The 19 Best Places To Sell Your Stuff For Cash
Comedian George Carlin used to perform a hilarious monologue about "finding a place for his stuff." The point was that we all have too much junk in our lives and perhaps we should dump some of it.
How to sell stuff these days requires more than simply setting up a garage sale on your front lawn. One of the best methods is to sell stuff online, but that doesn't mean you can't use some tried-and-true outlets to pass on everything from your teen clothing and furniture to antiques and collectibles.
I'm one of those people who can't stand having a lot of extra junk around my house. I move fairly frequently, too frequently my friends say, and hate boxing up stuff I don't really need. Based on too much experience and some intense research, I came up with 19 ways to sell your stuff and earn some extra cash.
1. eBay Auction
Auctioning items on eBay exposes your sale to millions of buyers, but it's important to understand the process and how best to market your items. To determine the worth and marketability of your item, search for similar items at eBay's "Completed Listings" list under "Advanced Search". You must register first, but there's no charge to do so. Before you post your listing, read eBay's seller's recommendation guide.
You'll pay eBay a portion of your profit in fees, including posting your listing, completing a sale and receiving payment through PayPal.
The king of classified-ad sites, Craigslist began in 1995 as an email distribution list of events in the San Francisco Bay Area and soon began offering a means by which roommates could find each other. Nowadays, selling everything from cars to home and garden supplies on Craigslist couldn't be simpler, but consult the site's FAQ and "Avoid Scams and Fraud" page before starting.
A Craigslist cousin, BackPage.com partners with local newspapers, alternative weeklies and other media outlets in your area.
Some pawn shops, also known as pawnbrokers, purchase merchandise directly from the customer. Others are primarily used to secure loans by using items like jewelry or electronics as collateral. Your item is returned after you repay the loan.
New York-based Etsy allows artists and crafters to sell their homemade products, but has lately expanded to include sales of retro and collectible items. Basically, you set up your own shop, post your products and wait for people to find you. A little social network promotion will help attract more eyes to your site. Sellers can now offer free shipping through a program offered by the website.
UShops is another online channel for those who want to sell creative and niche products, but all items offered through uShops must now be handmade or art and craft supplies.
Several of my friends who were downsizing their lives sold off extraneous stuff, including high-end furniture, by posting photos and small ads on Facebook. While each seller's initial audience may have been small, word spread quickly and most of the items were gone within weeks.
8. Your Own Website
There are a several free or open-source projects, such as osCommerce, you can use to power your online shop. Take advantage of all-inclusive, small business hosting solutions, such as Yahoo! Merchant Solutions, which help sellers get started with a minimum of fuss and headaches.
9. Google Product Search
Google has found yet another way to add to their billions. Their product arm, Google Product Search, receives a lot of attention from avid Google users and it’s free to list there if you have your own website.
Google Merchant Center is a service launched in 2009 that makes it easy to upload and manage the product listings you want to appear in Google Product Search, AdWords, and other Google properties. (The Merchant Center basically is a substitute for Google Base, although you can still use Base.)
10. Trade Magazines
Trade mags are an excellent way to sell to a specialty audience but it's important to target the proper audience. Good items to sell through the trades include vintage cars, car parts, golf equipment, craft items, antiques and collectibles.
Amazon allows you to sell all kinds of products, not just books. You'll pay fees to Amazon only if your item sells. Commissions range from 6 to 15 percent of the the total you received, depending on what you sold. Amazon also charges 99 cents for each transaction.
12. Consignment Shops
These retail stores resell your merchandise and keep a percentage of the final sale price. Many specialize in clothing and accessories, but you can also find shops that sell furniture, antiques, kitchen items and more. It may take some time for larger items to sell, but you're likely to earn more than if you sold them through a garage sale.
13. Garage Sales
While it's too early to give a garage sale, now's a good time to start setting aside items for next summer's sale. Those that sell quickly at garage sales include small household goods, clothing, baby items and basic furniture, particularly dressers and bookshelves. Make sure all products are in relatively good shape and price them as you set them aside to avoid confusion the morning of the sale. Your local newspaper's classified ad section is still the best place to advertise a sale, but you also can post your sale at CraigsList, GarageSaleHunter and YardSaleSearch.
14. Flea Markets
Think of flea markets as long-term garage sales with better financial returns and without a dependency on good weather. You'll have to pay for your shop space but you can share rent and work detail with another seller. Most flea markets are staffed by professionals who keep track of how much stuff you've sold while manning the cash register. The downside here is that you won't be present to push your products.
15. Antique and Collectible Dealers
Dealers will buy anything from old coins and jewelry to books and toys. Items should be in good shape and collectibles in their original wrapping will bring a better price. Check eBay for price comparisons before you get several quotes or appraisals from dealers.
16. Newspaper Classified Ads
Granted far fewer people read newspapers these days but classified ads still reach a fairly large audience. If you're selling low-priced items, look for ad classifications like "Bargain Box" or "Cheap Buys." These categories often cost less than a full-blown classified ad. Don't overlook weekly, college and penny-saver type of newspapers.
17. Play It Again Sports
Play It Again Sports, a resale haven for sports enthusiasts and parents with athletes who grow like weeds, is like a neighborhood sporting goods store. They'll buy your used and new sports and fitness equipment or help you trade across the (snow)board to other sports enthusiasts.
Some bartering websites are dedicated to specific products (i.e. furniture, children's clothing, sports equipment) while others allow you to sell just about anything. RehashClothes and Swapstyle allow you to swap clothes. Then there's BookMooch and PaperBackSwap. TotsSwapShop and Kizoodle are for children's clothing.
BarterClub includes a listing of clubs by type of business and location.
If all else fails, you can always give away your stuff. Much like Craigslist, FreeCycle.org, provides regional pages that allow you to post public ads. The difference here is that all items listed must be offered free to whomever is willing to spirit it out of your life.
If you have a home, you likely have extra stuff to sell. Have you run across any other ways to monetize your junk? If so, please feel free to share it with our readers!
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