It's spring cleaning season. But before you toss your old stuff on the curb or schlep it to the donation center, consider selling it for extra cash. These days, there are a number of places you can sell your things online and in-person, and all it takes is some time and effort. You'd be surprised at the resale value some of your old "junk" holds. So, let's take a look!
If you comb Craigslist or your local Buy/Sell group, you're bound to see a lot of furniture for sale. It might seem like there's a glut, but a lot of these pieces move — and fast. We have had great success selling desks, dressers, bookcases, and even a couch during moves. And we've made hundreds of dollars doing so.
Check out the Splitwise Furniture Calculator to figure out fair asking prices. For example, we bought a couch three years ago for $900 that didn't fit in our new space. Taking into account the age, price, and condition (fairly good), the calculator estimated we could ask $420, or nearly half our original purchase price. We listed it for $450 and settled on $425 with the buyer doing all the heavy lifting.
Sure, old electronics depreciate at a fairly rapid rate. At the same time, how many of us have last generation cell phones, eReaders, televisions, digital cameras, and other tech devices just taking up space in a closet or drawer? I'm raising my hand here, and I'm positive many readers are joining me.
Let's take a look at the Apple iPhone 3G. We have two of these guys in our junk drawer because our cell plan just allowed us to switch phones for free. We actually got the 3Gs for free to begin with (same plan promotion), and I used Worth Monkey to figure out a fair asking value: $30 for each. I also have an old Nook Color that I've stopped using since we got an iPad. I could get around $34 if I choose to sell it. It's better than collecting dust.
3. Designer Duds
Do you have any true investment pieces in your wardrobe you no longer wear? Certain luxury brands hold incredible resale value, including Givenchy, Victoria Beckham, Charlotte Olympia, and Alexander McQueen. If so, you can go the consignment route with sites like TheRealReal and make a mint — up to 70% of the sale price (and most pieces sell in just three days).
For the rest of us, consignment stores, thrift shops, and even online second hand shops offer tons of opportunities to sell your old wearables, purses, and shoes for cash. Usually clothing that holds the best value is in good condition (no holes, rips, or stains), within a few seasons, and from popular labels. Try your local shop or check out thredUP (here's how it works), where you'll send your clothes in a postage paid bag and earn money to spend on the site or cash out.
4. Kid Stuff
My local mom group has a Facebook page entirely dedicated to selling baby and kid gear. The minute something is listed, it's claimed (and often with a bidding war). Things like play houses, slides, water tables, strollers, bikes and scooters, baby swings, and clothing are all hot items. Don't feel like listing on your own? Check out resale shops, like Once Upon a Child, and get paid on the spot.
And if you walk around your neighborhood during yard sale season, you'll see these things picked over quickly. Better yet, you can charge higher prices — even 100% of your initial purchase — since most gear gets minimal use. My advice? Consider advertising your sale on Craigslist or Facebook with a photo preview of what you're selling. If people see you have a play house they've been seeking, for example, they might camp out and buy it straight away.
5. Cloth Diapers
Furthermore, cloth diapers — yes, used ones — hold a surprising value and resell like crazy. In fact, you can recoup up to 64% of your original investment if you keep your diapers in good working order. Add to that the thousands of dollars cloth diapering saves over disposables, and the extra effort with washing diapers seems totally worth it.
Keep in mind that certain brands and types of diapers sell better than others. FuzziBunz one-size and bumGenius 3.0s are two popular brands and styles that sell particularly easily. And unique prints or speciality diapers may even earn back more than their original purchase price. To keep diapers fresh and in good condition, always follow the manufacturer's care instructions.
6. Tools and Garden Supplies
As far as yard sales go, some of the bestselling items are those for the home and garden. You can list a circular saw for up to $36. A lawn mower might earn you $137. Use a guide like Statricks to help find the "Blue Book" value of whatever it is you're looking to sell. There's also some cool data on this site: Did you know a Craftsman vacuum is listed in local classifieds about every 40 hours?
Garage sales are a lot of work, however, so if you have tools and home maintenance stuff you're looking to unload — try online. eBay has long been a great option for selling second-hand items. Their home and garden section is bursting with great brands at fair prices that attract buyers from all over the world. Just register for a free account, take photos, write up a description to list, and get paid.