Have you ever been doing a massive organization of your home and put something in the donate pile that makes you think, “but I really spent too much on this to just give it away.” This amount is different for everyone but it’s a common sensation.
Then you start considering your options for selling that item and the amount of work it takes to do it. Consignment shops are great but you have to schedule a drop off time, have them evaluate your things, and hope someone ends up purchasing the items. There’s not even a guarantee the consignment shop will accept your items.
For those who have the energy and patience to go to second hand shops and sell your items, we applaud you.
For those who want an easier way to make a few extra bucks as you ditch the clutter your home, keep reading to learn more about some great applications to help you sell your second hand items.
A fancier version of Craigslist, letgo helps users buy and sell items in their local area. The app is free to download and there are no commission costs associated with the buying and selling of items. letgo isn’t dedicated to one type of product, so you can sell old electronics, clothes, vehicles, books, you name it.
Once you download the app, you can start creating posts for your items. Each post allows you to add five photos, a brief description, and your price. If a buyer is interested, he/she will contact you via private message to set up a place to meet. As with Craigslist, meet in public areas. Also know letgo does not offer refunds or get involved with disputes between customers.
Poshmark has exploded in popularity over the last year. It’s primarily a women’s clothing marketplace, although you can find men’s and children’s clothes on here as well. The app is free to download (you can also use their desktop interface) and Poshmark makes commission on each sale - $2.95 for each sale under $15 or 20% for each sale over $15.
To create a listing in your “closet,” you take a picture of the item, provide a description about the item and how much it’s been worn, and set your price. You will also use the app’s tagging system to tag the item appropriately so it’s easier for buyers to find your item. When someone chooses to buy your item, you as the seller are provided with a pre-paid and pre-addressed label to put on your package. All you have to do is drop it in the closest USPS box.
As the title implies, FreeCycle is a free marketplace where people can give away their items for free within their community. The idea behind these kinds of marketplaces is to keep items out of landfills and to maximize the life of every item. To join FreeCycle, you will need to check to ensure your area has a FreeCycle group going, such as this one for the Boston area. If it does, you will create an account and wait for it to be approved by the site administrator. From there, you will be able to post items to give away and select items you want.
While this isn’t a way to make extra money, it’s an easy way to get rid of extra items in your home that aren’t selling on other marketplaces.
Mercari is an online “flea market" that originated in Japan and hit the U.S. market back in 2014. On Mercari, you can find a variety of new and used clothes, shoes, video games, electronics, and more. You can even buy and sell handmade items.
The app is, of course, free to download and the seller gets to keep 100% of the sale. When it comes to shipping, the seller decides whether to pay for shipping or to pass on the cost to the buyer. To create a listing, upload up to four photos, a brief description with the brand name and condition, and whether you will cover shipping or not.
Amazon has a few buyback programs for various electronics but also books. It uses your purchase history as well as books you might have purchased outside Amazon to suggest books you might like to trade in. You can get up to 80% of the book’s value when you trade in your books.
However, know you will be receiving gift cards from Amazon, not cash. Using this trade in program can be more lucrative than other second-hand book marketplaces and is great if you’re a frequent Amazon user.
Give Back Box
For those clothes and shoes you can’t sell or want to flat out donate, look no further than GiveBackBox.com, a website that allows you to easily ship in your used clothing items to be donated. It’s incredibly easy for those of you who don’t have time to go to Goodwill or other donation centers.
The process is simple. Use any shipping box from one of the partner companies, stuff it full of old clothes and other items, print the shipping label from GiveBackBox, and pop it into the nearest UPS or USPS box.
Ditch the Clutter the Tech-Savvy Way
Getting rid of your excess stuff shouldn’t cause you to feel as if you’re giving away tons of money. Taking advantage of the various second-hand marketplaces we discussed here and many others can lead to putting some money back into your pocket and the good feeling that your items will get a second lease on life.