Got an old cell phone lying around that you just don't need any more? Wedding dress? Clothes? Books?

Many of us simply throw things out to clear space or get rid of things that we don't need any more. Sometimes we'll even donate these to The Salvation Army or Goodwill (which is great, we should donate when at all possible). Have you ever considered selling your stuff? It's a great way to make some extra cash.

Even if it's only $5 for a big bundle of stuff, think of how many $5's add up over time!

My husband and I are big “stuff-sellers”. Here are some tips that we've learned over the years:

  • Don't try to sell stuff that is excessively stained, broken, or unusable. You wouldn't want to buy junk, would you?
  • If your items are only slightly battered, don't be afraid to sell them. But be VERY honest in your description when selling the items. You'd be surprised at what people will buy for a good price (good price meaning don't over-price your items that are slightly battered!!)
  • Wash/clean the items as best as you can before you sell them. Image makes a huge difference.
  • If you say “text, email or call me” in your ad, you'll have better response. People really like texting now days.
  • Post your items in multiple places and one time, and re-post often. This increases your odds dramatically.
  • Post as many pictures as the site will allow. The more pictures, the BETTER. Espeically with big items like wedding dresses or cars. Be sure to take detailed pictures of dents, stains, holes, etc. This way people will know you are being honest about the condition of your items, and you know that when people call you they are truly interested! It is best to use your own pictures and not manufacturers' pictures.
  • Be flexible on price. You might even want to post your initial price a few dollars higher than the price you are looking for, and assume that people will talk you down. The more flexible you are, the faster it will sell.
  • Look at other similar ads to get a good starting price. Being too high won't sell your stuff (obviously), and being the cheapest means you may not get as much as you can for your items. Pricing varies depending on the time of year, etc. so look at your competition.
  • SAFETY TIPS: Don't have people come to your house to look at an item you are selling. Meet them at a gas station, your work, a church parking lot, etc. You can also set up a secondary email account if you don't want people to have your personal email. You can also set up a free phone number through google voice  so people don't have your real phone number!
  • Re-post your ad every few days. The good sites get really congested, so make sure to keep your ad fresh. Re-word it slightly each time as well, you'll notice that some get better responses than others.
  • Get creative. Think outside the box. We just sold our car on a local classifieds site. The guy could only get a loan for a certain amount, which was $500 less than what we wanted for it. My husband learned that he works construction, so we settled on a trade; he's going to do some remodeling in our house to work off the remaining $500!
  • And of course, if all else fails you could always hold a yard sale. See how to do it successfully HERE.
  • If you can't sell it, donate it or find a creative way to reuse it!  If you donate it, be sure to get a tax slip so you can write it off in your taxes!
Good places to sell your stuff:
  • Facebook (they have featured ads or you can simply post something on your profile, or you can create a page for that item. This gets HUGE traction. This is a great place to sell/rent your house or contract, too!)
  • Newspaper classifieds
  • Ebay
  • Craigslist
  • Local classified sites, like for Utah/Idaho (many popular news stations have their own classified pages online, these are pretty popular locally. Be sure to search online.)
  • Plato's Closet  is a store that buys gently used clothes/shoes/purses/jewelry. Just be sure they aren't too old (they can be pretty picky about this), and make sure they are in great condition.
  • Amazon. This is a great place to sell used books! (Text books too, you collage kids!)
  • Kid to Kid is a store like Plato's closet. They buy gently used kids items – everything from movies/toys/rocking chairs, to clothes/hats/shoes, etc.
  • Pawn shop. These won't give you very much money, but it's quick and easy.
Great things to sell (what I've personally had success with):
  • Used books/text books/cook books
  • Wedding dress
  • Car
  • Furniture that you've replaced (couches, book shelf, TV stand)
  • Appliances that you've replaced (small {hand mixer, blender etc}  and large {fridge, dishwasher, etc})
  • Baby items: crib, swing, clothes, changing table, stroller, sling, hiking pack, etc.
  • Bikes, rollerblades, skateboards, scooters, etc.
  • Electronics (old TV's, cell phones, stereos, games/DVD's, gaming units {wii, nintendo, etc}, computers, camera)
  • Basically…anything!
Give it a try. Like I said, even if you only get $3 here, $20 there…it really ads up.
Good luck, and happy savings to you!
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