The Gumtree Blog

Guest blogger: Jamie Breese tells how to convert clutter to cash

Saturday 24 April 2010, by

Jamie Breese gives his expert tips on decluttering on GumtreeLast time, we had Quentin Willson in our guest blogger series tell you why he liked buying cars on Gumtree. Today, we’ve got Jamie Breese, a regular on TV for his antique, collectable and ‘declutter’ expertise, tell us how to gain control of our cupboards and make some extra cash along the way.

Have you ever started looking for something in your home, and suddenly feel that you’re drowning in the mess and clutter that surrounds you? If you’re anything like me, this can happen any time you let your cupboards and surfaces get the better of you.

For me, it’s DVDs that I can’t seem to help hoarding. I watch them once (if ever) and they spend the rest of their lives sitting on a shelf growing dust. It still doesn’t stop me buying them though. Opening any one of my cupboards means I risk an avalanche of CDs, DVDs and unrelated paperwork falling at my feet.

My solution – decluttering – not only worked for me, by creating order amongst the chaos, but actually generated some pretty good cash by selling online through Gumtree. The whole process is really simple and the responses are immediate. Also, because it’s a local site, it’s quick and easy to hook up with people. It’s pretty incredible how quickly the thing that’s been gathering dust in your cupboard becomes a bundle of cash in your pocket whilst your home regains a more Zen-like state. For me it was bliss.

In fact, decluttering my own place became so successful I’ve actually made a job out of it, and now I spend my time giving others advice on how they can do the same. I’ve become what’s known as a Decluttering Expert, and if I may say so, a good one at that! I’ve presented BBC’s Life Laundry, am a regular expert on GMTV, Collectors Lot, The Antiques Show to name a few, giving out tips on how to best deal with your clutter.

To make selling easier for you, I’ve worked out the top 5 most commonly hoarded items and their average selling prices, and put them together in a handy table for your reference. I like to call it the Gumtree Price Index.

Gumtree Price Index
Hoarded items Gumtree Retail Price (GRP)*
DVDs and CDs £11
Kitchen appliances £37
Toys £13
Computer games £21
Music & electronics £54

*Average selling price on Gumtree

How to convert clutter to cash

  1. Don’t feel guilty. It’s amazing how good you feel when you get extra cash for letting go of that ‘unwanted present’.  If in doubt, think of a price that feels right and add 10%.
  2. Sell items with the instructions manual. If you’ve still got the manuals, you can get extra value out of your sale. This is especially so for technology items, gadgets and kitchen appliances.
  3. Group lower-value items and sell them together. Items like a toaster, kettle and sandwich maker work well together and help appeal to those looking to update their kitchen.
  4. Look for first editions or rare albums. Books and music are some of the most hoarded items in the UK. If an album has a dustjacket or is a first edition, it could be worth a lot of money.
  5. Present the product well. To get the most from your Gumtree gem, give the item a good clean or polish and present it well in your photos. This will help catch the eye of potential buyers.
  6. Consider how old the item is. With everyday household items, the newer the better. To help determine the best price for your item, ask yourself – is this a trusted brand?  Has this games console been superseded?  Do I have the washing machine’s service notes?  How much was this new?
  7. Do your research. Look around the site to see how much other sellers have priced their items, and undercut them if you’re willing to help secure a fast sale.

You’ll quickly learn what’s popular by having a quick look around the site. One additional piece of advice: be prepared to get a knocking on some of the things you hold dear. This isn’t a game for the sensitive. Remember, one man’s treasure is another man’s trash!

Jia Min

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