Category Archives: Selling

Spring Cleaning = Cash

I know what you are thinking, “This guy is crazy, spring is over!” Ā Well, spring cleaning can come late for some people, especially procrastinators like me (and possibly you). šŸ™‚

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:

  • LaptopĀ computerĀ – $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. 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 thatĀ categoryĀ 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. šŸ˜‰

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!

Yard/Garage Sale

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.

Donate It

For all of the leftover things, you canĀ donateĀ 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!

6 Ways I Make More Money on eBay

There have been many articles written on how to make money on eBay. This article will not show you how to set up an eBay account or even the essential things to know. However, over time, I have realized that my items sell for more than others selling the same exact product. Recently, I sold my old Apple Macbook for $975. After doing some preliminary research, I saw that ones in similar condition to mine were going for about $900. I figured that is about the amount I would receive for mine. Turns out, after following my usual steps, I was able to get $75 more dollars out of the high bidder. I have done this countless times with a variety of items. Want to know my secrets? Well, here they are!

I Know How to Spell

Nothing irritates me more while searching on eBay than things that are misspelled. Really, how hard is it to run spellchecker? After you finish your listing, make sure you check your spelling and proofread it. There have been several instances where I did not bid on an item due to misspellings and bad grammar. If you cannot spell or write correctly, what makes you think I trust you to complete the transaction?

I Start and End My Auctions at the Appropriate Time

Now, I do not know if this is the exact appropriate time to start and end auctions, but it has always works to me. First, I always choose a 10-day auction. It is only about 30 cents extra per auction and it allows me to span the auction over two weekends. Second, I start my auctions at 10pm ET on a Friday and end them at 10pm ET on a Monday 10 days later. Having the auction end on a Monday allows more people to view your auction right before it ends (when the real bidders come). If you end it during the day or on a weekend, you are more than likely going to miss out on bidders due to them being at work or out with their family.

I Use Turbo Lister and Create Awesome Listings

Personally, I use Turbo Lister for my eBay auctions. Turbo Lister is a FREE listing tool from eBay that allows you to make your listings on your desktop even if you are not connected to the internet. Having had many problems making listings on the web via eBay, I tried Turbo Lister and really liked the results. Turbo Lister also allows me to use a template for my listings. I specifically use the Red Square eBay Stores template. It costs a few pennies to use but it is well worth it. It adds some style and professionalism to it.

I Disclose Everything About My Items, Good and Bad

First, I make sure I list everything about the product as I possibly can. If you still have the original box, use that as a guide to make sure everything is listed. This is especially important if you item is electronic. Second, I make sure I list everything I possible can about it’s defects. Believe me, if you do not list all of your items problems, it will come back to haunt you. I know people who have been in a battle with the original seller and eBay over who is to blame when an item has undisclosed defect.

I Charge My Buyers Exact Shipping Costs and Sometimes Nothing at All

Just like the title suggests, I only charge my buyers what it costs to ship the item. There are many sellers out there who have a fixed shipping cost or just “ballpark it”. I think that is wrong. Invest in a scale and find out how much your item weighs. Then you can plug that weight into Turbo Lister with the shipping company and it automatically calculates the price based on your buyers location. Personally, I have not bought a few items due to their shipping costs.

Another way to get the bidding going is to offer free shipping. I have done this several times and it worked like a charm. Not only did it sell for more, the added bids made up the difference that it cost me out of my pocket to ship the item.

I Answer Questions Promptly and Professionally

Whenever I receive a question about one of my items, I make sure I answer it within a few hours. It looks real good to the potential buyer and may possibly cause them to bid. My replies are also very articulate and grammatically correct. Basically, you are running a business and if you do not treat your customers good, they will buy somewhere else.

photo by: judybaxter