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Why sell your business online when this company will do it for you?

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What happened to the garage sale? Your neighbor’s folding table gathers dust instead of torn Rubén Sierra baseball cards and pairs of old nylon sweatpants. And, of course, the city doesn’t really make it easy for you to organize any of these things, even after printing out flyers and stapling them to your favorite post. Technically you need a real permit now from the city of dallas to sell your stuff from your driveway. It’s probably easier to just post it to Facebook Marketplace and wait.

Where is it?

“Take a picture, post it and it’s sold: the truth is that kind of hides a lot of the work, doesn’t it?” says Byron Binkley, who founded Sella, a digital services company that sells your stuff online for you. “If you really want to do a good job, you have to know what you’re doing.”

You need to research pricing, says Binkley. Sure, you bought your Blu-ray player for $200 in 2009, but what’s it selling for on eBay now? You must have a detailed description of the ad. You have to be wary of the time of year (electronics sell best after Christmas, says Binkley). You need to be prepared to negotiate the prices and you should probably list it on several websites.

It’s here that Saddle The company, which launched in Portland last year and Dallas last month, acts as a middleman between you and the person who ultimately buys your stuff. You drop off your items or have them picked up for a fee at a local hub. Typically, this happens at a local Sella rep, which Binkley calls “Airbnb for Fulfillment.” Sella takes photos and measurements, does price research, and presents you with listing information and a selling plan (i.e. what is your asking price and how far are you willing to go ) to approve.

“We’re the leg work, but ultimately our customers call the shots and they’re the CEO,” Binkley says.

Once a plan is approved, Sella publishes the listing to several online resale sites, such as Facebook Marketplace, Poshmark, eBay, Mercari, Craigslist, etc. They review the influx of messages, sell the item, handle the transfer, and then send you a check.

While it sounds like a digital-age adaptation of a consignment store, that’s not what Sella is, Binkley says. You remain the owner of your belongings until they are sold and you can cancel the service at any time. Sella charges a flat processing fee instead of pocketing a commission. Fees start at $5.99 for each item, plus 20 cents per day until sold, although rates may vary based on item size, shipping and fees of the online market.

You can sell most things through Sella. But Binkley says branded items or electronics purchased within the last two years — the first item sold in Dallas through Sella was a Vitamix — sell the best. And there are some conditions. First, they don’t take anything a person can’t carry or “won’t fit in the trunk of a Prius.” So no Craigslist couch.

Second, they will not accept anything prohibited, such as firearms or car seats, on resale sites. Third, items must meet a minimum price value. This ensures that your item will sell and your return rate is worth it, Binkley says. “We say around $40 or more because that puts people in the right ballpark.”

Although, he admits, this can be nuanced. Some of the more expensive niche items, like birding binoculars, can be a tough sell. And while Sella won’t take your tired $10 H&M sweater, there will always be a market for a $20 microwave, or even a seven-pound box of Legos.

Smaller, cheaper items, as well as bulky products like chests of drawers and lacrosse sticks, are why Binkley thinks traditional garage sales will never really go away. “There’s tons of stuff that’s barely worth the time to drive it anywhere,” he says. “And so, you know, getting it out of the garage and laying it out in some way is a good way to get people to shop and browse.”

The more valuable things are likely to fetch more money online, Binkley says, but there’s something family-friendly and nostalgic about sifting through a $5 bin at your classic weekend garage sale.

Just make sure you get a permit.

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Catherine Wendlandt

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Catherine Wendlandt is an associate online editor for Magazine D‘s Living and Home and Garden blogs, where she covers all…