You know the old saying “one person’s trash is another one’s treasure.” Well these days, with 91 percent of American adults owning cell phones and other electronics like computers, gaming consoles, tablets and Blu-ray players, many of the items you throw away have value. The average person generates 4.5 pounds of trash everyday. Of course, some of that trash is just that — trash. However, some of it contains items that you may have held onto had you known you could have received money for them. For instance, that cell phone you replace every two years, on average. Or those expensive shoes that just don’t fit comfortably.
You can sell a wide variety of your old items, ranging from your clothing to electronics to empty boxes. In addition to the big sites like eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) and Craigslist, there are a large variety of businesses that are in the used items market. Here are some places where you can earn money for your stuff.
1. Online Yard Sales — Facebook and Bookoo
It’s become a common practice for Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) users to sell items to other users. Yard sale groups are popping up all over Facebook. Usually, a member of a community will start the yard sale group and other local community members will join. People will post items for sale on the group’s page. You can sell all sorts of items – handbags, wedding dresses, jewelry, and even automobiles.
Bookoo is an online yard sale site that allows users to buy and sell items to their neighbors. Bookoo has local sites set up in different cities across the country and if you sign up for your city’s Bookoo, you can post ads describing your item and sell to someone nearby.
If you’re looking to sell clothing, you can allow buyers to view your closet items on Poshmark. Your clothing items must be in good condition, and you receive 80 percent of the sale price. If you sell an item for under $15, Poshmark takes a flat fee of $2.95. The buyer also pays the shipping costs.
Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) has electronics trade-in programs. If you trade in video games, you can receive a Wal-Mart gift card in return. To give some perspective, if you trade in a working PS3 today (the slim version, 320GB that has the cords and cables), you’ll get a $51 gift card. If you trade a game like Grand Theft Auto V, you’d get around $25 in gift card funds.
Wal-Mart also takes tablets and smartphones and allows you to use the value of those devices towards the purchase of a newer model phone or tablet.
On Glyde, you can also sell your electronics — phones, tablets, MacBooks, iPods, and games. To sell your stuff, search for your item in Glyde’s database, then answer a few questions pertaining to your item’s appearance, features, functionality, and condition. Glyde then provides you with the market price of your item and the amount you will actually receive after Glyde takes its fees (which are 12 percent for the first $100 and eight percent for anything over $100, plus between $1 and $6 for shipping.) If you like what you see, you can list your item for sale.
5. Gift Card Granny
If you have gift cards you don’t want, you can sell them to one of the buyers on Gift Card Granny. This site lists gift cards by merchant, then shows you the percentage value you will receive from various popular gift card sales sites, like CardPool, ABC Gift Cards, and Gift Card Zen. It’s kind of like the Kayak of gift card exchange sites. Gift Card Granny asserts that you can receive up to 92.5 percent of the card’s value.
If the items you’re getting rid of are handmade, you can sell them on Etsy. If you are a crafter, artist, vintage collector, or you just have extra arts and crafts supplies, you can list them on Etsy for a fee of 20 cents per item. If the item sells, the site takes a 3.5 percent commission. You can also purchase advertising opportunities from the site to help boost your sales.
7. Recycling Companies
According to Sodacans.org, selling recyclables such as junk mail, soda cans, cereal boxes, and phone books can add up to some serious extra cash. At 25 cents per pound, the average person can earn around $8 per week. This may not sound like a lot, but it adds up to around $410 per year.
Some states still offer refundable deposits on plastic bottles. In California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, New York, Oregon, or Vermont, you can get a few cents for every bottle. The average American drinks roughly 31 gallons of bottled water annually, which equates to around 248 bottles. Selling these empty bottles back to the retailer in Michigan will get you an extra $24.80. If you combine this extra cash with the cash from selling your other paper products and cans, and also selling any scrap metal, you can really see an accumulation of earnings.