We tend to forget just how much junk we’ve stashed away in closets and drawers until we start digging into our nearly forgotten boxes of winter gear. Puffy jackets that haven't seen the light of day in years, an unused hand-me-down Crock-Pot, and extra fluffy scarves, all just wasting space. It’s time to get rid of that clutter — and make some money from it in the process.
Sure, you can always have a yard sale, if you have a yard. Or use Craigslist, if you want someone local to pick up your old bike. There's also eBay, if you have a unique or big ticket item that could benefit from its auction-based selling style. But, there are plenty of other ways to sell the treasures you no longer treasure, whether you think they’re worth $5 or $500.
With the following sites and apps, you'll be sure to make the most off of your old clothing, gadgets, and household items — without requiring a bunch of effort on your part. Many places handle shipping for you, and act as a middleman between you and the buyer, which eliminates worry about your personal safety.
Here’s what to do with your old stuff so you can make some quick cash.
This article originally ran July 7, 2015.
Sell Vintage & AntiquesWhether you bought antiques that you're looking to pass on or have some of your own that you're ready to put up for sale, Dibs is your place. All you have to do is take a photo of the item, add a category, price, and brief description, and it's up for sale. You can also search for nearby items on sale if you're looking to purchase a new antique.
Sell Video Clips You don't need to be an Oscar-winning filmmaker to make money. Upload video clips you've recorded on your iPhone to UnStock, then earn money by licensing and selling your clips or winning one of the app's filmmaking missions.
Sell Old CDs and DVDs Gone are the days of asking for a DVD box set for Christmas. Now that Gilmore Girls, Friends, and other classics are streaming on Netflix, clear up some space in your apartment by downloading Decluttr. The aptly named app is easy to use and gives you an instant offer price on your old CDs, games, or DVDs. Just scan the barcode, see how much you'll get, and, if you accept the offer, send in your items for payment.
Sell On eBay When trying to organize your closet, Snupps is a go-to. The app lets upload and group photos of clothes, accessories, and other items to virtual shelves where you can see everything in one place. Now, a new partnership with eBay lets you sell items from your shelf, no extra steps required. Just click "list to eBay" and wait for someone to snatch up your old earrings.
Sell Gift Cards If you'd prefer cold hard cash to a gift card you're unlikely to use, go to Raise.com. The site lets you list your gift card at a price of your choosing. Once the card sells, you'll get paid by check, PayPal, or direct deposit. Then you can use the money to buy something you really want.
Sell Makeup You can't sell used makeup, but if you have brushes, palettes, or even samples in sellable condition, Glambot is the place to go. Just request a free shipping label online and send in your products. The site will send you cash, or you can accept shopping credit.
Sell Kitchen Items If you were gifted a glass bowl by your cousin that you'll never use or have silverware you no longer need, sell it on Trove Marketplace (free on iOS). The app also lets you list used furniture, electronics, and art, making it good for a clean-out before your next move.
Photo: Courtesy Chairish.
Sell Gently Used Home Decor You bought a new dresser last year, but you're about to move and just not feeling it anymore. No sweat — hop on Chairish (free on iOS) to sell things such as tables, dressers, chairs, and decorative home accents. If you're looking to spruce up your pad, it's also a good place to get higher-end pieces for a discount.
Sell Maternity Clothes If you aren't planning on putting those maternity pants to good use again, pass them along to someone else and make some money in the process. Order a free clean out kit from ThredUp, toss any clothes in good condition in the bag (check out accepted brands first), and mail it back. You'll get an email telling you how much you've earned while ThredUp takes care of selling your goods.
Photo: The RealReal.
Sell Vintage & Luxury Looking to sell that vintage purse in your closet, or a pair of designer kicks that you splurged on? The RealReal does all the work for you. The app will pick up your item or send you a free shipping label, photograph, and post your goods online, and send you up to 70% of the earnings.
Sell Anything To Your Neighbors Skip paying for shipping fees by selling things to people in your same zip code. OfferUp lets you quickly post listings for everything from kitchen tools to old bags. You'll be able to chat directly with the person interested in your for-sale item so you can arrange a place to meet.
Sell On Facebook If you're not so comfortable with the idea of selling things to total strangers, you can use Facebook Marketplace. Accessible through a button at the bottom of the main Facebook app, you can sell just about anything ( legal, that is) through the app, to friends and neighbors in your area. To avoid exchanging money in person, you can even handle payment through Facebook Messenger.
Photo: Courtesy Foap.
Sell Your Photos They may not be taking up space in the physical world, but you can make money off of your top photos and Instagrams. Foap (free on iOS) is a market for selling your photos to brands such as Hyatt, Mastercard, and Volvo Group. You can sell a photo for $10 (of which you get half), or you can shoot a specific type of photo a company may be looking for, and get paid upwards of $100. Not bad for images that may otherwise just be sitting in your phone doing nothing.
Photo: Courtesy EcoATM.
Sell Your iPhone We have a huge e-waste problem in the U.S. — which includes all those old phones, tablets, and computers we keep buying and ditching. Instead of leaving them on a shelf to gather dust, or dumping them in the trash (don’t do that!), sell them back to a recycler like EcoATM or a reseller like Gazelle to get cash. They will pay you for your old phone, for example, and then either resell it to vendors as a refurbished item (if it’s in good condition), or recycle it, by mining its precious metals for use in other products (if it’s in not-so-good condition). Also, you can get up to $330 back for your old iPhone 6, depending on condition, carrier, and storage capacity. Any old smartphone will sell too, but newer models do command higher prices. Consider donating much older phones to a charity like HopeLine, which takes your cell phone and gives it to victims and survivors of domestic violence. You can get more info about the program here.
Sell Concert & Festival Tickets You bought that ticket to Kanye because you knew it would sell out in seconds. But now that the concert is days away, you realize that shelling out hundreds for a show you don't really want to see might not be worth it. Luckily, you can post your tickets (for free) on Nearo. The app, free on iOS, makes it easy to exchange your ticket for one to a different show, or get a refund for the full amount.
Photo: Courtesy Goat.
Sell Sneakers For buying or selling a cool pair of kicks, head to Goat on iOS or Android. Goat is a polished marketplace exclusively for sneakers. Just take some photos of your pair and set the price. Once they're purchased, the app will even send a prepaid shipping label, so shipping is painless. But, with over 27,000 sneakers onboard, be careful — you might end up buying a new pair, too.
Photo: Courtesy BookScouter.com.
Sell Old Books It's absolutely necessary to have a few great books on your bookshelf. But, in the time of Kindle and e-books, a digital edition of your favorite tome may be more convenient than a paper copy — especially if you move often. (Seriously, why are books so heavy?) Whether you have old textbooks you don't need anymore, or titles you've purchased online, you can sell the hard copies using BookScouter. It searches 30 websites that buy back books, so you can make the most money possible from the books you want to get rid of.
Photo: Courtesy Beepi.
Sell Your Car The thought of the cash we'd get from selling our cars makes our wallets do a happy dance, but the thought of dealing with the hassle of haggling and meeting potential buyers makes us want to crawl under the covers. Beepi makes the whole experience super simple and streamlined. Beepi has some strict restrictions with regards to the condition and age of the cars it will accept, but if your car fits the bill, the company will send an inspector to check it out — and then send you an estimated sale price. From there, it guarantees to sell your car in 30 days or less — or it will buy the car from you.
Photo: Courtesy Letgo.
Have A Virtual Garage Sale Or, you can go with a Craigslist alternative that just focuses on letting you sell your old stuff (and buy cheap things from other sellers). Letgo is exactly like a phone-based garage sale, minus the need for a garage. You can find everything from old phones to gently worn clothing to a saddle for a horse. Wallapop is another alternative on this front, and it boasts 13 million users. Both apps let you sell and search for bargains within your geographic area. To get your old stuff in front of the most eyes, you could try posting listings on both apps.
Photo: Courtesy Amazon.
Sell Anything On Amazon Just like you can buy anything from Amazon, you can also sell anything on Amazon. The e-commerce giant has several different ways you can go about offloading your stuff for cash. First, you can just trade it in. Enter in the item(s) you want to get rid of — old books, movies, or electronics, and Amazon will send you quotes for your belongings. If the price seems fair, you then receive a pre-paid shipping label for mailing your things, and an Amazon gift card for the amount your “junk” is worth. For a trade-in, your items need to be in “acceptable” condition and meet Amazon’s criteria for quality. If you’d rather set the price for your own gear (assuming, again, it’s in good or new condition), you can use Sell on Amazon. It costs $1 per sale (plus other selling fees) to sell as an individual. Amazon walks you through the process: First, you indicate what items you want to sell or add the SKU information to Amazon’s database, and then you list it. You can handle shipping yourself, or use the Fulfillment by Amazon to do it for you. As buyers purchase your products, Amazon deposits money into your bank account at regular intervals, much like an employer, and notifies you when it’s complete. Whether it’s 10 boxes of pasta you bought at Costco six months ago (and now you’re gluten-free) or an unboxed camera you never bothered using, you can sell it on Amazon.
Photo: Courtesy App Store.
Sell Anything On Your Phone You have your phone with you at all times, so it's way easier to create your own mini marketplace there. And you can, with the Mercari app. The app lets you quickly upload a picture of the item you're looking to sell (everything from clothes to electronics), a description, the condition, your preferred shipping, and price. You can even get a fixed, low-rate shipping label straight from Mercari. Create a profile of your goods, like you would on a social-media app, so that if someone likes an item you're selling, they can take a look at what else you're getting rid of.
Photo: Courtesy Poshmark.
Sell Your Clothes & Accessories You’ve got enough past season clothing you could fill your own consignment store. Poshmark lets you buy, sell, and trade clothes online with ease. Create a profile, snap photos of the item you want to sell, and write an enticing description. When someone purchases it, Postmark sends you a pre-paid, pre-addressed label you can drop in the mail or have picked up from your home. Poshmark takes a flat $2.95 commission for sales under $15, and anything above, Poshmark makes 20% of the selling price. You can use your earnings to spend on items in the app, or withdraw your money as cash. Another way to sell your clothes online is Twice. With Twice, you list an item by describing the age, brand, and condition, and they send you a pre-paid shipping label. Once it arrives, the company pays you via check, PayPal, Venmo, or Target gift card (or a store credit, which is 25% extra). If you don’t like the offer, you can have your clothes returned (for $5 shipping). You can estimate what you’ll get with the site’s payout calculator. Twice only accepts items from certain brands, but there is a huge list to choose from, including 7 For All Mankind, Nicole Miller, Alice + Olivia, and J.Crew. With either of these options, you’ll make at least as much if you'd dropped off your old threads at your local thrift store — but you never even had to leave the apartment. Update: In late July, eBay acquired Twice and shut down its services.
Photo: Courtesy Craigslist.
Sell Local If you’ve got large items you don’t want to ship, like gently-used furniture or a bike that’s on the verge of rusting, Craigslist is still one of your best bets. With no middleman to take a cut of your profits, and no packaging or shipping to deal with, it can be an ideal way to sell something online. Just be sure to do some research on selling price beforehand, and factor in some haggling wiggle-room so even if you “cave” $20 or $50, you’re still making the amount you hoped for. However, it’s a lot more hassle: Writing the listing, photographing the items, reading and replying to responses, and then coordinating meeting and payment. Whenever possible, go somewhere public to make the handoff; if that’s not reasonable, make sure to have a friend or partner around so you’re not alone. An alternative to Craigslist is Nextdoor, a private neighborhood-based social network. It’s a great place to meet your neighbors, keep abreast of issues in your community, and buy or sell goods with people who live nearby. Since everyone has an account — and, you could see them around the hood — the icky security concerns of Craigslist aren’t such a big deal.
Photo: Courtesy Totspot.
Sell Children's Clothing Kids grow so fast, that adorable onesie you purchased could become unwearable in a matter of months. To save money (or make a few bucks) you can buy and sell from gently used children's clothing marketplace Totspot. Totspot, which includes clothing for adults now, too, lets you browse a variety of items — from swimwear to dresses to winter jackets — and buy them at a fraction of the retail cost. The app takes a 20% cut off profits from sellers, and if you want to sell but don't have the time to do the legwork, you can use its Concierge service so other parents can sell on your behalf.
Photo: Courtesy Hanna Houimet/Instagram.
Things To Remember Before You Sell Before you start boxing things up, you need to do a few quick things — don’t worry, it won’t take long. First, for clothing, go through pockets to make sure you haven’t accidentally left jewelry, trinkets, old receipts, or forgotten cash inside. Then, if it’s not clean, go ahead and send it through the wash. As much as the next person may love cats, they probably don’t want extra cat fur on that jacket. After that, photograph the item from all angles. You can use these photos if you list the item yourself. This also helps with documenting any quality issues with the item: You’ve now got definitive proof that your old phone is in pristine condition, or that it has a corner dent and a scratch or two.