Your Furniture is a Commodity

I want to start off by saying that there are places to look for money that not everyone thinks of.  In finance, you may hear people talk about “assets” which are items that hold value.  Assets can be any property you own, it can be art, it can even be money, or it can be something physical that not only holds its value, but has the potential to grow in value over time. Your assets are what define your net worth.

As I pursue Financial Independence, I’m always looking for ways to increase my net worth, no matter how small an amount it seems. What some don’t appreciate is that every little bit you can add to your net worth helps, especially due to compounding interest. (More to come on that topic later).

Living in a densely populated area, it’s not hard to see how little value a lot of people put in their furniture. Furniture is one of the easiest things to resell! Every Sunday night in my town (the day before trash day), I see curb after curb lined with furniture in perfectly good condition.

(Desk we got before trash day, brand new, not a scratch, totally free. Value on Ikea: $50)

What shocks me, is that rather than walk this furniture over to the donation center right down the street, so many people have no problem with throwing perfectly good things away! This is especially sad, since brand new things that someone else could have used will just sit in a landfill somewhere, which is a terrible waste of natural resources. There’s definitely a win-win option instead: resell the furniture and make $$$, or donate it to help people in need (which is a tax write-off btw).  So treat the planet a little better, make some cash, and don’t just toss furniture!

So naturally, when I see perfectly good things on the street, I snatch them up, take them home (they’re free!), and clean them down really good. Then I take my time taking a ton of pictures, and put up a really nice Craigslist ad with all the dimensions, a good description, and a flashy title. Before I set the price, I do some quick intel on Craigslist and see what the going rates are for similar items. Depending on how long I’m willing to store the item, I’ll set the price. If I just want to sell it quick and move on, I’ll price more competitively. If I don’t mind throwing it in the basement or using it for a while, I’ll price slightly higher.

Either way, Craigslist is awesome. It’s super easy to use, it’s 100% free for furniture postings, you meet cool people, and you make money in all cash. Not to mention that items that could easily be thrown away (to sit in that landfill) are being repurposed, which is great news for the planet! I’ve sold a bunch of stuff on Craigslist, and I’ve even bought some really nice stuff too for amazing prices. I got 5 really nice chairs that matched my dining table perfectly for $75. I’d never find a deal like that in a retail store; nor would I find chairs as unique.

Another good place to look for furniture is in thrift stores. I’ve got lucky and found beautiful furniture. I’ve been able to use the furniture for as long as I needed, and then sell it on Craigslist for double or triple of what I paid!

Some may think that this all sounds like a waste of time. Picking up furniture, creating the posting, and trying to sell it, all for a little bit of money when they make a lot more at their day jobs. But $100 here, $30 there, $50 there… really does start to add up. Another helpful thing that keeps me from turning my nose up at small amounts is this: think about what that money can buy.  100 dollars is just 100 dollars, so think: what is tangible for that 100 dollars? A week or two’s worth of groceries? A massage at the spa? A new tire for the car? A year’s membership to Amazon prime? Almost a year’s worth of Netflix? I’m not saying that you have to immediately turn around and spend that $100 on something, but it’s good to think of the things that you buy anyway, or the things you’d like to buy. What if you could get closer to those things for free?

Well you can! Because furniture can be a commodity. It’s a physical thing that has interchangeable value to someone else. And you can capitalize on that. Sell your unwanted furniture (don’t trash it!).  Give a second-chance to that chair or bookshelf your neighbor left out on the street. Here’s were you can start, and get to work on that networth:

(Boston is specific to me obviously, but you can change it to your area)

Thanks for reading!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *