consignment shop goods of purses, jewelry, shoes

How to Get the Most Cash for Your Unwanted (But Awesome) Stuff

If you’re looking for ways to get cash for stuff you no longer need or want, there are a number of options both online and locally where you could earn top dollar. You just need to know where to look. Here are the best places to get rid of your old stuff for the best price.

consignment shop goods of purses, jewelry, shoes

Books

Check BookScouter, where more than 30 used book vendors will compete to buy your books. Just input the ISBN number (either a 10- or 13-digit number on the book itself) to find out which book buyer, if any, is interested in what you have and is willing to pay the highest price.

Decluttr buys books, too. Decluttr is the easiest way to make quick cash for your highly desirable used books. The site accepts hardbacks and paperbacks, used textbooks, and children’s books, too. Know going in that Declutter buys books that have a high degree of desirability and they offer a price that will allow them to re-sell them for a profit. It’s certainly worth checking out.

used books on shelves

Another option is to list your books on eBay, a large marketplace for used books, or consider selling to used bookstores in your area. Just know that means you’ll need to take the books to the store, offer them to the proprietor who will need time to go through what you have to offer, and then more than likely lug about half of them to the next bookstore (or back home). If you enjoy visiting used bookstores, you may find this to be a fun way to spend a day or two, depending on what you have.

Clothing

Sort your best clothes, pull out the gems, and sell them to a consignment store, at ThredUp, or through eBay. If you have vintage pieces, list them on Etsy. But first, make sure your items are impeccably stain-free and clean. It’s important for tags to be intact that show the brand, size, fabric content, and laundering instructions. If these tags are missing, do your best to describe what you know about the item and attach that information on a note.

Six pairs fashionably faded blue denim jeans neatly stacked

Group the rest that you are unable to sell as above into lots (12 child T-shirts, for example) and post them in an ad on Craigslist, on Facebook Marketplace, or in your local classifieds. Sell what’s left in a yard sale.

Sports Equipment

Sell gently used sports equipment to a used re-sell sports shop like Play It Again Sports. Or post fliers on the bulletin boards where you or your child go to work out or for practice. Sell all remaining items to a pawnshop, on Craigslist, or through your local classifieds.

Furniture Antiques Collectibles

Sell pieces of exceptional quality on consignment or at auction (online or off). Or search your local area for auctions and furniture consignment stores.

furniture consignment store

Photo: BlogTo.com

List good-quality pieces in local newspapers classifieds or on Craigslist. Sell lower-quality or less desirable items at a yard sale or estate sale. A

Another option for pieces you are not able to sell on your own is to approach a specialty antique dealer who deals in specific eras or types of collectible furniture and furnishings. It will cost you a fee and perhaps a percentage of the sale price to go through a dealer, but what you earn is more than you will net should donate these items to Salvation Army or Goodwill.

Electronics

Sell older electronic items on eBay, Craigslist, or the classifieds of your local newspaper. You can sell older but still usably functional at a garage sale. Just make sure you can demonstrate their functionality.  If you’re looking to sell vintage electronics, eBay is a good place to start. You could also check out Best Buy or another retailer if you’re looking to recycle them.

Vintage consumer electronics inside a funky thrift antique store

Video Games DVDs

If you have vintage, (read: highly desirable) collectible video games and DVDs, list them on eBay, Craigslist, GameStop, Declutter or through an ad in your local area. But first, do some research to find out where similar items are available for sale so you can set your price competitively without under-valuing. If you price them too low, it will look as if what you have is mediocre. Check this article for the top sites that will buy your video games and DVDs. Hint: Declutter is #1 on the list.

Housewares

Sell highly sought-after items on Facebook Marketplace (one of the best online places to sell stuff locally and to ship as well), on consignment in a shop near you, on eBay, or through Craigslist, Sell everything else at a yard sale, where you will need to price these items well below what you may think they are worth. (Reminder to self: Remember this the next time you are tempted to load up on all kinds of cute, holiday-specific, or otherwise delightful housewares at HomeGoods or TJMaxx.)

homegoods clutter

Appliances

Sell non-working, broken appliances to a local recycling center for scrap (hey, it’s not much but every dollar counts), or list them on eBay. Or consider donating your old appliances to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, another charity, or a local charity’s thrift store, if you are unable to sell them. You should be able to get a tax receipt for the market value of said items, which might go to reduce the amount of tax you will owe on your next Federal tax return if when you itemize.

Jewelry

First, get an appraisal for “insurance purposes” from a reputable jeweler so you have an idea of what your piece(s) might be worth based on its content—gold, silver, platinum, precious stones. Then sell them through eBay, at auction, or to that dealer or jewelry store. If you should do the latter, make sure you get another appraisal or two from other similar dealers or stores. For the lesser pieces,  look to a local consignment shop or list them on eBay.

vintage-pile-jewelry

Consider the costume jewelry for your next yard sale. If you take the time to clean the pieces and display them in a creative, compelling way you may be surprised by what you can get for them. Just keep your flexible hat on. You will get a variety of “would you take [fill-in-the-blank]?” kinds of offers. Remember you don’t have a lot to lose here, so take what you can get.

Musical Instruments

Reverb is a great online place to sell—and buy—vintage masterpieces and gently used musical instruments of every kind. Audio equipment, too. 

antique coronet

Or let the band directors at area middle schools and high schools know you have an instrument for sale. Parents who will be looking for alternatives to buying a new instrument that their child who may or may not use that horn or violin beyond a semester or two. If that fails, as a last resort, you can always sell your instrument(s) to a pawnshop or music store.


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14 replies
    • Mary Hunt says:

      My experience has always been excellent, but you should always do your own independent research. If you are selling something to Decluttr that is so valuable to you that you are scared to proceed, you’d probably find another way to liquidate. I sell books and my experience has been great. I see the TrustPilot and BBB give them excellent ratings.

      Reply
  1. Ceil says:

    Another great option in addition to Craigslist is OfferUp. There’s an app, and it’s very easy to buy or sell on it.

    Reply
  2. Kathy says:

    Online selling sites now require an I9 to be filled out.
    My favorite sites are Mercari, swap.com, Facebook marketplace.
    Thredup pays very little for new quality items
    National consignment stores like clothes mentor, once upon a child, Buffalo nickel or play it again sports are great too

    Reply
    • Mary Hunt says:

      That is a very broad statement, Kathy. Here is the specific requirement in detail for anyone concerned about selling their used items online: Am I Required to File a Form 1099 or Other Information Return? Do you need to report how much you made to the IRS? Probably not, because the items typically are sold at a loss. Example: You paid $100 for those Coach sandals, sold them on PoshMark, and after all the fees and discounted sale price because they were “used,” you received $4. You did not make a profit of $4. You had a loss of $96.

      No matter what is sold (it’s a treasure to someone) or how often, all taxpayers who make a profit on a sale are obligated to report that profit as taxable income. Determining what your tax obligations are for any sales you make can be determined with the guidance of a tax professional.

      Reply
  3. Connie says:

    Any words of wisdom from those that sell over the government’s limit of $600.00. How do you plan for claiming/paying taxes? This amount was 20,000 last year. Perhaps this would make a better future article than question. Thank you

    Reply
    • Mary Hunt says:

      Selling used items has been declared by IRS as not subject to tax. Think: Garage Sale. Example: If you buy a lawn mower for $250 and sell it for $50 you do not have a $50 gain. You have a $200 loss. The $600 threshold to issue a 1099 has to do with profits wages, earnings, capital gains, etc. Speak with your tax preparer to put your mind at ease.

      Now if you are in business to “buy and flip”—say, you buy a $5 painting at a garage sale and resell it for $500, by law you have made a $495 taxable profit—regardless if anyone issues you a form 1099. If you plan to make those kinds of transactions on Craigslist or eBay, well yes you have a taxable situation. Would you rather just hang that $5 painting in your entryway, or make a $495 profit? Even in the 25% tax bracket, your after-tax profit would be sizable.

      Reply
  4. Linda D Radosevich says:

    Mary, thanks for your always-useful tips. Thumbs up for the suggestion of letting the buyer offer what they’d like to spend in a garage-sale situation. We found that we made more when we didn’t price items (but had an idea of what we would like to get for something) and let the buyer set the price within reason. Some negotiation is expected, too. And giving ‘perks’, as in, if you buy ‘such-and-such, I’ll let that go for ‘name your-price.’ It works!

    Reply
  5. Judy says:

    Poshmark is my favorite way to sell all kinds of things…sold 54 items since April 2nd and made enough to pay for the dog sitter while on vacation!

    Reply
  6. april says:

    When consumers buy jewelry, the prices are marked up anywhere from 4 to 12 times the actual value of the material. An “appraisal” is only for insurance purposes and not worth paying for if you’re looking to sell.

    Reply
  7. Wendy Hardaway says:

    for clothes and shoes- Mercari and Poshmark are much better money makers than Thredup – I send my leftovers to thred up – as they pay pennies compared to what I can make on Poshmark… example – pair of shorts sold on Thred up- I made 99 cents… same shorts I sold on Poshmark – I made $6 – yes it does take a bit more work than thred up – but worth the money…

    Reply

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