Two Steps to Turning Your Old Junk into Money

In these hard times, you might be looking to get some extra money. And while going out and getting a second job or mowing lawns on the side may get you some extra dough, you may be overlooking hundreds if not thousands of dollars in “junk” right in your own home.

The question is, what is the easiest and fastest way to taking all that stuff and cashing it in?

Well, let me give you two steps to making that happen.

1. Hold a “profitable” garage (or estate) sale

Now I know that anyone can hold a garage sale. But the difference between doing it the way most people do it, and doing it the “right” way are completely different. Most people just pile some stuff out on the driveway or lawn, maybe put out a couple of signs, and that’s it. But this is a huge mistake, and will cost you a lot.

So here’s what you need to do. Start off by identifying the closes streets to you that have lots of traffic going by. Put your signs out there. Make sure to use a background that has a flashy color. A pink piece of poster board on a cardboard box with magic marker writing saying “Garage Sale ->” gets their attention, but also doesn’t look like a business, which will attract a lot of passers by.

Put an ad in the paper under the Garage Sales section. Just list the address, the genre of items you are selling, and the dates and times. The earlier you can start your garage sale, the better.

Then, make sure you have all of the items laid out to where they all can be clearly seen by your shoppers. Make sure that you mark every item with a price tag. This is supremely important, many shoppers want to know about your prices before they even talk to you, if you don’t have them marked, you’ll lose loads of people. Also, don’t put too high or too low of a price on your stuff. People go to garage sales for deals, so price accordingly, but don’t give the farm away.

Then, just be friendly, helpful, and negotiate with your shoppers. You’re sure to make some good money this way.

2. Sell the remainder of your quality items on eBay or Craigslist

There will likely be several items that you don’t want to sell in the garage sale, or will not want to negotiate down too much to sell, because you know they are high quality, valuable items.

In this case, you can sell them individually through eBay or Craigslist. Craigslist is free, so you may want to start there. Just give a good, thorough description of your item, upload lots of pictures of it, and name your price. After a week or two, if you didn’t get any bites, reevaluate the price, or list the item on eBay.

With eBay, you’ll have to pay a little bit upfront to do the listing (as well as some after the sale as well), but you’ll be able to take advantage of the national market, instead of just your local market (like with Craigslist). The first key to selling on eBay is accurately identifying your item, writing a good lengthy description, and add lots of images.

Here’s the second key to eBay. Start your listing at $1, and don’t put a reserve on it. I know this is a little bit risky, but you pay a lot less up front, and most importantly, you get people bidding on the item. I can’t stress this enough. People are emotional, and once they start bidding on your item, it will become a “I must beat the guy that keeps out bidding me”, instead of “I am going for the best price possible”. Emotion leads to irrational decisions, which in this case, puts more money in your pocket.

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