The more you pay toward your debts, the sooner you will be debt-free and loving life. So a question you should ask yourself is, “How can I make more money immediately so I can use that extra cash to pay down debt?”
The answer to that question usually involves selling stuff that you own but which you no longer need or use. For instance, almost everybody has appliances lying around that get used one time per year or less. These can be sold. Other things that can be sold include: furniture, electronics, collectibles, computers, sports equipment, kids toys, clothing, etc. The list is practically endless.
Once you’ve identified what you’re going to sell, where do you find buyers? Here are three easy ways to sell your stuff for cash.
Method #1: Hold a garage sale.
This is the most obvious way to sell stuff. With a few hours of set up time, you can be ready to have a garage sale. Friday mornings tend to be the best time for a garage sale. Saturday mornings are the second-best time. Make sure you put out at least two signs, and more like three or four signs, to get as much traffic as you possibly can.
If you have some things worth buying, you should be able to make $200 to $400. When I held a garage sale, I think we made about $200, even though we had no “big ticket” items. The money you make can be used immediately to pay down debt or build up your emergency fund.
Tip: When you have a garage sale, be willing to negotiate. People who shop at garage sales are looking for deals. So if somebody asks for a discount, don’t scoff at them. Instead, accept their offer or counter with a slightly higher offer that is still less than your original asking price. You’ll sell more of your stuff… and you’ll make more money.
Method #2: Sell it on Craig’s List.
Craig’s List is an excellent way to sell stuff that costs more than what you’d expect in a garage sale. For instance, right before I moved, I sold a dining table and four chairs for $100 to a local buyer. They came to my house, paid cash, and hauled the table and chairs away.
Craig’s List works because it’s simple to use, and it’s targeted to local markets. For instance, I list things at http://denver.craigslist.org. But somebody in a different state and city would list on a slightly different domain. This way, only local buyers see my sale.
Tip: Always include a photo when selling on Craig’s List. You’ll get far more people viewing your listing and contacting you with questions. When I listed my table and chairs, I uploaded three photos. I was contacted by over five people in the first 24 hours. All were willing to pay cash and buy immediately.
Method #3: Sell it on eBay.
Ebay is another great method for selling your stuff. I’ve personally sold a number of things this way: books, collectibles, audio programs, etc.
If you’ve never sold anything on eBay before, then consider checking out a book from your local library. I personally read How to Buy, Sell, and Profit on eBay by Adam Ginsberg. It was exactly what I needed to get started.
The same rule that applies to selling on Craig’s List also applies to selling on eBay. That is, always include images. You’ll get way more people looking at your auction, which will result in more bids. Also, always start your auctions at a penny. It sounds crazy, but it will entice more people to bid, thereby driving up your final sale price.
If you’re intimidated by selling on eBay, and your item will sell for more than $50, then there’s another option you may want to consider. Instead of setting up the auction yourself, you can use a drop-off center like I-SoldIt or QuikDrop.
Basically, these are retail store fronts that will take your things, list them on eBay, and sell them for a cut of the profit. You’ll make less money this way, but you’re almost guaranteed to sell whatever it is you have to sell.
When I had a heavy stereo system to sell, this is the route I chose. I simply did not want to worry about packaging and mailing a heavy stereo. So I dropped it off at a local QuikDrop. I signed a couple of papers, they took the stereo, and boom! The auction was over a few days later. It sold for more money than I expected, and I received a check in the mail two weeks after that. Overall, it was a great experience.
If you’re interested in finding an I-SoldIt or QuickDrop location, here’s how to do it…
- Step 1: Go to http://local.google.com
- Step 2: Type in the search term “ebay” or “ebay store.”
- Step 3: View the search results to locate the I-SoldIt or QuikDrop nearest you.
Do you want to sell some of your stuff for cash and use that cash to pay down debt? Then these three ways are the easiest I know of. Pick the method that’s best for you and… go for it!