Luckily, the up-side of facing the closet, which I have already bravely embarked on, has meant that another 2013 goal of mine is under way: to sort items out from my wardrobe that, for whatever reason, I never wear, and replace them with clothing I love. I know better than to buy a bunch of maternity clothes -- I lived in maxi dresses last time I was pregnant, and plan to take that approach again -- but I know how much I'll be looking forward to wearing 'real' clothing again post-baby, and I think it'll be fun to create a stylin', mix-and-match selection that suits my tastes as they stand now. Before I do, however, I need to get rid of a handful of clothes that I just never wear anymore, or never wore much in the first place, and I'd like to pass them on to others who'll love and wear them well. There's a great resale shop in town where I've bought some favorite items, but I know myself well enough at present (I'm exhausted) than to think I'll haul a bag of my own stuff up there any time soon. Instead, I'm hitting the internets with what promises to be an eclectic virtual yard sale of sorts, beginning with my barely-worn threads, and ending with a random assortment of lost-in-the-closet items like a hot stone massage kit (an aspirational purchase made before I enrolled in massage school) and Torchwood (whatever that is) Blu Rays (sent to me by a PR person back in New York... Never opened, never watched.)
Enter: Listia.com. Your virtual yard sale (some junk, occasional treasure) slash Burning Man (barter system, baby) slash eBay (let the bidding begin) slash Amazon (easily searchable)! Listing items is easy -- simply upload a photo, write a description, choose a shipping method and BAM, the people start bidding. Every item starts at a 'zero' value, but as other users bid on it -- by way of the number of 'credits' they're willing to 'pay', its value goes up. When the auction is over, the bidding ends, and the highest bidder's credits get transferred to the seller, who can then bid on other items on the site in the same way. You can either charge for shipping or not; items with free shipping generally sell for more credits, but, of course, then the seller must swallow the shipping cost. (I listed two items with a flat rate, which may in fact earn me a small profit for my time, and one with exact rate shipping, which I guess I'll determine at the point of sale.)
I'm excited to have discovered Listia.com; I recently disabled my Amazon account, as I felt the many boxes of goods that were arriving at my door could be purchased locally, not only fueling the local Austin economy, but also reducing the transportation-related pollution, and packaging waste, inherent in my Amazon habit. It was a good change; I've found a local, independent camera store for my SD cards, hit up local books shops for our books, and patronized the indy toy stores nearby; all three types of businesses desperately need in-person customers these days, and the service you get in local establishments like that just can't be beat, even via live chat help online. I've also purchased less, in general, because it takes more effort to buy stuff if I'm not doing it from my computer. And buying less, of course, has saved us some cash. Finally, I've been enjoying the wonders of eBay for certain items that I can find there for far less than retail cost, and often already-used but in 'like new' condition, meaning I'm a part of a large-scale re-use phenomenon, which is pretty awesome. But eBay charges users to list items, as I understand it, and I'm just not that committed to the process. Plus, I'm not sure anyone will actually buy my junk. Listia allows me to list and sell -- actually, trade -- risk-free, and thus saves my stuff from getting thrown away. This last point is actually really important to me; we're lucky, in America, that our trash is hidden -- if barely, beneath the ground -- from view, but trash and waste is a huge problem the world over. It's everywhere, and it's gross. We, as a species, need to find creative new ways to drastically reduce the amount of waste we produce. Listia.com gives us one of those ways.
Wanna see my auctions? Click here, and here, and here! I'll be added more stuff as I get the hang of it. And I'll be on the lookout for select, useful baby items (we've long since given most of Kaspar's baby stuff away) to spend my credits on... so if you have some baby stuff kicking around that you're no longer using, list it up there and give me a shout!
Listia.com has generously offered to gift 10,000 free credits (translation: free money!) upon an Alt-Mama giveaway winner, too! Simply register on Listia.com, and comment below with your Listia username, and one organizational tip or goal. I'll select a random winner on Wednesday, February 6. Have fun, and good luck!