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How To Make Some Extra Money: Sell Your Unwanted Items

Updated on April 4, 2013
Garage Sale
Garage Sale

Do you ever get to the end of the month and you've found yourself broke or overdrawn? Just needing a bit of cash to do the supermarket shop or purchase a new outfit.

Or you need to put something extra away for a holiday or Christmas and you're too busy to get a second job?

Then take a look around you. You may have a garage full of old unwanted goods, or things in the attic covered in years of dust. It's even taking up space you could use for something else.

So what can you do with it? Sell it!

First of all, get out everything that belongs to you that you no longer want. Could it be useful to someone else? Check the condition, check if it's safe (especially if it's electrical) and check if it could be sold.

You may have more than you realized too. These are the things to look out for:

  • Bicycles
  • Musical instruments
  • Furniture
  • Office furniture
  • Computers
  • Lamps
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Kids toys, clothes and books
  • Baby stuff
  • Pictures
  • Antiques / Ornaments
  • Tools
  • Shoes
  • Vinyl / CD's / DVD's

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Once you have decided what you want to sell, clean them up. Scrub rust from metal using scrunched up tin foil and a cream cleaner or detergent. Wash clothes and furniture covers in the washing machine, or steam clean with a steamer. Polish up brass and shine up shoes making things look appealing to someone new.

Next, where are you going to sell?


Try free online sites where you can post a photograph of your item and add a description. Take a good photo in natural daylight and give measurements. Add to as many sites as you can, such as Gumtree, Preloved or loot. There are also auction sites like ebay where people can bid for your stuff.

Some places require you to post your goods to the buyer but some are local, where buyers come to you to collect.

The pros to online advertising are that people can see pictures of what you're selling. You can place multiple ads in many different places for a better chance of selling.

If people bid for your items you may get more money than you expected for it.

Your Ad
Your Ad

Local newspaper

Place an advert in your local newspaper in the classified section. People will search for something specific and check here for what they want. Newpapers are accessible and the chances are readers will come across your adverts without intention.

If your products sound attractive, you could have a buyer. With it being local, they may even collect.

Local shop window or customer service board

Another way of selling for nothing (although some small shops may charge a small weekly fee) is to place an ad on the board.

Make it look attractive with bright colors. Write 'For Sale' at the top of the card, then the name of the item with a brief description and price.

Put ONO (or nearest offer) and price it higher than you want for it, so when negotiations take place they will hopefully bring you down to the price you wanted in the first place.

Print off a small photograph and stick it on the card so customers can see what you're selling. It will also ward off time wasters who may want to see the stuff first.

Carboot / Garage Sales

If your local town has regular carboot sales then join in! Get yourself a pitch and set up a stall with all you bits from the attic and garage.

You can have a garage sale if you live in an area where many people walk by.

Summer Fayre's are also good for setting up a stall. Schools and local clubs tend to hold them - just check you can sell your private things without donating all the profit!

Do you have a talent to make things?

Arts and crafts / vintage / wooden bird tables / plant troughs / knitted toys / cupcakes - anything? Get selling!

Try craft fayre's, private adverts (like those mentioned) or online - such as etsy. Even set up your own website (but get it advertised!).

Happy selling!

Are you likely to sell some unwanted items for extra cash?

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    • Emma Harvey profile image

      Emma Kisby 5 years ago from Berkshire, UK

      It is certainly a good idea to get rid of unwanted items, plus having the bonus of earning a bit of cash too. Thanks for the comment :)

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      I'm rarely strapped for cash. That being said, I rarely don't want more of it either. When I look around the house I see dozens of things that simply have no useful life for me anymore, but that probably someone else may want. Tried a few of these things before like eBay, and certainly garage sales tend to provide some interesting opportunities. Having a year round option to make extra cash is certainly something the online sites offer more than garage sales—although, shopping at thrift stores and other garage sales could provide interesting "new" items to keep the cash flowing.

    • Emma Harvey profile image

      Emma Kisby 5 years ago from Berkshire, UK

      Hi collegedad - yeah it's unbelievable. I just sold my old dishwasher which paid for some of my weekly food shop! It can really help when you want some extra cash for something - especially when you clear out old stuff to make room for new :)

    • collegedad profile image

      collegedad 5 years ago from The Upper Peninsula

      Great hub! We sold enough stuff to pay for our move and still had enough to buy furniture when we got here. It's amazing what unneeded items you collect!

    • Emma Harvey profile image

      Emma Kisby 6 years ago from Berkshire, UK

      Glad I was able to help :)

      It's good to clear out the old stuff to make way for new, or just make a bit of money for anything you need it for.

      Thanks for your comment.

    • supermom_in_ny profile image

      supermom_in_ny 6 years ago from NY

      This really works. I earned enough to purchase a new sectional sofa. I'm now in the process of selling all my kid's bedroom furniture and outdoor toys that outgrew. I'm going to buy another flat TV and a new entertainment center for the family room.

      Voted up because it's a great hub and I learned about new sites like Gumtree, Loot and preloved!

    • Emma Harvey profile image

      Emma Kisby 6 years ago from Berkshire, UK

      With summer on it's way, it's time to clear out the clutter, clean it up and find some use for it. Garage or yard sales can be fun and easy to set up!

    • DanaTeresa profile image

      Dana Strang 6 years ago from Ohio

      This was a great reminder that I promised myself I would have a garage sale this year. I live in the perfect neighborhood and have about 20 years worth of stuff kicking around this house. And boy could I use the cash. Time to strip down to the bare essentials!

    • Emma Harvey profile image

      Emma Kisby 6 years ago from Berkshire, UK

      I reckon it could be easy to get the bug to start selling stuff until there's nothing left!

      I sold my son's old bike yesterday for a good price and have some ads up in a local store and on Gumtree. It is all money we need for our wedding - so we are pretty determined!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I can't begin to tell you the number of times I have sold things to get by in a month. Now I'm down to bare essentials by choice and am now looking to make things to sell. There are ways to get by with some extra cash; it does take a willingness to explore new ideas but there are ways. Great hub Emma!