Selling My Stuff For Cash. Is It Worth It?
Be it out of an attic, from the back of a closet or right from under your nose, we all have items loved and loathed that we want to cash in when we're in a pinch. Is it worth anything? Can I sell it? Let's consider the best way to answer these questions about your item.
What Is It Worth? Admittedly we have all had that dream about the curio or dresser standing tall on TV as the Antiques Roadshow announces, to our surprise, the estimate of the dust attractor soon to be pot of gold! But rarely is that the case, not that we are here to smash your dreams. Rather just a readjustment of expectations. If when selling an item we go in with unreal expectations then we'll soon find ourselves re-shelving the disappointment, or tossing it in the trash. Instead set out to do a little research on the item.
Don't start with eBay or other auction/classifieds sites. These are only good for getting a feel for what sells these days. Rather if you have an item of worth try using an antique and collectible price guide for getting a better idea of it's value. You will still want to undercut the price listed in a price guide because dealers, and others who are your potential buyers will want to turn a profit. If you have something that you know is really expensive then you may want to go with an appraiser, since that will run you almost $150 an hour. Otherwise it will be too expensive to have the item appraised.
If you have something of value that you think might interest a dealer, then go where the dealers are - an antique show! Take with you some pictures of your item and any other info you have. Ask around about the item and who would be interested, often looking near items of similarity to yours. Dealers often can tell if your item will be worth their time from a picture. If they bite then setup an appointment. Even if your item is large you sometimes need to just ask for them to visit your home.
We all love to get free stuff, but not on our dime. Skipping some of these steps and going unprepared could mean that our time, effort, or item will not pony up for us. In a sense we will have given it away for free.
Selling My Small Stuff On eBay. Start off with your item prep. Take all the needed pictures to accurately display your item, be sure to use a solid background so you can see the item well. Next write down for yourself dimensions, weight, wear, and features. Then use the advance search on eBay to see past auctions of this item. That will enable you to have an idea of what it sells for as well as shipping costs. Be careful not to underestimate your shipping costs.
Now make your listing, include as much information as possible. Also make your title something descriptive that will easily come up in a search. (e.g. "Blue Handled Right-Hand Scissors", not "!!Sharp Scissors!! FIND HERE! BUY NOW!") Always be prompt about answering questions about the item from potential buyers, giving any additional information you may have found since posting. Avoid the "reserve" price, most people are looking for a bargain. If you have an item that there are plenty of, then make sure you put a "fixed price" for someone who wants instant gratification.
Finally, never sell your items all together, you will lose more in bulk selling. When you sell individually you up the chances of shipping profit and bidding wars. Be patient, much of what gets sold will be on the last minute. This is because people don't want to up the price too soon in the bidding. Remember that if you don't do the research then you may end up giving that item away for such a low price that it is practically free.
Using Pawnshops To Get Money. When all else seems to fail try a pawnshop. They often will buy an item with the intent of selling it back to you for the price plus interest. So if your looking for some short term cash on loan then that may be a good route. Be sure to check your state's interest rate on pawning, as there may be better loan options to choose from a bank. Plus if you are bringing an item to a pawnshop and they already have a good bit of what you're offering, it is a good guess that they are not going to buy from you even at a decent price.
In conclusion, be smart and look for all the info on your item that you can get. For more fast ways to save and get money now, read our article 10 Ways To Save Fast.