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It’s a new year, and whether you’re moving, are in need of cash, or just want to clear the clutter out of your house, you can make a decent amount of money by selling all of that excess crap.
A couple of Christmases back, I was struggling to make ends meet. Payroll became very hard and there was a two-week period where we were waiting on checks that never seemed to come. I ended up liquidating a lot of my assets and selling things quickly to both make payroll and enjoy a nice holiday with my family. Checks eventually came and, a year later, we’re doing great.
I learned a lot during this time. I learned how to get top dollar for all the stuff that I don’t need, as well as a way to get paid to unclutter my house. Here are several places where I sold things to keep my startup alive, got some extra cash and organize my life at the same time.
Related: 32 Proven Ways to Make Money Fast
If you’re in a pinch and need money ASAP, there’s probably a no better option than visiting your local pawn shop. While you probably don’t have a hidden gem that will get you featured on the show Pawn Stars, you can pretty much sell any of your unwanted items that have some sort of value, such as jewelry, electronics, or collectibles like coins. Make sure that you bring in some sort of proof of purchase though.
The biggest drawback of pawn shops is that you’re going to pay for selling your items in a hurry. You can definitely fetch more money through online sites like eBay, but if you need the money fast, the process may take too long.
Another option is selling your items to a local consignment shop. The main advantage of these second-hand shops is that most of them focus on one type of product. For example, there are consignment shops dedicated solely to clothes, books, musical instruments, furniture, electronics, antiques and even automobiles. Because of this, you may be able to get a better price at a consignment then you would at a pawn shop.
Before committing to a consignment shop, visit the shop beforehand to see if your items will match the clientele and determine how picky the store is about accepting used items.
Craigslist has a massive following of bargain hunters who frequently view the classified site for a steal. And it’s free to list your items. But, sometimes it may take several days or weeks for your item to sell. To ensure that you’re unloading your stuff immediately on Craigslist, you should:
- Post clear pictures of your items.
- Set a deadline — this will inspire potential buyers to negotiate.
- Clearly state what you’re selling in the headline.
- Add specific details, but keep it short. And, be honest if there any flaws.
- Research to see what prices your stuff might normally sell for.
- Batch or lot your items together. For example, if you have used children’s clothes and toys, sell those in one lot.
Fulfillment by Amazon
Image credit: Eric Broder Van Dyke | Shutterstock
This service is intended for sellers with a large inventory, but if you have some unused items, Amazon’s Fulfillment Program is another way to quickly make money from the stuff lying around your house. This works by just packing up your goods into a box, listing it and sending it to Amazon. Amazon will pick up the box up store it until it sells. When it does, Amazon will ship the item out. Since Amazon is a juggernaut, your item can easily and quickly get discovered by a massive audience. Just make sure that it’s listed at a competitive price and is an item that is in-demand.
The downside with Amazon is that the company is going to take a cut, so if you’re selling a cheaper item, like a $5 DVD, it may not be worth it.
If you are concerned with safety (as you might be with Craigslist) or with packing your items (which might happen with Amazon), you can just sell your extra stuff to people you already know. You can list your stuff on Facebook for free and, hopefully, receive a response in just a couple of hours. Since your network includes people in your neck of the woods, the transaction can go down quickly. If you have something perfect for a specific group, you might post the item on a relevant group’s page.
Besides Facebook, you can also sell stuff on Instagram. Just snap a picture and add a brief description. You can even collect payment through PayPal, in order to sell our items to a wider customer base.
If social media isn’t looking promising, download several different apps where you can sell your used items to local buyers.
Host a “raid my closet” party
This will take a little planning, but you could host a “raid my closet” party. Simply invite your friends, family or coworkers to your house and let them pick out the stuff that they want to buy from you. Hopefully, they’ll take all of that stuff that doesn’t even fit anymore off your hands by the end of the party. Best of all? It’s a party, so you’ll have fun at the same time.
If you don’t want people rummaging through your closet, Poshmark is a real-time digital selling party.
Local colleges and flea markets
If you live near a college or university, you can place flyers on campus or post the items on college forums. It’s best to do this right before a semester starts when students are looking for the stuff they need for the upcoming school year.
If there isn’t a college nearby, you could set up a table at a local flea market. You’ll have to rent a space, but flea markets are a good place to sell everything from used goods to collectibles. If the price is right, you can definitely unload everything you want to sell. Furthermore, thanks to technology like Square (and my company Due), you can accept credit cards and get paid online.
If you want to sell unwanted gadgets, like smartphones or tablets, you can make some extra cash through buyback programs like eBay Instant Sale, Gazelle, Nextworth or BuyBackWorld. The price that you’ll receive for your used electronics will vary from program to program, so do a little homework beforehand to scope out how much you can get. Additionally, timing and quality of the gadget will also determine the final price. For example, a broken first-generation iPhone is almost worthless, but a newer iPhone should sell quickly at a fair price.
Here’s to uncluttering our lives and having a little extra spending cash this year!