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Make Extra Money Selling Your Old Stuff

Spring cleaning isn’t a chore when it earns you cash. Learn how you can profit from unwanted items.

make extra money

Spring means cleaning, and as you dig through closets and clear out the basement, you could make extra money from your unwanted treasures.

If you know how to do it right, creating your own little business selling old items can be a pretty lucrative side hustle.

Apps like Poshmark, eBay, Mercari and Let Go make it easy to sell your stuff right from your phone. Here’s what you can expect from each app.

Poshmark

This social-first and mobile-only app allows you to sell women’s, men’s and kids’ clothing and accessories and home goods. Users each have their own closet where they can share items and other users can like, share and comment on items. When someone likes your items, you can offer them a special price and shipping discount.

Closet items are ranked by “just shared” and users can join Poshmark Parties, which happen several times a day. Parties allow you to share based on brand, style or theme and are limited to the party restrictions. You can also reach the highly coveted Posh Ambassador status by making 15 sales, recruiting new poshers and getting high reviews.

When someone buys an item, they pay for shipping and as a user, you receive USPS Priority shipping to ship your item, flat rate. To appease your buyer, make sure to ship out in a day or two and you’ll get your money via check or direct deposit only when the buyer accepts it. The buyer also has the option to rate your item (five stars is best!) based on quality, description of the item and shipping speed.

Pros:

  • User-friendly.
  • Flat-rate shipping.
  • Ability for users to make and accept best offers.
  • No return policy (unless there’s an issue).

Cons:

  • You have to share to get your closet noticed.
  • You get paid only when the buyer accepts your item.
  • The nearly $7 flat rate shipping is a lot for smaller items.

eBay

The original “sell anything and everything” site, eBay has been the reigning king of online resale for over twenty years. You can buy and sell  just about anything on eBay, setting your auction starting bid or a Buy it Now option and accept best offers. eBay also lets you set you the shipping speed and price.

Pros:

  • eBay and has over 25 million active sellers from around the world.
  • Their protection program helps buyers and sellers if a deal goes wrong.
  • Once you list your item, you let the buyers come to you!

Cons:

  • Outside of the 9% final value fee (up to $50) going back to eBay in a monthly invoice, eBay gives the seller a lot of flexibility on the type of store they want to manage from return policy to shipping fees.

Mercari

This new mobile-only app is similar to Poshmark but in additional to clothes, accessories and home goods, you can also sell electronics, toys and more.

Pros:

  • Mercari only takes 10% of the listing price.
  • More flexibility on the shipping rate.
  • More selection means more buyers.

Cons:

  • The user experience of Mercari looks more yard sale than the boutique-style of Poshmark.
  • Mercari tends to bring more “bargain hunters” than fashionistas looking to build their closet.
  • You only get your sales after the buyer has accepted the item.

make extra money

Selling Tips

How to sell your items faster and get the best bang for your buck.

Take Great Photos. A picture says a thousand words! Make sure to shoot your stuff in natural light and get all the angles. Include photos of any flaws.

Be transparent in your description. List all flaws, loose threads, measurements and anything else a buyer would be interested in. It’s important to disclose exactly what you’re selling to ensure a happy customer.

Price to sell. Pricing is tough. Consider the quality or condition of your item, comps of similar items and if it’s in high demand. If the app you are using has an “offer” function, consider setting your price a little higher to allow you to accept a lower offer.

Share on social. Share your items with your network and post your listings on your own personal social media sites to help make the sale. You could also repost in Facebook Groups in your hometown.

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More Ways to Make Extra Money

Recycle

If you have unwanted metal or even a car that’s no longer in use, call your local scrap metal recycling company and ask them to come and collect it. Some metal is very valuable and in demand. You may be surprised at the amount of money you’ll get.

You can also make extra money from cans, glass bottles, electronic waste and paper. To encourage proper disposal, states offer payouts for various recyclables. Check your state beverage container laws to see how much you can get per container.

And although you won’t get paid for it, if you have an old car battery that you want to get rid of, you can drop it off at your nearest AAA Approved Auto Repair facility and they will make sure it’s recycled in an environmentally friendly way.

Donate or Giveaway

When cleaning out a space, it can be helpful to sort your things into piles of “keep,” “sell,” “donate” and “trash.” Because while there are plenty of ways to sell your stuff and make extra money off it, there are also dozens of worthy organizations that will happily accept gently worn clothing, furniture and home goods.

    • Check with local thrift stores like Goodwill and Savers, domestic violence shelters, homeless shelters and churches to see what they need most. Most could never have enough of items like bottled water, toilet paper and new socks and underwear.
    • If you’ve amassed a stockpile of pet supplies, animal shelters and rescue groups will happily take extra pet food, treats, leashes, toys, towels, cleaning supplies and bedding.
    • Groups like Amenity Aid accept personal hygiene products and essential toiletries to distribute to nonprofit organizations like shelters, community centers and domestic advocacy groups.
    • Most Big Brother Big Sister groups will come and collect your donations from your home. Schedule a pickup.
    • Search for “Buy Nothing” groups on Facebook where you can post your items for free and give to a neighbor in need.

So, what are you going to do with the extra cash? You can use it for a trip, deposit it safely into a savings account, go shopping – whatever you want!

Tell us how you make extra money from selling old items in the comments.

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