Are you among the growing number of Delawareans inspired by decluttering expert Marie Kondo? Here’s how to earn money off all that extraneous stuff while you choose a tidy joy. (You can stream “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” on Netflix now.)
A common setup means you schlep stuff to a store, which screens your items for condition, style and seasonality. The store sets the price, with you getting a percentage, and that price is often marked down as time passes. Items that don’t sell go back to you (Marie wouldn’t like that) or to charity.
The Carrcroft Elementary Swap Shop, a North Wilmington tradition for all sorts of goods since 1961, runs twice a year and takes only 30 percent of the sale.
Delaware’s largest weekly auction is Wilson’s Auction in Lincoln. Drop off one item or a household’s worth on consignment. Wilson charges 25 percent commission, with no reserve and no buyer’s premium. Stuart Kingston in Rehoboth Beach specializes in high-end merch. Delaware Estate Sales in Newport does consignment and auctions.
Not many brick-and-mortar stores will buy your stuff outright. One exception is Antique Alley of Bridgeville. “Our dealers are always looking to buy,” says owner Jane Houtman. (But we’re only talking about antiques and collectibles.)
A few places buy gold and silvery pieces by weight. Even rarer: Whitten’s Fine Jewelry on Kirkwood Highway values the beauty in buying jewelry. Meanwhile, 2nd & Charles located in Christiana buys books, CDs, DVDs and video games. Winmark Corp.’s five brands—Once Upon A Child, Plato’s Closet, Style Encore, Music Go Round and Play It Again Sports—will buy your fashions and styles and sell. Play It Again Sports estimates you’ll score $13 to $30 for an item retailing for $100.
Load your vehicle the evening before, get up absurdly early and rent a space, starting at $12 at Spence’s Bazaar in Dover, $15 at the New Castle Farmers Market, and $20 at Laurel Junction. Those places draw crowds every week. Houses of worship, parks, fire companies, nonprofits and retailers also organize flea markets. Bring a table or two, small bills and change. Items sell faster when they’re priced individually or by type.
A classic, wherever it is on your property. Ask permission of your neighbors and follow the law when posting signs.
Reach local buyers on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace for bulky, heavy or fragile items, so you can avoid shipping. Meet in daylight and in a public place. For more comfort, choose a police station, such as the one in Greenwood, which is listed on SafeTrades’ website. Auctions on eBay liquidate smaller items quickly.