National Consumer News

39 ways to sell your old stuff for the most cash


By Clark Howard Staff

There’s no doubt about it, Americans have too much stuff.

Several years ago the Wall Street Journal reported that Americans spend $1.2 trillion annually on goods and services they don’t actually need. And according to the Orlando Sentinel, nearly one out of 10 American households rents a storage facility, costing anywhere from $125 a month to $165 a month. Of those who rent, 65% have a garage, 47% have an attic and 33% have a basement. Clearly, we have too much stuff!

If you have old items just collecting dust, why not turn them into some extra cash? Here are 39 ways you can sell old stuff for top dollar — including anything from furniture, to clothes, to accessories, to used electronics.

First, get organized

If you have a lot of stuff you want to sell, it can be overwhelming to think about how to sort it and figure out the best place to sell it.

A good rule of thumb: If you haven’t used or worn something in at least two years, that might be a clue you really don’t need it. Go through each item in your house and put it through the two year test. Then, put all the items in a central location and sort them by category. Next, read on to discover the best place to sell them!

eBay, Bonanza and eBid

You can’t talk about selling used items online and avoid mentioning eBay. The popular online marketplace was the forerunner of selling used merchandise on the Internet in the 1990s. To get started, create an account, list your items, upload pictures, and wallah! You have instant access to an online marketplace of over 160 million people.

But, due to eBay’s listing fees, which can be $.30 per item plus 10% of the sale price of the item, other players have gotten into the market of selling used merchandise online. is one such alternative.

Bonanza is structured similarly to eBay, but the cost for listing an item is a little bit less. According to its website, sellers pay 3.5% of an item sold under $500, and $17.50 plus 1.5% for an item over $500.

You can also send items you’re selling on Bonanza to Google shopping. The struggle for the newer site has been volume, however. Since eBay is more established, you might find the traffic outweighs the cost in deciding between the two.

For a step-by-step how to on selling on eBay, check out the secret to making extra money with eBay.

Also, you might want to consider eBid. eBid is very similar to eBay in site design and auction-style selling. Plus, the fees are very competitive. According to the site, you’ll never pay more than 3% of an item’s final price.

Selling designer clothes or wedding dresses

If you have any designer clothes or a wedding dress to sell, you might want to check out the below options to get the most money possible for them!

Selling wedding dresses

Consignment stores

Following selling something on a site like eBay or through an app like the above, consignment stores might be your next best bet. But, be advised that it could take the store a while to sell your items, if they sell, and can take as much as a 50% cut on your merchandise. But, they might be able to sell you items for more than you’d be able to sell them online, and it might be more convenient to let a consignment store sell them than going to the trouble of listing the items yourself. You’d just have to decide what works the best for you.


Craigslist can be a great place to sell something locally. But, you’ll need to be careful — Craigslist has become a hiding place for crooks and thieves — and even murderers. Many people have great success selling on Craiglist, but it is definitely an “at your own risk” activity. If you want to sell something, never accept or send a wire transfer, and always meet the buyer in a very public place, such as a busy gas station. Here are 4 ways to stay safe when using Craigslist.

Pawn Shops

I’ve always been a fan of The History Channel show Pawn Stars. In the show pawn shop owner Rick and his son and father (and a few other characters) place bids on some of the most unique collectibles and historical items people bring in that were hiding out in their basements and garages. Pawn shops can be a good place to sell gold, firearms, musical instruments and collectibles. You might not get the most money for them as you would if you sold them yourself on eBay, Craigslist, or other person-to-person avenue since the pawn shop still needs to make money. But, it might be a win-win if you’d prefer the convenience of having someone else sell you items, if you need the cash immediately, or if the pawn shop has access to those buyers who are willing to pay top dollar.

Yard sales

Yard sales are great if you want to get rid of items that aren’t too valuable but taking up space. You could host a yard sale at your house — but that’s not the only place you could have a yard sale.

Facebook and Bookoo have also become great places to sell you old items to people who want them who live nearby.

For Facebook, simple search “yard sale” and groups should appear with people who are selling items they don’t need, or people who may want to buy items for cheaper than they would pay new near you. But, if you have a lot to sell, traditional yard sales are still great ways to get rid of unwanted items and make money doing it.

How to get top dollar for used electronics

Here are the best places to get the most money for your electronics.

Bigger stores such as AmazonWalmartBest BuyGameStop, and Apple also have their own trade-in programs. Although you’d probably get a better deal from the independent players listed above, you’ll usually get the most money by selling your phone yourself on eBay.

Selling collectible items or antiques

If you have collectible items you want to sell, there is a website that can help you place a value on them. is an invaluable resource when it comes to getting top dollar for your collectibles. But, if you think you may have something that is worth $1000 or more, you should really get an appraisal. The American Society of Appraisers, the Appraisers Association of America, and the International Society of Appraisers can help you find qualified, local professionals.

In addition, you could check out Statricks to check the value of an item you have.

Selling precious metals such as gold or silver

If you’re selling precious metals such as gold, you’ll want to be careful in order to get the most money. You could sell your gold at a gold party, local jewelers, pawn shops, or mail-in buyers, but according to Consumer Reports’ Money Adviser, the best way to get top dollar for your gold is to sell it to gold refiners. However, since refiners buy in bulk, you may not be able to sell to them if you don’t have enough gold. The next best place to sell your precious metals is a local jeweler or pawn shop.

If you have an engagement or wedding ring you need to sell, is an online marketplace where you can sell diamond rings and other jewelry to buyers safely and risk-free.

De-cluttering and selling used items can be overwhelming, but take it one step at a time. You’ll be overjoyed once you’ve gotten rid of old items you don’t really need. If you have items that didn’t quite sell, you could still donate them to a place like Goodwill and get a tax deduction on them. All in all, selling used stuff is a great way to live lighter and earn extra cash too!


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