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8 Things You Can Sell to Get Extra Cash (and Space)

By: American Heritage12.19.19

Is your home feeling a little cluttered? Want to get through the holidays, or start the new year, with a little extra cash in your pocket? If there are unused or seldom-used items taking up space in your home, consider selling them. Whether you’re purging your attic, decluttering your whole house, or getting ready to move, periodically selling off old things helps you simplify your lifestyle while earning quick cash – sometimes more than you might expect.

If you’re not sure where to start, try beginning with unsentimental stuff. As you evaluate each item you think you’d like to sell, ask yourself:


  • Do I use this item regularly? Have I used it in the last 6 or 12 months?
  • Does this item make my life better or easier?



You might think your possessions have little value, but the demand for gently used items is actually large. Across the internet and in your hometown, buyers often go for preowned items like these:


1. Books

Unless you’ve got a rare first edition or autographed copy, you won’t earn a ton, but many sites or local shops do pay for used books.


2. Gift Cards

Consumers spend over $130 billion on gift cards annually, but nearly $1 billion goes unused each year. Don’t lose out on a gift card’s value if you won’t use it. Multiple sites and apps allow people to exchange gift cards for cash – or other gift cards they’ll actually use. You could receive up to 80% of the card’s value.


3. Phones & Electronics

If you’re upgrading to a new device, you can earn cash for your old one with buyback programs like Nextworth, Gazelle, or BuyBackWorld.

4. Furniture

If you’ve got unused furniture in your basement or attic, you can post it for free on your local Craigslist and other online yard sale sites.


5. Clothing

Particularly with designer labels, selling clothes through one of the many online consignment shops helps you reach a large number of potential buyers to help your items sell quickly.


6. Sports Equipment

If your kid outgrew cleats or is upgrading snowboarding gear, try selling on eBay or a peer-to-peer marketplace like SidelineSwap or online garage sale sites.


7. Kids' Toys and Clothes

Kids grow fast, so it’s no surprise that budget-conscious parents are always on the lookout for a bargain. If your kid has outgrown a toy or barely worn snowsuit, post some pictures online or sell it through a local consignment shop.


8. Jewelry

Selling unwanted fine, vintage, or brand name costume jewelry may not free up much space, but it could be especially lucrative.


How & Where to Sell

Whether you’re selling in-person or online, know that the process may take some time, and you may not always find eager buyers right away. Individual items of clothing, housewares, shoes, and toys might not command a huge price – but sales can add up over time!


Selling Online

There’s no shortage of online marketplaces, online consignment stores, and apps to help people sell their stuff, and many specialize in certain types of merchandise, such as art and collectibles (Etsy), kids’ and women’s clothing (ThredUp), name-brand fashion and accessories (Poshmark), and furniture and home decor (Chairish).

A few tips for sellers:

  • Include plenty of detail and in-focus photos when listing items online. Note brand names, dimensions or sizes, and other information buyers want. Just as important, be honest in your listing, noting any light wear or damage to the item.
  • Price to sell. Spend a little time researching items similar to yours that others have posted for sale. Aim for a similar price.
  • Wait for payment before shipping. If you ship something before the buyer pays, you might not receive payment at all!
  • Follow the rules and be safe. Make sure you read the policies of the marketplace you’re using (like eBay or Craigslist) to understand the rules, limits, and seller protections. And, if selling an item locally, take precautions. Unless you’re selling a large appliance or piece of furniture that’s not easily transportable, meet your buyer in a public place, not at your home.


Selling in Person

Consider your local consignment or secondhand shops, bearing in mind that many specialize in one type of product, like clothing, books, electronics, antiques, or furniture. During warmer months, local flea markets are a great way to meet buyers for everything from collectibles to gently used goods, for a nominal fee. Another warm-weather option is to team up with your neighbors and hold a neighborhood yard sale, which can potentially attract far more buyers.


Simply want to free up some space?

You can also donate your unwanted things to a thrift store that supports a local nonprofit, or to many community organizations – which will both free up space and support a good cause. Here are some great places to donate




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