How to Turn Your Clutter into Cash: Sharing tips to help you transform your clutter into cash!
I am not a minimalist by any means. No matter how much space I have, I always seem to fill it. Though our home often accumulates its share of clutter, it’s such a good feeling to downsize the clutter and get organized. Several times a year, we go through our home and begin to remove items we no longer need. We place them into two groups: To Donate and To Sell. Items that are heavily used, worn, or outdated go in the “To Donate” group. Then, we get to work selling the rest.
With a new baby on the way, we’ve sold more this year than ever before as we make way for all of the baby items we’ve been pulling out of the attic. Are you new to selling items found around your home? In this post, I’ll share where we sell our clutter along with tips for selling.
Where to sell your clutter:
- Garage Sales: Garage sales offer the opportunity to get rid of several items at one time. We’ve had the greatest success when teaming up with a neighbor to create a bigger draw for buyers. Running a garage sale Thursday through Saturday has also paid off more than selling only on the weekend. Of course, garage sales require a large time commitment. Setting up, posting signs, and being there to run the sale takes several hours. Due to the time involved, we typically hold a garage sale only once or twice a year. In between those sales, we sell more of our clutter using the following options:
- Facebook Garage Sale Groups: Check Facebook for local garage sale groups in your area. Some groups are county specific, while others are city specific. To find a group, use the Facebook search feature. Type the name of your town, or larger towns near you, along with “Garage Sale”, or search the county that you live in. Once in a group, make sure you read the rules, as they vary group to group.
- Craigslist: When selling online, I often “cross post” larger items, posting them both in Facebook groups and on Craigslist. One advantage to Craigslist is that items don’t have to be “bumped” to the top of the feed. If an item hasn’t sold in a Facebook group, I often have success letting it sit on Craigslist for a couple of weeks.
- Ebay: This is a great option for selling items that will only appeal to a specific group of people, such as college textbooks. This is also my preferred method for selling high end items, such as electronics. No meeting a stranger in person to exchange! Instead, a secure payment is received through PayPal prior to shipping.
- Garage Sale Apps: I’ve just begun to use the app Offer Up to buy and sell. While it’s not perfect, it is user friendly and allows you to connect with people in surrounding areas easily.
Tips for selling your clutter:
- Price to sell: In order to sell your items quickly it’s important not to overprice. Don’t expect to recoup your purchase price on most used items. I’ve had the most success selling items for 25% to 40% of the original purchase price. Unless the item is new, unopened, a popular electronic item (Fitbit, camera, phone, etc.), or a currently in demand item, do not expect more than 75% of your purchase price.
- Cross reference prices for similar items: Not sure if you’re asking too much for an item or not enough? Start by checking Craigslist, Ebay and Facebook sales groups for similar items. This will give you a reference point. For example, when selling a bicycle at a garage sale, I did a quick Craigslist search to see what similar bikes were going for in my area. I found several of the same model listed for $35 to $50, with one or two at $30. This helped me decide on a listing price of $35.
- Photos matter (when selling online): Personally, I do not waste time contacting someone on Craigslist or online garage sale groups about an item if there is no photo. I gravitate towards posts containing photos that show the condition of what I’m buying, and a high quality photo draws me in even more. If you are selling online, include at least one high quality photo when possible.
- Clean your items before selling: If you’ve pulled something out of storage to sell, dust or wipe it down. If you’re selling clothing, make sure it looks fresh and wrinkle free. Personally, I don’t mind cleaning an item I’ve bought if I find it for an insanely cheap price, but I’m willing to pay more for an item in great condition. Presentation matters!
- Consider creating a “lot” from similar items: If you have multiple pieces of clothing, multiple books, or groups of items, consider selling them as a lot. For example, if you have 23 pieces of baby clothes, instead of selling each piece for $0.50, consider listing them as a lot of 20+ items for $10.
- Ask, is it worth my time? Some items will sell for very little. For example, I may be able to sell old magazines for $0.10 each. If I were selling at a garage sale, and the only effort required was slapping a price label on a box, I’d go for it. However, I wouldn’t consider it worth the effort to list online. The time it would take to type a listing, add a photo, respond to interested parties and meet buyers wouldn’t be worth the couple of dollars I may make. If you determine something is not worth the time to sell, consider donating it instead.
Do you have additional tips on selling your clutter, or any questions about the tips listed here? I’d love to hear them! Leave a comment below.
Looking for more ways to save money? Check out my Money Saving Tips here.