Spring Cleaning Clutter to Cash: Ways to Make Money from Your Trash

March 24, 2014 | Posted By: Peter Siess | Categorized in: FatWallet


It's that time again. Two words: spring cleaning. There's a lot of stuff we can do without. Whether you're a homeowner with an overflowing attic or a college senior who is about to graduate with way too much stuff than you know what to do with (hint: that's me), now is the perfect time to declutter and get rid of the stuff you don't need.

That leaves you with some options:
1) Throw it all out and don't look back.
2) Drop it off at your local donation center.
3) Sell it!

Just because it's trash to you doesn't mean that it's not worth something to someone else. Even better is the fact that you have several options for ways to make money selling things you don't want. Go room by room through the clutter and gather everything you want to sell. Then consider the options that work best for you!

Yard or Garage Sale:

Make your yard your storefront and let the people come to you. Living on a busy street has its perks when it comes to yard sales. With the right advertisement and some nice weather, you can make some decent money. There are a number of tips to make more money at your garage sale. Make sure to spread the word, price items well, and make sure your wares are well organized to ensure greater success. This can be a great way to get rid of a lot of stuff in one day, but does require some amount of work for a number of hours.

Consignment Shops:

Have someone else do the selling for you. You won't make as much, and you may have to wait a bit, but with little amount of effort required it's an easy profit! Make sure you check with your local consignment shops for their rules, and be prepared to have some of your things turned down. If you don't want to have to put in the work of selling your things, and are okay taking the cut, this can be a great option.

Sell Online:

You have a number of options when selling unwanted things online. Each site has its own benefits, so you should choose carefully to get the best return.
  • Amazon is easy to use and can be compared to an online retail store. Items you sell need to have a UPC, which may limit what you can list. As well, there are fees associated with selling, which means Amazon will get some of the cut from your sale.
  • eBay is easy and the auction style set up can raise the price to more than you expected for it. As well, you can list items without the auction if you have a firm price. Unlike Amazon, you do not need the UPC for sales, which makes the site more like an online yard sale, where you can list unique items. eBay does take some percentage of the purchase depending on the amount, however.
  • Etsy is great if you have a lot of stuff that fit in one sort of genre that fits with a niche. This site is a great place to sell crafty or old items, as people often will search on Etsy for these items.
  • Craigslist is especially good for things that you are bigger and would be too expensive to ship, as people locally can find the listing and pick it up, reducing the hassle of shipping. Make sure to be safe and meet in a public place or outside to protect yourself. Without having to deal with shipping or selling fees, you can make more from your sales.
  • Facebook can also be a great way to reach out to people and find buyers of your unwanted things. While the market may be smaller, being friends increases the trust and adds ease to a sale. As well, there are groups where you can list your things to reach a wider audience. Just like Craigslist, this option can help you make more profit selling without the fees.

Classifieds:

Newspaper classifieds are classic and still a valuable resource for selling your things. Check with your newspaper for fees and rules. Classifieds are often listed online, as well, which means you can reach a local audience that may be interested in what you are selling, and also means that you don't have to deal with shipping. eBay Classifieds is another online resource that you can take advantage of for listing your things. Listing is free, but there are some restrictions on what can be listed.

Bonus:

Refurbish/Upcycle
If you're crafty and creative you can significantly increase the amount of money you can make on your unwanted things. Giving things a new purpose or a fresh look can add value to something that otherwise might just look old and worthless. Search Pinterest for craft ideas with certain objects. Try looking at your things with a different perspective and you may be surprised with what you can come up with.
Warning: You might find things hard to part with after you've fixed them up.

There you have it! You have so many opportunities for how to make money by selling the things that are taking up space and collecting dust. Take advantage of the spirit of spring cleaning and get organizing and get selling! Let us know in the comments what your favorite methods of selling are!


Good luck and happy sales!
- Peter



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Comments
March 24, 2014 | Posted By: FrugalFreak
I'm thankful you didn't include those ripoff electronic recyling trade-ins. Keep used stuff in hands of people, not trashed so we have to buy new.
March 24, 2014 | Posted By: psiess
True, although I definitely advocate recycling! But if it's not broken, chances are someone will want it, and will often will be willing to give you more money than the trade-ins will offer you. It's cheaper for the buyer than buying it from a company, and it's more money in your wallet in exchange, so there are definitely other options. Thanks for the comment!
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