If you’re planning to do some extended traveling in the near future, you may be wondering what to do with your stuff while you’re away. After all, you’ll only be able to take a few suitcases with you, and buying storage space can end up taking a hefty chunk out of your monthly budget. Sell everything you own (or most of it, anyway) and use the money you make from it to travel the world by following these tips:
1) Sell it online.
The whole world is your customer base when you sell goods on Amazon and eBay. But you don’t have to rely on the demand from customers or online auction sites to earn some cash online, either. You can find an online recycling program that will take the goods off your hands and give you some extra cash. Half.com, Unitextbooks, and Green Metropolis will all take your used books and textbooks off your shelves, and sites like MusicMagpie will take electronics ranging from CDs, DVDs, and video games to mobiles, laptops, and gaming consoles.
2) Have a garage sale.
If you can’t find a site to sell your goods online, do it the old-fashioned way by holding a garage sale. If the blistery winter weather threatens to interfere, take the sale inside, effectively turning your living room/dining room into a showroom. Make sure the items for sale are clearly marked, and try to categorize your goods to make them easier to browse. Set a fixed price, but be willing to negotiate with potential buyers so you can get rid of as many unwanted items as you can.
3) Clear out your closets.
The reality is that you’ll probably only have enough space for a few weeks’ worth of clothes in your luggage, rendering the rest of your collection of shoes, coats, clothes, and accessories useless while you’re away. Identify the items that are in-style this season (e.g. sweaters and winter outerwear) and take them to the local consignment store. You’ll earn a percentage of the marked price when the clothes actually sell. If you have some time before your trip, try to take a new set of clothes each season to maximize your earnings. Whatever you can’t sell can be bagged and donated to a charity of your choice.
4) Use social networking.
Have an aunt who loves online shopping? A friend who recently mentioned the he needs apartment furnishings? A co-worker whose been complaining that she never has enough money to buy new clothes? Your potential customer base may be closer than you think. Let your online circles—Facebook friends, blog readers, chat buddies—know that you’re planning to travel soon and need to get rid of some unwanted items. Make a list of what’s for sale and post a price for each item, or have them send you a private message to negotiate the price. Chances are good that your family, friends, and acquaintances will want to help you raise the funds for your trip—and buy something for a fraction of the price they’d pay in stores.