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Yesterday we had our first gift guide meeting! We want to start early (we have already starting buying a few items!) to help with budgeting, but equally don't want to stress people out. I had a love/hate relationship with gift guides whilst editing them for magazines - it meant late office nights, constant deadlines and so much research. But now I've grown to love them and do my own shopping prep whilst researching. And I do believe there's a different way to approach the gifting season that can work for everyone and untie us from the constant barage of ‘stuff’. I saw an interesting post lately on Instagram (via @mre.soeur) discussing all the upcoming kids' birthday parties and there were lovely comments from people suggesting swapping gifts, or adding on the invite ‘no need for a gift but if you wanted to do something, stick a pound coin to a card’ and the child can pick something for themselves. I really think it's about a changing mindset when it comes to gift giving in general, and a rethink about what generosity really means. This week I am sharing my tips about selling/donating unused items at home and there's a recipe live on the blog!

Alex x

Click here to make this crab spaghetti recipe
  The quickest way to raise some cash and help the environment is to sell that pile of stuff you’ve been meaning to for ages. Schedule an evening where you upload those pics you took on your phone and upcycle your things at the same time. 
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Put aside an hour to sell/upload (Sundays are good for listings, as statistically it’s when most people are casually browsing on the sofa - or if using eBay, you can schedule your listing on eBay to finish on a Sunday) and upload a few items at once. Natural daylight is often better for photos and showing flaws.
Consider seasonality. It pays to think about what people are thinking about - coats sell better in Autumn/winter than they do in summer, for instance. 
You'd be surprised what sells. I once sold an old (working) Gameboy from the 90s for £25 to a collector on eBay. It was old, not the cleanest and didn’t have any use to us any more - win win! 
Obviously, it goes without saying all of this should be declared as extra income to HMRC (there is, however, an individual tax free ‘trading allowance’ of £1,000).
GOOD FOR: High street fashion. 
You can sell designer as well but it definitely seems to excell at selling lower priced High Street pieces - you can sell bundles and combine shipping if someone buys more than one item, too. The best bit? No listing or selling fees.
GOOD FOR: Designer fashion 
It has been a while since I’ve sold anything here, but the good thing about designer is that if it’s a popular brand, it will hold its price. Vestiaire is used by the fashion community, so you’re more likely to sell less well known names (ie, brands I love like Manu Atelier) than you are at a car boot or eBay. BUT they do take around 14% commission. 
GOOD FOR: Items in good to excellent condition. 
It's great for selling clothes that don't fit/you no longer wear but mainly when there isn’t too much wear and tear to them (I personally find that eBay buyers are a bit more pernickety about the condition). 
 GOOD FOR: Furniture
 We sell a lot on Gumtree, often old furniture and items that need to be collected. Chris sold some camera lenses too recently, but it’s important to remember to meet someone in daylight and not at your home address, especially when you’re selling more expensive items 
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 GOOD FOR: Electricals and DVDs. 
I sold my Apple Mac laptop here (make sure you wipe it before taking in!), also good for selling old iPhones. Fun fact: we also watched the entire series of Game Of Thrones by buying series one on DVD, then kept exchanging it for the next series until we’d caught up – cheaper than a Sky subscription! 
 Car boot sales 
GOOD FOR: Everything else.
 All your bric a brac, lonely mugs, that photo frame you accidentally ordered in the wrong size, and the shoes you think are in too bad a state to sell. Book a date in advance, so you have a focus, otherwise you’ll have hordes of stuff just waiting indefinitely (and trust me, once you start collecting, you might turn a bit Marie Kondo and the sell pile will just keep growing). Check out to find a sale near you. 
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I bought this satin midi skirt last week after it sold out the first time round! Elasticated waist so no time spent catching your sides on a zip - I'm hoping to wear with boots and a chunky jumper this winter. £35, Marks & Spencer
TK Maxx has lots of splatterware (I found these plates online but there are lots of bowls in store and in Homesense!): £5.99, TK Maxx
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We are now running low in stock on our second artist collabration of matchboxes, thanks for all your support! The Frugality x Simone Brewster matches: £9.50, The Frugality Shop
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Naomi Watts in ‘The Watcher’. Have you seen it? Over the top and dramatic, it's also easy, thrilling and addictive watching. On Netflix now.

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