Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sell Your Used Stuff for Fun and Profit!

Tucked away in closets, gathering dust in the garage, and hidden in the back of the corner kitchen cabinet, a gold mine awaits.  What you call “clutter,” the next person calls treasure.  The trick is knowing how to get rid of that “clutter” so that you reap the financial rewards of treasure.  Not only will you have extra cash in your pocket, but you can also have some fun in the process. For some people, the entrepreneurial side of them kicks in and they find so much success in selling used products that they can turn it into a small business. Not everybody goes that route but it pays to know some of the great ways to have fun and make money selling used things that are cluttering up your house.

Before you attempt to sell anything, it is first important to know how much to list it for.  Whether it is a digital camera you are no longer using, a stroller, or wrist watch, it’s important to price it appropriately.  Price it too high and it will never sell.  Price it too low and you are cheating yourself.  PriceAdvice can help you determine the fair market value before you sell.

Probably the most well known method for selling used stuff is the good old reliable garage sale. Many neighborhoods arrange community garage sales as a means of enticing more buyers. If your neighborhood doesn’t already have one, you could always organize it.  The more buyers, the more likely you are to get a bidding war and top dollar.  It does take some work to set up your garage or driveway or yard with tables and racks, marking each item with a price and then staffing the sale for few hours. Pound for pound the return in profits is generally not as large when you sell your old stuff in a garage sale, but it is a nice way to meet your neighbors and get all of your selling done in the course of a day.

Next to garage sales, online auctions have made their move as an easy way to sell used stuff. eBay is the largest.  Generally, when people talk about online auctions, they are talking about eBay. It is a very easy system to use and while you do give up some of the profits to eBay in the form of commission fees, you will be putting your used stuff in front of a massive internet community. Creating an eBay account is an easy process.  Listing fees range from $0.10-2.00 and then you pay an additional 9% to eBay (up to a maximum of $100) once the auction is complete.  eBay also allows you to listing shipping costs, accept payment via Pay Pal, and display one picture free of charge.

For larger items, you may want to try another method for selling.  Used items such as TVs, appliances, and furniture are easier sold using classifieds and flyers.  Craigslist and Oodle are probably the two most well known and are both free!!  There are dozens of ways of advertising what you have for sale locally. Local bulletin boards like at the library, coffee houses, and apartment/condo complexes are another no cost/low cost way to get the word out as well.

Consignment shops are another outstanding way to sell used furniture and clothes. Often these shops will price your used stuff at very attractive prices to customers but your return on the sale is much higher than from a garage sale. Your work is made very easy because all you to do is clean up the used items so they are presentable to a customer and bring them in. The consignment shop does all the rest and takes a percentage of the sale off of the top. The last step is the easy one because it is where you come by once and week and pick up your money.

It is worthwhile to become accustomed to each of these ways to sell your used stuff. Don’t be afraid to use more than one if you have lots of items you want to get rid of at the best price. If you get good prices on bids from EBay, off of Craigslist and as a result of your advertising in local publications, you can pick and chose which deal works best for you. That is a good way to use the used item markets that is fun to do and turn a neat profit in the process.

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