5 Tips for Successfully Selling Used Items from Your Home
| Photographs By Raphye Alexius/Raphye Alexius
Ever needed some extra money quickly but didn’t know where it was going to come from?
A lot of people experience this feeling and you don’t really want to go into debt just for a $40 purchase. I always tell people that one of the easiest and quickest ways to earn extra money is to sell used items from around their home.
Keep in mind that one person’s trash can always be another person’s treasure and some of your old stuff may pack a lot of value to other people. However, selling used items isn’t always as easy as listing something on eBay and getting a sale within a day.
Sometimes, it does require a bit of strategy and organization when you’re just starting out and especially if you want to make a larger profit. On the bright side, the overall process is still rather simple if you follow these crucial steps.
1. Be Honest About What You Really Don’t Need
As Americans, we’re taught by society to become consumers. We often buy stuff based on emotion along with items that have a short lifespan or need to be upgraded every year. Even if you are more mindful about your purchases, there’s a big chance that you have a few items lying around that you no longer use and could sell.
The only exception would probably be if you’re a backpacker or only possess a few essential items. Whether you live in an apartment or a 2,500-square-foot home, I’m sure you have something in your house that you could manage to sell.
The key is to be honest with yourself about the things you truly don’t need anymore. Ask yourself if you’ve used certain things within the past year. I do this all the time with clothes because I realize I only tend to wear the same few items over and over again.
Be comfortable with purging your home and letting clutter go if it no longer provides any value to you.
2. Finish One Room Before Going to the Next
One of the best ways to purge items and declutter your home so you can potentially sell some things is to attack each room one by one. If you’re already thinking of selling used items from your home to make some extra cash, you may have a general idea of what you’d like to sell. While that’s a great thing, you don’t want to bypass the opportunity to uncover other items that could increase your profits.
For example, I plan on selling some of my son’s old toys in the upcoming weeks. He hasn’t really played with most of his toys in a while and I know some are still in great condition. That being said, I also plan to thoroughly check his room for other items I could sell, like clothing, movies, games, etc. Plus, it wouldn’t hurt to do a full sweep of the house to increase my inventory and potential payout.
Make the effort to go through each room and don’t miss potential gold mines like the basement, storage room, or the garage. That way, you’ll be less likely to miss anything.
3. Sort Your Items and Choose Where to Store Your Inventory
Once you have all the items you’re looking to sell, sort them into categories. It’s important to do this because you may have found yourself decluttering during this process and some items may not actually be sellable. In that case, you can donate them or pitch them instead.
Create a “trash,” “sell,” and “donate” bag to save yourself time. Sorting your items is also good because it helps you brainstorm better ideas of places where you could sell them. For example, you may not want to sell DVDs, clothes, kid’s toys and furniture all in the same place.
4. Generate Options of Places to Sell Your Items
After you’ve sorted the items you wish to sell, it’s time to figure out exactly where you’ll sell them. If you’re looking to sell your items online, Amazon and eBay are two of the best places to sell general items. Electronics, household goods and supplies, and books all do well on these sites. On these sites, you’ll pay a listing fee and a small commission whenever you sell an item.
However, don’t forget about all your other options. If you are selling clothing, apps like Poshmark may be more suitable. Or, if you’re selling children’s clothing or toys, you may want to trade them in for cash at your local Once Upon a Child Store.
If you have furniture, you may want to sell it on Craigslist, in a local Facebook group, or at a resale store in the area that buys used furniture. Last year, we sold our old coffee table (that we got for free from my in-laws) for $15 at a local buyback store. It was one of the quickest ways I’d ever made money.
5. Research What Other Items Have Sold for
Next, you really want to do your research in terms of pricing to make sure you get the most bang for your buck. The best way to do this is to look online and see what other used items that are similar to yours are selling for.
One of the perks of creating your own listing to sell items online is that you can set your own pricing. When you try to sell or trade in items to bidding sites, you often get stuck with a lowball offer of what they believe your item is worth.
This is why it always pays to do your research.
If you are selling your items online, be sure to take high-quality pictures and use a clear description. Be honest about the condition of the item and conduct fair pricing. If you’re meeting with a buyer, make sure you organize a public meeting area and allow the person to test out the item before buying it if needed.
In terms of collecting payment, when you use Amazon and eBay, you’ll be able to safely get paid, but most of the time, it’s safer to deal with cash if you can. PayPal is great, but there are scams out there and the same goes with checks.
Even still, selling your used items can be an easy way to make some money and avoid taking on debt for unexpected expenses.
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