Quick Christmas Cash for Your Old "Stuff"

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If you’re looking to make a little extra cash this Christmas, take advantage of opportunities to sell some items while other people are looking for bargains.  Set aside 15 minutes to look around your home for unused items or items that no longer give you joy. Perhaps there are items your kids will soon outgrow.  If so, it’s best to sell these items now while people are still looking.  In 3 months the buyer pool will be significantly smaller, making your chances of selling later much slimmer and your selling price lower.

Clean your items up, take great pictures, then quickly research the price.   Larger, more expensive items that are in good condition can be sold for around half the original retail price.  Smaller, less expensive items in good condition usually sell for less than 25% of the original retail price.  If you have an item that is NWT (new with tags) or NIB (new in box) ask 75% or the original retail price.

There are several different easy avenues for selling items

  1. Snap a picture on your phone and post it to your personal FB wall.  You never know when a friend would love to have your old item, especially kids’ items that they know are in good condition.  It’s an easy free transaction that both of you will feel comfortable with.
  2. Sell books at a local bookshop or other items at a pawn shop.  You may not get as much money for them, but you’ll probably get more than you would at a garage sale (which you probably wouldn’t have at this point in the year) I like the ease of these sales as opposed to other options below. Kids’ clothing can also be sold at some stores, but usually I find that the clothes I have would bring more at a garage sale.  If you have high end kids’ clothing it might be a good option for you though.
  3. Search for a swap group on FB by city name, county name or region of your state.  Chances are good that you can find an active group to join and post items for sale.  The benefit here is ease of communication and no transaction fees.
  4. Post your items on your local craigslist page.  Be honest with your description.  I find it’s usually best to state cash only and will not hold item. Remember to not reply to responses for your name/address or other spammy requests.  If a response seems spammy, you can try searching switchboard.com to see if that person does in fact live in your area.  Use your best judgement on meeting places, never post your phone # or address in the listing, and only accept cash.
  5. Sell items worth $20 or more on Ebay.  Posting on Ebay can often bring you a higher selling price, but there are several drawbacks:  Listing, selling, and payment fees can add up to nearly 20% of the selling price (hence the $20+ suggestion). You must be very detailed with the description and condition of your item if it isn’t new, plus deal with packing and shipping the item.  The upside is a much large market of buyers, especially if you’re selling a highly desirable item.  Items that sell today, December 13th could take up to 10 days to reach their destination, so time is of the essence. Often there are items readily available in your area that are scarce in another part of the country.  That’s one of many appealing benefits of Ebay.

Do you have other ways to turn older unused items into cash in time for the holidays?

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