I am almost a week into my quest to raise $1500 to pay my house payment. Today I came to the startling revelation that my crap isn't worth nearly as much as I thought it was!
To date, I have raised $560 (garage sale), $100 (sold couch on Craigslist), and $40 (sold two Sportsac purses on eBay). I have a half dozen other things on Craigslist and I may also sell one of my handguns this week too. Selling all of these things to raise money sure sure has been an enlightening experience.
I think many people over value the things that they have and assume that if they need to raise some quick cash by selling their stuff, they will be able to get around half of what they originally paid for the item. Not true. Most stuff actually ends up selling for around 10% to 20% of the item's original price. Bummer. This will certainly make me pay more attention to both the stuff that I buy from now on and the price that I pay for said items.
From now on, instead of thinking "wow, that guy is making bank from his garage sale" or "wow, that lady sells a lot of things on CraigsList", I will now think "wow...those people are losing money because when you pay $10 for something and then only recoup $1 or $2 when you go to resell the item, it's like you are throwing the other $8 or $9 out the window".
This really drives home the point that for each item you buy, you at least want to buy it on sale. Hopefully you will get the item at a clearance sale where the price is 75% off the last marked clearance price. Ideally, you will buy the item in very good condition at a garage sale or thrift store for pennies on the dollar.