If you are looking to earn some extra cash, chances are you can do it without even leaving home.
Most of us have far too much stuff. With a little bit of work, you can easily turn that extra stuff into some extra income.
I routinely go through and sell items I don’t need anymore. There’s always more to declutter. I could probably still sell a lot more than I already do and never even miss it. I love that feeling of clearing out the clutter and it is a great way to help my budget at the same time. I once made $700 in a weekend simply by decluttering my home so selling your stuff can definitely be profitable.
Before you start selling your stuff, there are a few things you need to consider.
Price Things Appropriately
The biggest factor in whether or not your items will sell is how well you price it. If something doesn’t sell right away, chances are you have priced it too high. Drop the price and see if you have any luck. You do want to maximize what you get for your stuff but if you have to spend extra time trying to sell it, that isn’t worth it. Drop the price, sell it, and move on to something else.
If you find yourself using the terms “collectible” or “hard to find item”, automatically take the price you have in mind and cut it in half. What collectible really means is “this item needs a very specific buyer”. The average buyer is not going to be willing to pay more for what you are selling. If the item is truly a one-of-a-kind collective and it is worth it to you to take the time to get the price you’d like to see, look to eBay or more specialized markets to sell.
Posting Time Matters
If you are selling on places like Facebook sale groups, your posting time matters. Similar to garage sales, people shop on Saturdays, after they get off work for the day, and on holidays. If you post on a Monday morning, your post likely won’t get as much visibility.
The exception to this is baby and kid items when you are targeting stay at home moms, but even then you’ll often still get a better response during peak times. Each group is a little bit different. Experiment a bit with different posting times and see what is the most effective for your local area.
Clean your Item thoroughly
It is tempting to sell your item as is. You are getting rid of it because you no longer need it and you probably don’t want to give the item any more of your time. You’ll often get 25-50% more for an item that is cleaned thoroughly and in good repair though, so it is worth the time to prepare you things before you list them for sale.
Be sure and clean beyond the surface. Used items always look dirtier to someone else than they do to their former owner so make sure to clean more than you think you need to. There’s a lot you can do to improve the appearance of something if you just take a few minutes to clean it up.
A good photo can go a long way towards selling your item for you. Whenever possible, use natural lighting (and lots of it). Place your item by a large window so the light is going towards your item. If you need to, a large piece of white poster board can be used to bounce additional light to the sides of your item.
Pay attention the background. Avoid clutter as much as you can. People don’t want to be distracted by other things in your picture. Arrange your items in a way that emphasizes the best features and makes the item look attractive.
Where to Sell Used Items
Now that your item is ready to sell, you are ready to list it. Here are a few of our favorite places to sell used items:
Facebook Sale Groups
There are probably many local Facebook yard sale groups you can join. I’ve found that items tend to sell faster on these sites than many others (provided you price things competitively) because you can reach people who are close to you geographically. To find groups in your area, search “YOUR CITY sale”, “YOUR CITY garage sale”, “YOUR CITY yard sale”, etc.
You’ll get a feel for which groups are most effective and are the most active. You can cross-list your item and promote it in several groups, just be sure to note that in the item description. Facebook is my go-to for things I want to get rid of quick. Anything I would throw in a garage sale, I’ll list in a Facebook group. Most things, if I price them right, can be sold and picked up in the same day so it is a great way to get some quick cash and clear out clutter without spending a lot of time doing it.
For smaller items that are easy to ship and may be a bit harder for people to find, eBay is a great option. They do take a cut but you can sell just about anything here, for the right price. I’ve even sold a car on eBay after I had trouble selling it locally. This is the place to go for true collectibles, more expensive items that are easy to ship, and things that are in high demand.
For books and other media, you can sell through Half.com, which is owned by eBay. Your items may take a bit longer to sell this way but you’ll likely get a higher profit than you would selling books over eBay.
You can still have good luck selling some items on Craigslist. I tend to go here first for things that need a more specialized buyer but aren’t worth the time to list on eBay or are too bulky to ship. Things that take a bit longer to sell may do well on Craigslist too, since people can search for keywords whereas on Facebook posts tend to get pushed down and never seen again.
Have a garage sale
To be honest, this is typically my last resort. Garage sales take so much time and they require you to hold onto your unwanted stuff until you have enough for a larger sale. I prefer to get rid of things as I go so I can do a bit at a time. If you are moving or doing a large purge of your stuff, though, a garage sale can be the way to go.
You already know you can buy anything you want on Amazon but did you know you could sell stuff on Amazon too? If you have used books in good condition or other items that are new in the package, you can easily sell them through Amazon. Amazon offers a few options for selling your stuff. The easiest option is Amazon FBA. FBA stands for fulfilled by Amazon and it means all you have to do is pack your stuff in a box, ship it to Amazon, and let them sell it for you. You’ll get paid when your stuff sells, minus a portion Amazon will keep for their services. There is a bit of a learning curve for this method since Amazon is very particular about how you package and label your things but it is a great option, especially if you are good at finding deals and want to turn a profit on a regular basis. We send off several boxes of stuff to Amazon every month and have built up a great side business doing this.
If you want to keep more of the money you earn, you can sell through the Amazon marketplace. This involves listing your item for sale on Amazon and then you will be responsible for shipping when your item sales.
Do you have electronics that you no longer need? Gazelle lets you turn them into cash. We shipped off a few old phones for cash not long ago and I was shocked at how easy it was. We had cash in our account within a few days and we got to clear out some of the electronic clutter that was floating around the house.
Gazelle will buy back everything from phones, to tablets, to computers. Find out what Gazelle will pay you for your electronics here.
Close5 is similar to Craigslist but they have an app that makes it really simple to list your stuff (and find things to buy locally). I haven’t sold anything on here but it’s on my list to try out next time I go through and declutter my house.
OfferUp is a popular app and they often have great listings in most local areas. The app makes it super easy to list your things and you can communicate with buyers directly through the app to keep things in one place. I have friends who swear by OfferUp to sell their things and tell me it is the first place they go to sell their stuff. Depending on your area, you may find higher quality items here, which means people are often willing to pay a bit more.
You’ll need to evaluate what you are selling to decide what the best method is to sell it. You can make good money clearing out the clutter in your home though so it is a great way to get some cash, start your emergency fund, or pay for a special occasion.
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