money·3 min read

Selling Stuff Online: How to Find Extra Cash in Your Closet

sell your stuff online
Design: theSkimm | Photo: Getty
Jan 21, 2022

Want some extra cash? Or more space in your home? Get both by selling your stuff online. Especially if you’ve recently dabbled in impulse shopping, changed your style, or want to update your wardrobe, you could find a gold mine in your closet.

Right. But can’t I just throw that stuff out?

You could. But selling unused or unwanted items is kinder on the planet. And your budget. Extra credit: donating to organizations or thrift stores offers an opportunity to give back to your community. Plus, you can earn a tax deduction while you’re at it. (More on that later.)

Okay, so Amazon, eBay? Places like that?

Yes, online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay are great resources for selling just about anything from clothes to coffee tables. A few other sites to consider when you’re looking to list:

  • Facebook Marketplace. Use your network to make some cash. Sell apparel, furniture, accessories, and more. Skip the hassle — and cost — of shipping by asking local buyers to pick up their purchases.

  • OfferUp. Since merging with selling app letgo, OfferUp prides itself on being one of the simplest reselling apps, claiming you can start selling your items just one minute after downloading. Listings vary from pet supplies to sporting goods and everything in between. OfferUp does charge a service fee for shipped items — either a minimum of $1.99 or 12.9% of the sale price. So factor that into your asking price.

  • Poshmark. A great resource for clearing out your closet, Poshmark is best known for clothing sales, but you can list other items too like fashion accessories and beauty products. You can list and sell items straight from your phone or the desktop site. As the seller, you keep 80% of the sales price for items over $15. Poshmark charges a flat $2.95 fee for smaller sales.

  • The RealReal. Who said your designer bags weren’t a good investment? The RealReal is a members-only luxury consignment site where you can resell gently-loved watches, handbags, fashion, and jewelry. After sending in or dropping off your items in store, The RealReal’s experts decide which items they’ll accept and how to price them. Your cut of the sales depends on how much each item is worth — with bigger payouts for more expensive items. 

What about donating?

If the resale value of your items isn’t worthwhile, donating makes a solid option  — with potential tax benefits. If you itemize, you can deduct the value of donated items from your taxes. Just make sure the recipient is a qualified organization (think: nonprofit) and be ready to show receipts if the value exceeds $250. You can estimate the value of your goods with a chart like this one from Goodwill.

I’ve sold my stuff. Now what?

Unless you plan to replace certain items you sold, take a beat before going on a shopping spree with your earnings. An extra $100 can go a long way toward other financial goals. Consider investing it or dropping it into a sinking fund if you have a big expense (like a medical procedure, new tires, or pet needs) coming up.

theSkimm

Selling your stuff online takes time and effort, but can be worth the extra space in your closet and cash in your wallet. Plus, finding ways to give your goods a new home can keep them out of a landfill a little longer. Win-win-win.


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