Make Money Selling Your Stuff


There comes a time in everyone’s life where they just need to unload some stuff. As we exist we collect things, things we need, thing we needed, and things we never wanted. At some point you are going reach critical mass on the things you don’t need and those you never wanted. When you reach this point you may just start tossing stuff in the garbage, don’t do it, as the saying goes “One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure.” If you don’t throw it away you are going to have to decide how to sell it. We are going to look at four ways you can offload your unwanted stuff.

Garage Sale

A garage sale is the easiest way to get rid of your stuff for some cash. We had our first garage sale over this past weekend and raked in close to $300. The key to garage sales is traffic and negotiation. Unfortunately my wife was more interested in getting rid of the stuff than turning a large profit so we didn’t do as good as we could have. When you are prepping for your garage sale just go through your house and pick up everything you don’t need anymore and put it in a pile in you garage. As you are collecting your items decide how much you want to charge for them and put small stickers with the price on each item.

As I stated earlier the key to maximizing your gains in a sale of this type is just shear numbers. The more people you have come through your sale the more likely you are to sell most, if not all, of you items. The types of people who frequent garage sales are varied and given enough traffic you can find buyers for even the most obscure of items. Start out by placing advertisements on Craigslist or in you local paper to run the day before and the days of your sale. The craigslist ad is free and effective although the local ad is likely to drive more traffic to your sale. On the day before your sale set out poster board signs to direct garage salers from major roads into you neighborhood/sale. To maximize the effectiveness and the draw of your sale talk to your neighbors and see if any of them are willing to participate on the same day. This will help you cut advertising costs and increase the likelihood of having a great turnout for your sale.

Craigslist (

As you go through your stuff looking for garage sale items you may come across two or three bigger ticket items that you know people would be willing to pay more than your average garage sale price for. These kinds of items are perfect for listing on Craigslist. Craigslist is essentially a free online classifieds listing that has a specialized site for most urban cities in America. You can post ads on Craigslist for just about anything you want to sell.

The key to being effective when you are trying to sell something on a site like Craigslist is to be as descriptive as possible about the item you selling. Be honest and say if the item doesn’t work or has some nicks and by all means include photos of what you are trying to sell. There are plenty of people who will shops sites like this and only stop to read the ad if the seller included a photo.


This isn’t exactly making money but it sure could be a tax write off for you depending on the amount of stuff you end up donating. Take all of your decent and working garage sale left overs and just donate them to GoodWill or other local charities.  At least this way the items are out of your house and someone will get some good use out of them.

Freecycle (

Freecycle is the sleeper in the junk eradication department. The premise behind Freecycle is that instead of throwing something away see if someone in your local community may want it first. This includes just about anything. I have personally gotten rid of a non working lawnmower and a wooden pallet by using FreeCycle. You have to become an approved member in your community and then you can post items you want to get rid of and people will contact you to pick them up. People give out anything from baby clothes to broken tools. You can even look for things you may “need” that are being given away by other members of the community.

Photo: (DNoman)

{ 1 comment }

1 Eden July 27, 2009 at 1:30 pm

I recently tried a few garage sales and actually had some nice results. It’s a lot of work, but it can definitely pay off.

I think Craigslist tends to be the easiest way to sell something and to get a decent price. I even used it to sell my car with great success.

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