Here are some ideas and tips for making money from things you already own. As an added bonus, you’ll be doing away with clutter.
1. Childhood toys & collectibles
Think beyond Aunt Mildred’s Hummel figurines or the original Star Wars figurines – you may very well have items that collectors will pay good money for. That N64 you got as a kid and don’t use anymore? It could sell for up to $100. Even better, some N64 games can sell for hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Childhood favourites like the Tamagotchi, comics, trading cards, Furby, Lego, Pogs, and even McDonald’s Happy Meal toys can be sold for sizeable sums.
2. Vintage & retro tech
Toys aren’t the only thing collectors and nostalgia lovers are on the hunt for these days. Vinyl has seen a resurgence in popularity over the last few years, as well as vintage speakers and receivers. Likewise, Polaroid film has been making a comeback and some photographers seek out film cameras.
But it isn’t just the popular retro-tech that can make you money; there are many niche tech collectors. For instance, did you know there are computer keyboard enthusiasts who will pay good money for certain models? And there are those who will pay a hefty sum for a first-generation iPod Classic. Before donating old tech and accessories, do a little internet research to see if you have a sought-after item.
Despite your best intentions, the chances are you will never read that Psychology 101 textbook ever again, so why not make a few dollars off it? Used bookstores often won’t purchase old textbooks, but there are online sites that will, like Second Bind. Second Bind provides instant quotes for your books and pays the cost shipping the book to them. As a bonus, it’s a green initiative dedicated to planting trees and donating books to libraries, hospitals, charities, and locations in Africa.
Maybe Aunt Mildred also left you a diamond ring that just is not your style. Unless you’re sentimental, you might want to consider selling it. If you can spare the cost, it’s worth getting jewellery appraised before selling it, but if that’s not option do online research and visit a few pawnbrokers to get a sense of the piece’s value. If you’re jewellery has diamonds, this New York Times article is a helpful guide to the process and discusses the options for selling your piece.
5. Unused smartphones & cellphones
Now that tech changes so quickly, we seem to change our devices just as fast. That leads a surplus of slightly outdated but still useable tech. You could sell your device through Facebook Marketplace or Kijiji, and like used textbooks, there are plenty of companies that will buy your tech from you.
GoRecell and GizmoGrind will purchase phones and tablets, including ones with damage. A quick quote from GoRecell shows an iPhone 6 16GB in good condition being valued at $45, a damaged iPhone XS 512GB at $180, and a like new Samsung S9 at $208.
6. Designer clothing & shoes
A spring clean or closet sort can uncover clothing and accessories that you no longer like or wear. If you have designer items, you may want to consider selling through a consignment store. Buyers are wary of designer items on places like Facebook Marketplace because there are a lot of knock-offs floating around. Thus, you’re less likely to get top dollar for your designer piece.
In contrast, a consignment store verifies and vouches for the authenticity of the item, allowing them to charge what the item is worth. The store will take a portion of the sale, but you will still end up ahead. If you don’t have a designer consignment store in your area, check out online clothing consignment at thredUP, The RealReal, and PoshMark.
7. Gym & sports equipment
Okay, no one wants your old jersey (unless it’s a collectible!), but they might want the skates you no longer wear. As this article from Medium discusses, it’s worth reselling your sports safety gear and handling equipment. Keep in mind the seasonality of the sport and try to sell your goods when people will be searching for items for that sport.
Bikes can also have good resale value. To get the best value, take the time to clean up your bike and do any minor repairs that you can, like replacing the bar tape and putting air in the tires.
10. Tools & yard equipment
Have an overflowing garage or garden shed? Now’s the time to clear it and make that money. Lawnmowers, BBQs, and even gardening tools like rakes can be cleaned up and sold. Power tools can have a good resale value and older ones can be rebuilt or repaired. If you’re handy, you may want to fix the tool yourself, but power tool aficionados are often on the lookout for deals by purchasing tools in need of some TLC.
Any new parent will tell you: having a baby is expensive. Strollers are one of the priciest items, selling for anywhere between $300 to $3000 new. If your kids are grown, there’s no sense keeping one around, even for sentimental reasons. Brands like Baby Jogger, Britax, BOB, and Bugaboo tend to have the highest resale value.
The bottom line
Remember to never assume that because something isn’t valuable to you that it won’t be valuable to anyone else. With a little elbow grease and research, you can turn your would-be trash into cash by finding the right market for your items.
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