Most of us dread the act of spring cleaning, but these days, there’s a happy byproduct when it’s over, besides that satisfying feeling that you’re done. You can actually make money from a lot of your unwanted stuff instead of tossing it in the trash.
You may have dabbled in eBay and Craigslist (they’ve both been around since the mid-’90s), but recently, a whole host of sites and apps have cropped up, giving you choice and convenience. Here’s a brief overview of some of the bigger players in the space.
Where to Sell Collectibles: eBay, Amazon Marketplace
You can sell anything from collectibles to old VHS tapes via these sites. Amazon charges a flat fee of 99 cents for every item you sell, whereas eBay’s fee structure varies based on the category, type of sale (auction or set price) and other factors like the type of ad you choose. The fees are low, starting around 50 cents.
Where to Sell Locally: Craigslist, LetGo, Close5 & Wallapop
People commonly sell secondhand items like furniture, instruments, electronics, machinery, etc. with these sites. You photograph and list your items, set or suggest your price and meet your customers to exchange merchandise for funds. Craigslist has been around for the longest so it’s far bigger, but check them all out – they are pretty similar in a lot of ways but have features that make them unique. You can always try one and if you don’t love it, try another. Be sure to meet somewhere that is secure – you are meeting strangers after all. Some cities even offer parking spaces in public areas for this exact purpose. And if you’re selling something, be sure to get cash or a cashier’s check before handing over the goods — you don’t want to get scammed by a seller whose personal check bounces.
Where to Sell Clothing: ThredUp, Poshmark & Tradesy
Thredup does all the work for you—they send you a postage-paid bag to fill, they photograph everything and even pay you in advance of selling anything. You earn less on the items you sell though, so if you want to earn more and are willing to do a little legwork, Poshmark or Tradesy may be better options. You’ll make a little more with Tradesy but Poshmark is more interactive, with features like Posh Parties three times a day where you can shop alongside other “Posh” people. These sites offer some combination of free shipping and/or free returns, so they are good for shopping as well as selling.
Where to Sell Kids’ Clothing: Totspot
ThredUp also has kids’ clothing, but clothing for kids is Totspot’s specialty. Totspot is like a blend of the marketplaces above, meaning that you can choose to do it all yourself, or you can use their “Totspot Concierge” and have someone do it for you. You earn less when someone does it for you, but it takes much less time and effort.
How Do These Sites Make Money?
Some, like Etsy, charge low listing fees, eBay charges listing fees after you sell 50 items a month, and most of the clothing sites charge varying commissions. Craigslist charges listing fees for jobs and real estate but allows free listings for everything else.
While you’re spring cleaning your home, you can also consider adding your finances to the list of items that need a good scrubbing. You can start by checking your free credit reports for any errors or items that need cleaning up at AnnualCreditReport.com. Next you can use these tips to give your wallet a good spring cleaning. And finally, it’s also a good time to see if your credit scores need a spring revival. You can get your two free credit scores every month on Credit.com.
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