De-cluttering your home isn’t just a great way to lighten your load and open up free space — you can make money from the items you plan to release, too. Here are five ways to sell many common household items.
1. Consignment. In 15 years of working in the personal organization business, I have rarely worked with a client to de-clutter his home without finding some items worthy of consigning. Clothing, as well as household furnishings and accessories, are great candidates to consign. Call your local consignment stores to ask what items they accept before visiting. Typically the split is 50/50, but some shops offer a better split on higher-ticket items.
Pros: If your items are high quality and current style, you can make substantial money from them.
Cons: The consignment store may not even accept your items if they don’t believe they can sell. Or if they do accept them, there is no guarantee someone will buy them, so you earn nothing.
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2. Resale Shops. The main difference between consignment and resale is that consignment only pays you if and when your items sell, so sometimes you make nothing at all. Resale shops pay you up front for items they believe they can sell.
Pros: It’s quick. You take your items in, they choose the things they think will sell and you leave with cash in hand.
Cons: Because the shop pays you up front and assumes the risk that the item won’t sell at all, it typically pays much less than you’d earn if you consigned.
3. Pawn Shops. With the popularity of reality tv shows like Pawn Stars and Hardcore Pawn, the public is more familiar with the concept of pawn shops than ever before. Pawn shops either buy your items flat out to re-sell or give you a loan against the item that they keep as collateral.
Pros: If you don’t have a credit card, a pawn shop may be a viable option for selling items or even just getting a loan to get you through the rest of the month.
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Cons: Pawning items with the intention of buying them back is fine, but don’t risk it with anything that’s special to you, just in case you can’t buy them back. Also, pawn shops typically charge very high interest on their loans.
4. Online Classifieds. Selling directly to another person is often the most profitable way to sell unwanted items. Listing items on sites like Craigslist and eBay is simple and is often free or low cost. Remember to include good photos in your listing and offer your items on local sites to avoid the hassle of packing and shipping them once they sell.
Pros: You can earn more money selling directly because there’s no retailer in the middle taking a cut.
Cons: Scammers abound in the world of online classifieds. Keep your spidey senses on alert for anything that seems shady or out of the ordinary.
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5. Garage Sale. Bigger ticket items, such as furniture and electronics, usually sell well at yard and garage sales. Kids’ clothing and toys are also big sellers. To avoid dragging unsold items back into your life, arrange for The Salvation Army, Disabled Veterans or American Kidney Fund to come by and pick up any left over items after your sale ends.
Pros: Garage and yard sales are a great way to get to know your neighbors and unload a lot of stuff you’ve accumulated over the years, while earning some cash.
Cons: Staging, tagging, and advertising can be a lot of work, not to mention the time you’ll sit in your driveway actually conducting the sale.
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