Has your credit card got a Christmas hangover? Are you trying to save some money for your next holiday ? I’m sure we would all like to make extra cash. The answer could be right in front of you, in your disused clutter. Lets face it, we all accumulate things we don’t need. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to turn this trash into cash.
It’s surprising how many re-saleable items you have lurking in the back of cupboards, in the shed, or in your spare bedrooms..
These can include:
- Used text books – particularly if your teenager finished the HSC recently, their study guides are highly saleable
- Disused furniture – if the kids have left home, some of the furniture in their bedrooms may now be surplus.
- Old toys. We were amazed when we went through the numerous boxes of old toys the kids had stored in the garage how much could actually be moved on to a new home.
- Disused kitchen appliances
- Crockery, kitchen ware, glasses
- Nick nacks and collectibles
- Baby furniture
- Quality clothes, handbags and shoes
- unwanted Christmas gifts
- Sewing, quilting and craft materials.
The list is really only limited by what you have lurking in storage. As long as it is clean and in good working order, you will be amazed what people will buy. As the saying goes “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” As a rule of thumb, if we haven’t used it for 12 months, it goes.
Once you have gathered your “saleables” there are a number of ways in which you can turn them into cash.
Everyone loves browsing through a good old fashioned garage sale to grab a bargain. Before you put up the signs however, there is a little bit of work you need to do to make sure your sale is a success.
- Firstly, find out what day is the most popular day in your area. There are actually clubs who meet and visit all the garage sales in the area, on a Saturday morning in our case. You want to make sure you have chosen the right day.
- Once you have chosen a date, double check that it doesn’t conflict with a major community event, or perhaps a monthly local market.
- Now you’ve set the date, why not invite your neighbours to join in? The more you have to sell, the more successful your sale will be. A “street sale” with a number of garage sales in one location can be a huge drawcard.
- Sort your items into sale price. You can ticket every single item, but we find sorting articles into pricing and having a $5 table, $10 table and $20 table is much easier.
- Organise trestles or tables to display your goods. People won’t sort through a jumbled mess. If your goods are displayed in an orderly fashion, people are more likely to buy.
- Next you need to advertise. Posters around the area, a post on your local Facebook pages and perhaps an ad in the local paper are all a great way to attract buyers.
- The day before your sale, organise some change. You will need a small supply of $1 and $2 coins and some $5 and $10 notes.
- Do get your sale ready the day before. No matter what time you stipulate, you will get earlybirds wanting the best bargains. If you turn them away, you could lose valuable sales.
If you live in an apartment or villa which would make a garage sale difficult, or simply don’t want hordes of people coming to your home, how about the local markets?
Many communities have a monthly market, where for a small donation you can hire a site to sell your goods. As with a garage sale, you will need tables to set your goods out on, as well as a supply of change.
This can be a great alternative and you don’t have to bother with advertising, as the markets will have a guaranteed trade. You do however have the hassle of transporting your goods to the location.
If you only have a few things to sell, there are a number of great online options for selling your goods. First you will need to take photos of your items to display on the website, then decide which is the best portal for you.
- Ebay is the most well known of these. Simply set up an account, if you don’t have one and upload your articles. You do have a little safety in knowing you will get paid for your goods. Ebay allows 40 free listings per month, after which you will be charged a listing fee. You will also be charged 10.9 percent of the sale price
- Gumtree is another popular online sales option, which is generally free unless you have multiple listings for large items such as cars and caravans.
- Facebook. Almost every location has at least one “Buy Swap Sell” site. Here you can post your items and buyers will contact you. We have sold everything from our campervan to books and toys on BSS. It is absolutely free and the only drawback is perhaps those people who say they want to buy something and never show up. Don’t mark the item as sold until you have the cash in your hand.
Bottle and can recycling
Do you still have a pile of recyclable drink bottles and cans hanging around after the festive season? Did you know that in many Australian locations, you can return these for cash while helping the environment?
The NSW Government introduced the Return and Earn Scheme about 12 months ago. The Government initiative aims to reduce litter by 40 per cent by 2020, with drink containers accounting for nearly 44 per cent of litter.
Most plastic, aluminium and glass bottles and cans between 150 ml and 3 litre are eligible for a refund of 10 cents each. A number of countries overseas already have this deposit return scheme in place.
Simply collect your bottles and cans and visit a return vending machine, which can now be found at many supermarkets. Deposit your bottles and cans to receive a cash voucher. You can redeem your vouchers for cash, or off the cost of your grocery shop at participating stores. If you register your Paypal account, the vending machine will credit directly to your account. You also have the option to donate your refund to a nominated charity.
So why not have a good de-clutter? You could well be surprised at how much hidden cash you have lurking the the back of cupboards.
Read also: How to balance the budget.