Money doesn’t grow on trees! So to fund our travels we asked our family, friends, and strangers: Hey, do you wanna buy our stuff?
To travel you need two important things: the will to do it and money to do it!
The first one we have a lot, the second not that much. So it was time to move our asses to make our savings grow.
After cutting the expenses in our daily life to save money to travel, we decided to create an online Garage Sale. We have lots of friends on Facebook and we used them to spread the word that we were selling all our precious stuff. On March 2014 we launched E aí, quer comprar?? (Hey, do you wanna buy?) as a Facebook page.
Surprisingly we sold around 10 items on the first day, mostly books! What excitement!!! Thanks, Fernanda, our first customer). We took pictures of all our stuff (books, clothes, dishes, kitchen equipment, furniture, arts, and crafts), everything that we would not keep or would not be able to carry. As we were still living in our place we first put on sale items that we didn’t need in our everyday routine.
We made a catalog, with images, sizes, and prices. It was easy for people to choose and buy online. On the weekends did a few sales putting prices down on items that were not that easy to sell. The key to success was to ask friends to share our posts. After two weeks we sold lots of things, including Rob`s bikes (1 mountain bike and 1 road bike). Great Money $$$$!!!
At the beginning of May we already knew what we would take with us on the trip and what was too precious that we needed to keep (ie: photographs, souvenirs from other trips, my wedding dress, documents, some gifts from friends and the cats). So we decided to open our sweet home for a Garage Sale: an awesome and tiring idea!
Five days before the Garage Sale we sent vi Facebook an invitation to all our friends and all the people who had liked the page. We spent the last two days before the garage sale putting prices on everything and organizing the house so people would be inspired to buy the furniture and decorations.
It was a Saturday morning when people started arriving: first friends and then some strangers. Around 2 pm the house was packed with people asking me about the clothes, where I bought the furniture, from which country the decorations came… Thank God Rob’s mom came to help us with the organization and also looking around and taking care of the people who were getting in and out of the house.
The time flew and suddenly I realized it was 5 pm when some lovely friends (Thanks Luli and Roberta) arrived with beer and a bunch of jokes so we could relax for a while. As we promised, we closed the house at 8 pm. OMG!!! I was wrecked, but our wallet was pretty happy!!!!
A big plus on the sales was that we made an account on PayPal to receive payments on credit and debit cards, so people wouldn’t mind spending more in the case they didn’t bring cash enough or if they wanted to pay in installment. Another important thing was to encourage people to take pictures of the items and post them on their Facebook and Instagram. That made lots of new people come to see our stuff.
Even with a good first day of sales, we decided to open the house on Sunday again. That was the best idea ever. Lots of people saw on Facebook the comments about our Garage Sale and they kept asking when would be the next edition. On Sunday, we had a new bunch of buyers and we sold almost everything that we still had.
Sunday we sold almost all of our clothes, Rob`s shoes, and our appliances like the fridge and washing machine. We worked just some hours during the afternoon but moneywise it was amazing! The next morning Rob realized that he had no black shoes to go to work, all of them were sold. $$$
We kept updating the Facebook page to sell the remaining items. Still now, beginning of July, we are selling things! To have an idea, with our sales we were able to pay for our flight tickets (Brazil to Madrid, Spain), exchange some Euros and Dollars to bring with us, brought a nice camera (Canon T5i), a new mobile phone, and keep a few bucks in our saving account. Happy Days!!!
Of course, it wasn’t easy to give up our stuff and just sell them. The truth is that I had to open my heart and just let them go! It wasn’t easy at all. I kept thinking that it was better that someone would have my things and be happy with them, instead of leaving them inside a box for years. I always kept in mind that “I’m giving up something big for something bigger!” Once you see the money pouring in and your travel dream becoming true, you will stop feeling attached to your possessions.
Another thing that I’ve been learning in this journey is to become minimalist. Day by day we realize that is less important to have material things if we can live our lives in its fullness. Now I prefer to stay on the road for more days than to buy a new pair of shoes. Maybe one day I will change my mind, but for now, I am more than happy with only my backpack (with a max of 15kg allowed by most of the air companies). And I’m still keeping a nice look wearing my flats and sneakers.
About Rob, I just asked him if he is missing anything from our house, and his answer was:
– Nothing! Actually, just our bed and shower… Family, friends and the cats…
He is right, I do miss my shower, but we can’t have everything. So I trade my shower for the amazing meal we just had at Djemaa El-Fna Square (Marrakech – Morocco), never had such a delicious Chicken Couscous in my entire life. If I close my eyes I still can smell the sweet hot seasoning coming from that colorful plate. What a feast!
Now back to business and the selling topic. Nice dishes and kitchen appliances sold really fast on our page, as well as books and sports items. Another great thing about our Garage Sale was to connect with amazing people. During this period I catch up with friends I haven’t spoken for years, and as soon as they heard we were going to travel they came to say hello and buy something.
Also, we meet new friends. They came to our place and bought our stuff with such care and love that filled my heart with happiness. Now our precious things have a new house where they will be important and useful again. Happy ending for everyone and everything!