How To Make Money Selling Your Crap

how to make money selling your crap

That little pup up there is going to be you after you sell all your junk!;)

If you’ve ever seen an episode of Hoarders, you may be inclined to sit through the broadcast telling the people involved exactly what to do. But when it comes to our own stuff stored in the basement, the attic, and every closet in our home, it may not be as easy to see the solution to your clutter and your financial issues.

How To Make Money Selling Your Crap… 

The truth is, you may be sitting on a pile of cash you just never realized, and that cash can be better spent on resolving your debt problems. You also get the bonus of a more organized home. The only real skill involved in turning your trash to cash is making a concerted effort to get started.

Start Right Now

To make the processes relatively easy to start, set an empty box in most rooms of your home. When you come across an item you no longer have a need for, toss it in the box. This will prevent you from delaying the process because you are short on time during the work week and over the weekends. When the boxes start to fill up, take time to sort through the belongings and decide where to go to turn it into cash while you chill out in front of the TV or listen to your favorite music.

There are quite a few options for your items to be sold or traded. Between the Internet and local connections, you should test out several items to find what works best for you. Here are a few choices to get you started:

Pawn Shops/Consignment Stores – This is a great choice for items that have value and are still in good condition. Jewelry and quality clothing can be turned into cash through pawn shops instantly. Consignment stores will pay you (minus their commission) for items when they are sold.

Craigslist/eBay – These websites are a good choice for items that hold value as collectibles or hard to find items. Beware of the dangers of meeting with people in person through Craigslist postings (go with a friend and if you get a weird vibe throughout any of the interactions then be sure to trust your gut), and consider the sometimes substantial costs for mailing eBay items.

Garage/Yard Sales – If you have the space and the time, you can set up your own sale at home. Offload your items for a considerable discount to get rid of the clutter. You may not make a ton of cash with such drastic discounts but it can certainly be a fun way to earn some money to get that debt paid off or to put some additional funds into savings. Get friends and neighbors involved in the event planning and make a weekend of it.

Thrift Stores – After the yard sale is done and you still have a few boxes of stuff leftover, now is a good time to visit the local thrift store or Salvation Army. You can donate your belongings including clothes and housewares for others in need. Get a receipt of an estimated donation amount to be used for a tax deduction at the end of the year.

Swaps/Barters – There may be local places or online portals where you can trade your items in for something else that may be of use to you. This is not meant to give you a license to gather more junk but meant to help you remain frugal by getting things you actually need without spending any money. Swaps are fun to do with books, baby gear, craft supplies, accessories you name it! Swaps are a really fun way to get new-to-you items without spending a dime.

So, do you think you might be making some money off your crap anytime soon?

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42 comments

42 thoughts on “How To Make Money Selling Your Crap

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  1. Sandra M.

    I absolutely love Ebay, and it has been a great help in putting my old wardrobe to work on my student loans.

    I used to sell quite a bit on amazon.com, but I have not yet familiarized myself with their new system. You’d be surprised how much books will clutter up your space!

    Do not underestimate the power of a gift. Not bartering, not a swap, just “hey, I was cleaning out my closet and thought you would like this __________” Of course you can do this after you’ve tried all of the above, but paying it forward works quite nicely!

    Reply
    1. Anna Newell Jones Post author

      I love the idea of gifting stuff. I think this idea has the added benefit of helping to make sure people know that you are still thinking about them and still care about them if you’ve had to switch your lifestyle spending money on gifts and hang-outs to hanging out less and not giving traditional purchased gifts during the course of your financial cut-bakcs. People like knowing they’re are being thought of; great way to keep relationships in shape.

      Reply
    2. Sandra M.

      Never thought of it that way! When trying to be thrifty, it’s always good to be thinking of pro-social behaviors!

      Reply
  2. The Norwegian Girl

    I have a small tv-screen that I haven`t used for years, and hundreds of DVDs that I never watch anymore, A LOT of books, and some jewlery that I never use, that could probably raise some money! Seriously need to get it all cleared out and get some decent money instead!

    Reply
  3. Johnny Moneyseed

    I always opt to meet people from Craigslist (that I’m selling stuff to) at Starbucks. And during daylight. I would rather lose a good item to the trash than have someone from the Internet coming to my house.

    Reply
    1. Anna Newell Jones Post author

      That’s a good idea about meeting in a public, day-lit location. The Craigslist safety issue always concerns me. My motto is, if you get a bad vibe, trust it and don’t proceed… just isn’t worth it!

      Reply
    2. cherrypiejay

      I refuse to have people pick things up that I’ve sold online if I’m home alone, or always take a burly male friend with me if picking up from somewhere.

      Reply
  4. TheBantuGirl

    I have been working on this. I just cleaned out my closet and found some really good stuff that doesn’t fit me anymore, and I am going to all that stuff on my blog. Loving the minimalist feeling :)

    Reply
  5. Ray Out

    I just did this today! I’m moving across the country and will be living in a tiny apartment in New York. I’m selling EVERYTHING and plan on living more minimally. It feels so good to get rid of stuff.

    Reply
  6. Meghan

    I used to think that consignment stores were a good idea but I took some $88 newer jeans there (I lost weight and splurged and then lost more weight) and I got TWELVE bucks. Then I took 10 more things to a different place and got $20. If you itemize your deductions, you are much better off giving to the SA or another similar store. If you have nice stuff and you’re in Denver, the Second Time Shop on Hampden will give you a receipt. Next time, that’s where those jeans are going (though I am reading a blog about finance and shouldn’t be buying such expensive jeans in the first place).

    Reply
    1. Kate P

      Yeah consigning can be rough because you’ll never get anywhere close to what you paid for it. I usually start with ebay for things I know will sell easily – think brand name like jcrew, lululemon (oh my gosh why did i neeeed all those workout tanks?), etc. even Zara is big on ebay right now because their items are limited run.

      As far as swaps I have a group of girlfriends who will get together every 6 months or so do to a huge clothes swap, and what’s not taken home gets donated afterwards – everyone’s happy to have some new free stuff AND if you’re willing to host it and haul the stuff off afterwards you could drop some of the nicer things off at a consignment store for some extra cash :)

      Reply
  7. Hana

    Any good recommendations for selling wedding decor and my wedding dress? There are so many sites out there and it’s difficult to figure out the best ones.

    Reply
    1. Anna Newell Jones Post author

      I know a lot of brides buy/look for wedding decorations on Craigslist so that might be a good start. For your wedding dress there is a site called Once Wed and you might also want to look into local consignment shops too. I’m sure the fees vary. Good luck and I’d love to know what you find is the best solution!

      Reply
  8. cherrypiejay

    I’ve been doing this in bursts, but I live in New Zealand and we only really have one online Auction site (we do have Ebay but it’s not as commonly used) and due to this they charge crazy high commission fees. Sometimes it’s hardly worth it. Another option I’ve found is community based groups on Facebook, where you post a photo and put your ‘or near offer’ price up. Which is quite useful because that way neither party loses out on the commission fees.

    Reply
    1. Anna Newell Jones Post author

      When you put the item up on Facebook, how do you post it? Through your personal page or through another page? I’ve heard about this option before but haven’t seen where items are listed before…

      Reply
      1. cherrypiejay

        Hi Anna – I post it (while logged in to my personal page) on the ‘wall’ of the group page. The only annoying thing about the groups I’ve used is you have to request to join them and that can take a while. And you then have the option of ‘bumping’ your post. You also need to know about the groups by name as they are hard to find by just searching.

        Reply
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    1. Anna Newell Jones Post author

      I love it when they “buy” a lot of stuff from me too. The only thing with leaving your goods at Buffalo Exchange for them to donate is that then you don’t get the tax write-off, they do. Might be worth the trip to take the rejected items to the thrift store yourself for tax reasons.

      Reply
      1. Laurie

        Thats true, girl. And I totally understand why others do it….but for me when I donate, I like to just give. Knowing that I’ll help someone is payment enough for me. :)

        Reply
  10. cherrypiejay

    In NZ we also have http://www.recycleboutique.co.nz/ but they give you hardly anything for the items, I took a brand new $150+ pair of shoes in (pin-up style heels) and they offered me $12 after their commission. They also hire dodgy staff and have often been in the media for staff stealing peoples items as you have to leave them there to be assessed before they go out on the shelves. Anything ‘not good enough’ you can opt to give to charity.

    Reply
  11. Cierra

    I love selling things online! I was recently recovering from surgery and was at home for a week. I decided to use that time to sell anything that I (or my husband) no longer use. I was able to cover my surgery costs with all the things I sold :) and I don’t have as much clutter around the house. Yay!

    Reply
    1. Sandra M.

      Good for you! I think we blog followers forget about those who incur debt by accident: medical expenses, fixing your car, etc. Great job!

      Reply
  12. Kimmy @ AfterGlobe

    This is mine and my husband’s very next step in getting out of debt. While he picks up some side work, I’m going to be selling as much as I can. I can’t wait to see how much we bring in and how much faster we will be able to pay off our debt with it.

    Reply
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  14. Benjamin Andrews

    I found it interesting that you state that pawn shops are a good way to sell any items that are still in good condition. My brother and his wife are moving and want to sell a lot of their stuff before they go. I’ll send them this information so they can look for quality pawn shops in their area.

    Reply

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