Where do you sell unwanted items?

by Karen on February 25, 2009

Tony and I need to do a little spring cleaning. That’s an understatement, actually. We have several boxes of books, DVDs, and other items that we don’t want anymore. That in addition to the stuff still on our shelves that will soon be added to our “sell” pile.

Most of this stuff isn’t worth any money, so we’ll probably donate it. But we have a few items that are rare or worth a bit of money that we just don’t want anymore. We’d like to sell them and increase our savings, so I’d like to know: which selling method works best for you?

Are online selling sites like eBay and Amazon more trouble than they’re worth? Since I’ve never sold anything on those sites before will I have to list my item for much cheaper than other sellers? Have you had better luck on Craigslist? Do you recommend any other sites that I’m not even aware of?

Let me know what works for you so I can get rid of this stuff, increase our space, and increase our savings!

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1 Annie Jones February 25, 2009 at 8:20 am

For my husband and me it depends on the item. Craigslist is free, so we try listing items there first, especially if they are large or heavy and would cost a lot to ship. Or if they are a regional collectable, such as memorabilia for your local sports team.

eBay costs a little, but we don’t think it’s that much trouble to use. WeI’ve made about 1000 eBay transactions, the vast majority of them being sales. We like that on eBay (vs. craigslist) you can look an item up and see the prices it has recently sold for…or if one has sold recently at all. It gives you a good idea about pricing.

Word of mouth also works for us, especially on “guy” things like tools, lawn equipment, etc.

Beyond that, we have garage sales, sell at outdoor flea markets, donate to charity thrift store, give things to friends who want them, and sometimes just set things out at our curb for free (and maybe put a listing on craigslist announcing that it’s there). Any time we’ve done that, it’s ALL been taken by the end of the day.

2 2009 Taxes February 25, 2009 at 8:55 am

I like Craigslist in addition to have a garage sale on Saturday a year in early Spring.

2009 Taxes’s last blog post..Affected by the housing crisis?

3 mama2tlc February 25, 2009 at 2:08 pm

I like to use ebay for higher value items (like an oil painting I sold for $200) but use craigslist for the common things. You could also consider giving away things to goodwill or a habitat restore and claiming these items on your taxes. The money isn’t in your hand right away, but you’d do better than a garage sale.

mama2tlc’s last blog post..This should be three posts :)

4 Janet February 25, 2009 at 6:23 pm

Half.com is great for selling used books and DVD’s. (And they charge a smaller commission than Amazon, so you get more of what you sell.)

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5 Stacey February 25, 2009 at 6:27 pm

I like craigslist a lot. especially for big things that are just to much of a pain to ship. If I have something that would be easy to ship, I go with ebay, because usually things sell faster and for more money there.

Stacey’s last blog post..Cradle Cap

6 Becky February 25, 2009 at 9:47 pm

Ditto Stacey on every point she makes. :-)
Craigslist for big items. eBay for easy-to-ship items. In some ways eBay has been less hassle for me, because with craigslist, people sometimes back out. On eBay, if they pay through Paypal, the deal is completed quickly and like Stacey said, usually for more $$.

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7 Andy @ Retire at 40 February 27, 2009 at 3:34 am

Afraid this isn’t going to help but I usually use an auction site here in New Zealand though I guess eBay is your closest choice. Other than that I give things away via FreeCycle. Look it up, there’s probably one in your city.

Andy @ Retire at 40’s last blog post..Personal Finance is Not a Destination, it’s a Journey

8 Wendy February 28, 2009 at 12:25 am

I have just started Ebaying the last two months, and I’ve sold TONS of our nice boutique clothing. I have made very good money while cleaning out our closets. The fees are minimal, and it is easy to do for items that are easy to ship. I haven’t done Craigs List, but I have heard great things about it from people buying and selling large items. I highly recommend Ebay for anything that you can easily ship.

Wendy’s last blog post..Works-For-Me Wednesday

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