Moving Sale Tips: Selling Your Items Before Moving

Transform your move into a profitable opportunity. Discover practical tips to maximise your move out sale by selling unwanted items before you relocate.

20 min read

Moving Sale Tips: Selling Your Items Before Moving

Key takeaways

  • Go through each room, list items you don’t need, and group them into categories like electronics, furniture, and clothing.
  • Assess items as good, fair, or poor condition to set clear expectations for buyers.
  • Check online marketplaces to determine fair prices based on item condition and market value.
  • Use eBay, Gumtree, and Facebook Marketplace for online sales; consider local garage sales and consignment shops for quick, in-person transactions.
  • Write clear descriptions including brand, size, and condition, and take quality photos from multiple angles.
  • Share listings on social media, cross-post on multiple platforms, and spread the word among friends and family.
  • Use trusted payment methods, arrange safe pickup or delivery, and thank buyers while removing sold item listings.

Moving house? Transform the experience into a golden opportunity to declutter and make some extra cash. Whether you're a family, a student, or a senior downsizing, here's your ultimate guide to efficiently selling your items before the big move. This guide provides practical tips on how to effectively sell your items, ensuring you not only declutter but also maximise your earnings. With the right strategies, you can turn your moving sale into a successful and profitable event, making your transition to a new home less cluttered.

Decluttering and listing your items

What do you have?

A moving sale is the perfect time to take stock of what you own. Start by going through each room and listing items you don’t need. Yes, it might sound tedious, but trust me, it’s worth it.

  1. Make a list

Go on a little tour of your home, room by room, and start making a list of everything that's just taking up space and that you can sell at your moving sale. In the kitchen, do you have new appliances you had gifted any never used? In the Living room, electronics that have just gathered dust. What about clothes you haven't worn in ages? (Yes! Even the ones that still have tags on them.) How about the rotary spirit level you only used for that one project or paddle board you took out once since you bought it. Perfect for the moving sale! It’s all about being honest with yourself, if you haven’t used it in the past year, you probably don’t need it and it's better off in the moving out sale.

  1. Categorise items

Once you've created your list, the next step is to categorise everything for the moving sale. Grouping items by type makes it easier to decide how to sell them and even helps potential buyers find exactly what they need. Group them into types such as furniture, electronics, clothes, books and media, household items, toys and games, sports equipment, tools and garden equipment. You get the idea, by organising items into neat categories, it will save you heaps of time when it comes to listing them for sale. Plus, it will make your items look more appealing to potential buyers at your hosted moving sale.

  1. Evaluate the item's condition

So, you’ve got your items posted and categorised, great job! Now, it’s time to evaluate their condition. This step is crucial because it sets clear expectations for potential buyers and helps you price your items fairly. Here’s how you can break it down:

  • Good condition - Items that are almost like new. They might show minimal signs of use but are fully functional and have no major defects. Think of that pristine designer sofa that's been well-loved but still looks chic, or the barely-used treadmill that’s been gathering dust. These items are you best items for the moving sale.
  • Fair condition - These are items that have seen better days but are still perfectly usable. They could have some cosmetic wear and tear, like scratches, minor dings, or a bit of fading. Picture that dining table with a few nicks or the TV that works fine but has a remote with a couple of stubborn buttons. These items are great additions to your moving sale for people who love to grab a bargain.
  • Poor condition - Items in this category have significant issues, be it functionality or appearance. They might need repairs or could be best suited for parts. Think of that old washing machine that’s a bit temperamental or the bike that needs a new chain and tyres. Most of these items will not make it in to your move out sale but can go to a good home if anyone is willing to take or recycle them.

What’s worth selling?

Not everything is worth selling and will make it to your moving sale, so focus on stuff that will genuinely fetch you some bucks.

  • High-value items - When it comes to selling, some items really have the potential to bring in a decent amount of cash. Think electronics, antiques, and designer goods. Let's dive into how you can maximise the return on these high-value pieces.
  • Electronics - These are often in high demand, from smartphones and tablets to laptops, gaming consoles, and even kitchen appliances.
  • Antiques and collectibles - Whether it's vintage furniture, old coins, or rare memorabilia, antiques can attract some serious buyers. Before listing them, do a bit of research and get them appraised to get an idea of their market value.
  • Designer goods - High-end fashion items, be it clothing, handbags, wallets, cardholders or accessories, can fetch a good price if they're in excellent condition. Brands like Gucci, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton are often sought after.

Focusing on these high-value items can make a significant difference in the amount of money you make from your moving sale. Be thorough and transparent in your listings, and you're likely to attract serious buyers willing to pay top dollar.

While high-value items can bring in substantial returns, everyday items like furniture, kitchenware, and gently used clothing can also sell well at a moving sale. Let’s face it, everyone needs these basics, and there’s always someone looking for a good deal on well-maintained essentials like furniture, kitchenware and gently used clothing.

  • Furniture - Sturdy furniture pieces such as sofas, tables, and shelves can quickly find a new home.
  • Kitchenware and appliances - From pots and pans to serving dishes and cutlery, kitchen items are always in demand along with well maintained appliances such as Kitchen Aid, coffee machines and food processors.
  • Gently used clothing - Clothes, especially those in good condition from popular brands, can be quite a hit.

Selling these everyday items while moving out not only lightens your load but also caters to budget-conscious buyers who are looking for practical purchases. So, don't underestimate the value hidden in the everyday things around your home!

Pricing your items

How to determine prices?

Setting the right price can make or break your sale. Price too high, and you'll be stuck with unsold items; too low, and you could lose out. Remember, your main goal is to declutter and make some extra money, not to get the highest price for everything. Fair, competitive pricing will help you achieve quicker and more efficient sales. This way, both you and the buyer walk away satisfied, without unsold items at the end of the day.

  1. Research market value

To determine the right prices for your items, it's a good idea to do a bit of research on online marketplaces. Websites like eBay, Gumtree, and Facebook Marketplace can offer valuable insights into what similar items are currently selling for and will help you by not overpricing or under pricing your items.

  1. Consider condition and adjust prices based on wear and tear

When you're setting prices, it's important to take the condition of each item into account. Items that are in pristine condition can command higher prices, while those that show signs of wear might need to be priced lower to attract buyers.

For example, a nearly new smartphone with no scratches or marks, complete with its original packaging and accessories, can be priced closer to its original retail value. On the other hand, a phone with visible wear and tear, or missing accessories like a charger, should be priced more affordably.

  1. Be realistic and aim for reasonable prices to attract buyers

While it might be tempting to price your items as high as possible, aiming for realistic prices is essential to attract buyers and ensure your items actually sell. Remember, most buyers are looking for a bargain and do their research before making a purchase. If your items are priced too high at your moving sale compared to similar listings elsewhere, they might be overlooked.

One strategy is to start with a slightly higher price but with the willingness to negotiate. This gives you some wiggle room to lower the price during the sale process, making buyers feel like they're getting a good deal. Additionally, consider the psychological pricing trick, prices ending in .99 cents (E.g. $9.99 instead of $10) often appear more attractive.

Should you offer discounts?

Everyone loves a good deal, and offering discounts can make your sale more attractive. Here's what you can do:

  1. Bundle items together to offer discounts for multiple item purchases

Offering bundle deals at your garage sale is a fantastic strategy to attract more buyers and move items quickly. For instance, grouping together sets of kitchenware, matching furniture pieces, or collections of books can make your offerings more appealing and worth the investment.

Consider offering a small discount to buyers who purchase multiple items at your moving out sale. Or, if a buyer is interested in a set of clothes, you might reduce the overall cost if they take the whole bundle.

  1. Set prices slightly higher to allow room for negotiation

Setting your prices slightly higher than what you ultimately expect to receive provides a valuable cushion for negotiation. This way, when potential buyers come in with lower offers, as they often do, you have some flexibility to lower the price without feeling like you're underselling your items and the buyer feels like they still get a discount.

For example, if you want to sell a piece of furniture such as a Tasmanian oak dining table for $500, you might list it at $599. This buffer allows you to meet in the middle during negotiations, making the buyer feel like they're getting a deal while you achieve your desired price.

Being upfront about your willingness to negotiate in your listings can also attract more buyers. Phrases like "price negotiable" or "open to offers" let people know that you're flexible, which can make your items more appealing and lead to quicker sales.

Flash sales create urgency with limited-time offers

Flash sales are a powerful tactic to generate excitement and urgency among potential buyers. By offering limited-time discounts, you create a sense of urgency that encourages buyers to act quickly rather than delaying their decision. These sales can be especially effective if you spread the word leading up to your moving sale on the weekends or holidays when people have more time to browse and shop around at your garage and moving sale.

Use phrases like "24-hour sale", "This weekend only", "1 day moving sale" to catch buyers' attention and emphasise the limited time available.

Choosing the right platforms

Where to sell?

Choosing the right platform can significantly impact how quickly you sell your items and how much you make.

Online marketplaces

Online marketplaces are great places to start when looking to sell your items online.

  1. eBay

eBay is a global marketplace that allows you to reach a vast, international audience. It's known for its auction-style listings, where items can generate lots of interest and competitive bidding. However, you can also set a fixed price if you prefer a straightforward sale. eBay is particularly useful for collectibles, electronics, and fashion items. Just remember to factor in the listing fees and shipping costs when pricing your items.

  1. Gumtree

Gumtree is a popular choice for selling locally in Australia. As a classified ads site, there are no listing fees, and you keep the entire sale price. You can sell almost anything, from furniture and vehicles to electronics and household goods. A main advantage is making cash sales and avoiding shipping hassles. However, always meet buyers in safe, public places and take precautions with strangers.

  1. Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace is another excellent option for local sales. It integrates with your Facebook profile, offering trust and accountability for buyers and sellers. List items quickly, communicate via Messenger, and join local buy-and-sell groups to reach more buyers. Ideal for selling furniture, clothes, toys, and other household items, it's free to use and perfect for decluttering before moving.

Specialty platforms

When it comes to selling specific categories of items, using specialty sites can streamline the process and connect you with buyers who are specifically looking for what you're offering.

For those looking to sell luxury brand shoes and high-end fashion items, Blue Spinach is the premier consignment store that specialises in designer goods. With their expert authenticators and keen eye for quality, sellers can confidently list their items to reach a discerning audience and receive competitive pay outs.

The Turn is another to resell and recycle quality second-hand designer clothes. It's the latest addition to UTURN, which has been a staple in the Australian second-hand clothing sector for over 20 years. And to resell quality preloved clothes, shoes, and accessories, The Closet is the ideal online consignment store. Their service simplifies selling: buy a thrift bag, fill it with your items, and send it back with the free shipping label. The Closet handles the rest, photographing, listing, and storing. Once your items sell, you’ll get paid directly, making it an effortless way to declutter and earn.

What about those bulky furniture pieces? Who would have thought but you can resell high-quality designer furniture on Home Furniture on Consignment (HFOC). Offering a seamless consignment process, HFOC ensures each piece of furniture gets the attention it deserves, connecting sellers with buyers who value exquisite design and quality.

All the unused tech devices, smartphones, or electronics lying around the house can be put to use by someone else. Cash Converters is the go-to place. With over 30 years of experience, Cash Converters is a trusted destination for buying and selling second-hand goods. They offer a straightforward process: bring in your items, get a fair price, and walk out with cash, making it easy to convert your tech devices into immediate cash.

Selling locally

  1. Garage sales and yard sales

Organising a move out sale as part of a garage sale or yard sale is a classic and effective way to quickly sell multiple items locally as a moving sale. It offers the advantage of a direct, face-to-face transaction, which means you don’t have to worry about shipping costs or platform fees. A successful garage sale requires a bit of preparation and there are ways to advertise your sale through local newspapers, community boards, and social media groups to attract more visitors. Present your items neatly with clearly marked prices, and be ready to negotiate with buyers. Garage sales are great for selling a variety of items like furniture, kitchenware, books, and toys. Plus, it’s a wonderful opportunity to meet your neighbours and give your belongings a second life within your community.

  1. Consignment shops

For those who prefer not to handle the selling process themselves, consignment shops in NSW and VIC are popping up all over and offer a convenient alternative. These local stores sell your items and take a percentage of the sale price as commission. Consignment shops are great for high-quality, gently used clothing, home décor, and furniture. They manage marketing and customer interactions, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your move. Find a shop that fits the type of items you're selling and check their terms and conditions before consigning your belongings.

  1. Local Facebook groups

Besides Facebook Marketplace, the local Facebook groups can be a fantastic resource for quick, local transactions. Many communities have buy-and-sell groups where members list items they want to sell or are looking to buy. Posting your items in these groups can help you reach an audience that’s already interested in making purchases within your area. The familiarity and trust within these local groups can often lead to smoother transactions and do remember to mention moving sale as the reason for selling the item.

Which platform is best for you?

The platform you choose should align with what you’re selling and how fast you want to sell it and your willingness to handle aspects like shipping and customer interaction. When selling high-value items, it’s crucial to use platforms offering buyer protection. eBay is a prime example, providing a secure environment for transactions.

For quicker sales, local platforms or garage sales for instance works well for a moving out sale, as it allows you to sell multiple items in a single day and provide the opportunity for face-to-face interactions, which can lead to quicker negotiations and sales. These methods enable you to directly connect with buyers in your area, minimising the wait time associated with shipping and online listing delays.

If you have a closet full of gently used designer clothing, The Turn or The Closet might be your best bet. These platforms cater specifically to fashion enthusiasts and make the listing process a breeze. For those looking to offload tech gadgets quickly, Cash Converters offers almost instant sales and easy logistics with their walk in stores and valuation department.

Ultimately, the best platform for you is one that aligns with your goals, whether that’s getting top dollar for your items or decluttering your space as swiftly and effortlessly as possible. Take into account your priorities and choose the platform that best fits your needs.

Creating effective listings

How to write compelling descriptions?

Start by crafting a clear and concise title that highlights the most attractive features of your item. For example, instead of just saying "Sofa", try "Comfortable Three-Seater Leather Sofa in Excellent Condition." This immediately gives potential buyers a snapshot of what you're offering.

In the description section, be as detailed as possible. Include information about the item's brand, size, colour, material, and condition. Mention any unique features or benefits, and be honest about any flaws or wear and tear. Use descriptive and engaging language to paint a picture of the item in the buyer’s mind. For example, "This elegant, dark oak dining table comfortably seats six and features intricate carved details. It's perfect for adding a touch of sophistication to your dining room."

Additionally, make sure to answer common questions buyers might have. Include details like dimensions, weight, age of the item, and why you are selling it. This not only saves time but also builds trust with potential buyers.

Is it important to have a honest description?

Honesty is truly the best policy when it comes to creating listings for your items. Being upfront about the condition of your items is essential for building trust with potential buyers. Here are a few reasons why honesty and detail are key:

  1. Builds trust - Providing an accurate description, including flaws or signs of wear, helps establish credibility with buyers. This transparency shows your commitment to a fair exchange and respects the buyer's right to know what they're purchasing.
  2. Reduces disputes - Detailed and honest listings can greatly reduce disputes or dissatisfaction after the sale. When buyers are fully informed about an item's condition, they are less likely to be surprised or disappointed upon receipt.
  3. Attracts serious buyers - Potential buyers appreciate detailed descriptions with all relevant information, helping them make informed decisions. This attracts serious buyers ready to purchase.
  4. Showcases integrity - Presenting an item with all its details, including imperfections, shows your integrity as a seller. Even with flaws, being upfront can still lead to successful sales because buyers value honesty.

How to include flaws in your listings

When detailing flaws in your listing, follow these guidelines to ensure clarity and honesty:

  1. Specify the location - Describe exactly where the flaw is located on the item. For example, "There is a small scratch on the bottom-left corner of the coffee table."
  2. Describe the flaw - Be specific about the type and size of the flaw. Instead of saying, "The sofa has some damage" explain, "The sofa has a 2cm tear on the left armrest."
  3. Include photos - Whenever possible, photograph the flaws. Clear, close-up images of any damage help potential buyers see the extent of the issue, which can aid them in making an informed decision.
  4. Explain possible remedies - If applicable, mention if the flaw is easily repairable or if it affects the item's functionality. For instance, "The zipper on the dress is stuck but can likely be fixed with a simple repair."

By sticking to these principles, you create a more trustworthy and appealing listing. Buyers will appreciate your honesty and thoroughness, leading to better and more transparent transactions for all parties involved. Always remember, a well-informed buyer is a happy buyer!

How to take good photos?

Photos can make or break your listing. Here’s how to nail it:

  1. Clean, stage and present items in the best light

Wipe down everything, remove dust, and check for stains or marks. For furniture, polish surfaces and fluff cushions. Clothing should be freshly laundered, ironed, and lint-free.

Provide a good backdrop when staging for a photo. Use natural light near a window and avoid flash to prevent harsh shadows. A plain, uncluttered background keeps the focus on the item. For furniture, arranging it in a room setting helps buyers visualise it in their own space. The goal is to make your items look as appealing as possible, giving buyers a clear idea of what they are purchasing.

  1. Show all sides and any important details

When capturing photos for your listing, aim to provide a comprehensive view of the item by taking shots from multiple angles. This is crucial for giving potential buyers a full understanding of what they’re considering purchasing.

Start by taking a clear, front-facing photo of the item, this will usually be the main image that grabs attention. Next, capture photos of the item from all sides. For furniture, this means taking pictures from the front, back, left, right, and top views.

Including a variety of well-lit, clear photos from multiple angles not only answers potential buyers' questions but also increases their confidence in making a purchase.

Promoting your sale

How to attract more buyers?

Get your items in front of as many eyes as possible.

  1. Social Media - Share listings on your personal networks

Sharing your listings on social media can boost their visibility and attract more buyers. Start with your personal networks, platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are great places to begin. Craft an attention-grabbing post; include a brief description of the item, why you're selling it, and what makes it special. Don’t forget to add high-quality photos to make your post stand out.

On Facebook, join local buy and sell groups filled with people looking to purchase second-hand items in your area. On Instagram, use relevant hashtags like #furnitureforsale, #vintagefinds, or #prelovedfashion. Tagging your location can also help by narrowing down the audience to those nearby.

By leveraging social media effectively, you increase the chances of your items getting noticed and sold faster.

  1. Cross-posting on multiple platforms to reach a broader audience

To maximise your reach and sell items quickly, list them on multiple platforms. Each platform has its own audience and advantages, and cross-posting taps into a wider pool of potential buyers. Always track where you’ve listed each item to avoid double-selling. Promptly update or remove listings once an item is sold.

  1. Word of mouth - Tell friends, family, and co-workers

Word of mouth can be one of the most effective and trustworthy ways to sell your items or promote your moving sale and garage sale. Start by letting your friends, family, and co-workers know about what you're selling. You can casually mention what you're selling during conversations or send a quick message with some photos and details.

People are generally more inclined to buy from someone they know or who comes recommended by a mutual acquaintance. This added layer of trust can make the transaction smoother and more pleasant.

Additionally, bulletin boards at your workplace, local community centres, or even local cafes are a great way to pin a simple flyer with a photo of your item, a brief description, and your contact details can catch the eye of someone who might be looking for exactly what you're offering.

Managing inquiries and negotiations

How to handle buyer questions?

Potential buyers will undoubtedly have questions, so it's important to be prepared. Make sure to be responsive by replying to inquiries promptly, as quick communication can significantly boost buyer confidence. Additionally, be transparent by providing any requested information and photos; this openness can help build trust and credibility. Lastly, always be polite by maintaining a friendly and professional tone, which can leave a positive impression and foster a stronger buyer-seller relationship.

How to negotiate successfully?

Negotiation is an art, and mastering it requires a strategic approach. First, know your bottom line, decide the lowest price you’re willing to accept before entering any negotiation. This clarity will help you stay grounded and avoid unfavourable deals whether that's an online enquiry or during your garage sale. Next, stay firm but fair, be open to negotiation but remain steadfast with reasonable offers. This balance ensures both parties feel respected and valued. Finally, close the deal, once an agreement is reached, promptly confirm the sale details and arrange for pickup. This final step solidifies the transaction and ensures a smooth conclusion. By following these steps, you can navigate negotiations with confidence and success.

Finalising the sale

How to complete the transaction?

Sealing the deal is crucial, so it's important to ensure everything goes smoothly. First, use trusted payment methods such as PayPal or cash for local sales to secure payments. Next, arrange for a safe and convenient pickup or delivery. Coordinate with the buyer to choose a location and time that works for both of you, ensuring the handover process is efficient and secure. Lastly, provide receipts, especially for higher-value items. Offering a receipt, if requested, helps maintain transparency and can serve as proof of purchase, which is beneficial for both the seller and the buyer.

How to ensure safety?

Safety should always be your top priority. When conducting local transactions in a one-on-one environment and especially with people you've never met before, it's crucial to meet in safe, public locations to minimise risks. If possible, bring a friend along for added security and support during exchanges. Additionally, always verify that payment has been received before handing over the item to ensure the transaction is completed smoothly and securely. By taking these precautions, you can significantly reduce potential hazards and ensure a safer experience.

Post-sale activities

What to do after the sale?

A little post-sale effort can go a long way. First and foremost, thank your buyers. A simple thank-you note can create a positive experience and encourage good reputation. Secondly, make sure to remove listings of sold items from all platforms to avoid confusion and maintain a clean inventory.

For everything that you've sold, Congratulations! You've just converted some unwanted household items from your moving sale into some much needed cash for your move. For things that you haven't yet sold and are still worth selling, keep them listed otherwise, give it away or donate it to a charity near you who can find some good use out of it. This will help you lighten your cubic metres even more before the move takes place.

Wrapping up

By now, you should feel more confident in your ability to sell your items and lighten your load before moving with a removalist. Remember, the key to a successful moving sale is a blend of good listings, responsive communication, and safe transactions. Each step you take not only aids in decluttering your space but also helps you make some extra money from your treasures for your new adventure.

As you prepare to move out, take pride in the fact that you are not only making your life easier but also giving your items a new lease on life with new owners. Whether through efficient advertising, insightful negotiations, or thoughtful post-sale donations to charities, you've harnessed various strategies to make the best out of your moving sale journey.

Selling your unwanted items online or hosting a garage sale before a move takes a bit of work but can be a rewarding experience, both financially and emotionally. By following these steps, you can save some much needed space, reduce moving costs, and start fresh in your new location with a little extra cash in your pocket. Ready to make some money and clear out the clutter? Get started now with your own moving sale.

Other Consignment Stores

  • Goodbyes - a consignment store where you can buy and sell pre-loved fashion items. 
  • Design Consigned - A company that offers high-end, pre-owned designer furniture for sale. You can purchase luxury furniture pieces at a fraction of their original cost, giving your home a stylish and sophisticated look without breaking the bank.
  • Collecte - Is a marketplace for pre-owned designer items. You can buy and sell high-end fashion pieces, giving designer goods a second life while enjoying luxury at a fraction of the cost.
  • Revoir - A store in Melbourne specialising in high-quality pre-owned goods. At Revoir, you can sell and purchase a curated selection of second-hand items.
  • Consigners Closet - Is a consignment store specialising in luxury fashion. You can buy or sell high-end, pre-owned clothing, shoes, and accessories.

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