Reduce, re-use, recycle.
The 3 R’s help ease the burden that we’re putting on the environment. I’m all for helping the environment, but I think that these 3 R’s aren’t enough. eBay has given us another option!
I think that adding re-selling as the 4th R helps in two ways
- Removing an item from the waste stream. It gives it a chance to be re-located to someone who really wants it. That’s why I have no qualms about re-selling something that I bought for $1 for $30+. This was an item that would have been donated (if it was lucky) or just thrown out in the trash. I’m giving it a chance to be appreciated and cared for again. It’s one less thing that’s just disposable in a worl
- It pads your bank account. Of course we have to think of this as a positive, but we also have to remember that the money alone isn’t the end game. Obviously money can’t buy happiness, but it definitely helps you if you’re using it well. With my financial goals, any little bit helps. Additionally, we’re able to keep saving money while also preparing for house projects.
eBay has added this 4th venue for us to reduce our environmental footprint, but we still incorporate the other 3 R’s into our daily lifestyle.
I’m always trying to get things out of our house. Now, the hardest part for me is the eBay piles! When I got started re-selling on eBay (and Amazon), it was mostly things from around my house. Dishes, textbooks, and video games that were just collection dust.
These things not only added to the clutter in our home, but they also added a lot of negative emotions. I felt some sort of resentment that we didn’t have enough time to use these things but still had to store/manage them. Joshua Becker’s description of his epiphany about minimalism really hit home.
So what do we do to reduce?
- We try to remove toys that aren’t being played with.
- We purged last month with a big garage sale. Then at the end, we either donated or threw out everything else.
- We’re also working on the garage space and getting rid of some of the clutter to give it more of an open feel
- I’ve re-organized my eBay storage space and Beeminder has really kept me on target for moving the piles. I swear that in a few months, I won’t have anything to list if I keep up this pace! When I get there, we’ll have to re-evaluate our plans for this hobby. Maybe I could have a store with 500 items and I can just try to replenish at that point. Who knows!
Even though we may not only be re-using things that are ours, we are always looking for a deal. We are big on buying things used on craigslist or at garage sales, and not just the things that I can re-sell!
Just this weekend we bought a huge amount of diapers and 3 tubs of kids clothes all for $55.
Side note: I made an offer of $40 for the clothes, and she accepted quickly. That’s 1 tub of 3T (126 pieces) and two of 4T (haven’t counted these yet but at least the same amount as the 3T), all seasons! ~300 items for $40 = $0.13 per piece of clothing.
On top of that, we also bought some used weight equipment, and I plan on getting rid of my YMCA membership. With my wife being pregnant, we just don’t make it to the gym as much as we’d like. I’m building a home gym using mostly used equipment, and it will pay for itself by the end of the year.
The hard part is doing the gym on a tight budget and a tight space. Since I’m buying used (but high quality), I know that I can recoup some money in the future if I ever needed to unload the gym equipment.
My daughter’s bed was a Craigslist buy that was sanded and repainted by my wonderful wife. We just threw on some small adjustable handles (they fit the odd sized holes that were in these drawers) and the set looks brand new. I can really appreciate the people who routine re-purpose/restore antiques or solid furniture.
A lot of time and sweat equity went into the bed, but every time my wife and I see it, we get a great sense of accomplishment. We took this thing which could have easily been thrown out and gave it new life!
We are avid recyclers. Not as crazy as we could be, but I like to think we have a nice happy medium.
The previous owner did have a composter that we aren’t using. I’ll need to clean it out and figure out how to get rid of any extra compost once it’s all ready (we don’t have a large lot and have a very small garden area).
So there you have it. I’ve added re-selling as the 4th R but also realize that we can’t forget about the other 3.
Side Note 2: I know this post didn’t come out at 6AM Monday, but the Memorial Day weekend was full of family and fun. Need a break sometimes!
Memorial Day sale – After listening to Amazing*Taste’s interview with the people over at Scavenger Life, I decided to try my hands on an eBay sale. In next week’s monthly re-cap, we’ll see if it helped pad my May numbers!
Image Credit: Kevin Dooley