I come from a long line of “dejunkers.” We’re those people who constantly scan their homes for items that haven’t been used for a while — and toss them out.
But when I married a graduate student, and we lived on a marginal income, I realized that some of that stuff I previously had tossed was pretty valuable.
I’ve learned that it really is worth it to sell some things rather than just cart them off. It allows me to earn – and save – cash. Beyond that, it feels good to see stuff I no longer need going to a new home instead of the landfill.
Consider the following types of items that you might not have realized were worth anything — and learn some of the best places to sell them.
At one time, I just shoved my old cellphones, computers and tablets into a closet until I junked them. Now, I sell them online.
Various retailers — from Amazon to brick-and-mortar chains — also buy certain used electronics, as we detail in “9 Retailers That Will Pay You for Your Unwanted Stuff.”
If your old electronics are in too poor of a condition to be worth cash, try taking them to a store that will give you a credit or discount on a future purchase in exchange for recycling your unwanted phone or computer. To learn more, see “10 Retailers That Will Pay You to Recycle Your Old Stuff.”
Yes, libraries and charities may welcome your donation of used books. But if you have textbooks, first editions or volumes from popular authors, you may be able to sell them online or to a local used bookstore.
Tip: The website BookScouter can help you find out which buyer will give you the best price for a given book that you want to sell.
3. Gift cards
We’ve all received gift cards to stores or restaurants we don’t plan to patronize. Sure, you can give them away, but why not sell them for cash?
You can do just that through gift card exchanges such as Raise.com. They are online marketplaces through which you can sell your unwanted gift cards to people willing to buy them at a discount.
You won’t get the full value — perhaps $90 or $95 for a gift card worth $100, for example. But you will get the payment in cash.
4. Home appliances
I was surprised to find a real demand for my old appliances — including a refrigerator, stove, washer and dryer.
One fellow who bought one was a landlord looking for appliances for student housing. But other buyers — including a woman who always wanted a side-by-side refrigerator but couldn’t afford a new one — just wanted to upgrade their appliances.
This is one instance in which you’ll likely need to rely on Craigslist for sales, especially for large appliances that would be too costly to ship. But don’t forget other websites and apps that can connect you with potential buyers in your area, like Facebook Marketplace, Letgo and OfferUp.
5. Designer handbags and clothes
I had a bit of an obsession with designer handbags some years back, but now I seldom carry them.
Rather than have them sit unused on a closet shelf, I sell them on the website Bag Borrow or Steal. The site verifies that accessories are authentic designer items — not knock-offs — and pays well.
How often do you see someone using a stand-alone calculator in these days of smartphones equipped with those devices and more? Unless you work with engineers, economists or mathematicians, spotting one is akin to seeing a unicorn. But, as it turns out, there is a market for calculators.
Before you toss your old calculator, check CalculatorSource.com to determine how much the site might pay for it.
7. Kids toys
You can sell every kind of toy from board games to dolls and action figures — especially if they’re still in original packaging.
What’s your favorite way to turn unwanted belongings into cash? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.
How to find cheaper car insurance in minutes
Getting a better deal on car insurance doesn't have to be hard. You can have The Zebra, an insurance comparison site compare quotes in just a few minutes and find you the best rates. Consumers save an average of $368 per year, according to the site, so if you're ready to secure your new rate, get started now.
Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.