Warmer weather is right around the corner, which means it’s time to channel Marie Kondo and start spring-cleaning your crib.
Need a little more incentive to start clearing out the clutter? Those belongings you’re willing to part with could bring you some serious cash.
“Selling your stuff can be a nice way to generate passive side income that you can use to pay down debt or put toward a personal savings goal,” says Matt Cosgriff, a Certified Financial Planner in Minneapolis, who recommends this strategy to his clients.
Fortunately, a slew of new tech tools make it easier than ever to make money from your unwanted gear. Here are our top picks for selling everything from clothes to computers.
Maybe you’ve got a pile of ragged sweaters, worn-out Tees or jeans from college you can’t (or shouldn’t) squeeze into anymore. Andrea Woroch, a California-based consumer savings expert and media strategist, recommends selling it all—plus accessories and shoes—on a site like ThredUp.
They’ll send you a bag to fill with gear in good condition then ship back for free. Once everything is processed and priced, they’ll let you know how much you’ve earned: For items under $60, you’ll get 10 to 40 percent of the sale price upfront. For everything $60 and up, you’ll receive 50 to 80 percent once it’s been purchased.
For a more DIY option with better rates, try Poshmark. First, you’ll snap lustworthy photos of your duds in the app, write a description and name your price, then post it to your online “closet.” Poshmark takes a $2.95 fee for anything under $15, and 20 percent on everything else.
When someone buys, Poshmark sends you a shipping label, and within a few days of delivery, money is deposited into your account. There are similar sites, like Tradesy, which edits your pictures and takes a lower commission, though they don’t currently have the cult following or social media presence of Poshmark—so your things may not move as fast.
If you have an upscale handbag that you’re ready to part with, you might also consider a site like Rebagg that specializes in reselling designer handbags. Submit a photo and some basic info and get a quote. If you’re happy with the price, send the bag in a prepaid box (or get it picked up for free if you live in New York City), and you’ll get a payment in two to three business days.
For guys, your best bet for selling clothes is Grailed. It works a lot like Poshmark, except they take a 6 percent commission, as well as PayPal fees of 30 cents plus 2.9% (for domestic sales) to 3.9% (for international sales) of the sale price. You’re also responsible for shipping.
Move Loot (available in parts of California and North Carolina, Atlanta and New York City) takes the hassle out of selling your unwanted tables, sofas and chairs, so you can spend more time biking, hiking and generally getting your spring on.
Submit photos of your sellables, and if accepted, the team will send you a price range, assuming your piece sells within 60 days. (They say 50 percent of their inventory sells within 15 days.) Move Loot handles the rest—from merchandising to picking up your sold furniture—though there could be a fee for the latter, so pay attention when reviewing your offer. After that, they’ll deposit payment into your bank account.
If you don’t mind a little more legwork, show off your home goods on free online classifieds site Krrb. You can create listings via the website, your iPhone or even your Etsy or ebay store using the “Krrb It” button. Then you write your own enticing descriptions, and select your preferred delivery method (in-person pickup, shipping, etc.).
If all else fails, default to Craigslist. Yeah, the interface isn’t very jazzy, but it’s still the mothership of DIY furniture sales and the first stop for many buyers.
Plan a play date with Swap.com, a consignment site for baby and kids’ toys and games, as well as women’s and kids’ clothing. All you have to do is request a prepaid shipping label and fill a box with whatever you want to discard. Swap.com will review, price and store your items. You probably won’t make bank, considering they deduct 25 percent of the selling price, plus $1.50 for each item sold (plus shipping)—but it’s better than letting it collect dust at home.
A free option is VarageSale, available in hundreds of communities, where you can offload your stuff to neighbors in a virtual garage sale—minus the in-person event. Just post images, and wait for an interested buyer to get in touch. Reserve the item by assigning a name and price, then arrange a time to meet up.
Think no one wants your ancient, cracked iPhone? Reality check: “If you have an old smartphone, tablet or video game console, you could be sitting on lots of cash,” says Woroch.
You’ve probably heard of Gazelle, an easy-to-use service where you select your device, answer questions about its capacity and condition, ship it, then wait for a check, PayPal payment or Amazon gift card. Currently, an AT&T iPhone 5 32GB in good condition yields $65.
When we checked, tech marketplace Glyde estimated the same device could sell for more than $100. After a buyer purchases your offering, Glyde sends a shipping kit (which costs between $1 to $6) for you to pack the gadget and mail. Three days after delivery is confirmed, cash hits your bank account—less Glyde’s 15 percent fee.
Amazon Trade-In quoted an even higher price for the iPhone 5: $174. There are no fees associated with this service, and you’re paid in Amazon gift cards.
Amazon Trade-In works for book sales, too. Just enter your book’s title or ISBN number, and if interested, Amazon gives you a prepaid shipping label. Although they don’t accept many titles, what they’re looking for always changes. Also, Amazon tracks your purchases, so if any are available for buyback, they’ll populate on the trade-in homepage.
Want to toss a bunch of titles? Consider Alibris, which charges an annual $19.95 fee to list books, music and movies, plus $1.25 per book sold. The site helps you price fairly, and your stuff will also appear on their partner sites, like Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million.
March 3, 2016