Massive Book Declutter and Unhaul!

Hey pals!

I hope you’re all still doing the right things, stay home where you can and washing your hands! With all the time on everyone’s hands, people who aren’t used to being at home are struggling for something to do (I mean, I have a whole blog of content you can read and a Youtube channel…) so I thought sharing what I get up to could be helpful.

I decided, seeing at it’s spring, I needed to do some decluttering starting with my massive book collection. I didn’t touch the unread books as I’d recently already been through them, but I did choose to tackle the selection of read books that I’ve accumulated over the last 10 years. This mainly consisted of manga, YA books and some spiritual/occult books. Many books I can’t even remember what they were about, which really lead to me deciding to donate them coz if I can’t remember what happened then it wasn’t that good.

check out my home declutter and re-organise videos here. 

Starting with my manga collection, these were my first purges. I used to watch a lot of anime and read a lot of manga as a teenager, so a lot of these are series that no lon

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ger interest me… manga and anime are also know for rather weird and perverted plots and off-kilter power dynamics and that was the main reason I got rid of a lot of these books (this is very specific to Rosario Vampire, I’m pretty sure that is made as a softcore porn for teenage boys…) My reading tastes have changed a lot since I was a teenager (they’re gayer for one) and I only really kept series that I really enjoyed and that had an impact on me. I kept: Chibi Vampire, OHSHC, Blue Exorcist, Naruto, Fullmetal Alchemist and Fruits Basket. I plan on doing a Youtube series where I go back and re-read these so if I change my mind as I’m reading them, I may also get rid of some of those but I may also fall back in love with reading manga!

I also went through my very bizarre occult books collection. I didn’t realise how many

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books I had picked up of this type over the years (mostly from second hand sources but occasionally from a holistic fair or occult shop before they started dying out). I realised a lot of books I had in this section weren’t even particularly linked to spiritual topics and were more like cookbooks or aromatherapy, so those went quickly and easily. I got rid of a few magic/spell books that I either felt I’d gotten everything out of or never touched and didn’t think I would touch again! I did keep a few I hadn’t used before, because they look like a good reference for any future writing I did as I’d love to write a book involving magic. I had a few books about rock types and fossils that seemed more like educational books for children so thought they could find a better home, especially after I realised I had a copy of the crystal bible which is all you really need when you have crystals to identify. And then I found a few dream guides and feng shui books so I kept one of each and put the rest in the to go pile. You can also see two really big books at the bottom, the encyclopedia of the occult is a very cool looking book and would be great for referencing but it’s so huge it’s rather daunting to me and I don’t think I would ever actually use it, and the other book is a book of old quotes that I really have no need for. 

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This pile is YA books (mostly?) old book series I enjoyed but couldn’t remember the plot for the life of me. Some books I didn’t enjoy or felt like I had to keep, and books I read and knew I wouldn’t read again. Also the Stephen King ‘On Writing’ book has a toolkit I don’t feel like I need to keep the book to read anymore, and I only had the Tobias Wolff memoir for Uni and though I enjoyed it, I don’t think it’s something I want to read again it wasn’t very happy.

I ended up going through my shelves again and seeing which books I would really probably not read and put aside even more books. I finished reading How to Give Up Plastic and decided I didn’t need to keep it. There’s quite a few Fantasy/Sci-Fi books I’ve had for a long time that I haven’t even tried to read in the many years they’ve been on my shelf so decided to say goodbye to those. A couple of non-fic books like How to Read Like A Writer, Norwegian (I actually had two of this book?), The Happiness Trap (A book I don’t feel like I need to use anymore for mental health) and Women Run With Wolves, I realised this was a Psychology book so whatever it actually is it wasn’t what I was expecting and I wasn’t interested in reading it. I tried to read Dead Witch Walking but the writing just was no for me, I struggled to understand why this book series was so popular but I suppose it’s from a different time where a lot of these sexist and misogynist thoughts were normal. I did want to read Secret Societies but decided I wasn’t THAT deeply interested in it and chose to sell it.

Generally, I felt like these books could find a better home. Where will these books be going? Currently they will sit on the shelves a bit longer as I am stuck inside, but after that I plan on selling a few either on depop or even with music magpie just to get some quick cash. I’ll be donating a lot of books too, mainly to my local hospital as the money raised by second hand book sales goes to buying new equipment and I spend my life in that place so I like to try and give back where I can. Otherwise, there’s a local bookshop I like that sells secondhand books called The Book Den and they have really amazing prices on books and a great collection so anything I felt wouldn’t fit with the hospital donation I would take there instead.

If you’re interested in supporting me and indie bookshops, check out my affiliate link to buy some books! 

edit: I sold quite a few books on depop and musicmagpie (do not recommend musicmagpie), and then donated remaining books to the local donation bin and to the first village fete to sell at a stall. They took up so much room I just couldn’t hang on to them long enough to donate to hospital because they still do not have any bookshelf sales available due to covid. The donation bin has been a saviour for my family as most donation locations have been closed and we didn’t want to take anything to the dump… So we have dropped in a lot of things like clothes, CDs, DVDs, books, shoes… the list goes on really. We have been spending a lot of LockDown clearing out and re-organising to the high heavens! I got new drawers and bookshelves which is exciting for me!

I hope you enjoyed reading this post, I’ve also documented it on my YouTube channel so if you’d like to see me actually mentally going through the process of what I wanted to keep or not, go check that out. The first video is here, where I went through all the occult books I owned, and video two was going through the YA and Manga books.

I hope you’re staying safe!

~ Artie

Check out my recent blog post of my LockDown Book Haul!

If you like Video book videos, check out my Manga Marathon, My Lockdown TBR, The Stay at Home Book Tag, 14 LGBT+ Book Recs, and the GoodReads ‘Currently Reading’ Take Down.

Check out my other book related posts! 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,

Stupid Things Buyers Have Asked Me

Hey pals,

I sell a lot of items online, across different platforms, so I’ve had these questions below multiple times about different items across the platforms… and I wanted to talk about why these questions are stupid and how to ask a similar question and actually get an answer that would help you as a buyer and the seller.

(note: this is an abrasive and rant-like post because hearing these questions so often is extremely frustrating especially considering I am selling my items relatively cheaply to try and shift items and make at least a little bit of money)

‘Have you tried it on to know how it fits compared to a women’s dress size?’ (about a mens blazer)

Men’s sizing is in inches, it’s not a stupid made up number like women’s, so knowing the size (which was on the post) she could measure herself and decide if she thought it was too big. I said something along these lines but a bit more polite. Her response was: ‘oh it would definitely fit i am only a size 8 which is a 36” chest i just wondered how big/oversized it fits, how it hangs, if the shoulders might look silly etc’

My response was: i dont know, I wear a mens 42 and i’m a 14/16. Each jacket has a different style/cut and each body is different, I wouldn’t be able to advise on your body and how this jacket would look sorry

I have never been a true size 8, I have no idea what that life is like. My waist is about the size of her chest, for reference. I’m tall, broad, big boobed and have unusually long arms. I know from experience with my body that things don’t look the same on everyone. My mum for example is the same ish weight as me, 2-3 inches shorter than me and carries her weight on her bum whereas mine is on my waist. We might be similar clothing sizes, but we look totally different. Also I’m selling this blazer for £10 including UK postage, so either buy it to see if it’ll fit coz its way cheaper than any other blazer you’ll find, or fuck off?

People offering lower than the price im selling an item at, getting my response of sure I can post on this day shall I change the price on the listing, and then they say: ‘cant buy until…’ (insert a day of the week somewhere between 4 and 10 days away)

I often reply with: okay well message me again on the day if it’s still available. 

This one replied: ‘okay not 100% sure yet tho’

Why are you messaging me if you don’t even know if you want it? What a waste of everyone’s time here. 

‘Do you have a pic of this on?’

I sell lots of items of all sizes either because family or friends have given them to me to sell or because I’ve changed size so much over the years. Most of the time I’ll try to add a picture of it on if it still fits just to avoid this question, but if I haven’t I also will not go out of my way to take one because it’s a dumb question. 

This particular instance I said: no it’s not my size. What are you looking for from a photo of it on? I might be able to give more information.

Coz yanno i still wanna sell these items so if I can measure the length of something for you, sure I will, but I’m not putting it on coz we probably don’t look anything alike!

Her reply: it was just really the length of it

So i said: i can measure it for you tomorrow if you like (it was nearly midnight and i wasn’t gonna get up to do it now)

She replied the next morning: thanks

I couldn’t reply til the evening: sorry for delay i was a bit busy today, it’s 31 inches long

Didn’t even get a reply of thanks but no thanks, which is super fucking rude. 

‘Hello your shirt caught my attention and i would like to see it before buying if you happen to live in (enter city here) by any chance?’

For starters the location is on my posts (which is not exactly where I live but that’s the town on my address, and needless to say it is not in the city this person was asking about)

I said: no I don’t live in ______. About half an hour drive outside. It’s as it looks in the photo. It’s been worn a couple of times, practically as new. 

No reply. 

The question was stupid because you can see my location and it’s just wasting time asking something like that, and getting my hopes up for a sale to just not even bother responding. Also £5 for the t-shirt, do you need to come see it first?

There are many many more situations like this and worse. I face many rude people regularly and many silly questions like the ones above which mostly never end in a sale, which makes it even more frustrating because I am not even getting paid for my time answering. Occasionally I get really lovely buyers or really quick and easy transactions that do make this worth it (I once sold something to someone at 2/3 of the price because they were so nice and respectful to me, remember politeness always pays) and I do appreciate those buyers so much!

Leave a comment with your worst or best experiences selling (or buying) second-hand so I don’t feel so alone! I’ve told a lot of these to a friend of mine who literally cannot relate at all and has never had an issue…

Check out my depop where I sell most of my things now!! I am unable to work as I am chronically ill and disabled and making sales really does help me afford travel, petrol, private health care, etc.

~ Artie

Tips for Making Money Selling Online

Hey pals,

You’ve had a huge closet clear out and have a hefty number of items you don’t want anymore. They’re lightly used, brand new, or something pretty niche and was hard to get hold of, maybe even vintage, what do you do with them besides throwing them out or donating them? Try online selling.

If it’s just something on the side and you don’t have TOO MANY items to get rid of, then you won’t need too much hustle. But, if you’re trying to claw out of some debt, or scrape together enough money for (insert item, event, holiday, present, here) you might have to put a little more umph into it. I’ll talk you through my experiences of that and some of the customers you might come across.

(Please note this is specifically about UK/England)

Where can I sell?

Gumtree

This is very hit or miss. I still use this to post things for sale on every once in a while, just in case, but there isn’t a lot of activity there except creepy men. I’ve sold a lot of clothes in my time (I have an impulse buying problem so I have too many clothes all the time) and putting up shoes I’ve worn for sale tends to lead to foot fetishist contacting you. I recommend NOT making your phone number available (I’ve have some really awful experiences with this) and to not meet people in person or let them come to your house. Otherwise, if it is a normal sale and there’s no sign of the buyer being creepy, it’s just like selling on other sites. You can promote your ads for a fee but I don’t think that’s worth it. A good place to advertise a UK version of a yard sale as events do better than sale items I’ve found. 

Facebook selling pages / the market place

I’ve used Facebook selling pages for a long time. It’s a good place to sell all kinds of things really cheap or free because the pages are for specific areas. It’s much easier organising people to come and collect, or for you to deliver/meet somewhere in person and it will save you the postage and fees other ways cost. However, there are a lot of time wasters on these pages, people who don’t read the ad fully, and a lot of the buyers don’t seem to understand you? One example is, recently, my mum was contacted about some dresses she had put up for sale and this lady was describing several dresses she wanted but only buy the colour… several of the dresses were the same colour, so my mum asked her to clarify by sending the pictures to her on messenger and then she only sent one picture. She caused a lot of faff for one dress and also wanted it posted. We’ve also found that people will ask loads of questions, agree to a date and time to collect, the day comes and the time goes… they never collect and don’t message. they often won’t respond to any messages you send them from there on either. So be prepared to chase people up constantly. But sometimes you get really great and easy buyers who come and go without issue, or want to buy loads of things you’re selling. The plus side is there are no fees to selling this way. This also tends to be more family related, clothing, furniture, people trying to save some money doing up their house mostly.

Depop

This is a younger demographic and is mostly clothes. You can sell anything here but it is mostly known and used to sell clothes and accessories. So if you have trendy clothes you want to sell, this is definitely the place. You can also sell books, I’ve sold some here and I see some bookshops and book selling pages doing reasonably well, it’s hit or miss sometimes and often depends on your following and your ratings. Sadly, Depop takes 10% fee (off the full price including anything you say for postage which sucks) and you have to link your PayPal, which then also takes a fee for using. It’s not often people on this app are nearby so everything needs to be posted. There are a lot of numbers to think about with this app to make sure you’re not going into minus by accident. I use this website to work out how much PayPal take from each purchase. You don’t pay to display, which is good, you only pay when you sell which is a benefit. I’m well versed in postage costs now and know just about what price my packages will be, sometimes the prices do jump up without much warning anywhere around 5p to 10p more. The Royal Mail website is crap and never correct, you can go to your local post office and check with them if you’re unsure or go through the Royal Mail pay for postage system where you put in parcel measurements and weight and you pay to print off a postage label and you can drop them off in the post office if you want a proof of postage stamp or just pop them in the post box if they fit. I suggest listing items separately first, but also list bundle offers. My example is, I have a bundle offer up on my page for bras because they are all the same size, I have them listed on their own but also a listing of them all together. I do warn you though, you will constantly be asked if you will sell lower or for X less because no one really cares that you lose 50% of the money to fees and only end up with £2-£4 at the end anyway, they only care about how much money they are spending and speak to you like you should lower your prices for second-hand items because they are second hand. I even get asked this on brand new items and items that are already dirt cheap. There’s quite a bit of rudeness on Depop but they are mostly really nice people. Depop also has an option to put a video of the item on the listing which I do recommend if you can be bothered. Maximise what you show and what you say about your items to try and limit questions you’re asked. You also get to leave and receive feedback on sales so you can see what other sellers are like before you buy from them and buyers can see the same for you.

(Go check out my Depop, I have lots up for sale! depop.com/amiexdelisle)

There are also other apps like this that may be more suitable for you depending on where you are, who your audience is, and your purpose. Are you a casual seller or is this something you want to make into a real money making scheme. Vinted, ThredUp, Poshmark, are a few others but here are a couple of lists of others with more details by people who know more about them!

EBay

I haven’t used eBay in such a long time because I think they stopped doing the free listing once a month. So I’m pretty sure you now have to pay to list items, and also pay when you sell items. They only stay up for a certain amount of time (Depop stays up until you take it down) and you need to be well researched in when the best time to list is. You can do a buy now option, or the auction. Most people use the auction in hopes of there being a bidding war and making more money but it isn’t guaranteed. The most popular auctions start at 99p plus postage, but you don’t have to start them so low if you don’t want to. I’ve also had a lot of awful experiences on eBay with buyers and sellers. I think across the board of selling apps and websites, it’s highly likely you’ll come across a really rude or annoying person because everyone wants a bargain.

Here are some general tips that apply to all sites:

1 – any items you buy online, keep the packaging to wrap items in that you sell. It saves you a bit of money and it’s always good to reuse and recycle things. Buy the wider tape as well, it’s easier to stick the parcels shut vs. usual everyday size tape. 

2 – try to get really good pictures/videos of the items you are selling. If it’s furniture, hold up a measuring tape next to it. Clothes need to be laid out flat, put on a hanger in a nice area with good light, or modelled by a person so people can see the item properly. Photo any damage, labels, back/front, every angle and close ups of patterns if they aren’t clear from further away.

3 – if you aren’t sure what price to ask for, think about where you bought it and how much it was new, look up the item on sites to see what it is new or what other people are selling them as second-hand. Even if you don’t want as much as others are selling as, it’s still go to know how much people are selling for. I sold about 6-8 Oasis CDs and some postcard things; I’d bought them on eBay years ago for not a lot and I knew they were probably worth a reasonable amount, but one of the cases was cracked and I mostly just wanted to make a sale and get rid of something I no longer wanted. I had all the songs on my iTunes, I hadn’t used the CDs in years. I sold them for £25 including postage to some guy who kept asking if I was sure I wanted to sell them that cheap. I made someone’s day but also got £20 for some stuff I didn’t want anymore!

So that’s my experience and things I have learned from doing this for YEARS. It’s a good way to make money and prevent items from being thrown away. All for trying to help the environment and my wallet at the same time! Some of these experiences are a little outdated I’m sure and I know there are LOADS of selling apps you could try but I don’t know much about them at all. Let me know some of your experiences with selling or buying second-hand items in these ways!

~ Artie

Here are some of the more annoying experiences I’ve had across the board!

Need some help with parting with your items and tidying your home? Check out this book.

Check out my book unhauls here, here, here, and here. Video and blog form.

Being a thriftier gamer.

Thrifted wardrobe videos here and here.

Organising videos, my closet and my bookshelf.