Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top Dollar

From Grandma’s china to your baby’s old clothes, we tell you where to get the best possible price for all your extra stuff.

Believe it or not, winter soon will be a thing of the past. And with spring will come the nearly irresistible urge to purge your house of all the extra stuff lurking in the closets, hanging out in the garage or hiding under your kids’ beds.

While a yard sale can be a quick and easy way to unload all those extras, you’ll never get top dollar for items sold to local bargain hunters. If your goal is to make as much money as possible, here are some of the best places to sell your stuff.


If you have brand-name or designer duds in good condition, your best bet is to take those items to a local consignment shop. Depending on the shop’s policy, you might be paid up front or when an item sells.

How much you get also depends on the store; some split the selling price 50/50, while others might give you more or less. In addition, you might make more if you accept a store credit instead of cash for your items.

Before you load up bags full of clothes and head to the store, pay the shop a visit first to check it out. Different stores cater to different clientele, and consignment shops tend to be picky about what they accept. Then, when you do bring in your clothes, make sure they are freshly laundered and folded.

If you live in an area with no consignment shops nearby, you could use an online option such as ThredUP, Tradesy or Swap.com. But, depending on your items and the particular site, you might not get as much as you would through a local shop.


Used bookstores are a dying breed, but if you have one nearby, you might want to see what your book collection would garner there.

Otherwise, there are dozens of websites that can help sell your old titles. These include big names such as Amazon and Half.com.

To find out how much your books are worth, head to BookScouter.com, which will list the going price on more than 40 websites. However, you’ll have to go directly to Half.com to look at its prices.

Recent college textbooks and popular hardcover books are your best bets for making some money. Paperbacks and older books may be better used as a tax deduction by donating them to a local thrift store.

Movies and video games

Half.com and Amazon are also good choices for movie and video game sales. You set the price based on the condition and wait for the right buyer to come along.

Another online option for clearing out old movies, CDs and video games is Decluttr.com. You input the titles you have, and the site gives you a tentative price. If the price sounds good, ship your items to Decluttr, and they’ll cut you a check.

For an offline option, check with video game chains such as GameStop and Play N Trade. They buy used games and, in some locations, used movies. Pricing may vary, but at least there is no shipping hassle involved.

Collectibles and antiques

If you have a truly valuable antique or a collection of highly prized items, you’ll likely get the most money through an auction house. Look for one that specializes in your type of item to ensure it is able to attract the right buyers.

If you have antiques or collectibles that aren’t quite auction-house caliber, look for an antique store that might be interested in either purchasing them or selling them on consignment.

You could also test the waters with eBay, but unless it’s an item with a devoted following, your auction could get lost in the millions of other listings. Try listing with a “Buy It Now” price or using an auction reserve if you’re hoping to get a specific price.

China and dishware

Even good-quality china and dishware can be difficult to sell for any significant amount of money nowadays.

Replacements.com and the International Association of Dinnerware Matchers will buy china and dishware and may be the easiest way to get a decent amount for your china. Of course, these sites are going to turn around and sell it to others for a significantly higher price.

If you want to cut out the middle man, you could try selling on eBay. But, as with antiques and collectibles, your listing could get lost in the competition. First, research closed listings to see the going rate for your particular brand and style of china. Then, consider selling individual pieces rather than the whole set to maximize your profits.

Sports equipment

Some resale shops such as Play It Again Sports specialize in used fitness equipment. Smaller items such as bats, balls and protective gear might be purchased outright by the shop. Larger items, such as treadmills, might be sold on a consignment basis.

You could also turn to Craigslist for sales of sports equipment. The day before practice begins, some parents might be scrambling to buy equipment, and Craigslist is often the first stop when it comes to quick sales.

If you do sell on Craigslist, be sure to follow some simple safety precautions. Meeting in a public place is preferable to having someone come to your home.

However, if you are selling something large like a treadmill, you may have no choice but to have the buyer come to your home for pickup. In that case, try to move the item to a garage or entryway to limit access to your house. Also, have a friend — or big dog — home at the time of the exchange.

Musical instruments

Unfortunately, most old pianos, pump organs and the like are a dime a dozen, and you’re lucky if you can give them away, let alone sell them. However, little Johnny’s old clarinet might have some value.

Before selling an old instrument, your first stop should be the local music supply store. It may cost you a couple dollars, but ask if the store can give your instrument a once over to clean it up, check for any defects and estimate a value. Then, ask if they sell instruments on consignment.

If not, Plan B is to contact local school music departments and let them know you have an instrument for sale. Band teachers may be happy to pass along the word to families in the market to buy.

Finally, if neither of the above options work for you, try posting to Craigslist. To avoid getting caught up in a scam, stick to local transactions paid for with cash or an exact amount money order.


Unless it’s a valuable antique that might be of interest to an auction house, Craigslist or your local classifieds are where you are likely to come away with the most money for furniture you no longer need.

When selling through a classifieds site, it’s best to price a little higher than what you’d like to get because many buyers like to haggle. As a starting point for pricing, you can use this furniture calculator to determine how much your piece has depreciated.

However, be aware that the depreciated price isn’t the same as the fair market price. Depending on your area, you could end up selling practically brand-new furniture for 50 percent off.

If you’re not keen on selling direct, you could also look for a consignment shop to take the furniture off your hands.


There’s no shortage of ways to sell old electronics. You can use Craigslist, eBay, a retailer buy-back program or one of the Internet’s electronics trade-in sites.

How much you get and how you are paid differs from site to site and program to program.

If you have outdated or nonworking electronics, read our article on nine ways to profit from broken electronics.

Regardless of how you sell an old electronic device, don’t forget to wipe the hard drive of any personal information first, lest you become another victim of identity theft.

Everything else

Finally, we come to everything else: the kitchen gadgets, the toys, the knickknacks, the picture frames and all the rest.

Except in rare cases, most of this stuff is, sadly, not going to fetch much. These are the items that are primed for your yard sale.

Even better, if you don’t need quick cash, load everything up and take it to your local thrift store. In some areas, the thrift store will even pick up your boxes of unwanted treasures. Then, you get a tax deduction, plus the good feelings that come with a decluttered house and the knowledge that your stuff will be used to help others.

So what did we miss? Tell us how you get top dollar for your unwanted items in our Forums. It’s a place where you can swap questions and answers on money-related matters, life hacks and ingenious ways to save.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. Take 5 seconds and join our family by clicking here. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

More Money Talks News


  • pennyhammack

    A word of warning about selling your books on Amazon. Many of the used books sold by Amazon sell for $.01 + $3.99 shipping. If you are an individual selling your books that way, by the time you pay for shipping and pay Amazon’s commission you will come up with a net loss for each book of around eighty cents and that’s before you add the cost of shipping supplies. When I complained, Amazon suggested that I list my books for more than the bottom price, but that means that I would have been listed after all those vendors who were selling their books for $.01 and would have waited forever to sell my books. In other words, the $.01 + $3.99 for shipping is a great way to buy books from Amazon, but unless you have a genuine collectable that you could list for a good price, you’re better off selling to Half Price books or donating them. You won’t get your cost back but at least you won’t go in the hole for each book sold.

  • Take your receipts from shopping and save more!

  • sbrs

    I’d like to know where to get the best price for my old jewelry, watches, etc.

  • Melody Guidry

    Just a suggestion, all the other stuff like kitchenware, anything that you can’t sell maybe can be donated to Women & children, Veterans, those who are going from shelters to a new apartment, a home and can’t afford those items.
    Thank you.

  • Y2KJillian

    A. Craigslist is amazing for selling some things–usually practical things, like used furniture, lamps, kitchenware, dishes…not for collectible prices, but for actual use. We sold a large stainless roaster last Thanksgiving, for example, that would cost new, now, about $60 and we got $25 after storing it for 20 years and only using it once. We got $50 for two old little nightstands (painted white) and $25 for two little lamps. We’ve sold tons (probably literally) on Craigslist. We even sold our wedding china for $700–I admit, we got lucky on that one. A collector was cruising Craigslist and we had paid only about $250 originally; but we bought it in Germany and kept it for 40 years. Craigslist is a great place to sell a car, surprise! It’s a great place to give things away for free, too, like “slightly” stained mattresses…the kind the thrift stores won’t take, but cost $12 to $28 to take to the dump, though they’re still quite useful if you put a plastic cover over them or just don’t care (have small children or pets).
    B. If you live a truly frugal lifestyle, as we do, your stuff is cheap to begin with. I just laughed out loud thinking of trying to resell my used clothing! I wear tee and sweatshirts from JiffyShirts (about $5 each) and sweatpants from Walmart–wonder what they’ll bring after six years’ hard use!
    C. We have very few special things; except that what we keep and use IS special to US. Our goal is use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without, a truly MoneyTalks News kind of life. It doesn’t leave much for getting “top dollar” latert on! What’s still usable we donate, the rest we recycle, cut up (as in those old sweatshirts which make passable rags for wiping up certain things where you’re NOT going to wash and reuse the rag),, part out and well for scrap metal (as our old broken $9 toaster–the wiring went into the wiring/metal bin), or we give it away free on CraigsList.
    D. Our big offloading problems are the few things that might have real value to someone–so a round of antique stores is probably in order.

  • It would if the article were about ways to get rid of your unwanted stuff, but this is an article about how to make money off it. I use Freecycle all the time, myself, but that’s mostly because I have nothing to get rid of that’s worth any significant amount of money–so I’d rather just send it to a good home than go to a lot of trouble over a buck or two.

  • Mark R Speltz

    If you’re any kind of a social media bug, there are a lot of great “garage sale” sites popping up on sites like Facebook. They’re usually county or even community-based, so pretty much all of your potential buyers are nearby. They have some rules for posting content of course, but really not much different than sites like Craigslist. We’ve had a lot of success selling items on our local site, usually getting a lot of responses very quickly!

  • LagunaLady27

    Once when moving from suburbia into a condo at the beach, I had the furnishings of an entire house to sell. I put sticky notes with prices on everything and invited my co-workers to shop in my house. I make over $9,000 that weekend. The next weekend I had a neighborhood sale, made $4,000 the first day and $3,000 the next. This was about twenty years ago, so the amounts would be higher if it was done today.

  • whattarush

    There’s a “free” category on Craigslist, too. Some of those are “Curb Alerts”, where something is placed at the curb, and whoever gets there first has first dibs. It’s a great way to get rid of stuff without having to deal with people.

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 2,057 more deals!