KonMari and selling online: image of woman folding clothes

Marie Kondo + Decluttering + Amazon = Big Bucks in 2020

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2020, here we come! And with a new year comes New Year’s Resolutions!

For a lot of people, their goal will be to tidy up in 2020. (That’s where Marie Kondo comes in.) And for many others, they’ll want to make more money. (That’s where we come in.)

Get ready to tackle two big resolutions with one stone!

First, though, who is Marie Kondo?

If you don’t yet know of Marie Kondo, she’s the eponymous star of “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” on Netflix and an expert in home organization. Using a 5-step process to declutter, clean, and (of course) tidy your home, she’s helped millions live simpler, healthier lives.

A big part of Kondo’s decluttering philosophy involves asking yourself “does this spark joy?” for each item that you consider removing from your life.

If the answer is yes, then it gets to stay. But if the answer is no, it’s gotta go. (Spoiler: It’s not as easy as you might think.)

But what do you do then with all those things that don’t bring you joy? 

In this quick article, we show you a quick way to discard all of those items that don’t bring you joy by selling them online. And if you’d like more information on how to sell from home, check out our post on the subject.

How to sell your stuff after you KonMari your home

Once you reach Marie’s step “Tidy in Order” she defines categories for you to tackle. Those categories, in order, are: 1) clothes, 2) books, 3) papers, 4) Komono (miscellaneous stuff), and 5) sentimental items.

If you decide that these things don’t spark joy in your life, and that you want to turn them into extra cash, you will need to know how you can sell each of them. So, let’s break each category down:

KonMari your clothes and sell them online

Used clothes are huge sellers online. However, not all online sales channels allow you to sell them. For example, Amazon (which I usually recommend for selling things; see Books below) won’t accept used clothing.

So for used clothing you have a few options.

eBay. Probably your best bet for listing used clothing and reaching a wide audience is eBay. If you don’t already have an eBay account, it’s pretty easy to set up. Then, once you’re set to sell, all you need to do is build a listing. From there, you just wait for the sale.

As soon as someone purchases your object (or you agree to their bid), you ship the product directly to them. 

In my experience, eBay sales can be a little slower than sales on Amazon as there is a lot of competition compared to the traffic. So, if you don’t find immediate success with eBay, I suggest trying another one of the options detailed below.

Facebook Marketplace. In recent years, Facebook Marketplace has dethroned Craigslist as the best place to sell local goods.

With a small, niche market tied to your zip code (which means you won’t have to ship your goods), Facebook Marketplace is great for getting rid of low-cost goods that people can stop by and pick up from your home. Or, if you’re concerned about strangers coming to your place, you can find a neutral spot to meet.

Plus, all you need to sell on Facebook Marketplace is a Facebook account.

Consignment Shops. This one isn’t online, but I thought I’d put it in here just the same.

Consignment shops are brick-and-mortar retail stores where you can rent a small space, merchandise your goods, and collect income. You don’t have to do any work as the person who owns the retail space will complete the transactions on your behalf.

Consignment shops, however, are a little more advanced and require some capital up front for your rent fees.

Note: Thrift and resale shops, on the other hand, will buy your clothes upfront, reselling them at no cost to you.

KonMari your books and sell them online

I’ve been an Amazon seller for five years, and I got my start on Amazon by selling books around the house that were no longer “sparking joy”. Using those books, I built my six-figure Amazon business. And you can do the same!

As for selling books online, there’s no better platform for that than Amazon. (Heck, Amazon even started as an online bookstore.)

Granted, you still can sell on other sites like eBay or Facebook Marketplace. But, you’re likely to have far greater reach and success on Amazon, and here’s why: listing a book on Amazon is easy. 

Just like with eBay, you will need to set up an Amazon seller account, but we can show you how to do that. Then, once you have the account live, go to your account and go to Inventory > Add a product.

 

Type in the ISBN for your book. (The ISBN is the number that — usually — appears right above the book’s barcode.)

KonMari and selling online: image of where to add IBSN in Seller Central

 

Amazon will ask you for a few more details such as the condition of the book, price, and any notes that you might have.

When you’re done, the product is listed! It’s that simple. And within 15-30 minutes, your listing should appear on the platform.

To get a sense of how quickly your object will sell on Amazon, take a look at the product’s Best Seller Ranking. You can find it near the item’s description on the listing. If the BSR is low (less than 10,000), it will sell fast, possibly the same day. If the BSR is high, it could take a couple weeks, maybe even a month.

I don’t recommend listing anything that has a BSR over 1,000,000 though, as it may never sell.

If you’re interested in learning more about selling books on Amazon, we’ve got an entire article on the subject.

Quick note: How to fulfill products on Amazon

By default, the products you sell on Amazon will be “FBM” which means Fulfilled by Merchant. (In this case, you are the merchant.) That means that when you make a sale, you will have to box and ship the product yourself. 

However, Amazon does offer a solution for its sellers called “FBA” or Fulfilled by Amazon.

With FBA, you send your products to one of Amazon’s fulfillment centers and they store, pick, pack, and ship your products on your behalf. They even handle customer service for you. And because Amazon’s shipping rates are so low, you spend less on shipping too. 

To learn more about Amazon FBA, check out our article on the subject.

KonMari your papers

Unless your papers are valuable historical documents, it’s unlikely that there will be a good place online to sell them. Better to just recycle — or shred, if there is anything with your personal information on it.

KonMari your Komono (miscellaneous stuff) and sell it online

Next, comes miscellaneous stuff. These are items you have lying around that don’t fit neatly into a single category. Things like unused beauty products, toys your kids don’t play with, kitchen and dining tools that never leave the drawer all fall into this category.

Where you can sell these items online depends heavily on a number of factors:

  • If the object is used and it’s not a book, game, or toy, likely you will need to sell the item on a platform like eBay.
  • Some items, like used beauty products or other consumables, often have no place online and you may have to just throw those away.
  • Large items like old Christmas trees, an old printer, or even a TV, can be expensive to ship. You’re better off selling those locally on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist to avoid high postage fees.

And, of course, you can always donate used (and decent condition) items to organizations like Goodwill or the Salvation Army.

KonMari your sentimental stuff

Finally, sentimental items usually only have value to you. You may not be able (or  even want) to sell those.

If they can be sold, refer to the section on Komono for how you can list those items online.

Tidy up and make money in 2020

Hopefully some of these quick tips will help you earn some extra income in 2020. And if one or more tips stand out to you, be sure to click on the accompanying link and do a little exploration.

Heck, looking around my office right now, I can see about 100 books that aren’t sparking joy I could probably stand to KonMari myself!

Good luck and let us know how it goes in the comments.

 

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