Your Junk is Another Person's Gold
Are you saving up for something special? Have you thought of looking through your junk room, loft, garage or cupboard under the stairs for old unwanted possessions and selling them to someone else? You would be surprised what some people will buy and it is really easy to do. Have a look around your home for the hidden cash that you may not have realised is there.
Saving money can be quite hard to do if you are on a tight budget, but all of us can do it very simply by selling the things that are cluttering up our homes and which we no longer need. I am fairly sure that most of us, if asked, would like some extra cash to help pay off a loan or other debt, or to put towards something nice like a holiday or something else that you would like to save up for.
What Can I Sell to Save?
The answer to this question is almost anything. You would be surprised what people are willing to buy if they like one particular thing you own or if they are interested in collecting certain things. Below is a list of things that you might find in your home and could sell, but this is by no means a complete list. Use your imagination and have a good look around the cupboard under the stairs and the garage! You can also have a look on the Internet at sites specialising in collectables and memorabilia – these will give you an idea of what people are interested in buying and most importantly for you, how much you can charge.
Advertising and packaging – This can be much sought after by collectors if they are in good condition. Certain types are more popular than other for example cigarettes, food and cosmetics products. They do not always necessarily have to be old – I recently sold a tin that contained candies, which I bought about a month ago. I sold it to a woman who paid 10 dollars for it because she was collecting tins from this particular brand of candy and my one had a famous cartoon character on the side of it.
Autographs – Do have an old autograph hanging around from someone you admired when you were a child? These could bring in anything from around 10 dollars to 7000 dollars if it is from someone really famous and there are few others around.
Baby care accessories – these can be incredibly expensive to buy new these days and many first-time parents look for second-hand items that they can pick up at a reduced price.
Books – Rare books and first editions can bring in significant sums of money. We’ve all checked our kid’s Harry Potter books to see if they are a first edition haven’t we!
Bottles – Yes bottles! Old and rare bottles are extremely collectable and can earn you anything from 5 dollars to 5000 dollars. These could include stoneware beer bottles or 19th Century poison bottles.
Records – Old and rare records in good condition can earn you a few dollars, if you are old enough to remember what records are!
Toys and games – Old and rare toys and games are a particular collector’s favorite, as are newer ones that are connected with popular films and TV series. The latter need to be in really good condition. 20 years ago, as a kid in his mid-teens, my cousin was buying Star Wars figures and keeping them sealed in their packets. They are now worth up to 250 dollars each! You can still get around 20 dollars for figures that are no longer boxed but are in good condition.
As you can see, the phrase “in good condition” keeps coming up and this is the key to making money from your unwanted belongings. A damaged item will sell for far less than one that is in good condition and may not even make you any money at all.
How and where can I sell?
Once you have something that you want to sell, there are many ways of doing it. The following are just a few ideas. To start with you could ask your friends, neighbours and work colleagues if they are interested in what you have. Many companies have an internal newsletter or Intranet where “items for sale” can be advertised for free. You could use classified ads in local newspapers and on the Internet – many of these are also free. Garage sales and car boot sales are other options if you have quite a few things to sell. You may also wish to consider using Internet auction web sites such as Ebay. These are now hugely popular with millions of items being bought and sold at any one time, all over the world. You are certain to find that items similar to that which you intend to sell are already being sold by someone else on the Internet, so you can see what sort of purchase values they attract. This will help you decide on a suitable starting price for your own items. Sites like Ebay make their money by charging you a small listing fee and by taking a small percentage of the final selling price.
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Emmanuel Mendonca is the webmaster and publisher of Debt Genius at www.debtgenius.com - a free source of information and advice on debt consolidation, getting out of debt and on saving money. Submit articles free.