When you need some cash or just want to streamline and simplify, look no further than your own home. We all have things that we can sell for cash — sometimes a lot of cash. So if you're feeling the itch to make some money and get rid of unwanted stuff at the same time, look around for any of these 10 things you can sell for cash.
Do a search on eBay to see what people are paying for old editions of magazines. Don't forget to look at the completed listings to see what's selling and what's not. You'll be surprised by how much things can go for.
If your particular magazines lying around aren't getting much traction, try packaging them as a lot and selling them that way. With many things on eBay, lots tend to sell better. And if you just aren't getting any bites, don't toss them — drop them off at a nearby school or preschool for the kids to use in their art classes.
Books are ubiquitous in many homes, and quite often these books are unread and/or unwanted. If you've got books that you're done with, try selling them online. The best place to begin is Book Scouter. Plug in the ISBN of the book you're trying to sell, and Book Scouter will find the best place on the web for you to list it.
Don't want to mess with listing and mailing a bunch of individual books? Try selling a bunch of similar books in a lot (like fiction or biography). Local bookstores may also buy back some of your books, as will any used bookstore. You can also check Amazon to see if your books have a trade-in value. If so, you can mail them in and receive a credit to Amazon, which is almost as good as cash.
3. Old Cell Phones
Who doesn't have an open mind around somewhere? Just the other day, I came across one of my old ones. First stop: Gazelle, where you can see how much your old phone might get you these days. And while you're there, think about any other small electronics you no longer want, because Gazelle also buys things like old laptops and mp3 players.
4. Your Clothes
If you've got clothes in good condition in your closet, you may be sitting on some real cash. Try ThredUp to sell your unwanted clothes online. Think you can do better in person? Take them to a consignment store. National chains include Buffalo Exchange and Plato’s Closet, but many areas have local consignment shops, too. You can also look for buy/sell/trade groups on Facebook — great for “niche” clothes (like a particular brand).
Yard sales are terrible for selling clothing, so don't plan on making much money that way.
5. Kid Clothes, Gear, and Toys
Selling kid clothes is a great way to make some cash. There are consignment shops like Kid2Kid and Once Upon a Child that only sell baby and kid items, as well as many local stores who do the same. Look for mega-consignment sales if you want to tag and sell your items for a bit more, or turn to Facebook to find groups to offload your outgrown kids clothing.
6. Musical Instruments
If you've got your high school clarinet or your college guitar sitting around gathering dust, think about selling it. You can try music stores, but also check out sites like eBay and Craigslist to see what kind of traction you can get there. You may also be able to sell your old instruments to local high schools.
The easiest way to sell your used bikes is on Craigslist. You can also try community resell groups on Facebook, or check out your local bicycle and sporting goods stores to see if they purchase used bikes.
8. Gift Cards
Don't let your unwanted gift cards go to waste! If you don't want to regift them, try selling them. The safest way to do this is online at resale sites like Cardpool, but you can also have good luck selling them via Craigslist or local groups on Facebook.
9. Camping Gear
Camping gear is expensive, and if you've got some that you aren't using, it may be time to get some cash in your pocket. You can try selling individual items on eBay, but you may have the best luck selling it in a lot on Craigslist or in a community group on Facebook.
10. Anything Metal
Scrap yards will buy anything metal. It might not be something to build your retirement on, but if you've got bits of stuff here and there — old keys or door knobs, a collection of soda can tabs, a dead chest freezer in the garage, old patio furniture that no one will buy — take them to the scrap yard. You'll be paid to recycle things you would have thrown out anyway.
How to Sell Your Stuff in 3 Easy Steps
Experts say the average person has around $1,000 to $2,000 in unwanted stuff lying around the house. If you are in a pinch, this is one of the first places to start. No investment is involved and you may be able to get your cash today. Today we are talking about how to sell your stuff in three easy steps.
Step 1: Identify Your Subjects
If you are looking to sell your stuff because you need cash fast, I have to warn you this will likely be an emotional process. You need to sell items of value if you want to make any money. Very few people are looking to buy broken garbage. That means you have to consider “the good stuff.”
Your thoughts may immediately go to a few of your favorite things of value, but let’s look for a few less painful things if possible. We all have things lying around taking up space that we don’t necessarily want or use. These are great things to sell for cash.
Before you get started on your treasure hunt, I want you to designate the corner of one room or your garage for making your pile(s). The less you have to touch your items during this process the better.
My experience and research on selling used goods have been so enlightening. A lot of things I would have previously considered trash actually have value. Carefully consider your clutter. If you are a recovering mystery box junkie like myself, you may have a ton of unopened beauty products filling your bathroom cabinets. While you should never, ever sell used makeup, unopened, unexpired full-size items have value. Box them up and sell them as a lot. This example wouldn’t be suitable for online sale due to shipping costs and restrictions, but you may be able to unload it in a local Facebook Group.
Things like books or clothing, on the other hand, do ship and sell well online. These items need to be in good condition. No rips or stains. When it comes to books, fiction is pretty timeless but things like textbooks or guides may have an expiration date for usefulness. A quick ISBN search on a site like Amazon or Book Scouter will tell you the trade-in or resale value of your books.
Step 2: Set Your Prices
We’ve already identified a few ways to determine the value of items. A quick online search will let you know how much similar items are being sold for online. Remember to look for items sold not just those listed. You can list an item for whatever you would like but that doesn’t mean anyone is going to buy it. Look for the buying price.
Step 3: List Your Items
Now is when the fun really begins. You will first need to determine where you will list your items for sale. Bulky or heavy items are going to be best suited for local classifieds like Facebook Buy/Sell Groups or Craigslist. These places are also great if you are looking to get your cash today. I previously mentioned selling like items (ex. clothing of the same size or season or knick knacks of the same style or genre) as a set, or “lot.” This can save you a ton of time if you need cash fast. You may not be able to get as high of prices as if you piecemeal everything, but sometimes faster is better.
If you can wait a little longer for your money and are willing to pack and ship, there are some awesome places to sell stuff online. I love ThredUp for unloading women’s and children’s clothes and they will pay you upfront for your goods. There is no waiting for them to sell to get your money. A great local alternative to ThredUp is Plato’s Closet or Buffalo Exchange.
When it comes to books, Book Scouter is great for getting the best price. Enter your ISBN and they will show you the offer price for a number of sites. I frequently trade-in used books on Amazon for store credit. It’s not cash, but you can buy almost anything on Amazon. If you need your money today, check out your local bookstores. Hastings, for example, will give you cash or store credit for used books.
You can list almost anything on eBay and they have a ready audience hungry for new auctions. “Lots” of items do well on eBay as do unique, vintage and even replacement parts for household items like vacuums. You will need to pay a small listing fee or commission when your item sells.
You will need to take a few good pictures of your items with your smartphone and write up a good description. I recommend taking all of your pictures at once so you can do all of your listings at once. Don’t waste time jumping back and forth between tasks. Always bulk task when you can.
Make sure to include any flaws. Once posted, wait for inquiries to roll in. Set up a meeting time and get paid. Do not meet at your home. Do not accept anything other than cash. Period. No exceptions.
You can always have a yard sale, of course. For me, I find it’s a little too stressful. You have to worry about the weather, getting a permit, putting it in the newspaper… and then you need to do a whole ‘nother once-over with the items that don’t sell and once again decide whether they are worth selling, donating or trashing. I like to keep it simple and quick.
I’d love to hear how much you have earned from decluttering or if you have any stellar tips on how to sell your stuff.