You May Have $7,000 Lying Around Your House

by Tristen & Amy OBrien on July 20, 2012

Did you know that an average family has around $7,000 of unwanted items in their house?  According to a 2011 study from research firm NPD, this is true.  If you really think about it, there are items in our homes that we store in an Attic or closet forever.  We may always think that we are going to use it one day, but that “one day” never comes.  Do you still have that unwanted Bridesmaids dress that you only wore once, what about that old camcorder that you are not using, or even the ten pairs of shoes that are sitting around?

All of these items really add up, and for me, I took this NPD research study as a challenge.  I wanted to see really how many unwanted items I had in my house.  I also looked at this as a chance to uncluttered a little.   When I made the move from Fort Wayne IN to Indianapolis IN three years ago, we had to move into a smaller home, and now we have no room.  We have boxes and boxes of items from our old house that we really couldn’t find a place for, so it has been sitting in our garage, closets, and attic.  Okay, so its time to see what I have.

With a pen and paper, I made a list of all the rooms in my house – Living room, Dining room, Kitchen, Den, Master Bedroom, Jack’s Bedroom, Guest Bedroom, Office, Closets, and Garage.  Now I had a starting place.  Here are the items that I found in my house that are unwanted, and that I can sell.

  1. Living room: 32 inch flat panel TV, iHome Ipod Radio/MP3 player, DVD/VCR player, XBox 360, XBox 360 Games, Wii, Bar Glasses, Various old board games, a few DVD’s.
  2. Dining Room: Nothing
  3. Kitchen: Magic Bullet, Conan O’Brien coffee cup (not sure why I have this), Various Kitchen Aid Cooking Utensils
  4. Den: Old Baseball Cards, Old Coins, Old Stereo Radio
  5. Master Bedroom: Motoactv Watch, Ipod Touch, Books, One of Amy’s Necklaces, Jambox
  6. Jack’s Bedroom: Some of Jack’s old clothes, Various Toys, Books that he doesn’t like
  7. Guest Bedroom: Everything, since its my eBay Inventory Storage area :)
  8. Office: 2gb MacBook Ram, Camera, WebCam, White Board, Unused Picture Frames, Old Printer, Old Cell Phone, Wireless Apple Mouse, Computer Chair, Digital Shipping Scale, Clock, Old Tablet.
  9. Closets: Shoes, Purses, Old Clothes, Ties, Baseball hats
  10. Garage: Tools, Bikes, Front Loading Washer and Dryer, and the Household Items that are boxed up from the old house.

So, I do have a lot of items that I am not using.  This exercise really opened my eyes to what I really have laying around my house that I’m not using!  Now that I have my list I can go check out completed listings on eBay and see what I can make off of my unwanted items. Just imagine what you could do with the extra money! I may not be average in this case, since I proactively look for items to sell around my house on a regular basis, but I hope this gives you a great idea on what you may have in your house.  Selling your own items really give you the confidence to start branching out to other sources to find eBay inventory.  Give this a try, and let me know what you find!

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael July 20, 2012 at 8:23 pm

I added it up and I have about $6000 of unwanted stuff. Dang, I never knew. Time to sell and buy new!


Linda Wolf July 20, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Yep, Tristen. This is what I call “picking my own house”! I’m my own best source of inventory.
Love your posts! Keep up the GREAT work and happy selling! :)


James Heck July 21, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Hey Tristen, can you please post the link to the respective study by the NPD Group?


Tristen OBrien July 21, 2012 at 8:29 pm

eBay’s Public Relations team provided that quote to me, so I have asked them to see if they can locate the archived link. Once they get back to me, I’ll let you know.


Angela Steward July 23, 2012 at 10:56 pm

I feel like most of my unwanted stuff is papers from the kids school or junk mail. Anybody buy that stuff? Probably if they buy used receipts. LOL I always think of us being so cheap that we can’t possibly own something somebody would want. Maybe I’ll take a second look.


David Manning August 2, 2012 at 8:24 pm

If you’re a new seller, how long will it take you to sell $7ooo worth? (assuming items would sell as fast as you could list them) Their limits are quite severe for new sellers…


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