My Money Story: Part XIV + A Tip For Getting Your Things Sold

My Money Story: Part XIV + A Tip For Getting Your Things Sold

I’m 34 years old, graduated with honors from one of the top-15 universities in the world, have a “real job”, and I’m broke. This is the story of how I did everything I thought I was “supposed” to do and still found myself 100K in debt and moving back home (to my aunt & uncle’s). Want to start from the beginning? Go to My Money Story: Can I Have A Do-Over?

July 21, 2018

Today was one of my best friend’s weddings and it was the most beautiful wedding I’ve ever seen. I mean, just look at the view from the location (a cliffside mansion in Malibu):

Aside from the fact that some of my favorite people were there, the location, the company, the couple — everything was perfect. I’m so happy for them.

Earlier in the day things were a little crazy — completely of my own doing.

It started when I woke up at 5:30 am to clean my coffee table.

Now you may be thinking, why would I wake up at 5:30 am on a Saturday to clean my coffee table?!

Don’t worry, I had a (somewhat) sane reason — someone was coming at 8:30 am to buy it.

And, no, it wasn’t going to take me 3 hours to clean my coffee table — I wanted to get it done before my 7 am Pilates class because I was meeting the buyer at my house immediately after.

Yes, even when I’m swamped I prioritize exercise. Why? Because it makes me feel better. It allows me to keep my head on straight when things get crazy and it keeps me from spiraling out of control and consuming an entire cake in private. So, yeah, that’s why.

And, because when it rains it pours, another person wanted to meet at the exact same time to buy my Pottery Barn wall vases (more on these below) and jewelry box.

I’m starting to feel like a Target store.

Did I mention that I had to be at the hotel to do wedding stuff at 10 am and had to shower and get my wedding stuff together beforehand?

So, yeah, once again I was cutting it close.

Fortunately, the person buying the wall vases and jewelry box messaged me at 8:15 am telling me she would be late and the woman buying the coffee table was right on time, so I could stagger them a bit.

Oh, and, the coffee table buyer showed up in her 2-door Mini Cooper. For reference sake, you actually can fit a coffee table in a 2-door Mini Cooper — I, too, had my doubts.

Now, on to some information you may actually be able to use. That is unless you’re also selling a coffee table and the buyer shows up in a Mini Cooper.

In that case, you’re welcome.

For the rest of you, here’s a tip for selling your things:

The image is the MOST important part of your listing.


Sure, the description is important (and so is the price you list it for), but if you don’t have a good featured image it won’t matter what the description and price are because no one will see either one.

Why’s that??

Because they won’t be tempted to click on the listing to learn more.

To tell you the truth, I had read this before I started selling things, but I ignored the advice. I didn’t understand how important it was until I listed my Pottery Barn wall vases.

I had tried to sell them for months. Waaaaay before I knew I was moving. Not because I didn’t like them, but because I am way too scared of earthquakes to put glass items on the wall. Or much else for that matter.

Seriously, it’s a disaster waiting to happen.

For months, I listed the wall vases with photos of them in the box (I’d never taken them out) and couldn’t understand why I hadn’t had any interest in them.

Until one day it hit me. A potential buyer viewing a photo of a box is going to have no idea what the item is. Most people are visual, if something catches their eye they will look into it further (i.e. read the description). However, if the photo doesn’t catch them, they’ll just keep scrolling.

Here are the original photos I had with the listing:

See what I mean? Boring. I wouldn’t click on that item either.

Once I replaced the featured photo with a photo showing what the vases look like in use (i.e. what they could look like in a potential buyer’s home), it only took a day or two before I got interest.

multiple glass vases on a wall with yellow flowers in them.

See what I mean? Now I would want to buy it.

Here’s an update on sales for the week:

Adding this to everything I’ve sold thus far here’s where I’m at:

Total revenue: $1220.51
– total costs: $33.99
= net “income”: $1186.52

Want to know how this whole thing started?

Go to My Money Story: Can I Have a Do-Over to start from the beginning.

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