Archives for March 2021

Smart Ways to Invest Your Stimulus Check for Your Future

The moment you’ve waited weeks for has finally arrived: Your stimulus check has successfully landed in your bank account. You’re feeling good and secure, knowing that you’ve got some extra money laying around to help pay bills, rent, or maybe even treat yourself. 

But there’s just one problem: It won’t last forever. If you don’t invest it wisely, that stimulus payment will disappear as fast as it was transferred into your account. 

There’s an upside, though: There are a few ways to help make your stimulus check feel like much more. Here’s exactly what you should do with your payment — before it’s too late!

Invest in the Stock Market

The stock market is hot right now! But if you’re someone who has never invested before, it’s natural that you may be nervous about making the wrong move — and losing your cash. After all, this is your hard-earned money you’re risking.

But things are different now: You’ve got the stimulus check in your hands, making this an excellent opportunity to dive into the market for the first time. Before you get started, make it a point to research how to invest in the market for the first time and the best stocks or funds to buy. This quick guide is a great place to start. Before you know it, your stimulus payment may turn into more than you could have ever imagined.

Pay Off Debt

Debt is something many of us have. Whether you’re paying off student loans, credit card bills, a car, or even a home mortgage, most of us can relate to the struggle of feeling like that debt will never go away. But it doesn’t have to be this way. With smart savings strategies, you can slowly knock down your debt once and for all — and the stimulus check is a perfect way to get started. Instead of treating yourself to the latest smartphone or handbag, consider taking at least 75% of your payment and throwing it straight towards your debt with the highest interest rate. 

Save for the Future

The future may feel so far away that it’s hard to stomach the thought of putting money away — especially money you may not use for five, 10, or even 15 years! Sure, that cheap weekend flight  to the Bahamas sounds a lot more fun than putting your stimulus check into your savings account. But in the long run, it makes a lot more sense to save for the future. You never know what may happen — positive or negative — so it’s best to be prepared.

The first step is creating an emergency savings fund with at least six months of living expenses. Whether you’re just starting out or need a little bit more cash to reach your goal, putting your stimulus payment away is a smart idea. If you’ve covered your emergency savings, you should consider stashing your check somewhere else, such as in the stock market, a high-interest savings account, or another long-term fund. Whatever you choose, resist the urge to spend it now and instead save it for later. 

Invest in Yourself

The best way to spend your stimulus check is by investing in yourself. That way, the payment will last longer than your wildest dreams. Maybe you’d like to take an online course or buy a few career books. Or, even better, perhaps you’re dreaming of launching your own business, and now with the stimulus check, you have the start-up capital to get it started!

If you’re tired of the never-ending 9-to-5 hustle, which leaves you little to no time for yourself, your family and friends, and your passions, then you should fund your future in a different way: Start your own business using the Arise® Platform. If you enjoy talking to people and solving problems, this opportunity to invest in yourself is perfect

The Arise® Platform is right for anyone who wants to be their own boss. It’s the key to earning money from the convenience of your own home, making your own hours, and enjoying a flexible schedule by providing customer service and support. In other words, you’ll operate your own customer support business, and by registering to use  the Arise® Platform, you’ll have the chance to sign up to service the clients that fit your schedule the best.

The Arise® Platform provides the clients, you provide the service. The best part? You get to work from home the whole time. Client opportunities include:

  • Home Improvement Supplier
  • Grocery Delivery
  • Cable and Internet Provider
  • Cruise Lines
  • Roadside Assistance
  • Major Theme Parks
  • Healthcare
  • Sporting Goods Provider

Don’t let your stimulus check vanish as quickly as it appeared! By registering to use  the Arise® Platform or investing it in another way, like paying off debt or getting into the stock market, you can rest easy knowing you made a sound financial decision.

The post Smart Ways to Invest Your Stimulus Check for Your Future appeared first on Arise Work From Home.

Mom’s ‘Always Say Yes’ to Pictures Rule Is the Reminder We All Need to Love Our Looks

mom and tween daughter

And it’s the best way to teach our kids self-love.

One mom’s unwritten rule is the inspiration every parent needs to lead with love.

Root Car Insurance Review: Good Drivers Get the Deals

Car insurance is a necessary evil: Premiums can be costly, and when you’re in an accident, you still have to pay a deductible before coverage kicks in. That said, some level of car insurance is legally required in all but two states, and, despite the monthly cost, it can save you tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars should the worst happen.

But you’re here because you’re a Penny Hoarder — and that means you like finding ways to save. That’s where Root car insurance truly shines.

What Is Root Car Insurance?

In a market dominated by Australian geckos and overbearing yet upbeat saleswomen, Root stands out not because of its quirky ads but because of its approach to coverage. Rather than rely on your demographics data and credit score, Root provides a quote based on your actual driving patterns. This concept is called usage-based insurance, or UBI.

So if you’re a safe driver with a good driving history, you’ll save money with Root.

The Root Insurance company is in Columbus, Ohio, and has offices in Chicago, San Francisco and Phoenix. The company is a relatively new player in the insurance space, founded in March 2015.

Though Root is primarily known for its auto insurance, the company has started branching out to renters and homeowners insurance. If you bundle renters insurance with Root car insurance, you can save 5%. Similarly, you can bundle homeowners insurance with your Root auto policy for savings.

Our Root Review: At a Glance

Some of the hallmark features of Root Insurance:

  • Great mobile app
  • Standard roadside assistance
  • Usage-based insurance
  • Great for teen drivers and drivers with low credit scores
Policies offered Auto insurance, home insurance, and renters insurance.
Auto coverage options Liability, collision, comprehensive, roadside assistance, rental, uninsured motorist property damage, personal injury protection, medical payments, and uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury.
Auto coverage not offered GAP insurance, rideshare insurance and pet coverage.
Premiums Vary depending on driving habits; Root advertises up to 52% in savings for good drivers.
Eligibility Must qualify as a safe enough driver; Root often denies bad drivers.
Availability Not available in every state.

Can I Get Full Coverage with Root Auto Insurance?

Within the auto industry, there is no single definition for “full coverage.” Rather, various states have differing requirements. That said, full coverage typically entails liability, collision and comprehensive. Root offers all three and then some.

Here’s what you can get with Root car insurance:

Liability

This is the minimum coverage that every driver should have. At Root, it includes bodily injury and property damage coverage.

Collision

Root’s collision coverage pays for repairs to your car (or a replacement vehicle) when you cause an accident. It also covers you if you are the victim of a hit-and-run or are involved in a collision caused by someone without insurance.

The more expensive/valuable your vehicle, the more collision coverage will cost.

Comprehensive

So what about damage to your car that isn’t the result of a collision? That’s where Root’s comprehensive coverage comes in. Comprehensive covers any damage to your vehicle not caused by an accident, including acts of nature, theft and vandalism.

Again, having a newer, more expensive vehicle will mean a higher rate.

Roadside Assistance

In a break from typical car insurance companies, Root includes roadside assistance with every policy. Usually, this comes at an extra cost. Root makes calling for roadside assistance easy with the highly rated Root mobile app.

Rental Reimbursement

Root has coverage options for rental car reimbursement or — another move that gives Root that millennial, start-up feel — Lyft reimbursement, in the event that your car is inoperable for an extended period of time.

Uninsured Motorist

Root differentiates between uninsured motorist property damage coverage and uninsured and underinsured bodily injury coverage. Together, these policies cover your property and medical expenses in the event that you are in an accident with someone who is uninsured or underinsured.

Personal Injury Protection and Medical Payments

If you live in one of 17 states that require personal injury protection, or PIP, you’re able to get this through Root. It can cover medical expenses and even lost wages due to time off work because of an accident for you and your passengers. Root also offers medical payments (MedPay) coverage.

A Note on GAP Insurance, Rideshare Insurance and Pet Coverage

As of this time, Root auto insurance offerings do not include GAP insurance. GAP, or guaranteed auto protection, is useful when you total your vehicle but owe more on it than comprehensive or collision will cover. Thus, it fills the gap between what you are paid out from your core coverage and what you still owe on the car, whether financed or leased. Many lenders require that you carry GAP, which can quickly rule Root out of consideration for many drivers.

Rideshare coverage is growing increasingly popular at major insurance companies, but Root does not offer this as an option. If you drive for Uber or Lyft, you may want to find a policy that offers rideshare insurance, which covers you while you are working but don’t currently have a customer.

Similarly, some companies have begun extending policy coverage to pets who are injured during an accident. Root does not currently offer this.

What Makes Root Different from Other Car Insurance Companies?

While standard roadside assistance is a unique aspect of Root Insurance, it’s not the biggest differentiator for the young car insurance company. UBI is.

Usage-Based Insurance

Root claims it saves drivers significant amounts of money — up to 52% — on monthly car insurance premiums. That’s because typical car insurance companies pull credit reports and examine your demographic data (age, sex, ZIP code, occupation, etc.) to determine what they feel is an appropriate rate for you. Instead, Root analyzes your actual driving performance and as long as you’re a good driver, offers you a low rate.

How to Get a Quote from Root

The quote process for Root is quite elaborate by design. To get a quote, download the Root app to your smartphone and enable GPS tracking. For a few weeks (three on average), drive as you normally would while Root gathers all kinds of data via the app, which must be running in the background. Root calls this its Test Drive period.

During this Test Drive, Root utilizes GPS tracking via the smartphone app to measure:

  • How focused you stay while driving (phone down, eyes on the road)
  • How smoothly you brake and accelerate (watch those hard stops)
  • How gently you turn (no sudden jerks of the steering wheel)
  • What time of day you’re driving (nighttime driving is inherently more dangerous)

Once the Root app has gathered enough data from your Test Drive, the company generates a quote. If the data paints you as a bad, distracted or risky driver, Root may deny your request for coverage. Because Root does not take on high-risk drivers, its costs to insure its customers are lower, which means they can pass those savings on to you.

Since Root focuses on this driving data, it’s not a good fit for aggressive drivers. But Root could be a great fit if you are a teen driver, a safe driver on a budget or a driver with a low credit score who is paying insanely high prices because of your personal finances.

In fact, Root intends to stop checking credit scores as part of its pricing model by 2025.

Using the Root App

Access to everything you need for your Root insurance policy is at your fingertips.

Filing a Claim with Root

The Root app makes filing a claim (or requesting roadside assistance) incredibly simple. In fact, Root says its claim process takes just three minutes in the app.

That said, if you would prefer to talk to a live claims expert, you can call during normal business hours. There’s also a 24/7 hotline to file a claim, but you may not be able to speak to a live person.

Pro Tip

As someone who got in an accident in an area with a bad signal, I suggest taking and saving a screen shot of your proof of insurance card, just in case you can’t use your phone.

Accessing Insurance Cards

While Root provides physical paper insurance cards, the company also makes policyholders’ proof of insurance cards available directly in the app.

Paying for Root

The Root app is also how you’ll make payments. You can either pay for all six months of the term at once or in monthly installments, using either a credit card, debit card or Apple Pay.

Getting an SR-22

If you need to obtain an SR-22, Root makes it simple within the app. Just a few thumb taps and you’re set.

Note: SR-22s aren’t a policy. Instead, it is a document that your car insurance company provides to demonstrate that you carry enough car insurance. If you have been convicted of a DUI or repeat traffic offenses or have had your license revoked for driving without insurance, you may need this form to have your license reinstated.

A road is shown with a view of deserts and canyons.

Where Is Root Available?

Feeling super jazzed to ditch the gecko and switch to Root? Not so fast. Unfortunately, Root car insurance is not offered in every state. (Root’s renters and homeowners insurance policies are available in even fewer states.)

As of writing, Root auto insurance is available in the following states:

Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia

That means you can’t get Root if you live in one of the following states (for now):

Alabama, Alaska, District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.), Florida, HawaiiI, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington (state), Wisconsin, and Wyoming

How Much Does Root Car Insurance Cost?

Because pricing is based on your unique driving habits during and after your Test Drive period, there is no standard quote for Root auto insurance. However, because Root rejects many drivers seeking quotes, the insurance company can offer lower rates to drivers who qualify. Some of the advertisements on Root’s site include promises of “up to 52% off your car insurance rate” or “savings of up to $900/year.”

However, after the first six months (and at every six-month mark), Root reserves the right to change your car insurance rates, especially if you exhibit poor driving habits. In addition, Root may adjust your six-month quote based on crime rates in your area, accident rates in your area, average weather in your area, the price of cars in your area, other drivers on your policy and other vehicles on your policy. Even so, your driving record is the number one factor in calculating your rate.

Root Customer Service

You get what you pay for at Root.

While the price for good drivers is typically far better than what you’ll be quoted at big-name insurers like Allstate, Progressive and Geico, the customer service at Root Insurance is wanting. And the last thing you want to deal with after a stressful accident is poor customer experience when you file your claim.

How do we know the customer service is so bad? While the Root mobile app has exceptionally high customer reviews in both the App Store and Google Play, the company’s customer service scores are among the lowest in the industry. In fact, based on data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), Root earns complaints from customers at a rate that is 2.2 times higher than the national median for auto insurance.

While complaints run the gamut, Root most commonly receives negative feedback regarding how long it takes to handle claims and unexpected surcharges.

Pros and Cons

So overall, is Root Insurance a good provider for an auto policy? Let’s weigh the pros and cons:

Pros

  • Low prices. As long as you are a good, safe driver, you can expect to save significantly over the cost of more typical insurance policies.
  • Standard roadside assistance. Most insurers sell roadside assistance as an add-on; with Root, it comes standard.
  • Great mobile app. With more of a start-up vibe that appeals to techies, it’s unsurprising that Root has an easy-to-use app with high ratings.
  • A solution for those in difficult demographics and with bad credit. Your age and financial standing don’t have to keep you further behind with burdensome insurance premiums. Because Root monitors driving habits and not your past financial mistakes, you can potentially save big on car insurance.

Cons

  • Terrible customer service reviews. Root is consistently among the worst-reviewed car insurance companies for service. Reviewers take issue with surcharges and the length of time to get reimbursed.
  • No GAP coverage. If your lender requires GAP insurance, you will have to shop for a different policy.
  • Not great for bad drivers. Sure, we should all aspire to be great drivers, but some of us are just born with a lead foot. If that’s you, you will probably waste your time during the Test Drive, as Root is ruthless when it comes to rejections.

Who Is Root Insurance Best For?

Because the insurance is usage based, Root auto insurance is ideal for safe drivers — those not known for texting and driving, hard braking, speeding or any other bad driving habits. Teen drivers, drivers with low credit scores or drivers who fit within pricier demographics (think young males with expensive cars) can particularly benefit from Root.

You should not consider Root if your lender requires GAP insurance.

More About Root Homeowners and Rental Insurance

To be eligible for Root home insurance, you must currently have a Root car insurance policy. You can opt for coverages that protect your physical home, your family and guests of your home, and your personal property. The policy is customizable, though as a fellow homeowner, I would advise you get all types of coverage.

Renters, however, are in luck. You don’t need a Root auto insurance policy to get the renters insurance. Even better: Root has policies starting as low as $6 per month, which is not a bad price if you’re just looking to tick the box to show your landlord you’ve got coverage. You can choose between personal property coverage and personal liability coverage.

Timothy Moore is a market research editing and graphic design manager and a freelance writer and editor covering topics on personal finance, travel, careers, education, pet care and automotive. He has worked in the field since 2012 with publications like The Penny Hoarder, Debt.com, Ladders, WDW Magazine, Glassdoor and The News Wheel. 

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

Kakeibo: A Budgeting Method to Help You Be More Mindful With Money

It’s easy to feel disconnected from your finances when you spend with the swipe of a card or the tap of a button on your smartphone.

But when you’re mindful of where your money goes, you can cut down on unnecessary spending and put more cash toward your savings goals.

Kakeibo, a long-standing Japanese budgeting method, attempts to help people become more cognizant of their spending habits and improve the way they manage money.

Here’s how it works.

What Is Kakeibo?

Kakeibo — pronounced “kah-keh-boh” and sometimes spelled “kakebo” — is a money management style that has been around since the early 1900s. The word translates to “household financial ledger.” Hani Motoko, who is known to be Japan’s first female journalist, helped bring kakeibo to the public eye, making it popular among housewives who manage their family’s finances.

Though this budgeting method has been around for over a century, it has seen a resurgence in popularity — particularly in the Western world — in the last couple of years as more people embrace minimalism, mindfulness and KonMari organization.

Budgeters looking to straighten out their financial lives the way Marie Kondo taught us to tidy up our living spaces need to look no further than kakeibo.

A woman writes in her journal.

How to Manage Your Money With Kakeibo

Kakeibo stands apart from other budgeting methods by combining reflection and journaling with common money management practices like categorizing expenses and tracking spending.

One thing that’s important to mention about kakeibo is that it’s intended to be done on pen and paper — hence the “household ledger” translation. Physically writing down your spending gives you a more tangible sense of where your money’s going rather than using an app that records your expenses for you.

While several kakeibo budgeting journals have been published in the last few years — like Fumiko Chiba’s “Kakeibo: The Japanese Art of Saving Money” — you don’t need to buy a guided journal to get started. A plain notebook can serve the same purpose.

If you’re setting up your own kakeibo journal, start each month off by reflecting on the following four questions:

It’s easy to feel disconnected from your finances when you spend with the swipe of a card or the tap of a button on your smartphone.

But when you’re mindful of where your money goes, you can cut down on unnecessary spending and put more cash toward your savings goals.

Kakeibo, a long-standing Japanese budgeting method, attempts to help people become more cognizant of their spending habits and improve the way they manage money.

Here’s how it works.

What Is Kakeibo?

Kakeibo — pronounced “kah-keh-boh” and sometimes spelled “kakebo” — is a money management style that has been around since the early 1900s. The word translates to “household financial ledger.” Hani Motoko, who is known to be Japan’s first female journalist, helped bring kakeibo to the public eye, making it popular among housewives who manage their family’s finances.

Though this budgeting method has been around for over a century, it has seen a resurgence in popularity — particularly in the Western world — in the last couple of years as more people embrace minimalism, mindfulness and KonMari organization.

Budgeters looking to straighten out their financial lives the way Marie Kondo taught us to tidy up our living spaces need to look no further than kakeibo.

How to Manage Your Money With Kakeibo

Kakeibo stands apart from other budgeting methods by combining reflection and journaling with common money management practices like categorizing expenses and tracking spending.

One thing that’s important to mention about kakeibo is that it’s intended to be done on pen and paper — hence the “household ledger” translation. Physically writing down your spending gives you a more tangible sense of where your money’s going rather than using an app that records your expenses for you.

While several kakeibo budgeting journals have been published in the last few years — like Fumiko Chiba’s “Kakeibo: The Japanese Art of Saving Money” — you don’t need to buy a guided journal to get started. A plain notebook can serve the same purpose.

If you’re setting up your own kakeibo journal, start each month off by reflecting on the following four questions:

  1. How much money do you have available?
  2. How much would you like to save?
  3. How much are you spending?
  4. How can you improve?

Jot down income you’ll have coming in during the month and subtract fixed expenses that you’re obligated to pay — like your rent or mortgage, utilities and minimum debt payments. The money you’re left with is your available funds for the month.

From that amount, decide how much you want to put aside for savings. Think about what you’re saving for and why you’ve set that goal. Are you on track to reaching your desired amount or do you need to find ways to reduce your expenses or bring in more income?

After putting aside money for savings, log your spending in your journal as it occurs. Using the kakeibo method, you’ll keep track of the type of expenses using four broad budget categories:

  1. Needs: This would include groceries, clothing and medicine.
  2. Wants: Factor in expenses like gym memberships, dining out and spa services.
  3. Culture: Buying books and attending festivals would fall under this category.
  4. Unexpected or extra expenses: This could be things like car repairs or an emergency vet visit.

As you record your spending, write about why you made each purchase and how you felt. Were you feeling rushed or stressed as you were shopping? Were you giving into retail therapy because you were having a bad day? Did you buy something just because it was on sale, even though you have no room for it at home? Did you feel glad that you bought something you’ve been waiting weeks to buy?

In a way, you can treat your kakeibo journal like a diary. Exploring your feelings about spending money can help you get to the root cause behind poor habits — like overspending when you’re pressed for time or when you’re out with friends you want to impress. Ideally, you want to feel happy about the way you spend your hard-earned cash.

At the end of the month, you’ll total up your spending in each of the four categories and reflect on how you’ve managed your money. You might want to do mini check-ins at the end of each week.

Ask yourself: Did your actions align with your financial goals? What were your successes and failures? Think about how you can improve going into the month ahead.

Benefits of Kakeibo

If you want more control over your spending, kakeibo is a great budgeting style to try.

You don’t have to follow set budget percentages. How you spend your money is truly a reflection of your unique financial goals.

You don’t have to stress about organizing your spending into rigid budget categories. Kakeibo’s four categories are pretty broad, but they paint a good overall picture of where your money’s going.

Using pen and paper also helps you stay aware of how much cash you have available to spend at all times. And knowing you have to record your spending at the end of the day may make you think twice before giving into an impulse purchase.

Embracing mindfulness in your financial life through kakeibo can help you reduce your spending and save more. Ultimately, it’ll set you on the right path to reaching your money goals.

Feeling overwhelmed? Create a budget that works for you with our budgeting bootcamp!

Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

8 Clever Tips to Selling Used Goods Online

My obsession with selling my old junk online started with a bit of spring cleaning.

I needed to get rid of some larger items — namely, a few sheds and some old appliances — and I didn’t want to pay for that service. My laziness always wins out, so I decided I would list them on Nextdoor and Facebook Marketplace on a lark. If they didn’t sell, well, I hadn’t lost anything but time.

My concern was unfounded. Not only did the items I posted sell, but they sold quickly and for a higher listing price than my posting. The experience proved to be a gateway to my affinity for selling old items on Facebook Marketplace and Nextdoor. In six months of selling, I made almost $600. As an added bonus, each of the items I sold were required to be picked up from the buyer, meaning that I didn’t have to move a single thing.

8 Tips for Selling Your Stuff Online

What did I do right? And what lessons did I learn along the way? The following tips will help you make money off some of the oldest and seemingly useless things around the house.

Window screens lay on the side of a house in this screen shot. They were eventually sold on Facebook Marketplace.

Name Your Item Simply

Do not make your listing title overly detailed. It is better to be bare bones and minimal: think “bed” or “table” for furniture items. Many people who bought my items scoured Nextdoor and Facebook Marketplace every day for specific objects. I suspect some might have had an alert set up on their phone for certain products. That’s why you want to be as simple as possible — your listing may get lost in the shuffle if the name has too many details.

Anticipate Buyers’ Questions

This is largely a common sense tip but it’s smart to give as much information as you can in the listing. If you’re selling furniture or any object, post multiple photos and be upfront about damage. Always — and I can’t stress this enough — post the dimensions in your listing. People will probably still message you asking for the dimensions, but anytime I’ve written “dimensions available upon request” in my listing, I get bombarded. It’s much better to answer buyers’ questions upfront.

If there are any other specific details relevant to your item or pick-up, post them in the description. Think of this as what you would want to know if you were buying your item. People want to deal with someone who is thoughtful so it’s better to offer all of that information at the outset.

Don’t Set Prices Too High

I learned this lesson the hard way. You may think your grandmother’s dark wood bedroom set is worth $600 to $1,000, but Facebook Marketplace and Nextdoor won’t see it that way. If you price your item too high, you will get largely ignored by buyers. And much like selling a house, the first few days on these apps are pivotal.

It’s much better to price your item low and get noticed by many. This can drive a bidding war and may even get you the higher price you wanted in the beginning. I recommend no more than $200 for most furniture, unless it’s an item that has incredible and specific demand.

Be Responsive

Unfortunately, this is a job. When selling an item, try to monitor your messages on the apps you are selling on, whether that’s Facebook Marketplace, Nextdoor or Letgo.

People are more likely to buy when someone responds to them quickly. If you wait one or two days to respond, they may no longer be interested. You’ll also often have to answer some follow-up questions.

Let People Look in Advance

Depending on the size and type of item, potential buyers often want to see it in advance before investing. This takes time because you’ll have to schedule an appointment with them. But it’s often worth it. Once people make their way to your house to view the item, they’ll probably be emotionally invested enough to buy it. For safety sake, you might ask a friend to join you if you live alone or if your housemates can’t be there when the prospective buyer stops by.

An aluminum fence is sold on Facebook Marketplace.

Know Your Audience

Each app has a different audience. I’ve had the best luck on Facebook Marketplace and Nextdoor. Marketplace is a great place to sell an item that you’re not sure will go, because it caters to a much broader geographic region than a neighborhood-based app like Nextdoor. If you want your item to go fast, particularly within a few hours, and you think it has significant demand, Nextdoor is the way to go. You’re usually dealing with people in a much smaller radius, ideally within your neighborhood or the next one over, so they are able to get to your door quickly.

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Know the Value of Your Item

Part of this comes with experience on the apps. Know what items sell well — sheds, for example, are incredibly in demand, and appliances usually go quickly if fairly priced. Objects that are more taste-based, like art and furniture, are harder to gauge. It’s about getting the right buyer. For those, I would suggest taking appealing photos and lowering the price.

After a Week, Give It Up

I’ve been lucky on Nextdoor and Facebook Marketplace. Someone bought an old trash can, window screens and a used shower mat, all items I thought would never sell.  But in general, if you don’t get any or many responses within the first week, you’re probably not going to sell your item. The problem with selling on social media is that the seller has little control over what items are prioritized on a potential buyer’s feed. Sometimes, you have to accept your losses and call the trash collector. City or county sanitation services will often dispose of bigger items if you need something gone in a flash.

And if you really don’t care about the item and want it gone, there’s always the tried-and-true strategy: put it out in the alley or driveway. Usually, by day’s end, it will have disappeared.

Elizabeth Djinis is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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