We had a fabulous Disney vacation this fall including a resort stay, meal plan, and park hopper passes.
This might’ve otherwise been impossible on our budget, but we paid for a good portion of the vacation by selling some of our old stuff!
At the first of the year, we made a family goal to get rid of stuff we no longer need and do something fun with the money we made selling it. Check out my previous post to see how we started.
The process has been a little time consuming, but the rewards were beyond measure! Not only did we have a wonderful vacation and happy memories, we have decluttered closets, cabinets, and drawers. That’s something you can’t put a price tag on.
Here’s a breakdown of the second portion of our selling:
Fall consignment event = $282.10 profit
These short-term sales events are worth your while if you have children’s clothes of any age and toys to clean out. Even after the consignment fee, I’ve made far more than I do with yard sales and had to do less work.
Preparing stuff to sell for consignment events actually takes a little longer than it does for a yard sale because there are a few rules to follow, but I still find the payoff worthwhile and not having to be present at the sale is a huge perk for me.
Remember to pick up free wire hangers at your local dry cleaner so your prep expense doesn’t cut into your profit.
Electronics = $186.01 profit
Our results were so good the first time with Kiiboo, I scavenged the house for more old electronics and surprisingly found more things to sell. The amount above is for five items sold, which included iPods, a barcode scanner, and a small digital camera.
It took a few months for Kiiboo to list my stuff this time, but most of it sold fast once listed. Their customer support is great and they’ve responded to my inquiries quickly.
Coins and silver = $47.00 profit
We sold a handful of uncirculated coins from the 1970s to our local coin and gold exchange shop. There are plenty of online places to sell collectibles if you have coins. I prefer to avoid the hassle of shipping and stick with selling things like this local if possible.
It helps to go in with an idea of what your item is worth so I recommend doing some online research to give you an idea. Ebay is always a good place to look, but try to find an example of what the item last sold for and not the asking price because the numbers can be quite different.
Another great tool for finding value is a site called PawnGuru. You can get instant quotes from local pawn shops to save you the trouble of going place to place. Plus, the creator of this site is really responsive and has given me alternative ideas if no one in my area accepted what I was trying to sell.
Used DVDs = $20.50 profit
Don’t expect much return on your investment for used media. I had 16 used DVDs that we traded for this amount. But our goal was to declutter and the space we recouped from this exchange made a big difference in our DVD storage.
Several online DVD buy-back sites were searched for the best price. I found the website that would buy back the most of my DVDs and offer the best price for them.
They all only differed by a couple dollars, but I noted which was the best and decided to check with our local f.y.e. store to see if the price was better. They beat the best online price by $4.00, and it would have been by $8.00 if I had accepted store credit instead of cash.
Used books = $30.14 profit
Blue Rocket Books paid us the amount above for just one hardcover book! It was a collection of Edgar Allen Poe stories that we bought on clearance at a local bookstore several years ago for less than that.
I don’t always get this lucky when selling back used books and have found that not many of the ones we have are accepted on book-buying sites, and if they are, the amount offered is small.
It’s always worth checking though because the selling process is so easy. If you have a stack to sell, use comparison websites like Bonavendi, Bookfinder, or Bookscouter to compare quotes from several different buyers at once.
Clothes = $13.50 profit
I normally despise clothes shopping, but Thredup has made the process pretty cool. Just request a free cleanout bag, fill it with women and children’s clothing and accessories you no longer want, and send it back to receive site credit or pay out. The amount above is for seven items, about half of what I sent.
Recycling = $15.87 profit
We’re lucky to have a local recycling facility that will pay for cardboard, aluminum, and scrap metal. It doesn’t pay a lot, but I figured it counts as money from selling our used stuff.
The amount above is from six trips this year. We usually only get a few dollars a trip, each with three or four bags of recycling.
Total items sold for the year = 200
Total profit for the year = $1,063.57
This exercise in letting go of our stuff has trained us to turn loose of things we really no longer need in exchange for an amazing experience. It has helped me teach my kids to value experiences over things.
Although it took more time and energy to sell rather than donate or discard our old stuff, the payoff was making sure that the items we got rid of avoided the landfill, plus it helped us afford an unforgettable family experience!
Where could your decluttering adventure take you next year? There might be a great experience waiting for you on the other side of your stuff. I would love to hear about your goals!
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