July 14, 2022
min read

How I overcame 'moving overwhelm' – and made some money in the process

If you’re overwhelmed by the process of listing your stuff as you prep for a move, you’re definitely not alone. Here, a Mercari employee and seller shares six tips that helped her overcome the overwhelm – and maximize her Mercari sales – from her family’s recent major move.

Team Mercari

It’s peak moving season, and I’m among those who made a move this summer, recently relocating my family to chase some sunshine and a more affordable housing market. And in preparation for our big move, I’d made a decision: we’d go through every still-taped-up-from-the-last-move box in the garage, every item of clothing stuffing our closets, and take only the things we loved or used regularly. Not only would moving excess stuff be expensive, but I’ve been longing for a more minimalist lifestyle. Less stuff. Less clutter. More zen.

But the task of ‘reducing’ can feel daunting, even in the best of times. Add a mile-long list of moving to-do’s and it’s easy to get entirely overwhelmed by the process of dealing with your extra stuff. In the past, I might’ve just junked most everything, just to save time. But as I’ve become more committed to sustainability, I really wanted to find new homes for our things – I had to find a way to do that with minimal effort and stress. To keep me focused and motivated, I made a goal: make enough money through my Mercari listings to pay for the cost of hiring help to load up our moving pods. 

Happy to report: not only did I meet my goal, I exceeded it. Here’s three things I did, and a few tips on how I made this overwhelming task a lot easier.

1. Prioritize higher-value items, and take time to price-check. When deciding what to list vs donate, I made two separate stacks, and kept my high value items in the ‘list’ pile. I had an adorable strawberry-themed designer bag I’d never used, and in my haste to sell, I decided to list it for what I’d paid for it over a year ago. Little did I know, it had long been sold out online and was now in high demand … worth more than what I’d paid. Nearly as soon as I listed it, it sold. And then a number of people messaged me, asking if I had another. I was happy to make the sale, but once I looked to see what others had recently sold for, I realized I could have likely earned more, had I taken a few minutes to research prior to listing.

So, I went to work researching other items I planned to list, including a bunch of collectible figurines my son no longer wanted. He and I worked on this together – we went to Mercari, searched for the specific figurines, and then filtered by Sold listings to see what others had sold for. We kept a spreadsheet with our target prices for each collectible, to keep things organized. Together, we made a bunch of sales (I was shocked at the value of some of them!) … and yep, I gave him a cut of the earnings!

Bonus Tip: You never know when you might be sitting on a potential goldmine. Got a box of stuff collecting dust in the garage or a storage unit? Go see what’s in it. It’s pretty fun to scour through old boxes and look for buried treasure – and it’s a great project to do with older kids. My son and I ended up uncovering a few rare vintage basketball cards tucked away in a box that are worth a good amount! And when you use Mercari Authenticate for your designer bags, shoes, watches, eyeglasses or other covered items, not only does your item get a boost, but your buyer gets peace of mind knowing it’s the real deal.

RELATED: Why do we keep things we no longer need?

2. Bundle, bundle, bundle. Moving is incredibly time-consuming. I wanted to sell as much as I could to as few people as I could, reducing my packaging and shipping costs – but more than anything, saving me time. So, if someone requested to bundle a few listings together, I’d gladly oblige. I removed the requested listings, created a new listing with those items in it, and titled it RESERVED FOR XX (buyer’s name). Then, I messaged my buyer to let them know, so they could quickly make their purchase. I loved being able to ship a bunch of things in one box, and getting paid fast.

Bonus Tip: Include a hand-written note with your bundle. Shoppers appreciate the extra time and care that went into packaging their purchase (and might reflect that in their review), and it’s quick and easy.  

3. Skip the ship. Even though Mercari makes shipping super easy [LINK TO SHIPPING 101 BLOG], there were times when the sheer volume of listable things overwhelmed me, and didn’t want to mess with shipping. There were moments when I just wanted to just call a junk truck to haul the rest away. But junk trucks are expensive. And I knew we had items that deserved a second life. 

RELATED: 5 photography tips for making more sales

My typical plan for managing this overwhelm might include listing my ‘I don’t wanna ship’ stuff – like small appliances or masses of preloved clothes – on local marketplaces like Facebook or Craigslist. But even that isn’t ideal – people can be flaky, and I don’t love having strangers in my home. Enter Mercari Local. Just enable it when you list, then when your item sells, you schedule a pickup, set it out (you don’t even need to box it up), and a driver delivers it right to your buyer. 

Bonus Tip: Moving or not, if you’re clearing out a space – maybe the kids’ closets to make room for new back to school clothes – consider making bundles. Photograph a bunch of kids’ clothes in the same size, and sell them as ‘lots.’ For more tips on selling kids’ stuff, check our blog on top kids’ items to list now for summer.

RELATED: 10 items perfect for selling on Mercari Local

In the end, I sold everything I’d listed on Mercari – about 15 items. It felt great to give our items new homes, and to make some money for the move in the process. To keep things as low-stress as possible throughout, it helped to go room to room, making piles for Pack, List, and Donate. I also kept a spreadsheet with target dates for getting each room packed up.

I hope these tips help take some of the overwhelm out of your move and help maximize your sales. Happy listing – and moving!