I have a lovely Dickens Christmas Village. For many years, my brother in law gave each family a village piece at Christmas. I love it, display it and will never give it up. Over the years, we have added small pieces on our own. Now that Bill no longer gifts us with pieces, I have decided that this year I will buy a church, as that is something I feel is missing in our little town.
Not to do anything by half, I then went out and purchased a Valentine village (candy shop, wedding chapel and card shop), Halloween pieces, Fourth of July pieces and even a collection of quilt houses because I am a quilter. Many of these were never used or displayed. I just figured if one seasonal village was great, one for each season was better. While a couple of these, including the Halloween house do get used regularly, many have simply sat in boxes on a shelf. Until I recently dragged the 4th of July house to the fore, my children never even knew I had the house.
What has all this to do with casual income? On a whim, I recently listed a couple of these houses on eBay. This took minimal time-I just took a couple of decent pictures and wrote up a quick listing. When the item sells, I will simply wrap them up and mail them. For this little bit of effort, one of these houses has now reached $70.00, and the bidding still has a ways to go. Even if the mailing process requires an extra half an hour of errand time, the ratio of money made to effort spent is sufficient to make the sale worthwhile.
I share this experience not to show what a smart cookie I am, but to show that one way to make casual income here and there is to sell possessions you or family may no longer use or need.
I certainly would not have sold these pieces if they had emotional value to me or my family (as does the Christmas Village, which will probably remain in the family forever). These are items which I used briefly, and to which other family members have no real attachment. I imagine that my family has the same amount of “stuff” as most families (perhaps a little more in some areas than others due to overseas travel). What amount is excess differs according to each person. I’ve made it clear before that I am in no way a minimalist, and a certain amount of that stuff will always be with me. Even I have excess, especially as I look to downsize. Some of that excess will be given to friends and family, some donated to various needy cause. But some items I will continue to sell, and reap those small rewards.
For those of us who need additional income (even dribs and drabs), small rewards like these are insufficient. That said, added to other small streams of income, selling some of your stuff is certainly one way to add a little cash to your pockets. And many pockets of cash add up to a decent income stream. Not only that, but in some cases selling your stuff can lead to a second income stream, or even a mini business. As we have slowly sold my plethora of books, my college aged son has managed the sales and reaped the rewards. He’s now looking at other ways to acquire books to sell, to continue his cash flow until he finds employment.
I encourage you to look through your unused possessions and see which ones might bring you a bit of money. If you’re unsure, a simple EBay search should answer questions regarding value and average sale. Good luck and happy streaming!