‘Tis the season when we’re all gearing up to do a little spring cleaning. It’s also the time when we throw out a lot of clothes, electronics, books, and old stuff that is just taking up space and we don’t want to look at anymore. A lot of it gets donated (yay!), but making money off of your spring-cleaning haul is probably a lot easier than you might think.
Here are a few areas you can look into if you have bags of stuff you know you aren’t going to use anymore and could use a few extra dollars to spend on that summer wardrobe, obviously.
There’s a reason Craigslist is so popular. It’s super easy to use, from a technical standpoint, and location-based, so it feeds off of impulse buying (I mean, let’s just call it what it is here). But really, if you need something last minute, Craigslist has your back, because you can drill down by city — and in some larger cities, like New York and Los Angeles, even by neighborhood.
Unload your old wardrobe at a garage sale and announce it on Craigslist. Or just post your old digs individually on the site and let the offers roll in.
2Secondhand Clothing Shops (Brick-and-Mortar)
We’ve all shopped at thrift stores and places like Plato’s Closet, right? Lots of these secondhand stores will give you good money for gently used clothing. Plato’s Closet is well-known and used because they offer high-quality duds for cheap from brands that are in high demand (think Lululemon, Nike, H&M, and Levi’s).
They have tons of locations nationwide, and buy everything from dresses to jeans to blazers, to workout attire, footwear, accessories, and outerwear for both men and women. They even sell books! Plato’s Closet stores are always clean, well lit and laid out well, complete with fitting rooms and friendly and knowledgeable staff who know a thing or two about fashion.
3Secondhand Clothing Shops (Online)
If you’re more of a do-everything-from-the-comfort-of-your-home kind of person, not to fret: the internet is teeming with companies that want your clothes, shoes, and accessories! Places like Poshmark and Tradesy are all about buying and turning around to sell your name-brand (they do love their designers), gently used stuff, with easy-to-use apps that let you upload listings in seconds.
Many of these sites, like thredUP, even provide a kit for you to send your clothes in. ThredUP also gives sellers a step-by-by step guide on how to evaluate a haul to make sure it’s up to par with what they’re looking for, and features a payout calculator to help estimate how much a seller might make on a specific brand, type, and quality of item. It can’t get much easier than that.
Ever buy something off of Amazon and notice you can either get it new or “Used from $X”? That’s where your stuff goes! Amazon Marketplace lets you sell new or used items, depending on the category. For example, you can only sell new clothes and beauty products, but you can sell new, refurbished, and used electronics, books, and tons more. It costs 99 cents per item you sell — which can be a steal if you’re getting rid of something a little more expensive, like an outdated tablet — plus shipping, referral, and closing fees, which vary based on the item.
This is probably not the cheapest way the go, but considering Amazon’s buyer base, it’s probably one of the smartest, especially if you use Amazon a lot and have bigger-ticket items to get off your hands that could make those little fees end up being no big deal.
Also known as a “yard sale” or “rummage sale” (although we’ve never actually heard anyone use the latter term IRL), garage sales are really effective if you have a lot of stuff to sell and the patience to sit outside and read a book while passersby show up to admire the goods. Plus, it gives you a reason to force yourself to meet your neighbors, which is an opportunity some of us hermit types should probably take advantage of (cough).
Not sure how much you want to sell something for but know it might catch a pretty penny for the right buyer? eBay is the way to go. It’s been around so long that virtually everyone knows the deal: bid on an item, have the highest bid, win the item, be on your merry way (and leave reviews like “A+++++++ seller, will do business again, thx!”).
If you have something one-of-a-kind or in not the best condition, eBay is great. It is rife with folks looking for vintage items and makes it simple to be very clear about the quality of your item. eBay was the home of my first online Christmas shopping extravaganza in 1999, and I regret nothing.
How many people around your age do you know who don’t use Facebook? Chances are it’s a very small number compared to those who do. That kind of social network is absolutely priceless, especially when you make a post public so your friends can tag their friends, add a ton of loot photos and prices, and even sponsor a post if you want to, to get your message out even further.
Facebook also offers the Facebook Marketplace (Craigslist-ish, but better visibility!), as well as groups that you can create or join based on your selling interest/location, if you want to branch out past your friends and friends of friends. Just make sure you follow the group’s pre-set rules, if there are any.
If you’ve ever watched Pawn Stars, you know that pawn shops are run by multi-generational men who bring in historians while other shoppers wait on pins and needles to see what your items are worth, a la Antiques Roadshow but way less formal and way more hilarious.
If you don’t watch Pawn Stars and are able to separate reality TV from actual reality, you know that pawn shops are a quick way to turn something that you don’t need anymore into cash money fast. Like that bracelet your high-school boyfriend spent three months’ allowance on and you’ve been holding onto it just because? Pawn it up.
This one might not seem obvious at first because Etsy is known for being a little bit more of a homemade-goods store than a reseller, but think about it: How many times have you wanted a specific thing and a seller only had one in stock? That’s often not due to low inventory — it’s because the seller is done with it and is ready to pass it on to someone else!
For items you list on Etsy, try to think of the audience. For example, a bird house you got as a gift from your (very generous and sweet) aunt who forgot you live in a balcony-less apartment might have a better chance of selling on Etsy than a random T-shirt with a graphic print would.
Grab some snacks and wine and your favorite pals and have a party at your place, where you binge-watch Riverdale because you’ve heard such great things like, “It’s Twin Peaks meets Dawson’s Creek!” and “Why is Cole Sprouse attractive? He’s the kid in Big Daddy! NOOOO!”
But also, ask your friends who are in need of some new pieces for their own closets to bring cash, and give them free rein of your own (closet, not cash). If you’re really bored, you can even make little tags and stick them on the items you’re looking to sell, so they feel like they’re shopping in a real store. (Maybe save the wine for after this part.)
11Flea Markets, Bulletin Boards, Campuses, Etc.
There are literally hundreds of options out there for connecting with individuals in person and making a few dollars. Look into the vendor requirements for your neighborhood’s flea market, and set up a table there for a few weekends.
Ask your local supermarket if they allow solicitors anywhere in their foyer or outside, and tack up some flyers on their bulletin board. Check out your nearest college campus and see if they have any events going on that you could attend with your Christmas in April sack of goodies.