KonMari Your Home and Ask, “Does This Spark Profit?”

While something might no longer hold value for you, it could be a hot seller on the online market.


Welcome to Day 7 of our 30-Day Easy Money Makeover! Every day in April, we're bringing you strategies to help you improve, and feel more confident about, your money situation. Follow along and see the rest of the calendar here.

In decluttering guru Marie Kondo’s KonMari Method, the idea is to shed items that don’t spark joy. And in the spirit of our challenge, you can seize today to find items that might spark profit.

There are dozens of sites and apps to help you monetize items you no longer want. That storage unit, closet, or chest of drawers you haven’t looked through in a few years? Pop it open and check out every single piece. (Aside from finding items to sell, you may spot something you forgot you owned, thus saving you from buying it twice.) Ask yourself honestly, “Have I used this [spiralizer, sports watch, decorative belt] in the past year, and will I use it again?”

1. Consider what might sell

While something might no longer hold value for you, it could be a hot seller on the online market. Your college textbook on thermodynamics, the sports watch you were obsessed with until you weren’t, or that gift card someone gave you when you were super into cronuts? That jacket you were so psyched about last month could be what someone else is craving right now.

On eBay, a sports trading card sells every two seconds, a watch or smartphone every five seconds, a video game every seven seconds, and a woman’s handbag every six seconds, says Harry Temkin, vice president of seller experience for the online auction giant.

Facebook Marketplace reports that as of March, some of its top trending United States searches included dining tables, chairs, dressers, TVs, and toy boxes.

Read more: 5 Collectibles That Can Net a Big Payday (and 6 That Probably Won’t)

2. Explore sales platforms

There are plenty of places where you might unload your items, including big-name platforms like Amazon Trade-In, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace, and apps like Poshmark, Mercari, and Letgo. Do some digging on a few to see where your items might be more likely to sell, and what kind of cut you might get after commissions and fees.

3. Sell it like a pro Make sure to design your listing so potential buyers can find you and trust you: Include your product’s brand, color, size, and other essentials in your keywords and the text. Good photos are crucial. “Buyers can’t touch the item that you’re selling, so they rely on images to help them make decisions. To maximize visual appeal, include multiple photos of the item from different angles in good light with a plain background,” says Temkin in an email. Poke around and see how other buyers are doing it, and notice which listings make you want to shop. Your reputation will become part of your brand, so make sure not to oversell. If you’ve jotted some notes in that textbook or there’s some wear on that winter hat, note it in your ad so you won’t wake up to find a negative comment in your seller feedback. (Or worse, a request for a refund.) Think of this exercise as free, or at least low-effort, money . You already have the product. And the sales can add up: If you get $12 for a vintage butter dish, plus $20 for a sweater, you now have $32 to put directly in the bank.

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