We live in an acquisitive society where people tend to gradually build up big piles of stuff they have bought over the years. It is often the case that this stuff is no longer of any use to the owners, or might never have been of any use to begin with. In any case, these piles of household junk can end up yielding surprising amounts of money if they are properly marketed. Making money off of these no-longer-wanted items is the equivalent of saving money since their disposal ends up putting some positive cash flow back into the family budget. Here are a few ways in which their value can be maximized.
- While pawn shops are a terrible place to sell things, they are an excellent place to obtain free appraisals on items which are of uncertain value. As a rule of thumb, pawn shops generally limit their offers to one quarter of the expected resale value of the thing under consideration. Take some of your questionable items in and ask what they will give you for them, then you can multiply this number by four and arrive at a realistic market value.
- Online listings such as Craigslist or Ebay offer low cost ways to dispose of your excess inventory of stuff. For those who are getting rid of their old stuff only in order to make room for new stuff, offering to trade on Craigslist can sometimes provide a bonanza far above what one might otherwise obtain through a straight sale and then using the cash to buy what you want. Offering a trade is often one of the best ways to save money when it comes to moving out undesirable items.
- The traditional garage sale offers the advantage of not having to deal with the post office when it comes time to ship your items sold on Ebay. One useful way of getting rid of smaller items is to bundle them in box lots for a fixed sum or else to offer a bulk deal where someone can pick any 5 items out of a specific container for X number of dollars. These little tricks can greatly aid in getting rid of the stuff that would otherwise get tossed out.
- Don’t neglect the possibilities of metal recycling either. Those old aluminum framed windows are probably worth a fair amount of money if you bash the glass out of them and sell them down at the local metal yard. Old radiators and brass headboards are also prime candidates for recycling.
Flea markets offer another venue but the cost involved in renting a table and hauling things there and back again often consumes much of the revenue generated in sales. The garage sale offers much the same sort of customers but requires them to spend money to come to you, rather than the other way around.