Saturday, October 18, 2008

31 Things to do before Christmas – Sell your old stuff for cash for Christmas, here's 5 ways to do it

(This is #8 of 31 in the 31 Things to do series)

Selling your old stuff for cash for Christmas

Now that you've taken some time to weed out old and useless stuff from your life, let's explore some ways you can get some use out of all that old stuff. As the saying goes, one man's junk.... you know the rest. When you weed out your old junk you will probably discover that you have a nice piece of potential cash sitting in your closet, dresser drawers, and your garage.

Here are five ways you can unload some of your unwanted items and earn some extra cash.

  1. Employer-sponsored "classified" services. This is my own personal favorite but it may not be available to everyone. I work for a large company and my employer has a service set up for its employees to buy and sell stuff. Sort of like an internal garage sale. Whenever I want to get rid of anything, I start here, because this service is free to employees, in most cases no shipping costs are involved since buyer and seller are both working in the same location, and this is pretty much as safe as you're going to get, since you are selling among associates. You may not have a service like this available to you but if you do, I suggest you start here first.

  2. Ebay. I'm probably the last person you will ever hear say that I still have not ever bought or sold anything on Ebay, but it's true. I can't really say why to tell you the truth. I've skirted around the idea and even checked out some auctions, but never took the leap. However, I hear this is a good service to unload items. I am by no means an authority to speak on it though.

  3. Craigslist. I have a friend who recently sold a piece of furniture and other items on Craigslist. And it worked out so well because the buyers were local and were able to meet to pick up the items with no problem.

  4. Garage sale. This is my third favorite way to get rid of stuff. The good thing about garage sales is that no written advertisement is necessary for every item you want to sell. Just get the word out that there will be a sale, and they will come (at least in my experience that's how it's been). Granted some areas are more successful with garage sales than others. In my neighborhood there are dozens of garage sales happening on just about any given weekend, so I don't even have to advertise at all. I can just hang out a couple of poster board signs on the main intersections, ride the momentum of the surrounding sales and wait for the floodgates to open. The drawbacks to garage sales is that you do have to prepare for them, making sure you have tables, items priced, and getting up early enough to set everything out. And you have to pray for good weather. Also, all that's left after your sale, you have to be prepared to either pull it back into your home, load it up to go drop off at a donation site, put a "FREE" sign on it, or throw it away. I don't mind giving stuff away for free, but usually throwing away stuff is painful for me, and pulling it back in to my garage is even worse.

  5. Consignment. This is my second favorite avenue to sell my good but no longer needed items, especially clothes. I found that when I sell clothes at garage sales I never earn as much as I do in consignments. I think it's because when people go to garage sales they are looking for not just a deal, but a steal. So items that are easily worth $5 will only draw you maybe a buck at a garage sale. Consignments also require a little work on your part because you need to make sure the items are clean and in good repair, and most shops ask that you iron clothing before dropping it off.

No comments: