Thursday, September 8, 2016

Cash In On Your Castoffs Pt. 1

Written By: Meredith

The best place to host a yard sale is online. Every two minutes, Americans spend over $1 million on retail purchases online.

Before you donate those too-tight heels, take note: thanks to a wave of new apps and websites, it's now easier than ever to declutter your house and recoup some moola ($$) at the same time. eBay is still the go-to online marketplace - but what if you don't want to create your own listing or talk directly with buyers? Or the very thought of dealing with shipping makes you shudder? You've got options! Read on. Your $$$$ awaits.


If you have: clothes and accessories
Check out: ThredUP
Request the site's clean out kit and thredup will send you a large plastic mailer bag with a prepaid shipping label. Fill the bag with adult or kids' clothes in tip top shape and return it. ThredUP photographs the items, writes descriptions and sells to buyers directly from the site.
Shipping: The site handles shipping to buyers once items sell.
Cash In: ThredUP's payout estimator makes it easy to gauge how much you'll get for your old clothes (typically 20-80% of an item's resale value). For example, an old pair of J. Crew jeans priced at $26 would earn you about $7.

ThredUP accepts a wide range of brands - H&M, Lane Bryant, GAP, Talbots, and more - but won't list any item that is stained or torn. Rejected are donated or recycled unless you pay $13 to have them returned.

If you have: books
Check out: Powell's
Powell's won't buy books with stains, tears, water damage, broken spines or musty odors. But if you have hardbacks or paperbacks in good condition, the Portland, OR, bookstore chain will take them off your hands. Head to the "sell books" tab at the top of the homepage and enter your used books' ISBN (the nine-digit number near the bar code on the back) to pull up an automatic offer. Mail in the books of Powell's will resell them online or at one of its brick-and-mortar stores.
Shipping: Powell's prepays for a shipping label you download from the site, but you'll have to box up your books and mail them.
Cash In: Users typically make 20% of a book's resale value. 

Powell's will send you your cash through PayPal (setting up an account is free and easy). If you opt for store credit, Powell's will bump your payout to 30%.

If you have: electronics
Check out: Gazelle
Click "sell" on the homepage, then choose from the list of electronics - including smartphones, tablets, cell phones, MacBooks and TV's. Find the model you're looking up to sell and answer a few questions about its condition and storage capacity. Gazelle sorts through your response and automatically generates an offer. If you like the deal, mail in your gadget for a check or an amazon gift card.
Shipping: Gazelle pays for shipping and will also send a box and supplies to help you package your item safely.
Cash In: Customers make an average of $140 per trade, depending on the device.

Don't worry if you haven't removed all of your personal information, such as photos, files, music and contacts, from the old device before you mail it. Gazelle scrubs all data from gadgets upon receipt.

If you have: furniture and home decor
Check out: Chairish
Upload a photo, description and dimensions of your pieces on your computer or through the app. If Chairish decides to take the item, it'll edit the pic, silhouetting it on a white backdrop to make your listing look more enticing. You set a cost, but for a faster sale you can include a slightly lower reserve price. If an offer meets that price, the item sells automatically.
Shipping: For small pieces such as bookends, baskets and throw pillows, you pack and mail the items using a prepaid shipping label from Chairish. For big pieces like headboards, dressers and armoires, Chairish coordinates white-glove movers to pick them up at your place and deliver to the buyer.
Cash In: Sellers typically make from 80-97% of the item's resale price. Chairish doesn't allow reclineers, sofa beds and mattresses. The lowest listing price is $10.

If you have: anything and everything
Check out: Facebook online yard sales
The social network features hundreds of thousands of subgroups devoted to reselling everything from Tupperware to toys. It can help mom's get items in great condition at a discount, while recouping some of the original cost, it's a win-win. To find groups in your area, type "online yard sale + [your city]" into Facebook's search bar.
Shipping: No need! Connect with local buyers through Facebook, then hand over your stuff in person. Keep meet ups safe by arranging to exchange in a public place, like a cafe or a park.
Cash In: Facebook subgroups are free to use. Pick an offer you like, meet with your buyer - and pocket the proceeds.

Sale guidelines may vary; in general, though, when you put up an ad the first person to comment with interest has dibs. At that point, you'll be able to see the buyer's name and photo, along with any friends you may have in common.

Another great find on Facebook are donation groups within your own city. Donation groups run the same as online yard sale, but there isn't an exchange of $$$. I personally run my own donation group out of my home. It's called Loving Hearts of Seminole and Surrounding Counties. My group isn't the only donation group in the area; there are three other main groups. There are others as well, but the four groups that are (I think) considered the "main groups," have a low tolerance for drama.

We've received donations from brand new with tags still attached to completely worn and torn (unable to donate and just trashed). My general rule for our donors is that "if you wouldn't give it to your best friend or child to use immediately, please don't donate to us." Items that aren't claimed on Loving Hearts is then turned around and donated to various shelters within Central Florida... including SafeHouse of Seminole (a domestic violence shelter) and Hope Helps (a shelter for homeless families).

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