Where should I sell my stuff to make the most money? Well, that depends a lot on what your “stuff” is. I grew up in a frugal household that regularly took advantage of buying items at thrift stores, yard sales and Ebay. When you purchase items second-hand for a while, you learn that prices can vary quite a bit on the same items on different sites. This is great information to have when you’re looking to buy used items, but it’s also useful to know when you’re looking to sell your stuff online or in person.
Clothing. I’ll start with where to sell old clothing because for my household, that’s what we seem to have the most of when it comes time to sell items. It also has the most complex solution when it comes to deciding where to sell.
Selling children’s clothing: Children’s clothing that is in good shape makes sense to try to consign first. Consignment locations such as Once Upon A Child accept many brands, including department store clothing. Baby or young kids clothing usually sells for .25-.50 per article (for one-piece outfits, shirts or bottoms) at yard sales so it’s not very profitable to sell at yard sales. As a result, I recommend taking your children’s item to a consignment store to see what they will take and then yard sale the rest. The only time I would sell children’s clothing individually is if you have a name-brand children’s items that are like-new, such as a children’s carhartt coat, nike shoes, etc as those items can make money being sold individually on facebook buy/sell/trade groups.
Selling well-used or nameless adult clothing: Unknown or very affordable brands should be sold at yard sales. Clothing from very affordable brands such as Faded Glory (walmart), Circo (target), or really basic clothing items like plain t-shirts or camisoles aren’t likely to sell for very much used because these brands often sell shirts for $5 or so new, and jeans for $12 or so new. As a result, listing these items on Ebay or trying to consign them isn’t likely to be successful so sell them at a yard sale instead. $1-2 for jeans or shorts, or $.50-$1.00 per top is very reasonable. While I mainly sell low-cost or well-used items at yard sales, I also sometimes will use yard sales to get rid of name brand clothing that is several years old so the styles are not as popular anymore. For like-new items you can go a bit higher but as a general rule I wouldn’t pay more than $5 for jeans at a yard sale (even name brand) or $3 or so for sweaters or tops. In the winter when it’s not practical to have a yard sale, you can sell clothing for a little pocket money in facebook groups. In my experience, people in buy/sell/trade facebook groups don’t want to drive to my house to pick up just one or two tops. However, listing half a dozen or more similar items for a set price (like 4 bottoms and 4 tops for $10) can result in some sales. Of course, try to pair items that are the same size and similar in style as well so you are more likely to find a buyer who is interested in all the pieces in the listing.
Selling brand name used clothing: These items are good to consign or sell on ebay. The most popular clothing consignment in my area is Platos Closet which is a chain store but i’m not sure how much of the US they cover. They sell jeans for $8-12 in most cases, so you can earn about $5 per pair if they accept them to consign. However, they only accept name brands and they only take fashions that are really modern and apparel that has almost no signs of wear. Still, it’s pretty easy to bring in a trashbag (or tote) of clothing and let them take what they want and then hand you back what you don’t want. It’s nice to get a decent price for your clothing for just a couple hours of your time. Hint: don’t look around the store while they are going through your items to avoid spending back the money you earned! Once I get back the items that the consignment store wouldn’t accept, I list the rest on ebay. Even fairly affordable name brands like Aeropostale can earn $5+ in profit on ebay if they are in good shape. Brands like Silver or The Buckle can go for $15+ if they are in good shape. To get your clothing to sell well on ebay be sure to include measurements (waist and inseam) and clothing sizes. Also include multiple photos, at least one of the back and one of the front so all the pockets are visible. If you have clothing in the exact same size, doing a “lot” (meaning a single listing that sells a collection of items) can be profitable and save you some time. However, if you have a range of sizes I don’t recommend listing them in the same auction. Also be sure to spend the time weighing and getting accurate shipping predictions for your auctions. When I first started selling on ebay, I accepted their ‘shipping estimate’ and it underestimated the cost by a few dollars per listing so I barely made any profit as a result of how much I paid out in shipping. Not good!
Selling Antiques: Antiques are great to make money on whether it’s 20 year old toys or collectible tupperware. Ebay and Etsy both have antique portions of their websites so you can see how much the items you have are listed for. Etsy has a cheaper listing cost (.10 vs ebays .25) and the listings stay up for a longer time period. However, ebay has the added benefit of letting people bid on items instead of setting a fixed price so it’s really up to you to decide which method you choose.
Selling craft supplies: If you have a lot of craft supplies you can sell your “destash” items on Etsy. My town has a thrift store that is run by a local hospice house. It’s always overloaded with craft supplies that are donated after a grandmother passes away. If you have a large stash of fabric, buttons, thread, yard, etc sell it on Etsy instead of donating to make money.
Selling Large or heavy household items or furniture: Selling online is only profitable if the cost of shipping the item makes sense. For large furniture or very fragile items selling old stuff online just isn’t as practical. To make money from your old furniture try listing it on craigslist or ebay with requirement for the buyer to pick up. Or, try a yard sale. As a general rule yard sale prices are lower than craigslist or ebay prices. For example, an old couch might only sell for $15-$25 at a yard sale where you could get $50 for it on craigslist.
Cars, farm equipment, travel equipment, etc: Really large items like campers, vehicles, tractors, lawn mowers, etc will usually sell best on Craigslist or buy/sell/trade facebook groups. While these items can sell at yard sales sometimes, the asking price is usually less. For example, if I see a walk-behind lawn mower at a yard sale I would expect it to be $20-$30 or so, where $50-$75 is more common to see on Craigslist or a Facebook group. You may also try putting a listing in your local newspaper to sell these types of items.
Do you have any tips or advice for where to sell your stuff to make the most money?