Ok, group confession time: how many old, non-working phones do you have sitting in drawers and gathering dust?
Or perhaps you have a wardrobe full of clothes that haven’t seen the light of day in years.
Maybe your garage is so full of random crap that you can’t even fit the car in there anymore.
It’s amazing how easy it can be to accumulate so. Much. Stuff. Cleaning it all out, on the other hand, is often one of those jobs put on the to-do list that we never seem to get to.
So would you be more willing to get rid of it if I told you just how easy it is to make serious cash from your spring cleaning?
Whether it’s old technology, clothes, books, furniture or unused sports gear, there are a range of sites available to help you clear out your stuff.
It helps as well that removing all of these kinds of things from your life is super fashionable right now.
In particular, you may have heard of the KonMari method. The book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up explains a method of tidying that involves you keeping only those things that “spark joy”. If something doesn’t, you’re meant to thank it for its service and discard it.
Now, you might be like me and be a bit skeptical about wandering through your cobwebbed garage or attic and thanking dusty piles of boxes full of who-knows-what for their service.
But there’s definitely a method to this madness. By focussing on keeping only those items that you actually use – rather than the usual “I’ll hold on to this just in case…” – your life will feel amazingly lighter, especially each time that you walk into your newly organised home.
And now only will your life be lighter, but your wallet will be that much heavier from using these tips to make good money from cleaning out your stuff!
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1. Old phones, tablets and computers
Are you one of those people that takes advantage of the “free upgrade” to your phone every two years? Leaving you with a perfectly functional phone that you plan to sell “one day”?
The problem is that selling things is an absolute pain. And also, who the hell is going to buy an old phone?
Well, here’s a way to kill two birds with one stone!
The easiest option by far is Gazelle. It’s a site that allows you to trade in your old tech for a check, cash through PayPal or an Amazon gift card.
They accept a wide range of phones, including iPhones as well as others from Samsung and HTC. You can also use Gazelle to trade in iPads and other tablets, MacBooks, iMacs and Apple TVs.
All you do is go to the site, enter the details of your phone/tablet/computer and get an offer immediately. If you accept it, you can then ship the item to them for free. They’ll then send you your money when your old tech arrives.
I decided to test it out with a two-and-a-half year old 64GB iPhone 6S in “good” condition (i.e. normal signs of use).
In about 20 seconds, I had an offer of $150. Not bad! Certainly more than I’d get for it when it’s just sitting in my cupboard.
Of course, you could possibly get more selling it yourself. But that can be a ton of hassle.
In addition, the potential difficulty of this means that many people (ahem *raises hand*) will never bother.
If that sounds like you or you just really want to clean out your old tech, check out Gazelle to see what kind of deals they can offer for your stuff.
2. CDs, DVDs and video games
Thank the decluttering gods for the cloud! Now, there’s no need to accumulate piles of discs – now, movies just kind of, um, float…up there…
(I’m really technologically inclined. Can you tell?)
Even so, we all have old CDs and DVDs, often still stacked up hopefully in our lounge rooms. This is despite the fact that I bet most of you couldn’t tell me the last time that you actually played one of these.
And many of you may even have old video games lying around. Even if the animation makes you cringe, a small part of you still tells yourself that you’ll definitely start playing it again one day…right?
Luckily, sites like DeCluttr make it extremely easy to sell your old discs.
All you have to do is enter the barcode and it will tell you how much you’ll get for each item. You then send the items in for free and they’ll pay you ASAP by check, PayPal, prepaid card or Target gift card.
I gave it a go using some old DVDs and an fairly ancient video game that almost everyone of my age has lying around.
Now, obviously this is way less than I would have paid for these originally. But considering that they’re all around 13 to 14 years old, it’s not too bad.
Especially when you consider that most people don’t have four CDs/DVDs/video games that they want to sell. They usually have hundreds.
And that’s where Decluttr really comes into its own, as it’s especially good for getting rid of large collections. After all, if I’m being offered $7.40 for four things, imagine how much I’d get for 200 of them.
Decluttr won’t make you a millionaire. But it is a great way to make a few hundred dollars – and clear out some space while you’re at it!
Check it out right here and see how much you can get for your old movies, TV shows and video games.
Whether it’s shelves full of kids books, semi-embarrassing teenage fiction, enormous textbooks that you haven’t touched since finishing college or rows of yellowing novels that an elderly relative “kindly” gifted you, most of us have our own personal libraries taking up way too much space.
Don’t get me wrong; I adore reading. But while I love the feeling of opening a new book for the first time, I also not-so-secretly value my Kindle above almost everything else I own.
After all, it’s been the key to why I no longer have to line my shelves with books that I 100% promise that I’m going to get around to reading sometime soon…
If you’re also a reformed (or wannabe reformed) book hoarder, there are a number of sites that can help you out.
Sell Back Your Book is a great site for selling almost any book that you have lying around.
I searched a number of really common books, like the Harry Potter series. The quote for each book was generally around $1.00. But some were even offering around $5.00.
While it may not sound like much for one single book, selling a large collection of books through them could easily net you a few hundred dollars. And it’s way, way easier than trying to sell them individually.
Better yet, shipping to Sell Back Your Book is free and payment is issued about three days after they receive your books. Payment is made through PayPal or by check, so it really is as close as possible to cash in hand for your old books.
And having empty shelves that aren’t gathering dust: priceless.
4. Gift cards
You know how it is. You’re digging through a drawer for something you’re adamant that you left there and you come across some gift cards that you totally forgot you had.
They’re expiring soon. But you don’t need anything from those shops or don’t have time to visit them to redeem the card. Or you’d simply prefer to have some cash.
But don’t worry! Go to Gift Card Granny and you can trade them in!
You won’t get full value but you’ll get something. And that’s certainly better than the value you’d get from throwing it in the trash.
All you do is sign-up here, click “Sell Gift Cards” at the top of the page, and you’ll be sent to a screen where you can enter the shop that the gift card is from as well as its value.
To test it out, I said that I have a $50 gift card from Amazon. Here were the offers:
These are some amazing deals. Some of these are almost the full value of the card – and considering that we’re assuming that they’re almost expired, this is some pretty incredible money to make.
It’s certainly better than letting the card expire and losing all of that money!
The sites mentioned above specialise in selling the specific things listed in this article.
However, there are some “oldies but goodies” that will sell pretty much whatever you want.
One great option for selling your used items is eBay. I particularly love it for selling clothes that I no longer wear and shoes that I probably shouldn’t have bought in the first place.
It can get expensive for shipping heavy things, but lighter items – like clothes, but also things like small homewares – can be easily sent to buyers.
You’ll need to take a ton of photos, especially showing any defects (always best to be honest!) as well as how your item looks like from every angle.
But people regularly make hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars on eBay, depending on what they’re selling. There’s no reason why you couldn’t get a piece of that with your old stuff lying around.
If you don’t have time (or can’t be bothered) to sort out pictures and a great description for each item you want to send, an easier option is often Amazon Marketplace.
It allows you to use existing product descriptions and photos, potentially saving you a lot of time. In addition, your items will appear when people search for a new version of the item, so you have a massive potential audience.
Amazon Trade-In has some overlap with a few of the other options, as it allows you to trade-in old phones, e-readers, video games and books.
Strangely enough, for an iPhone 6S 64GB, it offered $150 – that is, exactly the same as Gazelle as outlined above. And an iPhone 7 was listed with a trade-in value of $275. Not bad at all!
This means that you may want to get some quotes from Amazon Trade-In as well when you’re cleaning out your closet.
Just be aware that you can only get Amazon gift cards as payment, which is likely not an issue for many of you, but may be a problem if you don’t plan to use Amazon for shopping anytime soon.
General sales tips
Now that you’ve seen some of the seriously great cash you can make from your old stuff, hopefully you’re inspired to start clearing out those cupboards you’ve been ignoring for the last few months…or years.
If so, check out some of these tips to make sure that you’re making as much money as possible.
Sell based on the season
It can be super tempting to want to sell everything IMMEDIATELY when you start on a cleaning rampage.
But hold off a bit if you can, as selling your old things at the right time can more than double your returns.
For example, found some old coats to get rid of? Wait till the fall when people are getting ready for the impending winter chill.
Got some kids toys? Try to wait until spring so that you can sell them when parents realise that school holidays are just around the corner.
Alternatively, try selling them just before Christmas, especially for things like bikes. Santa’s little helpers will be on the hunt for gifts, so time for you to take advantage of that.
It’s also best to sell sports gear in season as well. Ski gear should be sold around fall, while soccer gear should be put on the market in spring.
Timing the market is key to making sure that you’re maximising your cash in hand.
Take great pictures
This may sound obvious but take a look at any second hand site and you’ll see that many people don’t follow this advice.
This is particularly important for things like clothes, where people want to try to see exactly what the item will look like when they’re wearing it.
I like to use PicMonkey for editing my pictures. You can get a free seven-day trial if you sign up through that link, which will show you just how powerful its editing tools are.
As mentioned, it’s important to be honest, so include photos of any defects. It shouldn’t significantly affect the price unless it completely ruins the item (in which case, you perhaps shouldn’t be selling it). It also will allow you to maintain your strong rating from customers when they get the exact item they expected, which wouldn’t necessarily be the case if you failed to disclose some damage.
Happy cleaning – and very happy selling!