Are you short on cash and need a quick solution that doesn’t involve taking on a second job? Have you had a chance to inventory the stuff you have lying around your home? If you are anything like me, you are probably sitting on a potential goldmine of valuable products like unwanted books, DVDs, memorabilia or even gold jewelry.
So what do you do with it to make some extra bucks? You sell it, of course! The following list proves that the old adage is right: “Another man’s trash is most certainly another man’s treasure!” So, what do you have that you no longer need that you can use to make some money? Why not try your hand at peddling:
- Books. Especially textbooks in a college town, but any good books can generate a few bucks if you sell them in the right place.
- DVDs. Almost every genre sells. It is better if they are sold in lots of five or ten so you can help people save on shipping and increase the likelihood of a sale.
- Electronics. Cameras, cell phones and iPods fall into this category. Think that six year old 3 megapixel camera in the closet is worthless? Even if it can only score you 20 bucks, it’s more money than you had before.
- Jewelry. Gold is a valuable asset to have these days. Think about all of the jewelery you never wear. It isn’t doing you any good there so think about selling some of it.
- Clothing. Name brands like Abercrombie and Fitch, Banana Republic, and DKNY can seriously improve your cash flow if they are gently used.
You can list all of these items on Craigslist but I want to warn you to exercise extreme caution before meeting up with someone you don’t know. It’s a free and easy way to sell, but there is a bit of risk involved. eBay is another obvious choice but you will usually have to hold a short auction and accept PayPal if you want your money right away. eBay is also quite competitive so if you aren’t familiar with the process of creating a listing or can’t sell your item for a great price it will be difficult to unload your item. Finally, if you don’t need cash fast and if you have a week or two to pay the rent, you can sell items on Amazon in its online Marketplace. Books, CDs, DVDs, and Electronics all have their place on the website. One drawback is that even though you may receive payments and sell an item instantaneously, payouts from Amazon can take a while. Obviously, one drawback when selling online is dealing with shipping or arranging delivery of the item. This is a hidden cost that comes in the form of time. Keep that in mind.
Consignment shops and secondhand stores like Plato’s Closet buy gently used clothing, shoes, and accessories. Jeremy’s note: This is something I’ve written about before, but we made some easy money when my wife took a basket of clothes into our local Plato’s Closet. It’s super easy and no-hassle with selling online. Jewelry stores and pawn shops will buy gold. Check your local listings to find out which ones do and who offers the best price. Keep in mind that you won’t get full retail price by selling to one of these places, but it is quick cash and you don’t have to worry about selling to a random stranger on the web that way. Know what a fair price for your jewelery is before shopping it around. When you take your item to an actual store you can get instant cash, but remember that these are resellers and they need to buy it from you for a little less than what they can sell it for. So, you don’t have to mess with creating an online ad or shipping your item to a buyer halfway across the country, but the cost of instant cash is usually a slightly lower price.
Although there a number of other items that you can sell and other ways in which you can sell them, I wanted to provide you with the type of information that would give you the best bang for your buck in the shortest period of time.
What do you do when you’re a day late and a dollar short? Share your comments below with other readers. Aside from borrowing it from a friend or family member, I take a proactive approach by getting rid of things I no longer need.
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Filed Under: Personal Finance
About the Author: Charissa Arsaoui is a freelance writer with a love for thrift. She contributes to many different personal finance blogs.