Spring cleaning time is almost here. With that in mind, before you start tossing out perfectly good, re-sellable items, why not take inventory of all the goodies you’ve got and determine the best method of sale? After all, you may as well recoup some of the cost if you can, and actually make money spring cleaning!
To help you categorize your unwanted items and maximize your potential profit, here are six ways to ensure your spring cleaning results in a little extra cash in your wallet this spring:
There are several outlets that’ll help you unload some of your junk for cash — eBay, Amazon, etc.; we’ll tap into those later — but if you’ve got big-ticket items, Craigslist is where its at. Craigslist is ideal for advertising large furniture, especially, for one particular reason: Locals usually have the means to transport large items from your house to theirs. Can you imagine what it would cost to ship your bedroom set if you auctioned it off on eBay — not to mention the hassle? Get outta here! Eliminate those costs altogether by leaving pickup of the items to the buyer. Also, if you’re asked to deliver — not everyone has access to a truck, after all — you have an opportunity to make more money by charging a reasonable delivery fee.
Another perk of Craigslist for big-ticket items — and any other items you choose to list, really — is that you have ample opportunity to field multiple offers. If you’re offering something really great, it should only go to the best offer.
America, man — and that’s why we love it.
Host a Yard Sale
I host two yard sales a year and I always pull out all the stops. I put up flyers on posts around town, hammer signs into the ground at key intersections, and I place free ads in the local papers. Traditional tactics, for sure — but, in fact, quite amateur. Amateur because there are numerous ways to use social media to promote your yard sale, like:
- scheduling at event on Facebook
- hashtagging it on Twitter and Instagram
- letting your neighbors know about it on the Nextdoor app
- adding the event to online yard sale-specific search sites, like gsalr.com
I like to add in a little extra incentive to drive traffic by promoting and providing free juice and donuts. And a friend of mine advertises a free box of items to pique people’s interest.
List Items on eBay
If you want to make money spring cleaning, eBay is a good place to move small items. This is especially true for used electronics in good condition. Whenever I have an old iPhone or iPad I want to sell, I list it on the auction site. I always start at the standard $0.99 and let it ride. You can get an idea of what your item will eventually bring in by searching the same item among the published listings. If you don’t think that roundabout fee is acceptable, you can try to unload it on Craigslist but be prepared for a bevy of hagglers and flakes.
Sell on Amazon
This is another great resource when trying to make money spring cleaning. Way back when, I had a huge collection of CDs, DVDs, and books — but no more. I reduced that clutter and turned it into cash by selling these items on Amazon. Amazon makes it easy to list items with a barcode so long as they’re in its system. It also has a book buyback program that expedites the book-selling process. In addition to media, I’ve sold other goods, like gifts I’ve received that I didn’t want, things I’ve purchased on impulse and didn’t use, and items in good condition for which I no longer had a need. You’ll have to compete with other sellers of the same product by adjusting your offer at times. But I think that’s the fun part.
Engage in Facebook Groups
I didn’t know buy/sell/trade groups on Facebook existed until a friend of mine told me that it’s very popular with parents to swap and sell children’s clothing. But that’s not all it’s good for; you can post just about anything in these groups. And I do mean anything.
Sell Old Clothing
My one financial vice is that I spend too much money on clothing. Wait, scratch that — my husband thinks I spend too much money on clothing. I’m perfectly content with how much of my money I spend on clothing to look good. The downside is that I often have items I don’t want to wear anymore. Or that have gone out of style. Aside from putting these unwanted garments in a large box at my yard sale, I’ve also sold them in consignment shops.
Photo Credit: MarkMoz12
“eBay is a good place to move small items, especially used electronics in good condition. Whenever I have an old iPhone or iPad I want to sell, I list it on the auction site. I always start at the standard $0.99 and let it ride.” No, No, No! What if only one person is searching for you item and it goes for $0.99? Go to completed auctions, see for about what price your item will sell. Pick a figure at the lower end of that spectrum as your starting price. If you get only one bid, GOOD! You got a decent price. If there is a bidding war, you get more. Saves you from ninety-nine cent hell when only one person bids!
Len Penzo says
Great tip, Karen!
Hi there! Just found your site and I’m loving it. I just wanted to add another important tip. If you have unique vintage pieces in great condition (furniture, decor, or jewelry), Chairish is where it’s at. It’s an app and website and though they take 20% of each sale, the buyers on there don’t want to sift through the garbage on Craigslist so they’re willing to spend more. I’ve sold several unique pieces on there for MUCH more than I ever could have on Craigslist…at fair market value, I’d say! Thanks again! Love your site!
Karen Kinnane says
Craigslist has been great and is still good for selling rustic and primitive items. Facebook marketplace has eclipsed Craigslist because of the huge volume of people who do FB. FB Marketplace is particularly good for large bulky items which you can’t ship. Porch pick up or pick up in a public place works fine. Things to remember are to NEVER give out your phone number when contacted. The people who write, “I’m interested in your “item” (Italics mine!) what is your number so I can call / text you?” are NOT potential customers. They are data harvesters who will sell your live phone number to telemarketers. Take good photos and describe any problems. Do NOT do long term holds. The proper response to someone who wants you to hold an item for a week is “If it’s available when you are ready to come you are welcome to it.” so you don’t miss sales. I NEVER take prepayments because that pretty much guarantees the person will NOT pick up in a timely manner and you will be left storing someone else’s item for days, weeks, and in my case once for four months. Do not give out your address until the morning of the planned pick up. This insures at least that the potential buyer is alive, not decamped to Hawaii or kidnapped and is still planning to come. You can sell so much this way and with porch pick up it is easy and you will get fun out of this as well as cash and space.