Americans Spend Way Too Much on Stuff They Don’t Need

The Wall Street Journal published a report stating that Americans spend nearly 1.5 trillion annually on things that they don’t need. Many people reading this might think they’re not a part of this group, that is, until they look around and see all the items that have piled up and are not longer being used.

The good news is, for those people, they can actually make some cash out of their unused stuff. What’s the point of keeping old products that are just collecting dust but still has value? These unneeded old items can actually be turned back into cash. In this article, I am going to discuss some smart ways of selling old stuff and making some good hard money at the same time. The used items could be anything from furniture, cloths, books to accessories, electronic goods to anything else that has value to someone else.

The most important thing here is getting organized!

People with a lot of stuff to sell can find it challenging to pick the items to part with, as well as understanding the best marketplaces to sell in.

Golden rule for selling: If you find an item that you haven’t used or worn for more than a year or two, than that might be a good indication that it is no longer needed. At least once a year people should go through each item in the house and simply put the one or two year test on it to see if it qualifies, if so, it should add it to the list.

Once the items have collected, they should be sorted them by category.


eBay is like a pioneer when it comes to selling used things online. Simply create an account and list the items with good pictures and wallaah! eBay gives everyone an instant access to a marketplace of over 160 million people.

Yes, unlike most of the sites eBay has a listing fee of $0.30 per item and it charges 10% on each sale made, so consideration on what is to be sold is important. That 10% can add up really fast on big ticket items. If that big ticket item is in high demand, it would be better to sell it on a low or zero fee site, so that cash can be saved. However, in cases where exposure is needed, eBay can be a valuable asset.

From person experience, I can tell you I tried selling my Epson projector on a local classified site, but there were no takers. After a week on eBay, I got top dollar, which turned out to be a nice payday even after the eBay fee.


Bonanza is a good alternative to eBay. The entire structure of this site is almost same like eBay, but cost for listing item here is bit less. This site charges 3.5% for each sale under $500 and $17.5 plus 1.5% for an item over $500.

Keep in mind, eBay is more established so sellers definitely get more traffic and a larger audience to sell to compared to Bonanza.


Someone looking to reach a larger audience and still save some fees can also consider eBid, it’s very similar to eBay when it comes to the design of the website and it also features auction style selling. The fee is also very competitive. Customers will never pay more than 3% of the final price.


Etsy is another option, but unlike the previously listed site, it mainly specializes in selling handcrafted items that are more than 20 years old. This type of item is considered a vintage item and a perfect fit for the customers of Etsy.

This is site is really well known for its 55 million members and 24 million shoppers. Artist and designer cannot find a better place to sell handcrafted art or other creative items.

Designer Garments & Wedding Dresses

For those looking to sell wedding dresses or designer clothes, popular sites like Letgo, Thread Up, and The Real Real have huge value. These sites are great for getting rid of unwanted clothes that are no longer being used. Customers may not make a lot of money, but what value do clothes have that are no longer needed? Better to get something for these unwanted items than to just give them to the Goodwill or throw them out.

Consignment Stores

People may also want to try their luck in the real world instead of following online sites or apps, in this case a consignment store could be a good option. These stores may take a while to sell an item and they usually take 40-50% of the total sale. However, these stores ensure better chance of getting the item sold compared to using an online platform. There’s no point of using a consignment store for selling an item under $100, but are useful for selling bigger and more costly items.


Craigslist is a great place for selling goods to local people. However, anyone using the site should be careful when selling on Craigslist, although in most cases safe, there have been a few cases where Craigslist has become tool for crooks and thieves. Do not accept or send wire transfers on this platform, go and meet the buyer face to face in a public place and complete the deal with cash. I find a bank is a great place to do a Craigslist deal if the item is small enough. Banks usually have a lobby area that is almost never used, cameras all over, and some even have a security guard at the door adding an extra layer of security.

Yard Sales

I have always loved a good yard sale when I have a large number of items to get rid of that are not too valuable, but taking a lot of space. Anyone can easily host a yard sale in their front yard and post it on Craigslist. Now you’re combining two selling methods in one!


Facebook is also a great place to sell items online as well. Simply search “Yard Sale” in Facebook and instantly a large group of people buying and selling goods will pop up.  Facebook makes it very easy for anyone to post a product ad for a quick sale.

Used Electronics

There are many places that specialize in used electronics, but some of the most popular include sites like Gizmogul, Gazzle, Glyde etc. One of the most popular items is the used cell phone market, and these sites make it easy to find buyers who are willing to pay to dollar, while at the same time, getting charged a lower transaction fee verses eBay.


For those who have collectible items they want to sell, then has the goods.  If the collectible is more than $1000, it should be appraised before listing. The collectors market is huge, items like coins, sport cards, stamps, currency, autographs, the list goes on and on. Remember the right marketplace can make all the difference in selling the item with the least amount of hassle and the most money.

Precious Metals and Stones

Almost everyone has metals like gold or diamond jewellery that they just don’t like anymore. Selling these items can be a little trickier, but local gold stores and pawn shops make it easy to sell these items. Just be sure to look up the local store for review before going. Look for a place that is reputable and has a solid standing in the community. I also highly recommend anyone looking to sell gold look up the going rate for gold per ounce, just to be sure no one is going to take advantage. For those who have a lot of gold to sell, a gold refiner is the best option, but gold refiners only buy gold in bulk, so it is best to stick with the local gold stores for smaller transactions.

De-cluttering and selling old items can be a challenging venture in the beginning, but for those who follow the right steps, getting rid of old items, and at the same time cleaning out the house will leave anyone with a great felling. On top of that, it is nice way to put a little, or in some cases, a lot of extra money in the bank. It is my recommendation to take this money and invest it verses spending it, but regardless, even if it is spent, it is more useful than just having it tied up in worthless stuff that is no longer service a purpose.

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