After the holidays and receiving some wonderful gifts, I found myself looking to clear some of the clutter, I just had sitting around. But I'm a personal finance blogger so naturally, I looked for the best ways I could make some extra money by getting rid of easy things to sell.
Now given my failure of selling stuff on eBay in the past, I decided to skip that entirely. (Though if you want to learn more about selling on eBay, Jason at the Butler Journal has an excellent beginners guide). I stuck to other online selling tools and local options. Not that I'm lazy, but I don't like spending tons of time turning a profit on my junk. These are the items I found easiest to sell and how I sold them.
I used to have a terrible habit of hoarding books, they look so nice. So I came up with a new rule, if I've had the book for over the year and had not gotten around to reading it, it went to the sell pile. If I'd already read a book and had no intention of rereading it, out it went. Some I sold, some I donated. Ultimately, I got rid of over 100 books. So I no longer accumulate books the same way I used to, but I still had some excess books lying around.
I use Bookscouter to find out where I can get the most for the books I want to sell. Bookscouter checks all the sites and lets you know how much they are willing to buy the book for. Recently I found some best sellers at a thrift store, I paid $1.50 and sold them for $10.50.
To use Bookscouter, simply enter the ISBN number (the numbers above the barcode on the back of the book) into the search bar. Bookscouter then searches the web for the site that will give you the best price for your book.
A lot of times I'll buy movies that come with a digital download. Which means I really don't need to keep the hard copy. If you've got a digital copy or have upgraded to blu-ray you really don't need to hold on to old DVDs.
While there are lots of sites you can easily sell your DVDs to (and be reimbursed for shipping or given a shipping label), I've found I usually get offered the most from FYE. Though it's always a good idea to look around at different quotes if you have time. You can use DeCluttr or SellDVDsOnline. I recently sold 6 DVDs and Blu-Rays to FYE for $9.
If you still have CDs, then FYE, Decluttr, and selldvdsonline also allow you to sell CDs to them.
I don't tend to spend tons of money on clothes, but I do believe in quality. If you have some nicer clothes you are looking to get rid of you can sell them to local second-hand stores. My local favorite to sell to is Clothes Mentor. Other similar stores include Plato's Closet and Buffalo Exchange. If you want to go the online route you can check out sites like ThreadUp or Poshmark
I've mention flipping some thrift store book finds earlier, but I've also managed to make a profit on clothing too. While there are some people that make a living from flipping, I'm not quite so extreme. When at a thrift store I look for nicer clothing with the labels still intact.
I rarely buy anything I'm not planning to wear, but you could if you feel confident. When I'm done enjoying the piece of clothing myself, I first look to see if I can sell it and then if I can't I donate the clothing.
For anything not listed above, depending on where you live you could find success selling on craigslist or a local facebook group. I often turn to craigslist to get rid of larger items. When I lived in Massachusetts, I sold tons of stuff using a local facebook group to downsize before my move to North Carolina.
I find I'm most successful selling when I explain why I'm getting rid of the item and include images. Make sure the images are well lit and accurately depict what you are selling. The more honest you are about the object, the easier it is for the buyer to trust you. And more likely they are to email you about buying the item. If there are some scratches mention them and where they are. If they are easy enough to hide, then say so and offer an example of how to hide them.
If you want to cut down on clutter around your house, books, movies, and clothes can be a great place to start. If you don't want to go through all the trouble of a garage sale, then you can easily sell the items online and often times you won't even have to pay for shipping. So when your next sitting on the couch binge watching Netflix, check out some of the sites above and start getting rid of your junk.
Elizabeth Stapleton is the founder and voice behind Less Debt More Wine and ElizabethStapleton.com. She is a Pinterest marketer, online entrepreneur, and recovering attorney whose writing has been featured on Entrepreneur.com, The Huffington Post, The Penny Hoarder, Budgets Are Sexy, Credit Sesame, and Magnify Money. Additionally, she has been quoted in articles on Business Insider, Student Loan Hero, and Nerd Wallet.
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