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The old adage that says "one person's trash is another person's treasure" never goes out of date. So when you're looking for some extra spending cash and you want to make some space in your home, combine the two endeavors by selling your stuff instead of donating it or trashing it. Use the extra cash to pay a bill or start a holiday gift fund. Even better, use the windfall to treat yourself to a weekend getaway! Plenty of people and places exist to buy what you could be selling instead of giving away or trashing. Here are some places where you can sell your stuff:
ANTIQUE DEALERS AND COLLECTORS: Sell anything from old coins and costume jewelry to old records and toys that are in great shape to dealers. And sometimes not so great shape. I got several offers for an old hand-me down jeweled pocket watch, even with its bit of chipped paint. Dealers often resell your item to make themselves a profit. The telephone book yellow pages yields the names of area antique dealers or check the local newspaper classified ads under the "wanted to buy" sections. Be sure to get more than one quote or appraisal before you sell it.
FLEA MARKETS: Got a bunch of stuff to sell like books, video tapes, figurines, fake (or real) potted plants, even clothing in good shape? Rent a booth at the nearest flea market that generates a lot of traffic. Often just $5 - $15 rents a space with a table. Visit first to scope out the best booth for your bucks. Perhaps even bring your own additional tables, shelves or hanging clothes racks. A sheet or cheap tablecloth will dress up your flea market table too (Sometimes good displays attract more shoppers!). Don't forget the lawn chair and $20 in small bills for change. And flea market shoppers like to haggle. So inflate your prices just a bit so they can strike a bargain with you. It's expected!
CLASSIFIED ADS: Make room for the new couch by selling the old one in your local freebie paper, especially if you're in a college town. Used furnishings are hot sale items to students. I once netted $200 bucks for a small quaint and deteriorating three piece wood bedroom drawer set someone gave me a few years back. I placed an ad in the local "Pennysaver" newspaper for just a few bucks, and dozens of potential buyers called almost immediately. It sold in two days (to a furniture design graduate student who wanted to restore the furniture).
CONSIGNMENT/RESALE SHOPS: If you have discovered that you like walking in fresh air or you stink at tennis, consider giving up your treadmill or tennis rackets in exchange for cash. Sell used sporting goods equipment to stores such as Play it Again; or put it on consignment at such stores. That means if the item sells, the store gets a cut. If it doesn't sell, you're still stuck with it and earn no money. Also, you probably have some clothing consignment stores in your community. Check the phone book and look around, or ask around, to find them. Sometimes resale shops or consignment shops will advertise in those weekly freebie "tell and sell" or community newspapers too. Make some inquiries with these shops about what seasonal clothes they're looking for currently; then give them your good stash of clothes that you no longer wear to sell on consignment. Make sure you inquire about what happens to the clothing if it doesn't sell (so you get it back and they don't cart it off to the nearest charity clothing shop which some will if you want them to do so).
FRIENDS AND CO-WORKERS: Sure it's okay to give things away now and then to friends in need. But if you're planning to sell an item and you happen to know a friend, acquaintance or co-worker seeking just such an item, why not give them first purchase option? When I married, I ended up with a lot of duplicate items just taking up storage space. One day during a casual conversation with a co-worker I found a new home for my almost new, small microwave. My co-worker had just divorced, moved to this new state, owned almost no household items and lived in a very small apartment; my small microwave was a perfect match for her needs. I ended up with $25 I needed and she ended up with a must-have item for her new apartment. So keep your ears open for people seeking what you're getting rid of and don't be afraid to say an item is for sale (after all, if you could afford to give it away, you probably wouldn't be reading this article.).
Karen Fritscher-Porter is the publisher/editor of http://www.Christmas-Cash.com, a Website that brings you simple pocket cash and freebie earning opportunities and ideas. She also publishes http://www.EasyHomeOrganizing.com, a Website that helps you organize your home. Both sites offer free articles, information and ideas and a free newsletter.
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