As you get busy organizing your home after the holidays and start some spring cleaning for the season, don't overlook the resale value of some of those unwanted clothes, electronics, video games, household furniture, and home decor. Instead of sending those items to a landfill or donating all them, you can recover some of the money you spent on those purchases by trading in or selling the items to interested buyers. Gently used clothing, lightly damaged furniture, and electronics in good working condition may still have some value and could be on someone's buying radar; you just need to know where to post these items for sale and cash in at the right time.
Here are a few ways to turn your spring cleaning efforts into cash:
Sell items on eBay. If you have a lot of designer or brand name clothing, shoes, and accessories to get rid of after spring cleaning the closets, consider posting them on auction sites like eBay. Many people are looking for specific brands and styles of clothing that are gently worn or still have tags on them. Take some high-quality pictures and make sure the description includes as many details as possible. Encourage potential buyers to ask questions about the listing so they know exactly what to expect. You can also sell items such as video games, DVDs, and electronics that are still in working condition on auction sites. If you are selling larger items and fragile goods on auction sites, make sure everything goes smoothly by shipping items in the right type of box and using appropriate shipping materials.
Organize a yard sale. Check your local community calendar to see if there are any neighborhood yard sales coming up. If not, consider hosting your own yard sale to sell off all the items you've managed to clear out of your closets, cupboards, the basement, attic, and storage rooms. Ask your neighbors if they want to host a joint sale so that you can promote the event together and attract as many customers as possible.
Sell items on Craigslist. Used furniture, paintings, lightly used electronics, and other larger items may sell faster on local classifieds sites like Craigslist. Craigslist is a great way to sell items quickly but you need to make sure you're only attracting serious buyers. Do the legwork to make sure the item is exactly as described so buyers don't hesitate to make a purchase or return the item.
Trade in at consignment stores. Some consignment stores sand thrift shops will pay cash for certain brands of clothing and gently used accessories, shoes, and other essentials. Check The Association of Resale Professionals' website at www.NARTS.org to find consignment stores in your area. If you have a lot of clothes and accessories that still have tags on them, these can be your best bet for a quick sale and a fair trade for cash.
Head to the auction house. If you're clearing out your basement or attic and come across antique items or collectibles you no longer want, consider selling them at an auction house. Appraisers can make an offer for some of those authentic and unique items that are just collecting dust in your home. It may be worth finding out what the value of these items are and consider an offer if you need some extra money this season.
Trade In electronics and video games. Some electronics retailers offer trade-in programs for newer models of electronics and video games. You'll receive store credit after they've determined the value of your item based on sales potential. Some also post estimates for certain brands and models online. If you've been thinking about making some type of electronics purchase at these stores this year, trading in for store credit may be your best bet for getting the most value out of the item.
Sabah Karimi is an award-winning columnist at Yahoo and life hack blog Wise Bread. You can find more tips on how to do spring cleaning on a budget at Wise Bread.