Social Encore: Simplify your summer
BY JERMEL-LYNN QUILLOPO / Special to the Star-Advertiser
One of the many things that I love about summer is that the days seem longer since the sun sets later. For some reason I feel as if the more daylight I have, the more time I feel like I have. Even though I’ve been taking advantage of the beautiful weather outdoors, I started my summer indoors cleaning house while making some summer cash. I’ll tell you can do to simplify your home and how you can make money off of things that you no longer need with ways that I have tried myself.
When going through your things, ask yourself these three questions:
» Have I used it in the past three months?
» Are there signs of it being really worn out/is this still useable
» I didn’t have any occasions or people that I could re-gift things to
If you answered no to any of the questions above then it’s a sign that your item needs to go. Once you have declared that your item needs to go, you will need to place it in a one of the following piles: throw away, trade in/recycle, give away/donate or sell.
There is nothing wrong with getting rid of things that you have no use for. However, you want to make sure that you are getting rid of it responsibly. Make sure that you visit Hawaii’s department of environmental services website to find out when bulky trash pick-ups are.
If you are getting rid of things like electronics that may be a couple of versions behind, I would inquire to see if there is a way to trade it in for cash. Websites like Gazelle, Amazon or Nextworth offer money for electronics. The amount of money depends on the electronic condition and version.
For some that have Apple electronics, you may be able to trade in your apple device in store for Apple retail store credit by inquiring on their website. Best Buy also takes in electronics such as game consuls for trade in credit. Trading electronics for credit is hassle free and a great way to turn in something old for something that you have more use for. If your electronics are too old for the trade in programs, you can drop it off at various e-waste locations around the state so that they can be safely disposed.
Consignment shops are like trade in store fronts that will take in your lightly used items from your closet and give you money or store credit. The guidelines to consignment shops vary and usually take in only name brand items.
Plato’s Closet is a great place to sell clothes that are within the age range of teens to early 20s. Just go in and bring a bag of things that you want to sell and their retail buyers will take a look at it. They usually will give you only 20-30 percent of what it is actually worth. They will pay you cash for your items. If you just want to get rid of them and don’t really care about maximizing the amount of money you can get in return, they bring them here.
PZAZZ Hawaii, located at Kahala Mall, has a drop-off system. You will need to make an appointment for your items to be seen and sign a consignment agreement and leave your items there for 90 days. If they do sell your things, they will only give you 40 percent of what they had sold it for. They are very particular with what they buy but are reputable and fair.
If consignment does work, then you may also want to think of recycling clothes within your group of friends by hosting a closet swap. Call your friends up and ask them to bring 10 pieces of clothing that they no longer use/want. Make it a social night where you all can have a potluck, happy hour and closet swap all in one event. Guys you can do this too if you wanted.
It’s always better to sell something and make a dollar off of it then to get nothing at all. The trick to selling your items is dispersing the information of what you have up for grabs through multiple avenues in order to get the attention of a wide range audience. Before you start selling, make sure that you open up a word document on your computer and type out the following: the name of the item (brand and style), a small description of the item, and how much you are selling it for. In order to be reasonable about the prices of your item, look online and see what those brands and styles are selling for. The word document will help save you time when you are copying and pasting verbiage to various outlets.
To maximize the potential of getting the amount of money that you want for your item, I always put the price and OBO on the side of it (an acronym for “or best offer”). The one thing that I can’t stress enough is picture quality or your items. A picture really does say a thousand words and it can either make or break the sale of your stuff. Here are various avenues that have earned me money.
You have friends on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter right? Why not use it to your advantage and post things that you are trying to sell. Create an album, label it “summer sale” (or something similar), and upload a picture with a caption that includes the name of the item (brand and style), a small description of the item, and how much you are selling it for as the pictures caption.
Websites are another great way to sell things to people outside of your inner circle:
» Craigslist: A great way to get rid of things to people that are on island. During meet ups, my advice would be to bring someone if you can with you, meet during the day and meet at a public place where there are a lot of people around.
» Ebay: Ebay is a great way to sell things as well. Just like Craigslist, you will need to include pictures, descriptions and asking prices. The great options with Ebay is that people can either bid for your items and/or you can list it for a set price. The downfall about this website is that you can only leave it up for a certain amount of time and when it comes to billing, you are billed for the post and Ebay takes a portion of your profits.
» Amazon: Is similar to Ebay but they have guidelines of how your pictures need to be taken. Unlike Ebay, the one thing that I love about Amazon is that it does not charge you for the duration of the post. Amazon takes a portion from you if you item actually sells.
» Poshmark: Is an mobile app that you can use to sell some of your name brand items. Sellers/buyers are from the United States only and if you were to sell an item on here, Poshmark will take a portion if your item sells. The great thing about it is that they make mailing really easy on you and you can use your “Poshmark” money either on the app to buy other stuff or you can cash it out to cold hard cash.
Garage sales are great because you can post up at one spot and people can come to you to buy your things. What I would suggest is that you get other family members or friends to sell with you. It’s a lot more fun when you have family and friends involved and spreading the word about the garage sale can be dispersed faster. When doing garage sales, you can also put in ads ahead of time too if you wanted.
Flea markets/swap meets to me are like big garage sales. I love doing swap meets with my family and friends because you can split the rental fee for the space. Splitting the rental fee means more chances of you making a profit. I usually arrive and set up by 6:30 a.m. and just stay until noon. I’ve done Kam Swap Meet by Pearlridge and Aloha Stadium Swap Meet. I’ve found that I make more at the Kam Swap Meet but you have to be willing to sell your items for cheap prices since many will bargain with you.
Some things are better off given to organizations that could sell it and earn money for their causes. Write down what you donated and always ask for a receipt when you drop those items off. You will need that itemized list if you plan on writing them off for tax purposes. There are many places that I have donated to like Central Union Church (they have a thrift store on premises), Goodwill, and Salvation Army.
Believe it or not, your surroundings contributes to the energy in your life. Since I’ve re-organized my home, it has made me more positive and productive. Start going through your things and see what you can live without. Simplify your life this summer so that you can spend time on things that matter to you.
Jermel-Lynn Quillopo is a multi-faceted, energetic individual with experience in both print and broadcast journalism. “Social Encore” aims to tell diverse stories about Hawaii’s food, events and people; share your tips with Jermel via email or follow her on Twitter.