My first trip to Thailand in 2007 lasted six months. Previously I had traveled twice to Cuba in addition to number of other North American locations, mainly in the U.S.. I predominately traveled to see bands. I was the person that would get a call and be asked, “Hey, we’re playing in Whatever City next month. A bunch of people are coming out. You should come.” And off I’d go with a crew. Sometimes we slept on someone’s floor, if I was lucky I got a couch or an extra bed. A number of additional trips were to visit people I’d met in various locations. I wasn’t well traveled in the traditional sense.
Deciding to spend six months in another country was the result of visiting Cuba for the first time; I experienced a more fluid way to live. That, I believe was in 2004. I returned to Cuba to investigate Havana in 2006. I wanted to feel the city before I asked for a leave of absence from my job which would potentially result in its loss. The thought at the time was to spend six months writing and boxing, but I wasn’t feeling Havana. I returned to Canada, changed course and landed in Bangkok shortly after midnight on New Year’s day, 2007.
The process of making it all happen was a lengthy one which included downsizing what I already owned. I suppose I always knew I wanted to lead a nomadic life, as a child I would daydream of it, but my first trip to Cuba infected me. I couldn’t let it go despite the complacency that would occasionally creep in. I can’t currently recall if my first trip to Thailand was meant to begin a fully nomadic life, but I do remember that it was meant to fulfill a dream. I had started working in the ninth grade and I wanted a break from everything. I wanted a shot at freedom, I wanted to fully immerse myself in what I wanted to do. I wanted to create. I had been in some really violent and potentially fatal situations more than once in my life – all a reminder that life was short. Too short not to at least try. So I did.
I didn’t focus solely on making additional cash. Working more than I already was could burn me out and prove to be counterproductive if I resorted to purchasing items and services to help ease the exhaustion. Rather, I decided to sell most of what I owned. This continued subsequently over the years; it was a long process.
Some pointers to get you on your way:
Start With What You Want And Need The Least And Continue
List all of the items you really don’t care about, forgot you had, and/or are happy to sell. Start with these. You can always repeat this entire process at your discretion.
Organize Your Items Into Groups
I found that selling like items concurrently helped increase sales, regardless of the platform I was using. For example, I had a stack of demos I sold on E-bay. Individually, each demo was worth $5 – $10 USD. I listed them all at the same time. Not only were some sold to the same buyer, I had other buyers inquire if I had additional demos to list. In regards to my vinyl (records), I set up a table at a record show in Toronto. My friend was the promoter and put the word out that I unloading a lot of rarities. I made a few grand that day, most of the money within the first couple of hours. The same was true of my furniture. I found if someone liked one piece, they sometimes inquired about others, whether they were listed or not. Lastly, from my experience, vintage stores were more apt to buy when I came in with a collection of gear.
Don’t Assume There Isn’t A Market For What You Have
I sold a broken hand held cassette player on Ebay.
Research what your items are worth and what the main selling points of each item are. Ebay is a decent place to start but if you have something possibly worth quite a bit, find a reputable guide, forum or appraiser. I’ve used a number of resources to determine the pricing of my items. It’s worth taking the time to do the preliminary work.
Find The Appropriate Venue To Sell
Ebay, Craigslist, Kijiji, Etsy, Amazon Marketplace, local papers, community postings, swap meets, markets, independent brokers, consignment shops, thrift stores, pawn shops, a yard sale and your social media platforms are all venues to consider. There are plenty more. Find the one that works best for your specific circumstances.
List Your Items
Consider the main selling points for your items. Highlight the attributes and be honest about any defects. Why be honest? Aside from honesty being a virtue (would you want to be lied to?), it weeds out people who wouldn’t be interested in it due to defects and people who’ll verbally chastise you for wasting their time. In addition, potential buyers will know what to expect and can’t use the omitted defect as reason to haggle for a ridiculously low price. Take great photos. If you’re selling on a platform that only allows one photo, consider making a composite image or upload more images to Flickr and link to them in your ad.
Best of luck!
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