Guest post from Beth of Living With Beth:
Wouldn’t it be great if you could find some extra money lying around your house? You could use it to pay cash for unexpected expenses such as medical bills or big purchases such as braces or a swingset for the kids.
Fortunately, you probably already have stuff in your closets, garage, attic or basement that you could easily turn into cash.
Here are some examples of items that could be worth money.
1. Holiday Decor
Those old Christmas decorations that you no longer use could generate some cash. If you have a ceramic Christmas tree with electric lights from the 1970s or 1980s, you could sell it on eBay or Etsy during the holiday season for $75 to $100.
Unique, vintage Halloween and Easter decorations can also sell for decent bucks during the appropriate time of year. Older and unique items sell best. They don’t have to be in perfect condition, but you’ll need to take excellent photos and include accurate descriptions.
2. Power Cables and Chargers
Do you have a box of old power cables and chargers? People often need new chargers to replace ones that stop working. Each of your extra cords could fetch $10 to $20 or more.
I once sold an old laptop power cable for $15 on eBay. A few months ago, my lawn trimmer bit the dust. I trashed the trimmer and sold the power charger for $20 on Amazon.
3. Your Old Smartphone
Wireless carriers usually offer a trade-in credit for your old smartphone, but you may get more by selling it yourself on eBay or Amazon. Even if the device has problems like a broken screen or a dead battery, you might still be able to sell it on eBay for a few bucks, provided you’re upfront about the issues.
4. Home Decor
If you moved or got new furniture at some point, you might have old curtains or other home furnishings in storage — all of which could be worth cash!
Years ago, after we moved to our current home, I sold some nice curtains on eBay for around $40 and a lovely fireplace screen with tool set on Craigslist for $75.
5. Old Cameras and Electronic Equipment
A few years ago, I sold an old, non-working laptop computer on eBay for about $40. Granted, it’s not much, but it’s better than having it take up space in a closet. I removed the hard drive first and made it clear in my product description that the laptop was for parts only.
We own our own cable modem to avoid paying rent to the cable company. When I upgraded to a better modem, I listed the old one on Amazon and sold it right away for $20.
I also had a really nice 35mm Minolta camera with extra lenses and filters purchased in the late 1980s. I’d used it for many years, up until I bought my first digital camera, then it went into storage. I recently sold it on eBay for $39.95, including all of its accessories.
6. Coats and Jackets
If your family’s closets contain coats or jackets that no longer fit but are in excellent condition, they could be worth $10 to $20 or more. Vintage Levi’s denim jackets could fetch $75 to $100 on eBay.
I’ve sold new or like new jackets from Target and Walmart for $10. It might not seem like a lot, but it adds up when you start cleaning out closets and unloading this type of stuff.
7. Sports and Swim Gear
Bikes and trikes aren’t the only things that you can sell when the kids are done with them. I’ve recently sold swim flippers and floaties on eBay. You might also try selling roller blades, skateboards, baseball mitts or sets of outgrown knee and elbow pads.
8. Gift Cards
Gift cards can, in some cases, lose value over time or even become worthless if the store or company goes belly-up. If you can’t use a gift card right away, there’s a good chance you’ll never use it. You may as well sell it on eBay rather than see it go to waste.
9. Unused Gifts
A couple of months ago, I decided to get rid of a silver plated serving tray with lid which had been a wedding gift. I had never used it and couldn’t think of any occasion when I would need it. I polished it to remove the tarnish and sold it for $21 on eBay.
10. Old Music CDs
Alas, most of your music CDs collected from past decades are worthless. However, some of them still have value.
A few weeks ago, I went through more than 150 CDs from boxes in the garage. I scanned them using the free Amazon Seller smartphone app to find out what they were fetching.
Roughly 10 percent of them were selling for $5 or more, which was my threshold for whether I’d list them for sale. The very next morning, one had already sold for just under $20.
A few more have sold since then, and I still have many for sale. My CDs will stay listed on Amazon until they either sell or I remove them. Amazon doesn’t charge anything to list items. They take a percentage of the sales price after the item sells.
A CD is most likely to sell if it contains some sort of unusual compilation of songs, such as music from TV shows, or if it’s a soundtrack from an obscure movie or a popular theatrical show from the 1990s or 1980s.
How About You?
What other items would you add to this list?
Beth McIntire is a writer and technology professional. She blogs at Living With Beth, and is the author of the book, “The Ultimate Guide to Getting the Most Cash for Your Stuff.”