Tips to Make Money on Your Spring Clean Out


The old saying “your junk is someone else’s treasure” has never been so true. With the popularity of websites like eBay and Craigslist, it has become increasingly easier to make a little extra money on stuff you’re getting rid of. So when doing your spring cleaning this year, and getting rid of stuff you deemed useless, consider the value it might have for someone else. Here are some tips to follow to maximize your profits.

What Sells Well

Bigger items like appliances, furniture, exercise equipment, sporting goods, large toys, and kids play structures sell quite well on Craiglist.org. If you have a lot of big items to sell and want to get rid of them quickly with as little time investment as possible, a yard sale is the best way to go. But if you have less stuff to sell and it is in pretty good condition, you can typically get more money on Craigslist than a yard sale. When creating your listing, be sure to write an excellent description of the product, including all flaws, and take a couple good pictures of the item. By solely doing these two things you will get a lot more interest from buyers.

If you have less stuff to sell, but higher in quality, your best bet to maximize profits is to sell on eBay.com. Similar to Craigslist, write a good description, take a high quality photo, and above all, be completely honest in describing the item. For example, if you are selling a pair of Levi jeans which have a small hole in the knee be sure to take a separate photo of the hole and add it to your listing. By being completely honest from the start it will alleviate a lot of headaches down the road.

Smaller items that sell really well on eBay.com include gently used name brand kids clothes, toys, video games, books, DVD’s, and home décor. For example, in the past three months I sold 2 pair of Levi jeans for $27, and a lot of 3 gently used American Eagle Outfitters polo shirts for $32. Also, I just sold an almost new Fisher-Price Little People farm set for $16. Name brands sell really well because buyers are already familiar with the quality of the item.

How to Figure Out Shipping Costs

When selling things on eBay, there are two ways to figure out shipping costs. First, you can check ‘Completed Listings’ for the item you are selling and quickly find out what others are charging to ship the item. The problem with this method is it doesn’t take into account the cost to ship to some rural locations and should be used as more of a general rule of thumb.

Your best bet is to pre-package the item and let eBay determine the exact shipping costs for interested buyers. Essentially, you’ll enter the weight and dimension of the package and eBay will determine the costs to ship based on the prospective buyer’s zip code. This takes all the guess work out of the process and ensures you don’t get nailed paying high shipping costs and having it eat into your profits.

Protect Yourself on eBay

Your best practice to protect yourself on eBay is to use PayPal for transaction payments. By doing so, it allows you to not have to worry about bad checks and allows buyers to quickly and conveniently pay using a credit card or bank account, plus it gives buyers a sense of security as it gives them automatic eBay Buyer Protection. Never ship items until the buyer has paid in full via PayPal. Another way to protect yourself is to not accept bids from buyers with little or zero positive feedback. It is your prerogative to say in the item description that you will not accept bids from such buyers.

Protect Yourself on Craigslist

When using Craigslist, always be sure to do it safely. Since you’ll typically be dealing with a stranger, it’s a best practice to finalize the transaction in a public place like a grocery store or shopping mall parking lot. If the item is too big for you to haul to a public place and the buyer will be coming to your home, be sure to not be home alone and don’t let the buyer into your home if at all possible. Also, always trust your gut instinct and never be afraid to call off a transaction.

Best of luck with your spring cleaning and I hope you can make a few extra bucks. What items have you had success selling on eBay and Craigslist?

Author Bio: Kyle James owns and operates a coupon website and blog titled Rather-Be-Shopping.com. He lists coupons to over 850 stores and blogs about creative ways to save money and make your paycheck go as far as possible every month.

Additional Money Tips

  • 3 Ways to Make More Money at your Garage Sale
  • How to De-clutter and Make Money
  • 4 Ways to Cut Expenses Without Leaving the House
  • Six Simple Steps to Save Money on Your Utility Bills
  • Consider the costs of your waste, then consider composting

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