Do you have the habit of gathering all kinds of bits and pieces that you don’t actually need, but you hold on to them just in case you might need them at a certain point in time? If you need some money, trying to sell all that useless stuff might not be a bad idea. You might be surprised by how many people will be interested in all kinds of unusual stuff you have and by how much money you had just lying around your house in objects that could be easily turned to profit. Plus, you’ll get a double bonus: extra money practically from nothing and a house free of clutter.
Ok now, maybe you wonder what exactly you can sell and where you can sell them. Both are valid questions, but the answers are easy. You can practically sell anything from tools you don’t use, books you’ve read, clothes, household goods, to more expensive things such as precious paintings, art or expensive furniture. There are several media you can use to try to sell your stuff, depending on what you’re trying to sell. You can sell your possessions at garage sales, on eBay or Amazon, at auction houses or consignment shops, or through classified ads. But remember, each of these places has its own purpose and target audience. The first step is to gather everything you want to sell, make a list and decide which of these media will best highlight your belongings and make them sell faster and with the biggest return. You will probably see fit to use several alternatives if you have products from different categories.
But let’s see what are the most popular and appropriate markets for what you have to offer:
1) Garage sales. They can be so fun and, if you ask me, so enticingly traditional and old-fashioned in a weirdly sweet kind of way. Especially if you have them on a bright sunny day. You can sell all kinds of stuff at garage sales, including clothes and household goods. The most important thing to keep in mind is to make sure the items you have on sale are not too large and can be easily carried or at least fit in the trunk of a car. This is not the place to sell large items like furniture; people don’t come prepared for that. Make flyers for your sale or place ads in newspapers or online on websites like Craigslist and don’t forget to mention the theme of your garage sale or at least enumerate some of the most important items that you’ll have out for sale. Another fab idea is to organize a community yard sale, especially if you don’t have enough stuff to sell on your own. Gather neighbors that are interested in getting rid of clutter and organize a sale together. The variety will probably attract more people to your sale and your items will have more chances to sell. Even if a buyer shows up for an item your neighbor has, chances are they might also get tempted by interesting things you have on display.
2) Amazon/eBay. Selling things online is probably the easiest thing. As opposed to a garage sale, you will have the comfort of not having to drag things out of your house and then back in if they don’t sell on the first day. Books and CDs/DVDs are the most popular things sold on Amazon, but you can practically sell anything, and eBay sells all kinds of items you cannot even think of. The basic rule is to make sure your items are not too big or heavy, because they will be difficult to ship. You should consider items that you can easily pack and carry to the post office. Whatever you’re trying to sell, make sure you post detailed descriptions and clear photos and stay available for any questions from bidders/buyers.
3) Craigslist. The most popular thing to sell on Craigslist is furniture. You can sell all kings of things on Craigslist as well, but given that you will sell to local buyers, it is a great opportunity to get rid of massive pieces of furniture or any other big items you might have, like bikes or large appliances. Rule of thumb: always bring someone with you when go meet a buyer. You never know whom you might run into.
4) Etsy. If you’re an artist or you enjoy crafting, Etsy is the right place for you. It is one of the most popular platforms where you can sell your creations or buy artsy stuff created by others. There is a large number of categories from accessories, beauty products, bags and purses, knitted clothing, jewelry, vintage articles, to music, drawings and paintings. Start profiting from your passion!
5) Auction houses. If you have valuable items like collectibles or antiques that you want to sell, an auction house might be more appropriate. Check out local houses and see how much you can get for your items.
6) Classified ads. If selling your stuff at yard sales or online doesn’t seem to work, you can always try placing an ad in a local newspaper. Use this for large items and only if the free online version doesn’t work, because this will not be cost-free. It could cost around $50 to place an ad in a local newspaper, but if all else fails and you have good-quality items to sell, it could be worth it. Just make sure you set the right price for your item so that it has chances to sell quickly.
If the options above are not convenient enough for you, there surely are many other websites where you can sell your stuff and you can probably even find specialized niches for what you have. If all options fail, you can always give to charity and even be able to get some tax deductions for it. Plus, giving will make you feel good and more light-hearted, especially now around the Holidays.