I have been living here for two years, and accumulated many belongings. Many things I won’t be taking along with me when I move away from Beijing. Unfortunately there is no use shipping your IKEA stuff. I have made this mistake before – let’s just say, it would have been cheaper to get rid of it and buy new.
If you are a seasoned expat, you know not to move your plates and cutlery as that will be the first thing you need when you arrive at your next location, while waiting on your shipment. I have been looking around and thinking what I would do with all the things that are making my home so comfortable now.
But where do you get rid of all the things you don’t want to ship?
Sell and Buy groups on WeChat
There are several groups specifically for the purpose of selling and buying secondhand things. Take some neat pictures of your stuff, and sell away. Air purifiers are an especially exciting thing to get rid of when you leave Beijing.
Many new expats in Beijing won’t have WeChat yet, and will try to connect through Yahoo Groups. I did so, and that’s how I found out about WeChat. It can be worth the effort to post your belongings there.
Holding a sale can help get rid of the stuff you don’t want to take along. Pick a time and date, and make a nice poster to market your sale. Spread the word – and don’t forget to hide the things in your home you don’t want to sell.
There are several Chinese apps that are similar to Ebay. I won’t be using them, as I don’t speak Chinese, but if you are handy or have Chinese friends that can help you, you can advertise your belongings on there.
There are some things not worth selling, like your spatulas for example. Donate these to Roundabout. They have a home pick up service. Consider donating the stuff you can’t sell too, it’s all for a good cause.
Give It Away
I call it the expat inheritance: opened spices, and medication that you don’t want to pack up. Give it to your friends who are not leaving Beijing. Many people are very grateful for a half-used bottle of soy sauce.
Some things can’t be given away or reused. Nobody wants your old underwear. Or broken dog bed. Consider trashing it. If you are not sure, leave it next to the trash and it will be picked up.