In these times of austerity, we may want to look for ways to turn the clutter in our closets into cash. Thanks to the Internet, doing so is more feasible than ever.
The Magical World of eBay
If you know some of the secrets of eBay, it can be a fantastic option for turning your clothes and clutter into cash. As long as you are selling items that you have used and are finished with, these earnings are tax free.
The first thing you would need to do is set up an eBay account and a PayPal account. The PayPal account will allow you to receive payments for the goods you sell on eBay, and setting them all up shouldn't take very much effort.
You will probably get the best price for old clothes by selling them on eBay because your items will be available for many to bid on. You will need to take a look at your items, and consider which are best to post online. Consider whether you would be happy to receive them in the mail. If in doubt, send them to the thrift store.
It is also important to remember that what you paid for an item five years ago has no bearing on its worth today. Be realistic about the pricing. Starting an item at too high a price will put off buyers. When you "list" your items, remember that buyers type key words into a search engine to find what they're looking for. So, include as many as you can in your title. It is also very beneficial to include photographs. If you can, photograph your clothes on a mannequin.
Write a concise and detailed description of your item, including measurements and quality of the product. Be strategic with the end time of your listings. Keep it available for bidding long enough to get a reasonable amount of bids, but short enough that if people have any interest in the items they will want to bid sooner than later.
Taking pictures and listing items on eBay does take time and effort, but if you don't think selling your items for a few dollars is worthwhile, take a leaf out of Adam Baker's book "Man Vs. Debt." He made about $15,000 and paid off his debts by selling unwanted possessions on eBay.
SEE: Odd eBay Sales
Consignment stores can be a good option if you are looking for a less time-intensive option. You will not make the same amount of money for your items, because the store retains a percentage of the sale cost. In consignment shops, the seller pays you a portion of the proceeds from the sale. If you are planning on taking your items to these stores, then call each of the consignment stores to see what their rates are and which clothes they will take. Consignment shops often have strict standards, so make sure your clothes are in decent enough shape.
Consider a Garage Sale
Consider having a garage sale at your home. This can cost you a small amount money in advertising, but it is a good way to get rid of a lot of clothes fast. If your items are in good shape, you can still pocket a nice amount of cash. Especially if you know some of the best garage sale secrets. Be prepared to bargain with your customers, and do so with a smile. If some items aren't selling well, give everything a reshuffle, because people could have missed them on first look.
Finally, remember why you are having the sale. If the idea was to declutter, towards the end of the day create an "everything must go" sign. If you wanted to make money and think you could do better selling certain items elsewhere (on Craigslist or eBay for example) put them to one side.
Donate to Charity
Finally, donate everything that you have left to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. Ask them for a receipt. In most cases, you can get a tax deduction for your donations.
The Bottom Line
Now you're ready to turn your mountain of unworn, unloved clothing into a nice bundle of cash. Whether it's selling through eBay, garage sales or consignment shops, there are plenty of options for selling your unwanted items.
More From Investopedia