Most people are pack rats by nature. They hoard away all sorts of useless junk until their closets, basements, attics, and garages are ready to burst at the seams.
I still have things boxed away from when I moved into my house almost two years ago. I haven’t the slightest idea what’s in them but there can’t be anything too important if I have never had to open them. I ‘m just too lazy to clean them out.
Sound familiar? You probably have all sorts of useless junk cluttering up your home. Wouldn’t it be great if you could turn some of that trash into cash?
Well you can if you follow this simple step-by-step plan:
1. Get organized. Sort everything into two piles. In one pile toss anything that is really useless junk that no one would want. Put it down at your curb and wave goodbye as the garbage men haul it away. The other pile is for items that may have value, even if it’s only a couple of bucks.
2. Check out eBay and other auction sites to see what kind of demand there is for the items in your “value” pile. Look to see how much similar items are going for so you have a rough idea what they’re worth. Lots of people use these sites as online junk yards to make money by selling items they no longer need or want.
3. Sign up for a free eBay account and auction off whatever you can. Starting your auction with a low opening bid price is a good way to strike interest and hopefully start a bidding war.
Packing items into lots is a good way to raise their value too. A few years ago I wanted to sell most of my old VHS tapes (I’m really dating myself here), but they were only selling for about a buck or less each, and it just wasn’t worth my trouble to list and ship them all individually. So I packed them into lots of about 20 tapes each and sold them for almost $40 per lot.
4. Anything that doesn’t sell on eBay (or is too heavy or bulky to ship) can be sold at a yard sale. I find yard sells get the most customers when several neighbors work together to have a group sale on the same day. More items on display make it more likely that people will stop and take a look.
5. If something didn’t sell on eBay or at your yard sale, it’s probably just useless junk that can be thrown out with the next garbage pickup. But if you’re convinced it has value to someone you can place a free classified ad at Craigslist or other sites. My wife belongs to a Facebook group where local moms offer items for sale. We’ve seen everything from baby clothes to furniture and yard tools on the site and it’s all first come first served. Maybe your area has a similar group.
If you have anything of real value, such as antiques or collectibles, it may be worthwhile to hire an appraiser. You can expect to pay a few hundred dollars for their services, but it will be worth it if they find a true gem mixed in with your junk. Just be sure to use an independent appraiser who is not interested in purchasing your items. This will prevent any conflict of interest where you could be taken advantage of.
6. If you’ve exhausted all avenues and still can’t get anyone to pay for your items but you still think they are worth something, you can donate them to charity. You won’t get paid directly but if you get a receipt and keep a detailed list of everything you donated you can deduct your charitable contributions on your tax return.