Sell everything you own on ebay before you leave on your next adventure. The first step in a successful tour is getting rid of all my ‘crap’. Fortunately I have done this before and have made the mental note of not accumulating too much ‘crap’. Storage is a dirty word in my book and there is no such thing as sentimental value. Downsize the crap, lose the clutter, simplify your life, cut your fixed costs that need to be maintained while adventuring and spend the money on better gear.
I have toured with a full apartment to return to and I have moved things into storage before a tour. On my last tour I jettisoned everything I owned and was shocked and pleased at the result. Having a place to return to and making a home on the road makes for quite a different mindset. It made things a lot more fun knowing that there was nowhere to return to and there was no money drain and schedule to keep.
Step by step: sell everything you own on ebay
The first step is to categorize all of your stuff into different piles.
Step 1: Possession Categorization
1. Stuff I never acquired in the first place
In 2001 I moved to Thailand for 4 years. This was my original purge of all things worldly. It was a tough process. I labored over every decision on what to keep and what to get rid of. Since then I have been very careful to stay away from overloading on ‘crap I just don’t need’. The main takeaway here is that when I finally reduced my possesions to one carry on bag and a laptop, I never once looked back and said….’Boy, I wish I had all that stuff!!!’.
Avoid having to sell everything you own on ebay. I am pretty careful to keep it on the minimal everyday. If I can’t find a ‘real need’ for something I don’t bring it into my life. Large items are a ‘No’. If moving involves anything larger than a Taxi cab I have lost the plot. With this philosophy I lessen the three next categories and make the overall task a bit less overwhelming. I realize that this may not be considered ‘normal’.
2. Stuff I need to live prior to the tour
This includes things like: work clothes, shoes, toiletries, cooking utensils, a home computer, bed, hangars, computer cords, pillows, hair clipper, plunger, yada, yada, yada.
As I near the tour date all of this will matriculate into the other categories. Most of this crap will get tossed or donated. Some of it will get sold. It’s all just a bunch of crap. If you can’t sell everything you own on ebay it’s okay. just sell what you can.
Some of it will find it’s way into my bicycle touring set up. I did have the foresight to create my kitchen needs around camping gear. The only kitchen stuff I own is camping gear: Evernew pots, Snow Peak titanium coffee press, Light My Fire Sporks, etc. [Yes, I really live this way]. I once spent 12 months working a contract job in Arizona with a Thermarest mattress and an ironing board as my only furniture. Boy was that move easy!
3. Things I need on tour
Bicycle, pannier bags, tent, bike shorts, cookset, etc. The basic touring kit. I already own most of this but I am always milling about contemplating about this item vs. that item…
The funny thing here is that I will actually accumulate more touring crap. It’s an odd paradigm. Fighting the urge to accumulate in general while accumulating new bicycle touring gear to replace perfectly serviceable bicycle touring gear. I recently dumped a set of panniers on ebay for what I felt was a better option. I also just acquired a bikepacking handlebar harness. Sometimes more is less.
Gotta have the latest shit! Most of what I replace will sell well on Ebay.
4. Possessions to be thrown or given away.
Some things are just not valued and cannot be resold. A good deal of my kitchen, bedding, and general household items fit into this category. If it’s in good shape I will donate it to goodwill. Most of it came from there anyway.
I stopped buying dishes and glasses in 2001. I use jars for glasses and usually will just use the plastic containers I get chinese food in for storage containers and dishes.
People laugh at this but I am doing the world a big favor here. It’s cheap, it’s progressive, and it can all go in a bin at the curbside to be recycled. I can’t imagine packing up boxes of dishes, glasses and dinnerware for use at a later date.
Nothing like the feeling of cleaning out your entire stock of kitchen stuff by separating the camping cook gear out and then promptly placing what is left over in your apartment’s recycling bin. By not accumulating these things you can avoid having to sell everything you own on ebay.
5. High quality crap to be sold on Ebay and/or Craigslist.
Since I originally downsized before I moved to Thailand in 2001 I lean toward buying quality electronic components and computer equipment. I know that I can resell this as I near my tour date. This includes: computers, cameras, phones, office chair, speakers, etc. I get my moneys worth for a couple years and then I sell at a 45% loss.
I feel I come out ahead with these sales. Most of the proceeds allow me to acquire new touring gear guilt free. I have raised about $700 USD so far and look to get another $500. If I go over $1000 I am GETTING that zpacks cuben fiber tent that weighs a pound.
I understand that my lifestyle is not comfortable, accomodating, or welcoming to visitors. My boss makes fun of me. My brother makes fun of me. The thing is when ‘things change’ like I get laid off or I get bored, I can turn a move around quickly and position myself for a 3 month holiday. If I were to move tomorrow I could pack up in and move in less than 3 hours in a Taxi Cab.
Ok so at this point in the article you might be thinking about how this effects my life in other areas. It completely prevents any type of romantic relationship from blossoming. I view this as more of a ‘feature’ than a downfall. Most women that see my apartment immediately pencil me in as Mr. Wrong. That is ok with me. Relationships tend to put the kibosh on uninhibited adventure travel.
“Honey I’m leaving for 18 months to bicycle tour…See you when…Are you still there?”
Step 2: Throw away everything that is not to be donated to Goodwill immediately.
Do this immediately. Once it is gone, it’s gone! Chances are you will never think about it again. If you leave it sitting there it will start to develop some type of value. You will find yourself putting it back on shelves, in drawers and, cupboards. Get rid of it. Step 4 will highlight the reason for this immediacy.
Step 3: Drop off the Goodwill Stuff immediately
Again do this immediately. This stuff could potentially help someone out and will drive home a ‘good’ feeling about your purge. If you leave it sitting there it will begin to matriculate into the ‘Hey I should sell this’ pile and while that seems like a good idea it isn’t. Get rid of it. Step 4 will highlight the reason for this immediacy. You can receive a tax deduction for any donations.
Step 4: Sell Everything You Own on Ebay
The ‘High quality crap to be sold on Ebay and/or Craigslist’ begins as a large pile and slowly dwindles down into a much smaller one. As the highest of high quality goods are sold off there begins to exist a ‘hassle factor’.
Trying to sell everything you own on ebay and/or craigslist is a major pain in the ass. People bid on things and never pay. They read the posting incorrectly and don’t understand what they have bought. They send you personal checks that delay the auction process. Craiglisters make appointments and never show up. You will soon start matriculating items from the ‘I should sell this’ pile to the ‘I am giving this away’ pile because dealing with ‘customers’ [e.g. sell everything you own on ebay] is a huge pain in the ass.
Trying to sell everything you own on ebay will take a while. Do yourself a gigantic favor and stock up on UPS and USPS boxes, bags, and labels. Get a scale and know how much shipping costs. Look for similar items being sold and note how much they sold for. Make a real organized effort here. If you find that you don’t have the energy to put into listing an item give it to Goodwill.
NOTE ON STEPS 2 & 3 ABOUT IMMEDIACY:
If you didn’t already get rid of the garbage and goodwill piles you may suffer a complete mental breakdown. You will begin to see your stuff constantly rotate from one pile to another without any type of reduction.
This isn’t progress, it’s madness.
If you have gotten rid of the possesions highlighted in Steps 2 & 3 it’s all of sudden okay to look at an object and say “I’ll only get $10 for this, it’s not worth my time to sell it on ebay, I’m going to give it away!” Creating a new ‘Goodwill pile’. At the end of the week drop off the new pile at Goodwill while putting a better effort into selling a smaller number of items on ebay. This is progress.
ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS save the original packaging when you buy something expensive. Take a photo of the item and then take a photo of the item showing the original box, packaging material, manuals, warantee cards, etc. People will look at this and it will make them bid higher. Also when you ship it you won’t need to spend money on packaging.
Ship for free and make sure to craft you buying rules clearly. Note the payment types you accept, note where you will ship, suggest payment timelines, and help to avoid transactions that do not come to fruition.
When in doubt refer to the A.B.P. mindset and sell everything you own on ebay:
A.B.P. = Always Be Purging
Sell Everything You Own on Ebay
I went through my apartment last weekend and started to collect all of the high quality items and place them together. I have also made a trip to Goodwill, and put together a bag of garbage. While this is going on I am also refining my touring kit.
At first my apartment looked like a freight train had hit it. Things however are clearing up. 15 auctions have closed and I have 9 currently running. As I get rid of high value item after item I start a fund that will be used to acquire a zpacks tent guilt free. I have already purchased a Revelate Designs Handlebar Harness. This is free money and my apartment is clearing up a bit more with each auction.
This is the first time I have done this without ‘hurrying’. I have dumped the entirety of my ‘possessions’ 4 times before in under two to three weeks. This time I am working about a year in advance and taking my time to auction several items per week in a manageable schedule.
So with my ‘remove the clutter – sell it all on ebay’ campaign started I can begin pinpointing a tour date and creating a gear list [lightweight, ‘quality crap’ that goes with me on the bicycle].
When I leave on tour I will have two, very manageable, groups of possessions:
A touring kit
My complete touring set up: bike, equipment, and a destination.
A safety deposit box
A smallish ‘pile o’crap’: some hard drives, a laptop, and some paper work.
Then I am off to the races…err…metaphor here…I am actually not much for racing and I have never doped.
So go to ebay and start posting auctions.