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Hoping to turn your trash into cash?

Author: Katie Hart

Date: 03 Jan 2024


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Hoping to turn your trash into cash?

Are you planning to have a bit of a clear out this year? Maybe you have made a resolution to get rid of some ‘clutter’ in your office or home? Maybe you are going to be moving and want to make it easy on yourself? Or maybe you just have some unwanted ‘gifts’ that you are looking to move on?

Many of us may look to make some money from these situations, and there are a number of organisations who are out there to help us do just that – from eBay to Vinted, Depop to Ziffit, Gumtree to Shpock – they are lining up to put us in front of potential buyers of our items.

But, there is something you need to know.

In the science of Consumer Behaviour, there is a concept called the Endowment Effect. Essentially, it states that if I own something, I am likely to value it more highly than I would if I did not own it. So, I am likely to overvalue it, in comparison to the way the marketplace may value it. We see this a lot on sites like eBay, or even in TV shows like Pawn Stars, where sellers’ ideas of what an item is worth, are often far higher than the marketplace is likely to actually pay for the same item.

I tell you this for two reasons.

Firstly, I want you to remember it if you are assessing the likely return you could get from selling some of your unwanted items. Please do not be too disappointed – just see anything that you may get for them as being a bonus. Or, consider donating them to a charity shop, and get yourself a significant emotional bonus instead of a small financial one.

Secondly, as marketers, we can use this knowledge to our advantage. If we let people try our products or services for a while, they will often end up being prepared to pay more for them. This is because the Endowment Effect has kicked in and they value them more once they have started to own or use them. We can even see the beginning of this at work if you just allow people to hold your items for a short time, as our brain areas associated with pain and loss, become activated when we need to put desired items down again or hand them back.

So, how can you use this within your marketing strategies?

Are there any samples or trial periods you can offer? How can you make your marketing opportunities more tangible and experiential for the customer? Actually, there is another reason why this concept works so well, and if you want to learn about that too, you can read all about it in this blog.

See how much great content I am giving you here? Or am I perhaps valuing it more than you do?

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