Is Your Home Full of Hidden Cash?
This is an ABC News story by Tory Johnson that provides the homeowner tips to sell your junk on EBay and Other Web Sites
I spend a lot of time helping people to make money from home, but this particular assignment took that task to a whole new level. A month ago, I mentioned on-air a tidbit from a Nielsen survey which found that the average household has 52 unused items originally worth $3,100.
Some tips on making money by selling your old junk online.
We asked viewers to let us know if they needed my help in identifying and selling those items to make money to cover rising gas and food prices. More than 1,000 e-mails poured in!
I had a week to work with one couple in Yonkers, N.Y., who had never sold anything online or from out of their home. In that short time we uncovered more than $10,000 worth of stuff.
They were the first to admit that if they could do it, anyone can! One person’s junk is another’s treasure – and you could be sitting on plenty of gems at home.
Assess your possessions. Walk from room to room and ask yourself if it’s more important to hang on to things or to part with them to make some money. Go through each room several times to identify what you’re willing to sell. If you haven’t used it, looked at it or thought about it in a very long time, that item could be a candidate for sale.
If you’re hesitant to part ways, consider it financially rewarding recycling. You’re going to give someone else the pleasure of using the item you no longer want. And of course just think of the cash you’ll have to spend on other, more pressing things.
Then investigate some of the popular venues for the items you have left. Here are some options, what you can typically sell and how to get the most out of what you no longer want:
Consignment shops: These can be a good market for a variety of goods from used clothing and toys to furniture. Most stores specialize in certain items — usually a particular type of clothing or brand of furniture. Others carry a variety of items.
“You need to match the goods to the items the store is carrying,” says Adele Meyer, executive director of the National Association of Resale & Thrift Shops. Otherwise, you might not get the highest price for it, she says.
Typically, the store will take your goods and have you sign a contract. If they sell the items, you get a percentage of the sales price, typically 40 percent to 60 percent, says Meyer. A good rule of thumb: “A third of the cost of new is the sum of resale,” Meyer says. But in some cases, like that designer handbag or new items with the tags still on, the selling price could be more.
While you give up a portion of the profits, you could make more in the long run than with a garage sale, flea market or even an online sale, says Meyer. “Consignment or resale stores will get the full value because store owners know the real value,” she says.
If you can’t sell it, give it away. Try the Salvation Army or Goodwill. There are also church organizations that serve the poor that would love to have used clothing, televisions, book cases, beds, or any number of things including furniture, desks, tables, and chairs.
Resale shops will see to it that the item is attractively displayed, plus you don’t have to spend your weekend tagging and organizing merchandise or having strangers and nosy neighbors trampling your yard.
And if a buyer bounces a check, “it’s not your problem,” Meyer says.
Ask how the shop’s consignment process works, because every store tends to be a little different adds Meyer. Some stores, especially those that sell clothing for kids or teens, will offer the option of giving you cash upfront. Some let you choose between getting less cash now and a potentially larger sum when the item sells.
With some stores, if an item doesn’t sell you can reclaim it. With others, it may become the property of the shop or be donated to charity. “Find out what your options are and understand everything completely,” says Meyer.
The goods that sell best at consignment shops: “Almost any kind of goods,” she says, especially gently used clothing, kids’ toys, furniture, costume jewelry, DVDs, CDs or sporting goods.