How to Earn Cash Selling Items Around your Home

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how to earn extra cash selling items around your home

If you’re looking for ways to make some extra money to add to your monthly budget, take a look around the house for items you can sell. You’d be surprised to learn of all the different items you’ll find in your home that you could sell to make some extra money for your budget.

Ways to Sell for the Highest Value:

The best way to get the maximum amount for your items is to try to sell items through either Craigslist or a Facebook Buy/Sell/Trade group. This way you’re setting your own prices & not having to pay a fee or take a % of the profits.The FB groups are becoming more popular as you can find them by area & then be able to meet up with someone to sell your item.

The drawback with both options is that it does involve a lot more time if you’re selling quite a few items as you have to meet people at different locations & different times.  Plus there’s the safety factor – I always recommend meeting in a very public place like a restaurant or shopping center parking lot with a lot of people. {When I sell items thru FB or Craigslist, I typically meet at a Panera Bread parking lot, since there were always people coming & going.}

Another option to get the most money you can for your items is to sell through Ebay – you can research & see how much items have been selling for on Ebay and then pick a price you want to sell it for as a Buy it Now price or you can do it as an auction with a starting bid you are comfortable with. Ebay is the best place for items that may increase in value such as collectible items or items high in value like electronics, higher-end clothing & more. The drawback to Ebay is that you will have to pay fees on the items you sell & you do have to take care of shipping items.


There are several different ideas for selling clothes & it really depends on how much time & effort you want to spend on getting the items ready to sell. The best items to sell our baby & children’s clothes, but there are some options for selling women’s clothes as well.

Consignment Store:  A consignment store is a good option if you have quite a few items to sell over a period of time. You’ll want to investigate different stores & make sure you know their terms & typically it will be a period of 30, 60 or 90 days for consignment. The downside is that it does take time to head to the store location to drop off or pick up your items & it will take longer to receive your money.

Consignment Sales: This is similar to a consignment store; however, the sale will happen just over a weekend as compared to your items being for sale for a longer period of time in a store, so you will find out quickly if your items sell. You can sell items at a price you set & you’ll get a % of the profit. A tip to make more money is to volunteer at the sale & you’ll often get a higher % of your profits.  Consignment sales are not just great ways to sell baby, kids & maternity clothes, but also expensive baby equipment. The main drawback is the time needed to tag all the items for the sale – but get together with a friend & have a “tagging” party to make the time go by faster.

Online Consignment Stores: These are a great option for someone who would like to make some cash on their clothes, but they don’t have the time or effort to put into getting items ready for a consignment store or sale. You won’t make nearly as much money for your clothes as selling on your own or through a consignment store or sale, as you don’t set the price & get a % back of the sale amount. However, you are often paid up front & all you have to do is request a bag & send off your clothes for the retailer to sell online.

I have sold kids clothes through Thred Up & found it to be super easy & a nice way to make some extra cash or use the credit to buy more clothes (make sure to read my tips on how to sell items on ThredUp). They now accept women’s clothes as well.


With the age of tablets & readers, many people are looking to sell their books or to just downsize their collection of books. Here are a few places to sell your books:

Amazon – You can trade-in your books at Amazon & you will receive an Amazon gift card. Shipping is paid thru Amazon with a simple shipping label. Once your item is accepted, they will deposit an Amazon gift card to be deposited into your account. The drawback is that you may not get as much for your books at Amazon as you could at other locations.

Cash4Books – This is a site dedicated to selling books online – you just type in the ISBN numbers of your books to get a quote & then they will provide the shipping label for you to ship your books. Payment is made by check or Paypal.

Powell’s Books – For those of you in the Portland, OR area, you can bring your books in directly to a Powell’s books location but you can also ship them online as well. Their website says they pay 50% more on books if you opt for Powell’s Books credit; otherwise they pay via Paypal or in cash in store. Books need to be in very good shape to sell at Powell’s.

Half Price Books – If you have a lot of books to sell, the easiest option may be to bring them in person to Half Price bookstores. You will get cash for your books, as long as they are in good condition & the price will be dependent on supply & demand (how much of a need there is for them).

If you’d prefer to instead be able to buy more books, you can also check out Paperback Swap to be able to turn your books in to earn credits towards buying more books – perfect for the book lovers out there like me, who love to trade one book in for another book.


Here are just a few of the different options available for selling electronics – Ebay & Craigslist are also great options for getting the highest value for your electronic device.

Amazon – With Amazon, there are several options. You could utilize the Amazon Trade-In program where you trade in your Electronics with Amazon – while you won’t get cash, you will get an Amazon gift card after you’ve sent in your item to Amazon. Another option is to sell items directly on Amazon. It will cost $.99 + possible fees/percentages based on the item & you will wait until the item sells & then you ship directly to the customer.

Gazelle – I have never used this site, but have heard great reviews about this site for selling electronics (& it gets an A+ from the Better Business Bureau) – sell everything from phones to tablets to Apple computers to iPads or iPods. You can put in all your specifications for your device online & it will give you an estimate of how much they will pay for the item. You’ll receive a check, Paypal or gift card as payment.

Nextworth – This site is unique in that they offer options for both online & in-store payment for your electronics. You can either send in your items with free shipping to them (they will give you a free UPS shipping label) or you can go into one of their partner stores, including Target and Fred Meyer stores, to drop off your device & get paid immediately via Paypal, check, prepaid card or Target gift card.


If you are upgrading your phone, you’ll want to research your particular phone to see what the best deal is that you can find for it. Some cell phone plans may have a trade-in policy, where it’s a better deal for you to trade in your old phone to get the newer, updated phone. However, that’s not always the best option to save you the most. Just remember, the sooner you can sell it, the more money you will make on your phone – phones become outdated very quickly so you need to sell as soon as possible to get the most value.

Here are a few other options of how to sell your phone to buy an upgraded phone or if you have extra phones lying around that you could make extra cash:

Ebay & Craigslist – these  are sometimes your best bets to get the highest value. If selling your phone, especially through those sites, it’s best to contact your phone company to have them unlock your phone so it’s more versatile as it can be used with other carriers.

ecoATM – This is a really easy option to sell your phone (as well as tablets & MP3 players) & will give you cash on the spot. This is a kiosk in shopping malls & Walmart stores around the country. You can find out how much they will offer you for your phone & sell the phone right then for cash. The drawback is that they do not pay as much for the phones as you may get with another option.  Check out my experience with ecoATM & video showing you how it works.

 Also, see Gazelle (listed above in electronics) as another good option for selling your phones.

Gift Cards:

Do you ever end up with unwanted gift cards for a gift? Instead of letting those sit in your wallet & never get used, first of all, think of who you could give them to as a gift (you’ll be saving money by not having to buy a gift & they will be used for their full value). If you don’t have someone to gift the card to, here are a few options:

Coinstar Exchange – These are kiosks located in grocery stores around the country & you can bring in your unwanted gift cards & the kiosk will tell you how much it is worth & you can submit your gift card for cash. The benefit is that it’s super easy to check when you’re in the store but the drawback is that it will be a lower amount you will receive for your gift card as compared to selling it yourself or possibly lower than what an online retailer would pay.

CardCash – This is an online retailer  for buying & selling gift cards online (they now own Plastic Jungle, one of the most popular sites for selling gift cards). They will accept unwanted gift cards & send you a check, direct deposit or Paypal. You can also accept an Amazon gift card & often the payout is slightly more if you accept an Amazon gift card. (Ex: For a $25 Sports Authority gift card, it would pay me $18.50 for check/Paypal/Direct Deposit or $19.24 for Amazon). The drawback is that you will have to send your gift cards in by mail & wait for the payment instead of instant cash at Coinstar Exchange. There are some retailers that will accept online codes, though.

These are just a few of the ways you can sell items from around your house – there are so many other things you can sell to earn extra cash. Garage sales are a great way to sell a significant amount of items all at once to really clear out items you no longer need & make some cash at the same time.

Swapping items is another way to save money – you may not be earning cash for your items, but you’re saving by not having to buy more. Clothes swaps work out great for kids clothes, women’s clothing, costumes & more. Organize one with a moms group you belong to or just gather a group of friends together to swap clothes. With our MOPS group, we have what we call “MOPS Shop” days. Moms can bring clothes, baby equipment, household items, womens clothes, you name it and then swap with each other. Anything left over we bring to a local clothing bank.

It’s all about getting organized & purging what you no longer need & then getting creative & thinking of ways you can make money from your unwanted items. As they say – One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!

What are your favorite ways to sell items to earn extra cash? We’d love to hear more ideas from you!

Make sure to also check out our posts on organizing to get you started on your journey to find items to sell:

This post is part of the 30 Day Budget Bootcamp we are participating in with other frugal bloggers & the Mommysavers forum.  You can join the discussion by creating a free Mommysavers Forum account and check out all the posts so far this month.


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