6 Ways to Make Money From Your Clutter
Don't just throw it away!
As the holidays approach, most of us are looking for extra spending money, and one of the fastest ways to free up cash is to sell the unwanted items taking up space in our closets and on our shelves.
As consignment stores may not be open and people may not be venturing out to shop, posting goods virtually may just be the best way to earn extra money fast! The good news? Last year, e-commerce sales (or items sold online) hit a record high during November and December, and the number of people shopping online this year has increased by 55 percent over last year. “Nowadays, there’s no shortage of secondhand stores online — from Amazon to Poshmark — so selling your wares will be a cinch,” says Anna Barker, personal finance expert at LogicalDollar.com.
“But the key to making the biggest profit is zeroing in on which store will give your items the best chance of selling.” So we gathered insight from selling and organizing experts on what to sell where in order to make bank in time for the holidays!
Kids Toys and Video Games
“I sell a ton of toys, video games, and collectibles, which get top dollar on eBay,” says Jessica Dolan, professional organizer at RoomToBreathe.us. “While eBay charges insertion fees of 20 or 35 cents and takes 10 percent off the total value of the sale, it’s worth the nominal fees since the auction site is where collectors go when looking for toys and games.” Her tip: Start your auction on Sunday by 8 PM PST. That’s the time most users are on the site.
The average American is sitting on a couple hundred dollars of old tech, like cellphones,” says Anna Barker, a personal finance expert at LogicalDollar.com. You can sell them through a site like SellCell.com. It compares the prices of 40 of the biggest electronics buyback companies in the U.S. Once you find the site with the best price, click on it, then input the details on the model you want to sell and you’ll receive an offer. Have other electron-ics? Gazelle.com follows a similar process.
Furniture and Bulky Items
Bigger pieces like a scooter or an armoire may sell fast anywhere, but they’re a hassle to ship. ”Sidestep it by posting them on Facebook’s local buy and sell groups,” says Lisa Dooley, organizing coach at YourOrganizedLife.biz. Simply input your ZIP code, the words “selling” or “sale” and the item you want to sell into the Facebook search bar to find a group to post it in. The buyer pays via an app like Venmo or PayPal, and all you have to do is leave the item on your porch for them to pick up.
That stack of unwanted books or textbooks you haven’t cracked open for years? “Amazon has an app that will scan their barcodes and tell you what you may be able to sell them for,” says Barker. Also great? Visit BookScouter.com, enter your book’s ISBN number (on the back cover near the barcode) and it will find sites looking to buy that book. Barker’s tip: Use BookScouter’s price history feature to see how much your books have sold for previously.
Purses, sunglasses, and more sell well on sites fashionistas prowl such as Poshmark.com, Tradesy.com, or Mercari.com. “The best items to place on these sites are those without sizes like handbags and accessories — although shoes do tend to sell as well,” says Lana Blanc, a personal stylist and shopper in New York City. “Just keep in mind with these sites it’s all about the photos, so you want to make sure yours are clear and shot in good light so buyers can see the important details.”
“With snapping individual photos, taking measurements and writing descriptions, selling clothing can be a chore,” says Chelsea Bagley, home organizing blogger at NestingNaturally.com. But a site like ThredUp.com will do all the work for you — making it so easy to cash in! You simply sign up for a “clean out kit,” they’ll send you bags to place your items in and you can drop them off at a local FedEx or USPS location. Once your items sell, you can choose either credit to ThredUp or cash via direct deposit or PayPal.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.