American households are sitting on goldmines. Experts estimate there’s almost a trillion dollars worth of unused items in our homes. Rather than letting those things gather dust, people are digging into their closets, garages and basements to make money back on unused items.
Many are engaging in recommerce by selling their used stuff through the internet or in-person auctions. In fact, half of Americans plan to resell their gently used goods to support their income this year, according to OfferUp's Spring Cleaning & Recommerce survey. And two-thirds of Americans would consider selling gently used items online to free up space in their home.
If you want to make some money clearing out things you no longer want or use, consider these smart tips:
Have a yard sale: Reach out to your city to learn about any yard sale regulations, then set up shop at your house to sell to people in your community. Make sure to mark items with a reasonable price and promote your sale to bargain hunters that’ll search through your treasures. This is also a wonderful way to meet new neighbors.
Sell online: You can reach a much broader audience and potentially get more money for things like electronics, toys, clothes and vehicles using an app like OfferUp. Simply snap a picture on your phone, add a brief description and set a price. Safety is always a priority when selling online and meeting people in-person, and OfferUp works with police departments across the country to designate safer places to meet, which you can find in the app or by going to SafeTradeSpots.com. The app also offers nationwide shipping that allows you to reach more buyers for smaller items.
Tap into consignment: Consignment stores have been a staple for reselling for a while, but be advised that it could take the store some time to sell your items, and the store can take as much as a 50 percent cut on your merchandise for managing the transaction. On the plus side, consignment stores may be able to sell your items for a higher price than you’d be able to sell them for online, and it can be more convenient to let a consignment store sell for you instead of going through the trouble of listing the items yourself.
Post in a neighborhood forum: You can also try posting in your local neighborhood classifieds or on social media. While websites like Nextdoor tend to be more popular for people listing free items, you can offer a discount to your neighbors and plan on quicker sales since it’s easier to arrange pick-ups and drop-offs when everyone is less than a quarter-mile from each other.
Donate: For things you don’t end up repurposing or selling, donate them to a local charity. Many nonprofits accept a variety of items in good condition for resale or auction. There are a number of different organizations accepting donations, and depending on what you donate, you can get a receipt for a tax write-off that can hopefully get you a larger refund the following year.