Find Cash in Your Closet: Make Spring Cleaning Pay Off
Sites and Organizations Offer New Ways to Sell, Swap and Donate
After being laid off in the midst of an economic downturn, one new mother from New York was looking for innovative ways to pay the bills. With loads of baby clothes that no longer fit her daughter, she decided to sell them on eBay. Her efforts were so successful that she turned this stopgap measure into a business that sold “pre-loved" baby clothes—a business that provided her a living for a decade.
Not every effort to raise cash by selling belongings will produce revenue like that, but there are many new ways to generate cash from household clutter.
Find the Perfect Buyer for Your Stuff
Though traditional online auctions and classifieds are important ways to sell your stuff, a number of specialty sites allow you to sell to an-ever-more targeted audience. Here are some examples:
- Old mobile phones and other tech gear: Gazelle.com or Glyde.com (which also sells video games)
- Clothing and accessories: Poshmark.com, LikeTwice.com, Dresm.com, Threadflip.com, ThredUP.com, BibandTuck.com and Tradesy.com (which also has wedding wear)
- College textbooks: Chegg.com, BIGWORDS.com and DealOz.com.
For hard-to-ship things like furniture and large appliances, check out sites geared to serve people near you who can pick them up. Craigslist.com and Krrb.com are two examples.
Rent Your Stuff
You may have personal items that you don't use very often, but have no interest in selling, like power tools, camping gear, or kitchen equipment. Rather than sell them, you can earn cash by renting them to people who need them for one-time use. Check out sites like Rentything.com and Loanables.com, which facilitate rentals to people in your local area.
Donate to a Specific Cause
If you're ready to give your stuff to a good cause, consider donating specific items to organizations that specialize in putting them to good use.
Among the sites you might consider:
- Used clothes (to help adults join or reenter the workforce): ACDNonline.org
- Games: GameChangerCharity.org, which helps children with cancer
- Sports equipment: SportsGift.org
- Cell phones: CellPhonesforSoldiers.com
- Eyeglasses: lionsclub.org
Exchange Your Stuff
If you've outgrown your clothes, or want to update your look, swap clothes and accessories for things you'd rather have. Try sites such as SwapStyle.com, SnobSwap.com or RehashClothes.com. For babies and children, try Swap.com. For games and movies, you might want to try SwapAce.com.
Photo: Getty Images/Westend61