening up… which sucks for me as a small seller without many other forms of making money, but I can imagine this will also probably impact other small/online businesses and individuals who rely on this to help pay for essentials.

I’ve been dabbling in the facebook marketplace again since I decided to have a reboot of the spare room furniture, we sold everything so quickly on there and replaced everything now the storage is so much better. So I was hopeful, as I have some larger items I don’t want to bother with posting and just want someone to come collect them, that maybe it would work out well for me with other items. I sold one pair of shoes pretty quick, and they were a pair I’d recently decided to let go of after using them in a video for the first time in probably years. I then sold a bundle of mens large tops for £12 quite easily. But most of the buyers since then have been flakey. I was trying to sell some silicone straws coz I just didn’t get on with them personally and someone wanted them posting, so I was like sure, £4 all in to cover postage. She agreed and then didn’t respond and had then looked up straws and decided to buy a set from amazon for £3.99… so only a penny cheaper than I’d originally suggested. I think this is petty to start, rather than helping out someone personally you give more money to amazon, but also rather than saying ‘hey I found them on amazon at this price could you do anything better’ etc. she chose to just let me down and buy from a massive corporation. Infuriating to be honest. I did end up selling them to someone who also wanted them posting for £3.90 but lost almost 50p to paypal charges! You can never win really.

People keep messaging ‘is this available’ and then don’t reply when I say yes… reply a week later and agree to buy then never pay… or never show up… so when this lady popped up (an obvious reseller coz she didn’t even ask for clothing sizes!) I kind of just sighed with relief that I would finally be getting rid of 24 items and emptied one of the two massive clear containers I use to keep all this stuff in! I’m only making £20 but that’s totally fine, I’ve had these items up for a while with minimal to no interest.

It can be hard to price things reasonably on depop because that app alone takes 10% of each purchase, and then paypal takes a cut and you still have to cover postage as well. A lot of my cheaper items only get me a couple of pounds, which I don’t mind coz I do really hate the resellers who charge extortionate amounts for things for no reason. But I do have some more expensive items. Normally because they are larger items, or they were more expensive to buy for myself originally, or hard to emotionally let go of. A lot of items I sell on are items that barely fit or ended up not fitting me and I couldn’t return them, very rarely do I pick up pieces specifically to resell but I only do that if I find something worth it. I try to limit this coz it’s not my main thing and I don’t want it to be. I mainly sell to get some money back from items that just didn’t work out for me, whether they are too small, don’t fit the way I want, were hand me downs from family, etc.

Sometimes I pray for a reseller to find me on the Facebook marketplace because it often means a big purge of items, this has happened to me a few times. One time before the pandemic, probably when I was still at uni and had a purge, a lady came and literally rummaged through the piles of clothes I had out on the bed in the spare room! This time she saw my post with collage pictures of items, she told me the ones she wanted and made an offer (I did say I would do bundle deals)

I miss bootsales a lot, but the idea of paying £10 to park and set up sucks a lot coz you’re desperate to at least make back that tenner and end up sat there for ages and barely selling a thing even if your prices are low. Also, right now there’s a world wide pandemic and I don’t think we should be going out to bootsales right now… but people will do anything.

I still have a lot of clothes to sell, and I feel like I still have items I need to really decide to part with. I have a bit of a weird emotional connection to clothes I buy and I think it’s a mixture of never feeling like I have one solid aesthetic and growing up with a family of hoarders but also always feeling ugly and like clothes don’t look good on me for a long time. I dont feel this way now and I think that’s the problem ahaha! I love clothes and style now, that it’s hard letting go of clothes I like even if they don’t fit. I let go of a shirt I loved because it wasn’t long enough on the arms, and a few other amazing pieces because I just did not wear them at all or much since I bought them. Sometimes I have great intentions but end up never wearing anything because I’m chronically ill and spend most of my time in PJ’s and tracksuits and it’s even more true since we’ve been locked down. I have nowhere to go and I’m mostly dressing for the temperature!

The clothes I sell on aren’t just from me, but also my mum and my gran, sometimes other family members too, so it’s quite the selection of styles and sizes. Plus the three of us alone have changed sizes so many times over the years, sometimes you find a bunch of old clothes that you don’t fit anymore that were just packed away once upon a time. I still find boxes and bags of items I haven’t seen since university or even before then! Though, thankfully, I think I’ve gotten through most of those things by now! It felt endless.

It’s been kind of rough not having easy access to a post office as well. I like to use my small local one because I like to support local businesses, but they shut down their post office section for a large chunk of the pandemic (which, truly fair enough) and I couldn’t actually take myself into shops for a long time either being high risk. So, for ages I was using the online postage label printing system which was annoying to use coz I had to measure everything I posted, and I got it wrong a few times, as well as printing the labels and sticking them on. I’m lucky to have my own printer (the only good thing out of university that I still even use is this printer, paper and ink I got from DSA) if I didn’t have this, I would have struggled a lot more. I was trying my best to limit sales to items I could slide into the post box so I wouldn’t have to drop any parcels off inside, come into contact with anyone, or travel further afield. And it was working out find, but I always wished my postage services were supporting my local post office as I can imagine they’ve probably been hit with the pandemic. Now, they are open again 11am-1pm, which suits me I am still at home 90% of the time, and everyone inside wears a mask and there’s minimal contact, most people I approach in the shop is better at attempting distance than anywhere else out in the world I have been. So, I’m looking forward to being able to use this regularly again if my sales keep up, and not worrying so much about larger parcels and how I’m going to post them.

My second struggle is my excessive book collection closely followed by DVDs. Book isn’t so bad, coz every once in a while I got through my read and unread sections and have a purge, but I got into reading and buying ebooks during lockdown and it’s such and easy instant hit it’s hard to stop (especially when you see a tonne for 99p) but I’ve been dedicating time to actually read some of my physical books I’ve had for a while so I can either move them to the Done section or get rid of them somehow. DVDs however are a bit tricky, I’ve seriously minimised over time because I now use Netflix and watch so much YouTube I don’t really need DVDs except for the odd film or series I really love that aren’t always available on streaming platforms. Who even watches DVDs anymore? I stuck on an episode of House M.D. recently to check out an episode and it was the most grainy thing I’ve watched in at least 5 years. So, those have gone to the bye-bye pile, waiting until it is big enough to take to donation or see if I can sell any of it. I sell a lot of books and DVDs through MusicMagpie (which isn’t a great service but it’s nice to get some extra cash from a hefty pile of unwanted items) sometimes I’ll manage to sell books on Depop, that’s happened a few times, but mostly they all just end up getting donated because who watches DVDs? and my reading tastes are a bit weird and often a lot of the books I don’t want, no one else does either. Lockdown has meant I’ve just had to take things to the donation bins in the area as nothing was open to accept donations, now more shops are open(ing) I might be able to take things to a store that supports a charity I actually like. I’m still sad that the donation shelves in hospitals and GP surgeries aren’t functioning but it’s obvious why, but I wish there was some other way I could support my local services, especially right now. I can’t imagine it’s easy and I think the extra money in their budgets would be helpful. Guess it’ll just have to wait a bit longer.

Truly I’m not entirely sure what the point of this is… I think it is just something that has been on my mind for a while as I’ve been putting a lot of work into this. I think as well, I just want to remind everyone to think of who they are buying from. Your £5 will be greater appreciated and used by a real person you buy from on Depop or the Facebook Marketplace than a billion trillionaire. What do I use the money for? Sometimes it goes towards living and travel costs, I need to fill up my car’s tank and pay for its tax somehow. I try to put money into my savings, hoping for a brighter future where I could maybe go and do a Masters in Dublin. It also goes towards a lot of excess health costs, like the millions of vitamins I’ve been told I should take or seeing my chiropractor or my therapist who is helping me through medical related trauma… These are just my circumstances, but hopefully this may help you see why sharing the wealth is important, a lot of people rely on that small income to keep themselves afloat and it’s not as easy as it may seem.

~ Artie

P.S. that massive box is already full again… mostly just for storage but it’s full.

If you’re UK based and are interested in helping me out, check out my depop.

For more clothing based content you can check out these links: Thrifted wardrobe 1 and 2, I dress like a stereotypical bisexual, Trying on all my thrifted shirts, come thrifting with me, shopping midsize and disabled, tips for making money and selling online.

4 thoughts on “Still Struggling as a Hoarder: the mission to sell the excess.

  1. It’s so hard !!! 😭 especially once you’ve gotten rid of a lot of stuff already, you only have the things you’re struggling with letting go of already. It takes so much practice!

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