500 Dollar Challenge

The $500 Dollar Challenge: Turning Household Clutter into Cash

So, here’s the deal: I’ve decided to take on a new challenge and bring you along for the ride. This month’s adventure? Exploring the world of making money by selling odds and ends from our homes. The big question: Can I really make $500 dollars using apps like VarageSale and Facebook Marketplace? Well, let’s dive into this $500 dollar Challenge and find out together!

Setting the Scene for the $500 Dollar Challenge

Why am I doing this, you ask? Well, it all started with a friend of mine. She’s a single mom juggling work and family life with the grace of a circus performer. One day, her oven decided to stop working just like that. No warning, no last meal. She was left with the prospect of shelling out $500 dollars she didn’t have for repairs.

When we walked home from dropping off the kids at school in the morning, she confessed her worries. “I can’t afford this right now,” she said, her voice barely above a whisper. The thought of going into debt over an oven repair was weighing heavily on her.

Remembering the clutter I have previously noticed accumulated in her home – books she hadn’t read in years, clothes her children had outgrown, kitchen gadgets she’d used once and then forgotten about. It suddenly struck me – she probably had more than enough items lying around to cover the cost of the repairs!

“You could sell some of this stuff,” I suggested, mentioning a few potential items. She seemed skeptical but open to the idea. After all, it was better than plunging further into debt.

We said goodbye and parted ways. Her situation kept playing on my mind. Would it really be possible to make $500 in a month just from selling small, seemingly insignificant items? Sure, if you had a couple of big-ticket items, it would be easy. But what if you only had the little things, the knick-knacks and trinkets?

An idea began to take shape. A challenge of sorts. Could I, with only the miscellaneous items gathering dust in my home, make $500 dollars in a month? And so, dear reader, the $500 dollar challenge was born not just as a way to prove a point but as a testament to the hidden value in the things we often overlook.

Possible Pitfalls of the $500 Dollar Challenge

Despite my enthusiasm, I’m aware that this challenge may not be as straightforward as I’d like. After all, every quest has its dragons, right?

Firstly, I’ve been living a minimalist lifestyle for years. My home isn’t exactly overflowing with unused items. It’s going to take some serious digging to unearth enough sellable items. Will I have enough to reach my $500 target? Only time will tell.

Secondly, there’s the Facebook Marketplace conundrum. The thought of my friends scrolling through their feeds and stumbling upon my listings is… well, it’s a little uncomfortable. I mean, who wants their high school friends to know they’re selling their old Twilight books or that kitschy lamp they thought was a good idea at the time?

Lastly, there’s the question of time. This isn’t just about finding items and listing them. It’s about taking the right photos, writing compelling descriptions, answering questions from potential buyers, and coordinating pickups. Each item doesn’t just represent potential cash; it also represents a chunk of my time.

My Plan for the $500 Dollar Challenge

The battle plan is simple yet carefully crafted. My platforms of choice will be VarageSale and Poshmark. Why these two, you might wonder? Well, they’re familiar territories. VarageSale enjoys a certain popularity in my neighborhood, and I’ve already set up a store on Poshmark. Plus, I love just being able to print off shipping labels and drop them off at the mailbox.  

The first phase of my operation will involve three days of intensive listing. The goal is to populate my virtual storefronts with as many items as possible. I’ll be digging through closets, rummaging in drawers, and unearthing forgotten treasures from the depths of my garage. Each item found will be photographed, described, and listed, ready to find a new home.

But this challenge isn’t about turning my life upside down. It needs to fit into my daily juggle – work, kids, home, and everything else that fills my day. So, after the initial three-day blitz, I’m dedicating just 30 minutes a day to this venture. A half-hour slice of my day, sandwiched between making dinner and helping with homework. It’s a realistic commitment, a small but significant investment in this experiment.

And lest I forget, there’s one final piece to this strategy – the art of the ‘bumping’ or ‘sharing.’ Just like a shopkeeper rearranges their window display to catch the eye of passersby, I’ll be setting a timer to remind me to reshuffle my online listings throughout the day. This will ensure my items stay visible, enticing potential buyers to stop and browse.

So there it is – my plan. It’s a mix of dedication, realism, and strategic nudging. Now, all that’s left is to dive in and see where this journey takes me.

Pricing and Profit

The key here is to price items reasonably. I’m not expecting to make a fortune off each sale. Instead, I’m aiming to generate a steady stream of small profits. 

The $500 Dollar Challenge

Day 1 – Pregame

The journey begins. Today’s mission was all about evaluation and reevaluation. I dug into the world of my previously listed items, checking out each one with a fresh perspective! Are the prices right? Could the photos be more appealing? Do the descriptions do justice to the items? And, most importantly, do I even know where these things are in the chaos that is my home? It’s like clearing weeds before starting a new garden; it’s all about getting a fresh start for this challenge!

Setting up timers for sharing items was next on the agenda. While it’s tempting to set up an alarm every hour, I need to be realistic about what’s manageable. After some contemplation, I decided on four times a day – morning, midday, late afternoon, and evening. It seems like a reasonable amount, enough to keep my listings visible without becoming overwhelming.

Tomorrow, the real work begins – the hunt for items to sell. But for now, I’m content knowing that I’ve laid a strong foundation for the days ahead.

Day 2 

Day two of the $500 dollar challenge was a mixed bag; it didn’t go exactly as planned, but progress was made nonetheless. I couldn’t dedicate the whole day to the challenge as I had hoped, but I managed to list 19 items from the doom pile – the pile of stuff I’ve been meaning to sell but haven’t gotten around to.

The listings included two pairs of pajamas, seven pairs of shoes, a baseball glove, eight pieces of clothing, and a skating trainer. The results were modest but encouraging: I sold a pair of water shoes for $1.00 and a cat pillow and stuffy for $3.00. In total, I made $4 from selling household items, which was less than the $13 I made from my Etsy printable shop. However, I remain optimistic and determined to reach my goal.

Day 3

I found myself caught up in a whirlwind of activity! It was a day filled with listing items – can you believe it? I managed to list a whopping 43 things, from the everyday stuff to some really unique finds. And guess what? I actually sold one thing – a pair of skating trainers for $5.00. It may not be a huge amount, but hey, it’s a start!

On top of that, my Etsy shop is still rocking it, bringing in a cool $14. As I looked back on the day’s work, it hit me: selling baby items or big furniture pieces is definitely an easier way to make money. But you know what? I’m not discouraged in the slightest. It’s all part of this exciting $500 dollar Challenge journey I’m on, and I’ve learned some valuable lessons along the way.

Day 4 

On the fourth day of the $500 dollar Challenge, I shifted my focus to clothing. My plan was to list items on Poshmark and VarageSale, but boy, oh boy, clothing turned out to be a whole different ballgame! It took way longer than I expected to get those listings up. But you know what?

I didn’t let that stop me. I hustled and managed to list a whopping 17 items before my poor phone called it quits, and time slipped away from me. Can you believe it? Four pairs of jeans, three pairs of shorts, eight tops, a dress, and even a pair of gloves made it into my inventory. Sadly, no sales rolled in from those listings. Quite the opposite of the $29 I raked in from Etsy, Gridbank, and Teachers Pay Teachers. Day 4 was a little reminder that not every day is a win, but hey, it’s all part of the journey!

Day 5

Day 5 of the $500 dollar challenge brought a new goal: get those clothes listed and start tackling the books! I jumped right in and managed to list a whopping 40 items. But, as the sun began to set, I realized I still needed to snap photos of everything. In the midst of my hustle, things got a bit messy – some items were listed on Poshmark but not on VarageSale, and vice versa. So, I had to spend some precious time cross-listing. Unfortunately, the books remained untouched. 

My listings for the day included three skirts, four shorts, four pairs of pants, four tanks, two vintage dresses, a sweatshirt, three blouses, and twenty cross-listed items. There might have been a few things I missed in the chaos.

Sales were slow, with just $1.50 coming in from leftover cat party favors and a girl’s shirt. Despite that, my Etsy shop and Teachers Pay Teachers account continued to perform well, raking in $46 and $22, respectively. 

Day 6

Day 6 was all sorts of crazy! I planned to list the last few bits of clothing and finally dive into those books. But, you know how it is – my little one wasn’t feeling well, so I didn’t get as much done as I hoped. Still, I had a bunch of people lined up to pick up their stuff.

Then, there was this one buyer. I stayed up late for them, and now they’re not happy with the size of what they got. Looks like they might want to return it. Should I even accept returns? Ugh, decisions!

Here’s what I listed: a swimsuit top, three pairs of pants, a scarf, a camera bag, two dresses, and a shirt. And here’s what I sold: kids’ books for $4, a water bottle for a buck, a skirt for $15, shorts for $10, and a shirt for another $10.

But hey, at least my online shops are doing okay. Woke up to an Etsy sale (score!), which brought in $17.50. Plus, I made $2.80 on Teachers Pay Teachers and another $3.50 from my other Etsy shop. Day 6 of the $500 dollar Challenge was a bit of a rollercoaster, but it’s all part of the ride, right?

Day 7

Fingers crossed, it is the last day of listing items for the $500 dollar Challenge! The plan was simple: sort through those books.

I managed to list a total of 24 books and a set of tarot cards. Not too shabby, right?

Sales for the day were a bit slow, with just $7 in total. Made $6 from selling some of the books and a dollar from a toilet paper holder. Hey, every bit counts!

On the bright side, my Etsy shop continued to do its thing, bringing in $17 for the day. So, all things considered, it was a decent end to this listing marathon. Now, let’s see what the next phase brings!

Day 8 -10 - Mostly Sharing

Day 8 of the $500 dollar Challenge was all about just sharing the listed items. Managed to sell a book lot for $10. It’s not a huge day for sales, but every bit adds up. 

Day 9, on the other hand, was a good one! I sold the tarot cards for $10, a pair of pants for $25, and kids shorts for $5, making it a solid $40 day. All in all, a couple of pretty decent days!

Day 10 of the $500 Dollar Challenge was dedicated to rummaging through the kids’ closets, and I managed to list a total of 6 items. Sales were quite good for the day as well. A suitcase was sold for $20, and books fetched me another $11, bringing the total sales of the day to $31. It’s always satisfying to see items find new homes and make a bit of cash in the process!

Day 11 

Day 11 of the $500 Dollar Challenge started by me just sharing items. Unfortunately, no sales came through. Had to cancel two transactions on VarageSale as the buyers didn’t show up. Bummer!

Day 12

Today was all about persistence! Shared listings multiple times, but alas, no sales.

Day 13

The tide started to change on day 13 of the $500 Dollar Challenge. More shares and even a couple of messages about the items. Progress!

Day 14

Today brought some good news! A lady showed interest in an item but then said she planned to pick it up next Tuesday. Also, I managed to sell some Croc charms and Legos for $9. Every little bit counts!

Day 15

I woke up to a message for a few items. The pants that a lady had been e-transferred money for finally got picked up!

Day 16 

More people picking up items. We made a modest $14 from selling kids’ snow pants, hair clips, and croc charms.

Days 17 and 18 

These days were slow, but I managed to sell a book for $0.50. Every cent counts!

Day 19

People who were supposed to pick up didn’t show. But hey, I got a message about a few things!

Day 20

I sold a book and some party supplies for $1.50.

Day 21

Today, I realized that I might not have enough items listed to complete the $500 Dollar Challenge. If I only have 150 items listed and the average price is $2 or less, I need more items to make $500. It took 21 days to figure that out. Oops!

Days 22 to 26 

These days of the $500 Dollar Challenge were quiet despite sharing multiple times a day. I thought about creating some bundles.

Day 27 

Day 27 of the $500 Dollar Challenge I listed a piggy bank and it sold right away for $5. We realized the importance of posting often to keep our listings at the top.

Day 28 

Sold a kid’s travel activity pad for $5 and had two messages about other products. One person asked for a volume discount after a lowered some prices. 

Day 29

I made $15 from selling a bunch of croc charms and some Christmas ribbons.

Finally, Day 30 of the $500 Dollar Challenge!  

I listed some more stuff, including kids’ games. Even though we got a lowball offer, I still managed to sell some croc charms for $2.

$500 Dollar Challenge Total At The End of 30 Days 

Total $192.50

Listed items = 172

Things I Learned After 30 Days of Selling Random Stuff Around the House Online

Here’s a recap of my $500 dollar challenge: selling random stuff around the house. What a journey it has been!

First off, I’ve realized that selling online is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s a long-game solution, not a quick fix. So, patience, my friends, is key!

Listing clothes takes time. It took a lot more time than I had anticipated. It was easier when I was selling baby stuff and kids’ items. But now, as the kiddos have grown up, their stuff doesn’t sell as quickly.

After spending hours listing clothes, there were moments when I thought about just donating some items. Was it worth my time? Sometimes, it felt like it wasn’t.

And let’s talk about customer service. Whew! There’s so much more interaction with buyers than I expected. Selling stuff on buy-and-sell apps isn’t passive income, folks. It’s hands-on, active work.

The task of listing items took longer than I anticipated. I thought I could get it all done in three days. Boy, was I wrong! It stretched out, consuming more days than I had planned.

Then there’s the reliability factor. Or rather, the lack of it! Some people didn’t respond or pick up items as promised. Frustrating? Absolutely!

One surprising discovery was how useful a mini steamer was. It worked wonders in making clothing look better. Who knew?

By Day 4 of the $500 Dollar Challenge, I started to feel the burnout creeping in. The constant notifications, messages from people, and getting stuff ready for pick-up were all pretty distracting.

But here’s the silver lining. After the mammoth task of listing everything, selling became easier. Once you get over that initial hump, it’s not too bad.

Lastly, I realized weather matters! We’ve had some pretty nasty weather this winter, which made me think. If I were to do the $500 Dollar Challenge again, I’d pick spring, summer, or fall. Winter in Alberta? Not ideal for this challenge. Who in their right mind is going to drive across town in a blizzard for a dollar item? Not me!

So there you have it! After 30 days of selling random stuff from the house, I did not make $500. But I did learn a lot! Here’s to more adventures in decluttering and making some cash along the way! Let me know if you try out the $500 Dollar Challenge in the comments below.

Explore More: Frugal Living HERE

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