When you are trying to get out of debt selling items around the house can help out tremendously. There could be multiple items sitting in closets, garage, cabinets or storage rooms that could be sold to help expedite paying off your debt. Set aside a Saturday or Sunday and go through absolutely everything you can that you don’t use but would be able to sell. Every time you sell something make a bank transfer towards your credit card, student loan or other debt you may have and don’t think twice about it.
Here are some guidelines that I used when selling items to pay towards my debt:
Organize Your Crap So You Can Sell Your Crap
This is the first step to making big bucks by getting rid of the stuff you don’t need. Go through every room, closet and drawer in your house.
Put your stuff into four piles:
- Stuff you’ll keep
- Things you’ll throw away
- Stuff you’ll give away
- Things you’ll sell
The stuff you’ll keep goes neatly back into a closet or drawer, where you can find it quickly the next time you’ll need it. Stuff you’ll throw away goes, obviously, into the trash.
The stuff you’ll give away goes to your favorite charitable organization or thrift store. And the stuff you want to sell will be advertised in several different ways.
The 1 Year Rule
If you have not used the item in the past year, it makes sense that you could get rid of it and it wouldn’t be much of a loss. I do realize that there are items out there that you only use once a year, like Christmas lights, decorations, suits, etc. The goal is to find items that you don’t need anymore and that if you need to, you could repurchase to once you are debt-free.
Determine How Much You Can Sell It For
There may be many items that won’t bring much money at all. Use Amazon, Ebay and Craigslist as a way to determine how much the items are selling for. If it is too little of a price to justify selling just one, consider the following:
Donate the items to Goodwill
This is a great route if you do not think you will get much money from selling your items, or if you think it would be too much of a hassle to go through the selling process. In addition, you will get a tax receipt that will allow you to deduct the items you donate which will reduce your tax liability.
Bundle your items and see if you can get more
For instance, if one DVD will only bring $2, perhaps 20 DVDs will bring $40. Instead of shipping out 20 separate times you only have to ship once and it will make the process feel like less of a burden.
High Dollar Items That You Forgot You Had
Here is a list of items that could bring top dollar that you probably forgot you had:
- Old iPod
- Previous cell phone
- Video game system like Nintendo 64, Xbox, PlayStation, etc.
- Workout equipment
- Name brand or designer clothing
- DVD Collections – TV Series, Trilogies, etc.
- Leftover tiles (maybe you remodeled your kitchen and you have boxes sitting in a closet somewhere)
- Extra wood flooring
- Unopened gifts
The Most Popular Ways to Sell Your Stuff
Believe it or not, there are dozens of places where you can sell your Junk. Here are some of the most popular, and some that you may not have heard of.
We’ll start with four of the most popular ways to sell your stuff and move on from there.
You’ve probably heard of eBay, and you may have even sold or bought some stuff on eBay. Listing your stuff for sale on eBay is pretty easy, but you have to remember to factor in shipping costs, ease of shipping and fees that eBay charges when you list your item and when you sell your item.
eBay is great for selling items that are easy to ship because you get a wider variety of people viewing your for-sale items.
Craigslist is great for selling your crap because it’s local and it’s free. No listing fees or selling fees like you’ll find with other sites. Just list your stuff, pick a safe and public place (if possible) to meet your buyer, and get your cash.
3. Facebook Group
Many neighborhoods have Facebook groups where people can list stuff for sale. The great thing about selling stuff through a Facebook group is that your buyers will likely be nearby, and again, no fees.
4. Garage Sales
Yep, garage sales are still popular everywhere. With more people starting to become aware of how they spend their money, the eagerness to get what they need at a great price keeps growing. Here are some keys for getting things sold at a garage sale.
- Organize your items, make sure they’re clean and present them well
- Price things clearly and competitively – a standard price is ten percent of retail for smaller items, and up to 50% of retail for quality, name brand or high cost items
- Be willing to negotiate. Come down in price or offer to throw in another item or free delivery
- Be friendly. Many times a friendly demeanor and pleasant conversation will clinch a sale
Also, make sure plenty of people know about your garage sale by posting signs on prominent or busy roadways and advertising on Craigslist or in a local paper.
Other Online Sites for Selling Used Stuff
Although the venues mentioned above are great for selling your stuff, there are also other online sites you may not have heard of for selling used items. Here’s the scoop on a couple of them.
Bonanza is a selling site that has a lot in common with eBay. The bonus? Fees are lower. Their site will tell you that over 12,000 people voted Bonanza as the best place to sell your stuff online in 2016.
eBid is an auction site similar to eBay, only with lower fees. You’ll find a wide variety of stuff for auction on eBid, from ATVs and ATV accessories, unique cars such as classic cars and commercial vehicles, and basic stuff like clothing, electronics and accessories. eBid might be a fun site to try out if you have stuff to sell that’s unique or collectible too.
7. Consignment Stores and Pawn Shops
Consignment stores and pawn shops are another way to sell your stuff and get cash. Pawn shops can be great because you get your cash on the spot, but be prepared to take a lower price. Jewelry and electronic items generally go well at pawn shops.
Consignment shops might help you get a bit more cash, but you’ll have to wait until your item sells. Consignment shops can be good venues for selling name brand clothing and accessories, as well as household decorative items or furniture.
The Most Important Part
Take the money you earn by selling your junk and make one whopper of a payment toward your consumer debt balances.
I prefer the debt avalanche method, but whatever works for you is fine as long as you are using the cash to get out of debt and free yourself from the slavery of those seemingly endless monthly payments.
After you’ve sold all of that stuff that’s taking up space in your home and made that massive payment cutting down bunches of debt, let me know about your “sell your crap” success story by leaving a note in the comments.