Saturday, October 19, 2013

Clear Out Your Clutter for Cold Hard Cash

Sell your old things on Craigslist, ebay, or amazon for cold hard cash
When I look in my closet or attic and I see things that I haven’t used in a while, I see money making potential. I start by asking myself two questions:

  1. Is there any benefit to keeping this item?
  2. If not, does this item carry value for others?

If there’s no benefit to keeping the item and others don’t value it, you should discard the item to clear up space. However, if others value the item, you can convert it into cash. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather have cash in the bank than something that I don’t use taking up space and collecting dust.

One man's trash is another man's treasure
Just about everyone has stuff that they haven’t used in a while and that they have no plans to use again anytime soon. The beauty is that most likely someone else sees value in that stuff and he or she is willing to pay you for it. The idiom “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” rings true here.

Regardless of how long ago you last used the item or how old the item seems, it’s amazing what people are willing to buy from you. I’ve sold a wide assortment of old things, including software, games, a cable modem, blender, heater, fan, etc. Yes, someone actually bought an old blender from me when I upgraded to a new model and I got half of what I originally paid for it.

To sell your items, there are several options available. There’s always a good old fashioned garage sale. This works well when you need to clear things out in bulk, but don’t expect to maximize the value of each item. If you have time, the best way to maximize the overall value is to sell online. I have personally used Craigslist, Amazon, and eBay.

Craigslist is an excellent option if you want to sell things without the hassle of packing and mailing items. You can arrange a meeting to sell your item directly to your customer. There are no fees (for most categories at least) and you keep all of the profits. The downside is that your potential customer base is usually local and much more limited. This can make selling items take longer when compared to the other options.

Amazon is the largest online marketplace and can connect you to customers around the world. If you’re willing to sell your item at a competitive price, you’ll find that you can sell it quickly. Amazon works well for everyday items that are stored in their database. The downsides are that Amazon takes a slice of the profits and you need to ship your item to the customer.

Lastly, eBay offers a huge marketplace that connects you with customers around the globe. EBay works well for popular items as well as more unique items that you would be unable to sell on Amazon. Once again, though, eBay takes a slice of the profits and you are required to ship the item.

Overall, I tend to prefer Craigslist due to no fees and the ease of selling. However, for some items, you’ll find that you need to go with Amazon or eBay to connect with a broader base of users.

Setting the price
To set a price, search across these sites to see what the fair market value is. You can then set your price at a comparable level.

If you follow this advice, not only will you find yourself with less clutter, but with cold hard cash in your wallet that you can use to save or to buy things that you’ll actually use.