A Simple Approach to Living With Less

The Lazy Person’s Guide to Selling Your Stuff Without Enduring the Torment of a Yard Sale

I detest yard sales. There. I said it. I despise going to them and I despise having them. I know some people do very well at them and I have friends who treat a day of scoping out yard sales like an Olympic event. Sadly, I am not one of those people.

We’ve all heard the phrase “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” but I tend to feel that in most cases one man’s trash is still trash and just take his word for it.

I’ve endured my fair share of yard sales. I’ve taken the time to sort items, price and organize them neatly, and track down missing pieces to puzzles and toys that had long been forgotten. I’ve given up entire weekends to watch strangers paw through our belongings only to be told a quarter is too high of a price tag.

In my efforts to dejunk my life, I lean towards donating everything you can and burning the rest if necessary.

In the process of moving and combining households with my parents two years ago, we managed to fill THREE separate construction-sized dumpsters with stuff.

The problem with downsizing, dejunking, and minimizing is that pang of guilt we get that we’re wasting money.

I am clearly no expert on teaching you how to sell your crap, but I have a few suggestions from my experience:

  1. Sell the big ticket items first – focus on the stuff you know has the best chance of making a decent amount of money.
  2. Get rid of large items locally – post them individually on Craigslist, in the paper, and spread it by word of mouth.
  3. Electronics sell well on eBay – this is the best place we’ve found for electronics, but keep in mind the hassle factor of shipping.
  4. Don’t forget about consignment stores – clothes are a great item to take to consignment stores. Find a well trafficked one in your area and you could do pretty well.
  5. Take the tax write-off – you might be surprised that the tax write-off you get for your donation ends up being just as fruitful as a weekend spent in your driveway giving your stuff away for pennies.

The Lazy Person’s Guide to Selling Your Stuff

Last but not least, you can sell stuff to Amazon. I love this method because I don’t have to go anywhere, haggle with anyone about prices, or post pictures and descriptions about my stuff in the hopes that someone will want to buy it.

With Amazon’s trade in store I just enter my items, they tell me up front if they want them, and they pay for the shipping to take it away.

I mean seriously…how easy is that?!

I sold most of my books for cash to Amazon a long time ago. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered they would also take my old CD’s, movies, old electronics, and video games. I didn’t think ANYONE would buy back CD’s with everything going digital now. I was happy to find someone would take them.

I managed to trade in enough stuff to buy our family the Coleman Instant tent I’ve had my eye on for months, plus new air mattresses for the whole family. I was SO giddy and excited and I don’t mind tellin’ ya! I don’t love to shop, but when I can get something for FREE that brings a truck load of family fun….well I get excited!

Do you have any secrets or tips to selling your stuff the easy way?

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  1. I had no idea we could resell so much stuff to Amazon. Wish I would’ve known this before getting robbed reselling to Half-Price Books. Thanks for the tip!

    • Faith Janes says

      Glad to help! There’s no guarantee they’ll take everything you want to get rid of, but it’s hard to beat for how easy it is.

  2. Here’s my resale tip….give it away. 😉 I hate, hate, hate yard sales, listing things on ebay and the like. I’d rather just give it away to someone and walk away with the feeling of having blessed someone. That being said, when we need something I do shop for used items on ebay or craigslist.

  3. “We’ve all heard the phrase “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” but I tend to feel that in most cases one man’s trash is still trash and just take his word for it.” — EXACTLY!!

    I faithfully did the garage sale thing when my son was a baby and I did alright. As he got beyond the infant stage, though, it became increasingly difficult to find clothing in wearable condition. Boys are hard on their clothes! I began to find that going to garage sales meant burning alot of gas in order to bring more clutter into my already overflowing home.

    I detest holding garage sales as much as going to them. I take what I can to the auction where I work to be sold and the rest (clothing, etc) to the thrift store. I know alot of people on limited incomes who shop there and the thrift store I take my items to is run by a charity so I look at it as an easy way to help someone in need.

    Yes, I could earn a bit of money by using consignment stores and holding garage sales, but we have been very blessed and I find that just giving away the items we no longer need or want helps me to hold loosely to my belongings. It also helps me to think a bit more before buying more stuff that I may end up just giving away later.

    • Faith Janes says

      It’s pretty tough to beat the feeling of blessing something else. I love how you say giving away the items we no longer need or want helps you to hold loosely to your belongings. That’s a great sentiment.

  4. I no longer get rid of my stuff through my own yard sales -too much time used in sorting, moving out to yard(at6am!), etc for $30 and still have boxes of unsold to tote to the Goodwill. Now, I collect stuff and give stuff to 3 local charity thrift stores or whatever local girl scout/ church/charity is having a yard sale. I just keep a box in the garage for this type stuff, when it is full, out the door to a charity it goes. Of course, I never give dirty or worn out or broken things. I try to give stuff I would be proud to own (again)

  5. StoneZebra says

    I’ve found FreeCycle to be a great way to get rid of things I no longer want or need and can’t/don’t have the time to take to a local thrift shop.

  6. I didn’t know about the Amazon trade-in program! I have boxes and boxes of kids books to donate. I’m definitely going to take advantage of this to unload the books. Thanks!!

  7. Interestingly those old, undesired CDs are starting to be of new value as people get tired of the low quality of the compressed music files that we listen to these days. Your itunes music uses a file that is just 10% of the original. The sound quality is greatly inferior. If you have decent speakers and actually pay attention you will learn to love those old CDs!

  8. Consigning is my favorite. I chose a kids consignment store that has easy access/nice parking/close to the freeway so that dropping things off is a breeze. I did the same for women’s clothes and housewares and have made good money at both places! Anything they don’t take I just drop off at a second hand shop nearby.

  9. you can sell your stuff here:


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