There’s no doubt about it, Americans have too much stuff.
Several years ago the Wall Street Journal reported that Americans spend $1.2 trillion annually on goods and services they don’t actually need. And according to the Orlando Sentinel, nearly one out of 10 American households rents a storage facility, costing anywhere from $125 a month to $165 a month. Of those who rent, 65% have a garage, 47% have an attic and 33% have a basement. Clearly, we have too much stuff!
If you have old items just collecting dust, why not turn them into some extra cash? Here are tips to sell old stuff for top dollar — including anything from furniture, to clothes, to accessories, to used electronics.
First, get organized
If you have a lot of stuff you want to sell, it can be overwhelming to think about how to sort it and figure out the best place to sell it.
A good rule of thumb: If you haven’t used or worn something in at least two years, that might be a clue you really don’t need it. Go through each item in your house and put it through the two-year test. Then, put all the items in a central location and sort them by category. Next, search the item online to get a good idea of how much it’s worth. After that, read on to discover the best place to sell it!
You can’t talk about selling used items online and not mention eBay. The popular online marketplace was the forerunner of selling used merchandise on the Internet in the 1990s. To get started, create an account, list your items, upload pictures, and wallah! You have instant access to an online marketplace of over 160 million people.
But, due to eBay’s listing fees, which can be $.30 per item plus 10% of the sale price of the item, other players have gotten into the market of selling used merchandise online.
Bonanza.com is one such alternative.
Bonanza is structured similarly to eBay, but the cost for listing an item is a little bit less. According to its website, sellers pay 3.5% of an item sold under $500, and $17.50 plus 1.5% for an item over $500.
You can also send items you’re selling on Bonanza to Google shopping. The struggle for the newer site has been volume, however. Since eBay is more established, you might find the traffic outweighs the cost in deciding between the two.
Also, you might want to consider eBid. eBid is very similar to eBay in site design and auction-style selling. Plus, the fees are very competitive. According to the site, you’ll never pay more than 3% of an item’s final price.
Etsy is similar to eBay and Bonanza in that it is an online selling marketplace, but Etsy specializes in handcrafted items versus used items unless your items are considered “vintage” — 20 years or older.
To list an item, it’s $.20, and if your item sells, Etsy takes 3.5% of the sale price and 3% plus $.25 for payment processing. But, given the site retains 54 million members and 22.6 million shoppers, it has become a great place for artists and designers to sell and market their unique creations online. Check out the site’s vintage section here.
Did you know you can sell your old stuff on Facebook? Not only can you sell pretty much anything via the Facebook Marketplace, there are thousands of Facebook yardsale groups you can join in order to sell your used stuff online. (And, if you ever need to buy something in the future, this is another good place to look to get it for a good deal!)
Apps to sell just about anything
If you just want to sell something quickly, there are a few location-based smartphone apps that allow you to sell almost anything to people in your neighborhood! But, you’ll want to remember to abide by each app’s safety guidelines, especially if someone is coming to your home to take a look at what you’re selling.
Following selling something on a site like eBay or through an app, consignment stores might be your next best bet. But, be advised that it could take the store a while to sell your items, if they sell, and can take as much as a 50% cut on your merchandise. But, they might be able to sell you items for more than you’d be able to sell them online, and it might be more convenient to let a consignment store sell them than going to the trouble of listing the items yourself. You’d just have to decide what works the best for you.
Craigslist can be a great place to sell something locally. But, you’ll need to be careful — Craigslist has become a hiding place for crooks and thieves — and even murderers. Many people have great success selling on Craigslist, but it is definitely an “at your own risk” activity. If you want to sell something, never accept or send a wire transfer, and always meet the buyer in a very public place, such as a busy gas station.
De-cluttering and selling used items can be overwhelming, but take it one step at a time. You’ll be overjoyed once you’ve gotten rid of old items you don’t really need. If you have items that didn’t quite sell, you could still donate them to a place like Goodwill and get a tax deduction on them. All in all, selling used stuff is a great way to live lighter and earn extra cash too!
Originally published at: https://clark.com