How To Get Rid Of A Reselling Death Pile: 6 Steps To Get It Done

Have you got a pile of unlisted items cluttering your home or workspace? You aren’t alone — it’s a common reseller’s problem. But it’s time to fix it. 

Buying vintage items to sell is something that never gets old. But if you’re doing more buying than listing, you’ll accumulate a massive collection of unsold items. This is your death pile. Even the most established, experienced, resellers encounter this problem. And while it can seem insurmountable, just reading this guide puts your foot on the first rung of the “begone death pile” ladder.

In the following sections, we’ll walk you through the six steps to clearing the mountain of products awaiting listing.

6 Steps to Getting Rid of Your Reselling Death Pile

#1 Change Your Mindset As An Etsy Seller

Like most things in life, it starts with a mindset change. Try to go from “death pile” to “pile of opportunity.” Reframing things in your mind not only helps your mental health, but it will also put you on the path to profit-making uncluttering.

It’s worth remembering that you saw everything in your collection as valuable when you bought it. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be in your possession right now! The dread only comes in later, as the number of items becomes overwhelming.

So, look at your objects through a passionate, excited lens. You have the opportunity to make a load of money and obtain more space. It’s a win-win — it may just take a bit of gumption to get started. 

#2 Listing In Batches As An Etsy Seller

At this point, your head is in the game and you’re coming up with plan to put into place. This is where batch listing comes in handy. It’s a fantastic method for listing a large number of items quickly. 

With this method, you should separate your items into similar products before going any further. For instance, all hats go in one pile, all jewelry go in another pile, all blown glass go in another, and so on. Then, list your products one category at a time. 

By focusing on one item type at a time, you save loads of time. Not to mention you won’t have to constantly swap between categories, thanks to the “Sell Similar” function provided by Etsy. 

#3 Using The Copy a Listing Features in Etsy

To make listing your death pile even easier, you can reuse the copy of like items already on your store. For instance, if you already have a porcelain bunny listed and want to list a second similar bunny, duplicate the listing and change the title and description.  You can easily delete the old photos for your new ones.

To help you out, here is a form I created to list only the fields Etsy needs to publish a listing.  As you know there are tons of fields in a new listing template.  Not all fields are required.   This is a great form if you want to list a lot of items quickly as a draft.

Reusing copy doesn’t just save time; it also gets more products onto the platform, which helps the algorithm work in your favor. Many resellers notice an upswing in performance upon duplicating listings for similar products.

On top of that, it gives you an opportunity to test what works and what doesn’t on your platform, particularly keywords, thumbnails, and product types. You may unlock the formula to newfound Etsy reselling success!

#4 Try the Snowball Method: The Visual Etsy Seller Approach

If the category-by-category method isn’t for you, the snowball approach might be more your style. It’s a little more ad-hoc but works wonders for motivation.

It works like this:

  1. Look at your death pile.
  2. Pick out the biggest item. 
  3. List this item on your Etsy shop. 
  4. Go back to your death pile. 
  5. Pick the biggest item out from the remaining products. 
  6. List this item on your Etsy shop. 
  7. Repeat until your pile is complete.

Keep in mind, this isn’t about listing the priciest item first. It doesn’t matter whether the largest item is cheaper than the smallest item, list it first. 

The idea is that listing the physically biggest item first provides a psychological boost as you’ll be motivated by the amount of clear space in your inventory once larger items go.

#5 Shrink and Organize Your Death Pile as You Go

Organizing your death pile as you list items may seem like a no-brainer, but many find their death piles so overwhelming that they leave the cluttered. Thus, ensuring everything has a place shrinks the pile and makes it more manageable to work with.

If you’re easily deterred by clutter, it’s the key to saying goodbye to your death pile for good. 

I recently purchased a fabric car bin system with 7 bins all attached.   I simply put a group of items I want to photograph and list into one bin per day. Each bin s labeled Monday through Sunday.  It helps me keep motivated as I see the small piles vanish into my inventory space as each item gets posted.

#6 Donate or Trash your Unsold Items: Clearing Inventory

Last but not least, you can donate or trash items. I know… this was a difficult one for me too. Despite how it may feel, getting rid of certain death pile items will give you more space to acquire things that actually fit your shop. It’s all a learning experience.

For some, this may be too much to consider alone. And if you’re in this camp, we recommend getting a reselling accountability partner — someone who can look at your pile without judgement and help you decide what’s good enough to keep.  Some of the items I purchase to sell I bought with my heart not my business head.   You may be attached to your item but be sure to buy your items with your business in mind.  Remember why you are running this Etsy shop.  REMEMBER YOUR WHY.

Get Rid of Your Death Pile Today!

With our six top tips, you can conquer your death pile and make great returns on your investments. 

Written by Lisa

Lisa Lividoti Blogger and Owner of Homebyliv Etsy Shop

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