I know what you are thinking, “This guy is crazy, spring is over!” Well, spring cleaning can come late for some people, especially procrastinators like me (and possibly you). 🙂
When I talk about spring cleaning, I am specifically referring to selling some of the junk that you don’t use. As you are cleaning up around the house and digging in places that haven’t seen the light of day in over a year, you are bound to find some stuff to sell.
A few weeks ago, my wife and I decided to do a little spring cleaning ourselves. Needless to say, I was very surprised at the amount of stuff that I found that could net us some quick cash. Here is a quick list of some things I found (and forgot that I had) and how much they will net us:
- Laptop computer – $200
- Mac desktop computer – $100
- Various textbooks – $200
- Various software – $50
Doing that math, that adds up to over $500 that can be used towards our debt. Not too shabby for a days worth of cleaning!
So, now that you are soooo excited about cleaning and finding things to sell, how do you go about selling them? Well, here are a few options for getting rid of your junk and getting top dollar.
Amazon.com is a great place to sell books, CD’s, software and more. I placed the textbooks and software on Amazon and sold the majority of it in a week. They get tons of traffic and people are always looking to get a great deal.
When I sell things on Amazon, I always list them for a lower price than anyone else in the same category (new, like new, good). For example, if I have a book that is like new and the lowest price in that category is $54.99, I will list mine for $49.99. I don’t really maximize my earnings but I can almost guarantee that it will sell FAST. That was my main motivation as I received the cash quicker and I got the junk out of the house faster.
The only thing that I don’t like about Amazon is the fact that they decide what to pay you for shipping. For example, if the buyer selects standard shipping, Amazon will reimburse you $3.99. That’s it. So, if you need to buy a bubble mailer and then ship the item across the country the cheapest way possible, you are more than likely going to spend in excess of $3.99.
eBay is a great place to sell larger more expensive items that can be shipped easily. I typically use them for smaller electronics (cameras, laptops, cell phones) and collectibles. I don’t really have any collectibles but some of you might. I will be putting the computer up for bid starting Friday. I’ve always had success selling on eBay and I typically yield better results than the average seller.
I’m not really going to tell you how to set up an eBay account, so here is a nice tutorial from eBay. Don’t be afraid to sell you items on the site as you can get GREAT results!
Craigslist is a site where individuals can list items for sale (just like the classifieds, except free) in a city near you. For example, I could list items for sale on a DC, Annapolis or Baltimore site. Having a local site makes it a great place to sell items that are just too large to ship. We have bought and sold several pieces of furniture on the site with great success. If you happen to find an old car during your spring cleaning, you can even sell that on Craigslist. 😉
The only word of caution that I have is to just be careful. Make sure you call about the product first and ask for directions. You want to make sure you are going to be in a nice neighborhood. It’s also a good idea to take someone with you to check out items. You can never be too cautious!
We don’t have enough junk (or a yard) to have a yard/garage sale but I imagine many of you do. These would be a great place to sell the odds and ends that aren’t good enough to make the cut on the other websites that I listed. A list of things to sell could be clothes, dishes, small appliances, etc. They don’t fetch top dollar but you can at least get something out of them. The main purpose in selling these items should be to just get it out of your house. I would take almost any deal if it meant removing it from the mass clutter that is my apartment.
Frugal Dad has a great post on how to have a successful yard/garage sale. The only other thing that I would recommend would be to have it when everyone else in the community is having one. You will get a lot more traffic if you plan it around that schedule.
For all of the leftover things, you can donate them to charity. I typically just go to the local Goodwill store and drop the stuff off.
I know, you can’t really get “cash” for donating goods. However, you can get a tax deduction if you itemize on your tax return. Just make sure you get something in writing from an individual who works there detailing what you donated. You will also want to make a spreadsheet showing the fair-market-value of each item you donate.
Once again, the main goal in this section should be to just get it out of the house. If it’s in too bad of shape for even Goodwill, it’s time to just throw it away.
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I hope these tips help you get some quick cash to pay on debt!