Everything You Need To Know About Selling Your Stuff For Cash

I’m sure everyone has extra things laying around their home that they do not need. If you are trying to pay off debt or reach some sort of financial goal, I highly recommend you read today’s post so that you can learn how to make quick money by learning how to sell your stuff. With…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: August 17, 2023

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I’m sure everyone has extra things laying around their home that they do not need. If you are trying to pay off debt or reach some sort of financial goal, I highly recommend you read today’s post so that you can learn how to make quick money by learning how to sell your stuff.

With this past move, I’ve finally realized that I have too much extra stuff around our house.

As we were going around our house to determine what we should keep and get rid of, I realized that I didn’t need most of my belongings.

We sold some stuff, we donated a LOT, and we threw away a full rented dumpster full of garbage away.

In the end, I believe we have around half as much stuff (or even less) than what we did just one month ago.

The change is drastic, and it’s nice knowing that what we have now is just what we need. It doesn’t take a lifetime to find what we need anymore, we now know that things aren’t slowly rusting away and/or breaking from not being used for years, and more.

What we have left are the things that truly matter to us now.

Living a more minimalist life has been more important to us lately than ever. No we aren’t perfect and we definitely still have too many things laying around, but we are doing better than before.

It was hard getting rid of a lot of things, and I understand that others feel the same way as well. You may have become attached to an item, there might be sentimental value, or you might just be thinking about how much money you wasted by buying the item in the first place.

Keeping an item when you don’t need it whatsoever though doesn’t make much sense. Just think about the storage costs that you are probably paying for and how the item is probably being damaged by being thrown around or sitting for too long.

Whether you want to sell your stuff from around your house to make some extra cash, to free up room around your home for things that are more important to you, or because you want to live a more minimalist lifestyle, below are my tips on how to sell your stuff and how to make quick money by doing so.

What can you sell to make money?

Anything and everything can be sold to make money. If you want to learn how to sell your stuff, just start by looking around your house.

Open closets, head down to the basement and/or up to your attic, and more.

I’m sure there are plenty of things around your home that you can sell for money. You can sell things that have just been sitting around forever such as clothing, furniture, DVDs, books, home decor, antiques, electronics, appliances, and more.

Where can you sell your stuff?

There are many places where you can sell your stuff. You can sell your stuff online, offline, or have someone else sell your stuff for you.

Below are several different places you may want to check out when first learning how to sell your stuff.

eBay. I used to always try to sell my belongings on eBay first. Potential customers are located all over the world, and for the most part the fees aren’t too bad. My main tip for using eBay is to always make sure you have proof that you mailed the item, especially if it is high value. I didn’t do this once and the buyer claimed they never received the item, so I was out of both the item and the money. I have since learned from this lazy mistake.

Craigslist. Craigslist is one of the main ways that most people try to sell their unwanted items. It’s free and easy to use, just be careful and aware of all of the Craigslist scams that always seem to be happening.

Facebook. Facebook local sales seem to be getting more and more popular lately. I see at least a few postings from Facebook friends of mine each week. It works sort of like Craigslist, you list your item and hopefully someone wants it. No fees to pay and your potential audience is large.

Secondhand stores. There are two ways these usually work. Either you will get a percentage of what they plan on selling your item for in the store, and you get your money regardless if it sells or not. The other way is that they place a price on your item and you only receive payment if and when your item sells. You will usually make less money by bringing your item to a second hand store because they do all of the hard work for you. All you have to do is drop off your item after all. If you want to learn how to make quick money, then this option might for you. Secondhand stores make it extremely easy to sell your stuff.

Hold a yard or garage sale. If you have many items that you want to unload, then holding a garage sale can help you do that a little more easily and it can help you make quick money as everyone will be coming to you. Usually you don’t charge very much for items at a garage sale though, so keep that in mind.

Etsy. If you create crafts that you think others will like or if you have found some cool vintage items, then Etsy may be the best place to list your items. I have never sold on Etsy myself, but I know plenty of others who have had success on this website.

How do you decide what to price an item at?

If you are selling at a secondhand store, for the most part they will decide what to price your item at. They have the experience and expertise, and that’s why they take a larger percentage of the cut.

However, if you are selling an item on your own, it can be much more difficult to decide what to sell your stuff for.

When determining how much to sell your stuff for, you will need to do some research.

You should figure out what you paid for it, what it’s worth at the store, and what others are selling the item for used.

Next, you should take a look at the quality of the item you are selling and compare it to similar items that you find online and/or offline.

You can search other websites to see what similar items are selling for, see if the condition is comparable, and see if there are actually buyers for your product. Just because something is listed at a price, it does not mean that it will actually sell for that price.

My tips so that you can learn how to sell your stuff successfully.

You might be thinking “I’ve tried to sell items before but never have any luck.”

That’s probably because you were doing something wrong. There are right and wrong ways to sell things. You might have the exact same item as someone else and that person might have had tons of offers. However, for some reason you received none.

This is for a reason. Before are my tips so that you can learn how to sell your stuff successfully.

  • Think about timing. The specific time at which you list your item and when your auction is supposed to end is very important when selling on a website such as eBay. Regardless of how you are selling your items, also think about the time of year for which you are trying to sell. Selling a winter coat when it’s 110 degrees out in July most likely won’t get you many buyers. Timing is very important and will help you get the most cash. Always think about when a person might need your item.
  • Describe your item well. Some items need to be described more than others. If you are selling a $50,000 classic car, it should have a better and more thorough description than a $5 shirt. When learning how to sell your stuff, this is a very important step that too many people skip. Don’t forget to include a good title for your product as well as this is how buyers will find you. You usually want to include the type of product and the brand name.
  • Take great pictures. Like with the tip above, this mainly depends on what you are selling. You definitely do not need to take 50 pictures of a $5 shirt, but taking 50 pictures of an expensive car is probably a good idea. Also, make sure your pictures show the product well, make sure there is good lighting, and try to showcase the item you are trying to sell.
  • Don’t lie about the product. If there is damage to the product, you should always be truthful about it. You are just wasting your time and the buyer’s time if you lie.
  • Be careful. There are scammers out there so please keep that in mind whenever you are talking to a potential buyer. I wish there weren’t so many scammers, but sadly they do exist. If a deal sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

When was the last time you sold something to make extra money? Do you plan on selling anything soon or doing a major clean out of your home?


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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. Petrish @ Debt Free Martini

    Since I have been cleaning up my finances it has inspired me to clean up others areas in my life. I have been slowly getting rid of stuff in my home and its so liberating. I realize that you really don’t need a lot of stuff to make yourself happy. Getting rid of stuff and making money at the same time is a win-win situation. Thanks for the tips.

  2. I’m planning to sell my used clothes in Facebook. Thankfully, social media are very helpful, especially in making money. My younger sister sold her pre-loved dresses and pants and made a quick cash from it.

    1. Good luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. We used to have a garage sale last year during our city’s feast. We only paid a tent in front of the city hall and that was lasted for 5 days. We will participate in a garage sale again this year.

    1. Awesome! How much is that?

  4. I’ve never heard of selling via Facebook, but what a great idea! We bought most of our furniture off of Craigslist and it’s a wonderful resource. And, it’s a great metric for determining how much to charge–you can search for similar items to check their prices. Plus, if you list something and it doesn’t sell, you can just drop the price and list it again. Way to go on de-cluttering so extensively!

    1. Yes, I believe they are called “local garage sales.” It’s a great idea and you can pretty much list everything!

  5. Brian

    I hate selling on craigslist. Too many people flake out. I would much rather pay a fee and know my item is sold. Of course, I still use craigslist because it is much easier to sell furniture on there, even when dealing with the flakes.

    1. Yeah, Craigslist can be hard to sell on!

  6. I usually have a garage sale each year. Not that we accumulate that much stuff, but the kids are outgrowing kids and toys all the time. I sell bigger stuff on craigslist throughout the year.

    1. Awesome! Great job ๐Ÿ™‚ How much do you think you make from each garage sale?

  7. Amy

    Purging feels great, doesn’t it?!?

    I consign my daughter’s outgrown clothing throughout the year, mainly at consignment sales and a local consignment store. I also participate in a semi-annual “family consignment sale”, which is like having a garage sale, without having to have a garage sale. They take pretty much everything. And I use Craiglist sometimes, too.

    1. Yes, it felt so nice to get rid of so much!

  8. Melane @ Good Job Mom

    Gearing up for my yearly garage sale! I know that not everyone likes a garage sale, they are hard work, but I am pleased with my results. Plus, whatever hasn’t sold is already out, waiting to be boxed for donations! Another tip to declutter, have your kids move out and get married! Very effective! Thanks again for a interesting post.

    1. Welcome Melane! How much do you think you will make from your garage sale?

      1. Melane @ Good Job Mom

        Last year I made $400. I had bigger items to see this year, so I am hoping to land in that range again. I turn it into a small social event, friends come and chat with me as the sale is going on. We drink coffee and knit, it’s a win for me.

        1. Wow good job on making $400!

  9. Carly

    I like to sell bigger items on Kijiji (the Canadian Craigslist) and it’s hit or miss. I recently listed 5 items online and sold 4 of them in a week, but other times, I can list an item and get 30 scam emails – it can be a lot of work. I also donate a lot to the local Good Will store if it’s not worth my time to sell or if it’s something that shouldn’t be thrown out. I’m looking forward to spring cleaning and getting rid of junk around the house!

    1. Yes, we donated more than we sold this time around. It’s just so much easier.

  10. MarieMakesCents

    I’ve been in my house for over 2 years now and still have a room that’s called “the box room.” Haha. The goal this year is to finally get that room functional, which means building bookshelves and probably holding a garage sale. Have you had much luck with garage sales?

    1. Haha yes we had a “box room” as well!

  11. Rust

    Lots of great info here. I’m one of those that is constantly picking up things to sell (yard sales, goodwill, etc) and I belong to a FB group of Ebay sellers. The collected wisdom of that group is very helpful in determining not only price to sell but also in identifying pieces and how to handle problems with buyers.

  12. Great tips! I plan to go through my house and organize/get rid of lots of things this month to get ready for my move in June. Hopefully I will find some nice things to sell!

    1. Thanks! Good luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Joe Bark

    We have been fighting the blackhole of material acquisition for several years. Every year we state we will simplify and sell “everything”. How did you all make the first step to turn your backs on the hoarding monster?

    1. We pretty much just had to force ourselves to do it. Once we started make different piles for each thing, it got easier.

  14. Deciding the right price is very hard, indeed

  15. I am starting to consider selling some items around the home that we no longer use. This will serve two purposes – cutting down on junk that we have while earning a little extra money along the way.

    I have tried to sell items through eBay and Amazon in the past and have had mixed results.

    1. Yes, you should sell some items! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. One thing I can’t stress enough: When you look to eBay for pricing, look at the completed listings! There are always listings asking outrageous sums that they’ll never get. It only takes one, right?

    If you check completed listings, you can see what sold and what didn’t. That gives you a much more realistic view of what you should ask. I’m so tired of seeing people ask a ridiculous price and say that the item goes for that on eBay. No, it’s LISTED at that on eBay.

    Anyway, I’m actually about to try my hand at selling to secondhand stores, so I’ve got my fingers crossed. Anything that doesn’t sell will be given away so we can take a bigger deduction.

    1. Yes, looking at completed listings is very important. Like I said in the post, just because someone is asking for a price doesn’t mean that they will get it – this is something too many people do not realize.

  17. I love this post. With one of my side hustles being ebay I sell stuff all the time. I actually sold something online yesterday. For me it’s very fun.

  18. A popular Canadian site to sell goods is Redflagdeals.com but only if what you’re selling is actually useful e.g. electronics or collectors stuff.

    I like Craigslist too but a lot of people tend to flop on offers. I find it’s best to try and sell on message boards where people would be interested in buying your stuff. e.g. if you’re selling a used cell phone, go to a cell phone message board.

    1. Yeah, Craigslist can definitely be hard to sell something on.

  19. nicole dziedzic

    I have been a Ebay seller for 15 years and love it! It is my go to place to sell my items, but sometimes to avoid costs for fees I will join facebook groups to list stuff, so those are helpful as well. Great tips!

    1. That’s awesome!

  20. Haha yeah I’m the same way. I prefer just donating things. Much easier!

  21. Pamela Gurganus

    I can’t even remember the last time I sold something for extra cash. My husband and I live the minimalist lifestyle and I love it! I love being organized and I sort and purge a few times a year. My sister-in-law is always selling something online and this information would be a great benefit to her. I’m passing it along! Thanks for posting!

    1. Welcome Pamela ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Perfect timing for this article! I’m starting to sell a lot of my stuff in preparation of heading abroad and travel plus I got to pay SallieMae off! Thanks for another great article!

    1. Welcome ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. I’m about to list my daughter’s old school uniforms on a Facebook ‘group’ page. It’s the first time I’ve tried selling on Facebook… fingers crossed it works out OK. I’ve had this gear washed, folded and ready to be sold for over TWO YEARS! Definitely time it was gone!!!

  24. Thanks for the tips. I just started selling things on eBay and have had mixed success. I would point out that in your seller settings you can block buyers from other countries. I may have to cancel a sale to someone in Puerto Rico, because the shipping cost will eat all of my profit.

    1. Great tip. I had no idea!

  25. The last thing we sold was a non-functioning Playstation 3 on Ebay, proof that you can sell just about anything. We rarely used the gaming console (not a good purchase on our part), and I believe a power surge may have rendered it unable to power on. My wife did her best DIY surgery with a replacement power supply, but no luck. After doing our research, we were able to sell it, along with the original accessories and packaging, so that someone could either repair it and resell it, or use it for parts.

    In the meantime, we are gradually decluttering our entire household, and we’ve put aside quite a few items for a garage sale or flea market when the weather gets warmer.

    1. May I ask how much you sold it for? We should probably get rid of ours as well.

      1. After accounting for shipping, I think we got about $60. Nothing near the original purchase price of course, but better than some spare parts collecting dust in our living room.

        1. That’s not bad at all. Ours still works just fine, so now I’m tempted to sell it. It just sits there all day anyways.

  26. Mellie Hicks

    Love this!! I have made $1000s online getting rid of stuff I’m not using. Some things making more than I originally spent.

    1. Wow awesome! What are some examples of the things you sold?

      1. Mellie Hicks

        Seriously anything you can think of that is in a house. We sold a bunch of old planters before a move, because we didn’t want to move them and broke even. I sold some bookends I found at a yard sale for $2 that ended up not fitting for $10. I’ve sold random baby items I was gifted that we didn’t use and took up a ton of space. I purchased a baby jumper for $15 and sold it for $30. I sold all of my unwanted textbooks from college on websites like Chegg or buybackmybooks. I sell off extra craft supplies on Facebook groups. Things I try and decide I don’t like. crochet, I was horrible and didn’t have the patience. Sewing, I enjoy it, but inherited more fabric than I knew what to do with. I sold it all!! Honestly I think regularly moving is the best thing you can do. Because when you move, you have to touch/pack everything and as you do that you can decided what you really have been using and not using. Every move we get ride of stuff.

  27. I haven’t tried Facebook but I currently have quite a bit listed on eBay. I just keep relisting until it sells! As a matter of fact, I need to get a few things ready to ship tomorrow! I have a pile of stuff in the office from when we cleaned out the kids’ rooms. It’s amazing what people are looking for!

  28. I just sold an old, very used 8′ by 11′ area rug that we were given by family for $100 on Craigslist to a woman who stages homes for sale. Last week, I resold 11 DVD’s for $33 that I got for $5.50. This coming week, I am looking to unload the rest of the 50 cent DVDs for about $1.50 each in one, big lot. Craigslist has become my buddy for resale.

    1. Wow great job Crystal!

  29. Nicole Carter (Weasley)

    Thank you for the awesome tips! Now I’ll have to go through my stuff and see what’s sellable!

  30. Joanne Arcese

    Thanks for so many great tips and if you google it you can find so many sites to sell your stuff on too.

  31. Joanne Arcese

    Lots of great tips on how to get started selling your “unwanted” things.

  32. I like the idea of renting a dumpster for a major overhaul of your belongings. I have a ton of boxes, bins, buckets, etc. that I’ve accumulated and have no idea what’s in them! They are mostly things that haven’t gotten unpacked as we’ve moved frequently over the last few years. I should probably just throw them right into the dumpster and save myself the time of sorting through them!

  33. Kayla Rogers

    My husband and I are toying with the idea of going minimalist. We have only moved three times in the past two years, but it gets exhausting to haul things around that you don’t even really need. I’ll have to consider renting a dumpster to motivate us to truly throw things away if we ever make the leap!

  34. lily

    Hello, I may have to cancel a sale to someone in Puerto Rico, because the shipping cost will eat all of my profit.
    thx

  35. Tori Raddison

    I’m glad that you mentioned that you can sell anything and everything because I owe my friend a lot of money. I have a lot of old vinyls that I don’t listen to anymore, so I bet I could sell those. I’ll be sure to try those sites you mentioned.