Turn Your Clutter Into Cash
If you still need a reason to reduce the amount of clutter taking up your space, time and energy, here’s a great one: you can turn it into cash, fast!
It’s easier than ever to transform unused, unwanted items into money you can use toward paying down debt, padding your emergency fund or saving for something special.
Don’t put it off any longer. Tackle those closets, purge those drawers, gather that clutter and start getting paid. Here’s how:
With more than 1.5 million visitors a day, eBay is the international destination for buying and selling just about anything. Their user interface makes it super-easy to list your items for sale; you can even do it all right from your smart phone! The keys to successful eBay selling are accurate photos and descriptions of your items. Friendly communication and shipping items quickly after they’ve sold will also help you build positive buyer feedback.
While there’s no predicting what might catch a buyer’s eye on any given day, consistently strong sellers include: unused, limited-edition cosmetics and fragrances, designer handbags and brand-name kids’ clothing and accessories in good condition.
If you don’t have time to pack and ship items, or they’re too big to ship (like musical instruments, furniture or sports equipment) consider selling them on Craigslist. Just as with eBay, quality photos and accurate, detailed descriptions of your items will help them sell better. Most Craigslist users aren’t afraid to haggle over price, so start by pricing your item 10-30% higher than the absolute lowest price you’ll accept to give the necessary wiggle room.
Because these are face to face transactions, take common sense safety precautions: accept only cash or money order for payment, meet in a public place to conduct the transaction or, if the buyer is coming to your home, be sure to have someone with you and conduct business outside, if possible.
So you don’t want to take pictures, write descriptions or ship packages, you just want to get paid for your clutter. Consignment is the option for you. Consignment stores sell your items for you and take a portion of the profits – up to 50%. But they also do all the work – all you have to do is drop off your items and pick up the check when they sell.
Clothing, shoes and accessories are the most commonly consigned items. But consignment stores selling furniture, as well as sports and exercise equipment, are becoming more common. Your items have a better chance of being chosen for consignment if they are ready for the selling floor. Clothing should be clean and wrinkle-free, furniture polished, and sports equipment clean and in good repair.
Garage or Yard Sale
The easiest way to clear the clutter and cash in on a wide variety of items quickly is to hold a yard or garage sale. This is the chance for anything goes – clothing, furniture, household items, cookware, books, DVDs, toys – the list of what treasure hunters will snap up is endless. Though you won’t yield as much profit per item as you would with the other methods, you’ll make up for it in sheer sales volume.
Items don’t have to be pristine, but ensure they’re presentable by dusting or vacuuming them. Be friendly and willing to negotiate on price and get an early start to capture the most traffic. Place neatly lettered signs on strategic corners to help buyers find you. And don’t forget to check your homeowner’s association’s rules for holding a sale before you get started.