It is a truly awesome feeling to make money from stuff that is cluttering up your house. It’s a win-win. You get to declutter your space and make a profit from that feeling. I know how great this feels because we just traded in 17 boxes of books for $881.20! Don’t continue to ignore your clutter. Your clutter wants to make you some money!
Sell Your Crap
There are several ways to make some money back on items you’re removing from your house. Adam Baker goes into great detail about how to sell items on eBay, Craigslist, and Amazon in his e-book “Sell Your Crap.” If you’ve never sold anything online or you’re looking for some insider tips on how to just learn to do it better, his in-depth guides should not be missed!
I am not an expert with how to sell my discarded things. Typically I’m in too big of a hurry to sell things one at a time on eBay or Craigslist because I am an impatient declutterer. However, if we know something is worth enough money to warrant the trouble of listing it, then we’ll do it. We’ve sold lots of unused computer equipment this way and upgraded our iphones and laptops for a profit just by selling our old ones. It’s really pretty amazing what people will pay for stuff online isn’t it?
From Books to Bucks
Originally I never would have thought we could make hundreds of dollars from selling books. I didn’t know we could quickly sell them in a way that would be worth our time. Granted, not everyone has a home library of thousands of books, but most people have some unread books and almost certainly old movies or video games around the house. If the thought of parting with any of your books gives you a pain in your chest, then I highly recommend you read “Breaking the Sentimental Attachment to Books” by Robyn Devine. It was absolutely mind opening to me and I love the steps she gives for evaluating your library.
From my experience, eBay is not very profitable for selling books unless it’s a title in high demand. When we go through books, we go through the following process:
- Check Amazon’s trade-in program to see if they will buy it back. Although Amazon advertises this service as being just for trading in textbooks, movies, or video games, they will take any kind of book. (Just search for “Textbook Buyback” in the Amazon search and you’ll find your way). You just enter the ISBN number of your item and see if it is eligible for trade-in. It’s not a given that they will take your book because it’s determined by what Amazon resellers are looking for, but it’s always the first place I start. Amazon pays for you to ship your books so it’s a very painless process.
- Double check your books on eBay. If you have a book that you know should be worth something because it’s either out of print or in high demand, it’s worth checking for completed listings of that title on eBay. If Amazon is interested in a title, then that could be because they know it’s worth more money. For example, there was a children’s book that Amazon wanted to buy back for five dollars (which is pretty high for Amazon) but on eBay that same title was going for over $100. However, just because something is listed for a lot of money is not enough. Always check the completed listings to see if anyone is actually paying any money for that book title.
- Trade in your books at a used bookstore. There are other online companies that buy back your books but we took our books to McKay Used Books in Chattanooga. It was a 2 hour drive for us to deliver our books but it proved to be well worth it. We opted for store credit for payment since they have such a large variety of products available. We went back this weekend to spend part of the $800 on some books, video games, and movies for Christmas presents. On our return visit we took 20 more boxes of books. So far that’s 37 boxes of books we’ve cleared out and it feels awesome to make a profit while clearing out clutter!
- If no one wants to buy them, toss them. Finally, if you’ve already decided you don’t want a book anymore and no one wants to buy it back, get rid of it. You can try donating them or you can just throw them out. Just don’t hang onto them if they’re useless.
Just Try It
Admit it, now you’re curious if you have money just sitting on your bookshelf. Go log onto Amazon and see if anyone wants to buy your books or old games and movies. That stuff isn’t making you any money just sitting there. It really can be fun! I’d love to hear your stories of how you’ve turned your clutter into cash.
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photo by nkzs
Article originally published on 11/08/2010