Selling Your Stuff for Extra Cash? Here Are the Best Ways to Do It
by Lyle Daly | Updated July 17, 2021 - First published on Oct. 31, 2019
Here's how to turn that clutter into cash.
Selling your belongings is a popular way to make some extra money. Odds are that you have some items lying around that you never use. By selling them, you can clean up the clutter in your home and get cash for it.
But once you've collected that stuff, what's the best way to sell it? Ideally, the method you choose will be fast, easy, and as lucrative as possible.
There are plenty of options out there for selling your used goods, but the right depends on what you're selling.
Smartphones and other electronics: eBay, retail trade-in programs, Buyback Boss, Decluttr, Swappa
Because there's always a demand for smartphones and other electronics, you have many options for selling yours.
eBay is usually the best option for getting the highest price on electronics, because you're selling directly to the buyer and you can set any price you want. This method may not get you quick cash, though. There's no telling how long it will be before you get a buyer.
Many large retailers, including Amazon and Best Buy, have trade-in programs in which they buy certain phone models. Keep in mind that most will pay in-store credit, not cash.
There are also resale websites for electronics where you provide information on what you're selling and get an instant offer. To accept the offer, you mail your item to the site and receive your payment once its condition is verified.
The main downside is that you're unlikely to make as much money this way as you would selling your electronics to a buyer directly. However, these sites are fast and convenient.
Furniture and appliances: Craigslist, OfferUp, Letgo, consignment shops
Because furniture and appliances tend to be on the heavy side, shipping them can be expensive. In most cases, you're better off selling them locally.
Local marketplace sites are ideal for this. Craigslist is without a doubt the most well-known option, but OfferUp and Letgo also get plenty of traffic. For the best chance of selling your stuff, try listing on all three sites.
Keep in mind that it can take some time to find a buyer, and you'll probably need to sort through quite a few messages from scammers. Here are a few tips for getting the best results with this type of site:
- Take several high-quality pictures of what you're selling and provide a detailed description.
- Repost your listings at least once a week so they stay near the top of the page.
- Don't use your real phone number to talk to potential buyers -- you don't want scammers to have your contact information. Several services, including Google Voice, will give you another phone number free of charge.
- Only accept cash payments.
You can also bring your items to a consignment shop and let the shop sell them for you. These shops typically only approve items in good condition and pay you a cut after they make the sale. Still, this is a good hands-off method -- you won't have to sell anything yourself.
Books: BookScouter, AbeBooks.com, Powell's City of Books
If you're selling used textbooks, BookScouter is the place to start. Enter the ISBNs of your textbooks and BookScouter will provide offers from any vendors currently buying those books. This makes it easy to compare how much you could get from each site without needing to compare them yourself.
AbeBooks.com and Powell's City of Books have online tools where you enter ISBNs and get instant offers. They also cover the cost of shipping your books to them.
Besides textbooks and collectibles, most books don't sell for much. If you're thinking about selling your books to clear up some space, remember that you might also be able to donate them to your local library.
Clothing and accessories: Poshmark, TheRealReal, thredUP
Several sites can help you sell your used clothes and accessories, and they each work a little differently.
Poshmark connects buyers and sellers of fashion items. It takes a cut of each sale, but also provides prepaid, pre-addressed shipping labels for your orders. You can list your items for the price you want and sell them to buyers directly.
TheRealReal is an online, luxury fashion consignment store. You either send the site your items or drop them off at one of its luxury consignment offices. The site lists your products, and when they sell, you receive your payment. If you have designer items that you don't want to sell yourself, TheRealReal is a good alternative.
With thredUP, you send in your items and get paid. Although it's fast, you usually won't make much this way. It's best if you have many non-designer items that you want to liquidate as soon as possible.
Extra cash and less clutter
With a little spare time, it's easy to get rid of things you don't need and get more money into your savings account in the process. You just need to figure out whether you want to maximize your profits or sell your stuff right away.
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