Skip to content
You're better than monthly fees.  Get a Varo Bank Account today

Organize Your Life, Sell Your Stuff, Make Money. Questions?

July 27, 2018

Share Buttons

You don’t need to wait until another season to get your home/apartment/room in order. (Procrastinate much?)

Seize the moment — and summer months — to clear out old or unwanted items that are taking up space and no longer providing you much value. This goes double if you're paying for storage space to store extra stuff.

Decluttering can help bring order and clarity to your life (or at least more breathing room), and if you’re savvy, you can make some extra money as well.

Now, assuming you’ve made at least some of the cut, here’s how to sell used stuff online and make money.

Start with your closet

To get rid of clothing, shoes, purses, ties, accessories, and other closet standards, look for a local consignment or resale shop. Resale shops will often buy gently used items and either pay you cash or give you a slightly better offer for store credit.

However, you’ll want to make sure the items you’re offering match what the store usually sells, both in terms of price point and style.

Consignment shops may have similar buying requirements, but you won’t receive payment up front. Instead, the shop will put your things on display, and you’ll get a cut of anything the sells. If your items aren’t sold, you may be able to take them back or let the consignment shop donate them to a local charity.

If you don’t have a retail store near you, or you’d prefer to sell your items from home, there are many apps and websites that could help beyond eBay, including ThreadUp, Vinted and, Poshmark. If you’re trying to sell your wedding dress, there are specialty sites like Still White.

When factoring costs, remember you may need to ship whatever you sell.

Now move on to your home furnishings 

For furniture, Craigslist is still a great go-to option for selling stuff.

To make your listing a success, add pictures, a thorough description with measurements, and details on whether the buyer needs to pick up the item or you can offer delivery (which you could offer for an additional fee).

Remember it sometimes it can take a few weeks before a committed buyer comes along, and you may have to repost your ad several times.

You could increase your chances of a quick sale by listing your furniture on more than one site. There are Craigslist competitors out there, such as OfferUp and letgo. Facebook Marketplace and NextDoor also let you sell things directly to folks in your neighborhood.

Clear off your bookshelves

A local bookstore can be a good first stop if you’re dusting off your bookshelves. As with clothing stores, the bookstore may offer you cash or a little extra if you take store credit. But bookstores may be picky about what types of books they’ll buy, and the quality they’ll accept.

You can reach buyers directly and list any book online. EBay is still a good option as you can start an auction with a low price and set a reserve (i.e. minimum) selling price that’s hidden from potential buyers.

EBay lets you create up to 50 listings for free each month, but it still takes a cut of your final sale. So, make sure you set your reserve price high enough to cover your fees and shipping costs. Since your sending books, the USPS’s Media Mail service is a low-cost shipping option.

If you happen to have old college textbooks, you may want to make a point of selling those ASAP because their value tends to drop as new editions come out. BookScouter and Barnes and Noble will let you know how much they’re willing to give you once you enter the book’s ISBN number, and they both offer a prepaid shipping label so there’s no extra cost for you.

Taking care of old tech

Although they tend to lose value quickly, there are a few ways to sell old gadgets. To start, you can check out Best Buy and Amazon’s trade-in programs, which offer gift cards in exchange for your used gadgets. Apple also has a trade-in program, but only for Apple products.

If you’re looking for cash, sites like decluttr and Gazelle might be good options, and they’ll both pay shipping. Or, you could try selling your tech directly to other people on Craigslist, eBay, NextDoor, and other marketplace sites.  

You can’t always make money from your old electronics, but you’ll still want to find a way to safely dispose of them. Cities sometimes have e-waste collection days or events. Or, Best Buy will also take and recycle many types of electronics and may offer you a coupon even if your item doesn’t have a resale value.

Bottom line

Cleaning out your home can be cathartic and leave you feeling renewed. Plus, you can make some moolah in the process. 

Remember you can connect your Varo Bank Account to Apple Pay™, PayPal, and other digital wallets that make it easy to complete money transactions online. However, please always confirm your seller/buyer with goods before you send money to anyone.

While you shouldn’t necessarily rush to fill in the new, open spaces in your home, if you’re looking for something new, you can use the same sites, apps, and resources to save money.

Louis DeNicola is a freelance personal finance writer and credit enthusiast. You can find him on Twitter @is_lou.

Share Buttons
Louis DeNicola

Louis DeNicola

Louis DeNicola is a freelance finance writer based in Oakland, California. He specializes in consumer credit, personal finance, and small business finance, and loves helping people find ways to save money. In addition to Varo, Louis works with a variety of financial services firms, credit bureaus, and educational websites, including Credit Karma, Wirecutter, Funding Circle, and Experian.

Read More