Simplifying: Why a Booth Beats eBay

The Whole BoothIn my search for the golden ticket to simplifying and getting rid of things, I’ve tried Ebay, which went fine, but took way too much time, cost too much to ship out, and kept me on a short leash since as soon as something sold, I wanted to send it. Soooo… I didn’t go anywhere while I had things listed.

Honestly, by the time you take all the photos, write the compelling description and get it online, it’s taken 30-60 minutes per item… sometimes longer. For a $20 item, it’s simply not efficient.

I also tried Amazon for electronics and that all went well, until one “lady” decided that the item I sent her (which was new) was substandard – and instead of contacting me to resolve it, she ruined my reputation with her warrantless rating. :( Then she harassed me (even after I refunded her money) to the point I told her to keep the item and to NEVER contact me again. Seriously, It was that bad. That’s simply not something I’ve ever had to do with any one before.

So, without EBay and without Amazon, I had to dig a little deeper for a solution.

While out celebrating my birthday with the Honey Badger last month, we bumped into one of his computer repair clients in an antique mall. She told us she just loved antiques… so much so that she had opened a booth to sell the overflow. She said she’d done really well and had sold all her things.

Steve (AKA my Honey Badger) told me I should consider doing that. Within a couple of days, I’d approached my mother to see if she wanted to join me in the venture, since she was trying to pare down possessions as well. It seemed like a great idea – we could rent a booth for a few months, spend some quality time together, and both get rid of the things we no longer wanted.

That was less than a month ago.

On February 1st we took possession of our booth. Thanks to the lousy weather and an ice storm, we couldn’t get everything set up that weekend. We worked on it last weekend and this week and as of today, it’s all set up!

Why The Booth Is Better

  • There’s a place to store your stuff while you are waiting for it to sell – and that place is not in your living areas.
  • It’s not much more expensive than renting a storage building — not that I would ever advocate renting a storage building to hold stuff (I would advocate tossing stuff instead).
  • You dig a little deeper when you are selling at an antique mall – and bring out more of the “good stuff” you weren’t quite sure you wanted to give up. It somehow makes it easier. Digging deeper means lightning the load and simplifying!
  • You can easily differentiate your belongings – great stuff goes in the booth and the stuff not “good” enough for the booth goes to Goodwill (with a tax receipt of course!)

One bit of advice I’ll give anyone considering this solution for themselves… I’ll just tell you that an 8×9 booth holds WAY more “stuff” than you expect it to – especially if you have enough shelves along the edges and if you do a little planning and arranging. Mom and I were both amazed that we priced over 300 items, added them to the booth and there’s still room for more!

There are also other benefits to this little solution…

  • My mother and I both LOVE to decorate. In the booth we can arrange and rearrange add and subtract to our heart’s content. It’s almost like a life-size doll house. And we get to use all those things we always WANTED to use in our houses, but that weren’t “quite right” for our space or our style.
  • We love doing projects together. My mother is a wonderful woman and a good friend. Having a mutual project with her is a blast!
  • We love shopping for treasures in thrift shops and antique shops. I like finding treasures, but don’t like cluttering up my home. This lets me do both.
  • Mom and I tend to be competitive (thankfully not with each other!). That streak becomes obvious when we ask each other if our booth looks better than the others we see in the Mall, and we keep working until the answer is “yes.”

Once the hardest work of initial set up is over, we are going to have fun with it. I can already walk through my little cabin unaccosted by the “stuff” everywhere. It’s amazing how quickly I went from wringing my hands and hopping over boxes of stuff I was trying to shed… to walking freely and marveling at the expanding space inside my little cabin!

After months (maybe even years) of trying to find the right solution — it was almost solved in a matter of four days! Granted, those were tough days and I’m completely exhausted now… but, wow, what a difference!

Now, I’ll be going through my basement, my attic, my storage building (which is SUPPOSED to be an office, but got hijacked by my stuff) and my tool shed. Soon, I’ll be free of all the excess stuff. And the more I remove from the cabin, the happier I feel!

Now, I live in the last house I ever intend to inhabit. I no longer need to “save” wonderful things to see if they will work in the cabin. I no longer need to have items that are useful in other spaces, and I no longer want to “make do” with things in the hope that they will work better when I move into my “permanent home” — the cabin. I still love to treasure hunt, and I’m still looking for some “perfectly suited” items for this little place – but now I have a way to quickly and easily dispose of any “finds” that seem like they will be perfect, but aren’t once I get them home. Win-Win-Win!

And, who knows, if this goes well, and we sell all the stuff in our booth (and the stuff not yet in the booth, but headed that way from our houses), we may go treasure hunting and find good deals to actually MAKE money on what might become our hobby-adventure!

A few more photos of our little retail space:

Antique Mall Display Shelf Simplifying Remotely Furniture and Stuff Silver and Such

About Angela Allen

Writing online since 1999. Visit her at WickedWriter.com. Angela specializes in real estate topics for brokers, agents, and homeowners. She also writes articles for small business owners and entrepreneurs to help them succeed in their businesses and online. Visit her blog at WickedBlog and Follow her on Google+
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