U.S. Markets closed

20 Hidden Sources of Income Lying Around Your House

Cameron Huddleston

The unused items collecting dust in your home could be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars. People tend to underestimate the value of their belongings, but buyers often are happy to pay serious cash for rare or limited items, said Jacquie Denny, founder of Everything But The House (EBTH), an online estate sale service. However, even everyday items can find a buyer.

Whether you’re on a cash crunch or want to do some heavy spring cleaning, check around your house for these 20 things you can sell online and elsewhere for extra money.

1. Clothing

Chances are that you and your loved ones have clothing that’s collecting dust in a closet. If these items are gently worn, you might be able to cash in by selling them. One of the easiest ways to unload your used clothing for cash is to sell items on consignment.

I’ve been selling clothes through a local consignment store for years and regularly receive 50% of the selling price for items I unload. To earn top dollar, look for upscale consignment stores that enjoy a lot of foot traffic. Additionally, you should find out what brands and items the store accepts and make sure your clothing meets the store’s standards.

You can also sell to an online reseller such as thredUP, which will send you a prepaid package to ship your items.

2. Designer Shoes and Handbags

If you paid big bucks for designer shoes or a handbag that you now rarely use, you can reclaim some of your money by selling these items online. Frugal living expert Lauren Greutman said she has sold shoes through Poshmark for up to 50% of the retail price.

You can snap a picture of the items you want to sell using the Poshmark app and list them instantly. Poshmark will send a prepaid label to ship items that sell and take a $2.95 commission for sales less than $15 and a 20% commission for sales above $15.

3. Jewelry

If you inherited a necklace that isn’t your style or have an engagement ring you no longer wear because you’re divorced, you might want to consider selling these pieces for cash. Fine jewelry can be worth a lot, said Denny.

To make sure you get the full value of your jewelry, consider having items appraised beforehand. You can find an appraiser near you through the American Society of Appraisers’ site, Appraisers.org, or sell online through an auction site such as eBay. You can also opt to sell to a jeweler or pawn shop, but it’s important to seek out quotes from several stores before doing so.

4. Computers

Many households have $400 to $800 worth of cash in the form of unused laptop computers, said Michele Perry, a consumer tech expert at electronics resale site Gazelle. Fortunately, sites such as Gazelle and NextWorth make it easy to unload these unwanted laptops for cash.

With Gazelle, sellers can request a quote for their device. They are then able to ship it for free if it’s worth more than $1.

Perry said you will receive cash after sending in the device. She went on to remind sellers to erase the data on their computers prior to sending them in.

5. Cellphones

Used cellphones are another tech items you can sell for cash — even if they’re damaged.

“Most devices still have value even if they are broken or damaged, as long as they are fully functional and just have a broken screen or need to replace a battery or button,” Perry said. In fact, sellers can net $115 for a 32 GB iPhone 7 that’s in good condition on Gazelle.

Sellers can also unload old cellphones on sites like kiiboo and NextWorth or drop their phones into one of the more than 2,000 ecoATM kiosks located in shopping malls across the nation.

 

6. Gift Cards

Every year, roughly $1 billion in gift cards go unused, according to the professional services firm CEB TowerGroup. If you have gift cards you’re not planning to use, you can sell them to earn some supplemental income on sites such as CardCash, Cardpool and Raise.

The above sites purchase gift cards for less than face value and then resell them at a discount. For example, you can get back up to 92% of a card’s value at Cardpool.

7. Books

If you have books you know you’ll never read again — or at all — you can easily turn them into cash by selling them online. Check to see if you have any first edition books or books autographed by authors to start, said Denny, as these items could be good sources of hidden money.

Greutman recommended selling unwanted books on Amazon. Scan your books using the free Amazon Seller app, which tells you the current value. You can list your books with the app and price them based on Amazon’s pricing suggestions, she said. It’s important to note that Amazon charges 99 cents per item sold.

You can also visit sites like AbeBooks and Biblio to see what your books might be worth.

8. Children’s Toys

It’s no secret that children outgrow their toys quickly. Luckily, you can make money selling your kids’ unwanted toys — especially larger items such as kitchen playsets.

If you have several smaller toys to sell, Greutman advised requesting a box from Swap. Earning $25 to $50 per box is not uncommon, according to Greutman. However, there is a flat rate “inbound service fee” of $11.90 for a label or $14.90 for a label with a box or bag.

9. Collectible Dolls

If you inherited a collection of porcelain dolls from your grandmother, it might be time to dig them out of storage. In fact, according to Denny, people are willing to pay top dollar for collectible dolls.

Additionally, individuals whose children have old American Girl dolls might be sitting on cash cows. These toys command a high price on eBay, said Greutman. For example, a retired Molly McIntire doll is listed for more than $4,000 on eBay.

10. Furniture

Make some extra cash by selling unwanted furniture that’s occupying space in your garage, attic or storage unit. Along with selling items in consignment stores, which offer owners a percentage of the final price, individuals can opt to advertise locally on Facebook, Craigslist or OfferUp.

Budgets are Sexy blogger J. Money has made more than $1,000 selling items on Craigslist, including furniture. When listing an item on the site, he recommended posting several pictures, providing all of the dimensions, using keywords such as brand names in your description and researching prices of similar items. Additionally, you should make yourself available by phone or email to respond to interested buyers.

11. Musical Instruments

That guitar or drum set you bought years ago because you thought you were going to start a band can be turned into cash if your dreams of rock stardom never materialized. In fact, J. Money reported selling an electric guitar, amps and accessories on Craigslist for $225. You also can sell musical instruments online through sites such as Reverb, which charges a 3.5% fee on sales, or at a physical retailer such as Guitar Center.

12. Sporting Goods

Denny said that outdoor sporting goods — such as bicycles, canoes and fishing gear — tend to sell well on EBTH. If you have sporting goods you bought for yourself or your kids, you can sell them on your own through Craigslist or OfferUp.

Additionally, you can take sports gear — such as skis, golf clubs, baseball bats, gloves and football cleats and helmets — to a Play It Again Sports store and receive 30% to 50% of the selling price.

13. Sports Memorabilia

If you collected baseball cards or sports jerseys as a child, you might be able to exchange these items for much-needed cash. Signed sports memorabilia, in particular, can be a big source of income.

“The more famous the player, the higher the prices demanded,” Denny said. For best results, consider having your items appraised to determine how valuable they are.

You can find an appraiser through Appraisers.org or have trading cards professionally authenticated through the Professional Sports Authentication at PSACard.com. One of the best places to sell sports memorabilia is eBay, which many sports enthusiasts use to find collectibles.

14. Antiques

If you have antiques you’re willing to sell, their value will hinge largely on their condition and whether they are rare or have historical significance, Denny said.

“With antiques, small scratches and evidence of light wear and tear can actually increase the value slightly, but structural damage and other repairs can be costly and dissuade sellers,” she said. “All these complicating factors are part of why it’s important to work with a reputable appraiser.”

The best way to secure top dollar for antiques is to sell them through an auction house, according to Consumer Reports. You can also sell to antique dealers, but be sure to get quotes from a few services before doing so. Additionally, you can sell antiques at EBTH, which offers appraisers who will value individual items or an entire estate.

15. Artwork

Whether you have inherited artwork that isn’t your taste or pieces you purchased are collecting dust in the attic, you can opt to sell these items for cash.

For fine art, consider having items appraised before selling. Regional artwork sells particularly well in EBTH sales, said Denny. You can also sell your fine art through auction houses.

16. China Sets

If formal dining isn’t your style, you can unload that china set you inherited or received as a wedding gift at a local consignment store. Denny said china is a popular item sold on EBTH — especially sets made by Spode, Lenox and modern designers, such as Ralph Lauren. Additionally, sellers can list china sets on Craigslist.

17. Silver

If you inherited some sterling silver trays, serving spoons or other items you don’t use, you might be able to earn cash selling them “as is” or for scrap.

“If the silver holds any sort of historical significance, or has any brand association, it will offer a much greater return than if you were to sell it to scrap,” Denny said. However, she acknowledged that the current market for silver is a difficult one.

At the present time, buyers might get more money selling silver pieces for scrap than at a consignment store or through an auction house. For best results, secure quotes from several metals dealers — both online and storefront.

18. Savings Bonds

You might have received — or even purchased — savings bonds decades ago only to forget about them completely. In fact, billions of dollars’ worth of matured savings bonds have never been cashed in, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Fill out a form to claim lost, stolen or destroyed savings bonds through TreasuryDirect.gov.

19. Appliance Parts

Small appliances that are old or broken can still have value, Greutman said. That’s because you can sell their parts on eBay. For example, Keurig K-cup holders can sell for more than $20 on eBay.

20. Video Games

You can cash in on those video games you or your kids no longer play by selling them online or at various brick-and-mortar retailers. Sites such as uSell and NextWorth purchase used video games and offer free shipping. Additionally, you can sell used video games at retailers such as GameStop, which will pay cash or give you store credit to buy more hours of fun.

More From GOBankingRates

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 20 Hidden Sources of Income Lying Around Your House