If you're someone that's never been short on cash — congrats! But that's likely not the case for many of us. Going through a divorce after being married for 20+ years has been a financial reality check for me. I've always worked, but I was not prepared for the cost of the divorce, swinging a mortgage on my own and tackling a car loan to boot. Not to mention — my health insurance was through my husband's job.
So — I get it.
In the aftermath of it all — I've been cleaning out the garage, the attic and every closet and cubby in the house. Through this experience, it's glaringly obvious I have too much stuff. Sure, it all fits in this house, but I do not need all of it? So, the sorting and selling and donating begins. I didn't and don't have a lot of spare time, but this can all be done at whatever pace you like.
The objective is to not only have a fresh start and more space — but to also find household items to sell for quick cash for an emergency fund.
It got me thinking — what are some of the best ways to make quick cash? Here's what I've discovered about selling my stuff.
12 Things to Sell to Make Quick Cash
1. Photos and Images (Easy Things to Sell)
I grew up in a time where digital photos were not a thing. These days though — taking pictures is on a whole new level. The majority of people have cellphones, so taking a picture no longer requires a camera, film and developing.
Along with picture-taking convenience, is the ability to sell pictures online. I've written an entire post on where you can sell photos online. Many of them pay a commission each and every time your image is downloaded. It may end up not being much money, but it's certainly worth trying. You don't have to be a professional photographer either! Images are easy things to sell too in the respect that it's digital… no lugging anything or dealing with people in person.
2. Rare VHS and DVD Movies
OH, how I wished I'd saved my kids' Disney movie collection. We had them ALL. I simply got rid of them when the kids got older. It makes me think back to when I was little and my Mom's basement was filled with albums from the 50's and 60's. Johnny Cash and Elvis… she got rid of all of them. I'm sure she could have sold all those albums for a few $100.
You might not get rich from selling old VHS and DVD movies — but many do sell on eBay and elsewhere. It's worth it to dig them out and try if you no longer want them.
You might as well throw video games into this lot too. My son kept many of his Xbox games. I had them stored here for him since he's in the military. One day he called me and I was sorting through things in the garage. We spent the next 30 minutes on a facetime call going through his video games. I either sold or donated them and sent my son his proceeds from the sales!
3. Record Player
Just like Mom's old albums, a record player seems to fetch a good price too. I'm actually a person that's considering buying a record player and beginning an album collection. This is what had me thinking about this. While looking around at prices, I saw everything from $38 to $600!
Maybe you inherited one from your parents or grandparents and don't even use it. It might be worth selling if it doesn't have sentimental value or is never used.
And speaking of music — musical instruments are a good idea for selling too. I made easy money from selling a piano back in my twenties. It was this upright that wasn't even tuned.
Old electronics (not just record players) in general are something to consider selling if you're wanting to get rid of them. Offering a good deal can mean freeing up space and extra cash for you.
4. Scrap Metal
I had an old dryer in my garage for years. Over 8 years to be exact. While cleaning and organizing, I thought — why have I held on to this all these years? I guess at some point, I thought I'd have it repaired and use it. I'd sold the washer that came with the set. I've been using the washer and dryer that came with the house when I bought it. So, it had just been occupying enough space in my garage that I could not park my car in there.
I could have scraped the dryer and gotten around $20 for it. Good to know if you have an old appliance. BUT, I instead invested money in repairing it and sold it. I pocketed $50. If the repairs had been more, it would have been worth it to just scrap it. Maybe you've got an old, broken or unused appliance too? Scraping it is an easy way to get it out of your way and pocket some cash.
If you're up for it and have a truck, you could offer to haul away old broken appliances and pocket the money you get for the scrap metal.
5. Giving Your Opinion
Yes, there are many online surveys that want your opinion. And yes, you can make cash on these sites. I've got a whole list of survey sites that I use to make around $325 a month. BUT — have you thought about focus groups? And I don't even mean “in person” focus groups. I mean ONLINE focus groups that can pay up to $140?! I've made some really nice extra cash with Respondent. I was actually kind of blown away.
You'll find a big list of focus groups here on my site to help you get started.
6. Kids Toys are ALWAYS Popular Things to Sell Around the House
Can we talk Legos? While beginning my attic clear out, I cannot tell you the abundance of Legos I came across. BINS and BINS of Legos. And, an unopened Star Wars Millennium Falcon set. I always thought I'd save these for my own grandchildren (….when I have them. I'm not a grandparent yet). For now, I have set them aside to save. I don't have the heart to get rid of them just yet.
BUT, if you have kids toys you no longer use or want, they will typically sell, if they're in decent condition. I'd held on to a two seat tricycle my Mom bought at a yard sell for my son back in 1995! The seat was torn and it was a bit rusty. I'd been storing it in the crawl space of the house. I sold it for $110!!
Think about the toys you have that are just rusting or collecting dust. If there isn't sentimental value, consider researching what it's worth. You might be surprised and be happy to find their is good money to be made by selling.
Toys seem to always be a good option for reselling.
Maybe I sound like a hoarder at this point? I'm not. I'm actually pretty OCD about keeping things organized. But the divorce made me not only HAVE to go through things, but it made me much more aware of how much I crave a simpler, leaner and financially secure life.
Peace of mind is my goal in all of this. An emergency fund. The things I've sold or donated simply cannot provide me with peace or financial security.
Which comes to my next item, smartphones. I have saved every edition of the Apple iPhone since they were marketed. I don't know why. I kept these old phones in their original boxes, with their charges and earbuds (if they had them). The collection does not take up a lot of space (a shelf in a pie safe).
Why was I saving them? I can't answer that. I really don't know, other than when I upgraded, I just put the old cell phone back in it's box when I got the new one. And that was that. I wasn't a collector or anything.
So — you guessed it. I sold them. The pie safe shelf is cleared out. Depending on the phone you have, will vary on what you get for it. But if you're not a collector — consider getting rid of all your old smartphones that you have laying around.
Did I sell my wedding ring after the divorce? No. I can't bring myself to do it just yet. Maybe I will. Or maybe I will have it turned into something else. Or maybe I'll give it to my son or daughter. I don't know. I believe these types of things carry energy. So, that being said — do I want to pass on “divorce” energy?
But — if I do decide to sell it down the road, it could be a nice lump of cash for my emergency fund. If your pieces aren't sentimental — why not? Gold is always worth something. Throw in some diamonds… and you might fetch a few hundred dollars.
9. Vintage Household Items to Sell for Quick Cash
Honestly, I'm not sure why I listed this. We ALL know vintage items are usually worth something if there are collectors for it. I sold a vintage set of cookbooks. I had no clue it was something anyone would want. A quick search on eBay and voila! I had the entire set of “The Southern Heritage” cookbooks from 1985.
I hadn't opened these books in 30 years. I made $100 selling them to a neighbor. This is definitely an example of things to sell around the house.
If it's super old, in decent condition — someone out there might just want it!
10. Unused Gift Cards
Ever gotten a gift card you know you won't use? I typically re-gift these. But if you don't want to do that, you can sell them. I used to use a site called Cardpool, but they aren't around any longer. I do have a list of sites that buy unused gift cards.
This is a great idea for getting rid of those gift cards you've thrown in a drawer or are taking up space in your wallet.
11. Strollers and Baby Gear
I don't have any experience in reselling strollers, but after researching it a bit, these are certainly something to consider if you have one sitting around you don't need anymore. If it's well cared for, you can probably make some cash from it. There are fancy-dancy strollers that will bring in a lot more too. But generally, a stroller in good condition can find a new home.
This goes for baby items too. Consignment shops for baby items are in almost every town. Bring your items washed and folded and in season. Some will be winners and some won't. But hey, you tried and you might pocket extra cash for things that you no longer needed. This in turn makes them an affordable option for other parents. Win-Win.
And as a side note — though not “baby” gear — camping gear is something that a lot of people want, but can't afford. Finding used tents, stoves, hammocks etc, are in high demand. If you're no longer the camping/hiking person you used to be, this could mean extra cash!
12. Websites and Domain Names
I've been dabbling in websites and domain names since the mid-90's. This blog you're reading was created in 1999. If I'd known then, what I know now! I own several domain names. And I've sold a few over the years. I've never sold a website, but I have gotten many offers for this one over the years. One offer in particular in early 2011 is one I somewhat regret. A very large brand on the internet offered to buy MoneyMakingMommy.com. I turned them down. Coulda, woulda, shoulda.
If you own domain names you aren't using, have them appraised. Put them up for sale. Got a website you created and really don't want to hassle with anymore? Consider throwing it on the market. I find the best way to do this is with sites like Dan.com. Dan and Flippa are great places for selling domains and websites.
Selling Stuff in General
Selling stuff you no longer use or want is a great way to make cash. Sometimes, just having a yard sale can make the whole process easy. If your neighborhood does a yearly yard sale, this can mean mega traffic and lots of eyeballs on your stuff. Ask family members if they wanna pitch in and bring some items to sell too.
Consider flea markets , a local, reputable pawn shop, local consignment shops, an online marketplace (Examples: Facebook marketplace and Facebook groups) or an online platform, like Poshmark.
If you choose a route like Craigslist (I sold an office chair this way.) Always remember to be safe. Meet out in public and it's best to bring a friend. Craigslist can certainly be a good place to sell, just be super careful out there!
If you have so much stuff you're overwhelmed and don't know where to begin — start small. A closet. This is what I did. I moved from closets to book shelves, to junk drawers and then a spare room. After that, I sectioned off my garage and did a section a weekend. Yeah, you can tackle your entire house — I admire those that can. But bite size pieces worked best for me.
Some have made a full time side hustle out of reselling. If you find you love the whole process, this could be a career move for you! Start by using your free time to flip and sell. Or — maybe look into homemade things to sell like candles, soaps, digital printables and more!
One More Idea for Selling
I realize we're focused on tangible items in this post — but just some food for thought here. Don't forget your brain! Yes, your brain. There are many things you can sell that come right from your mind. Below are a few things to consider.
- Virtual Assistant – I have a list of companies that hire virtual assistants.
- Create and sell an online course.
- Help business owners manage social media accounts.
- Become a microworker and earn extra cash doing data entry and other online tasks,
- Take surveys offered online through sites like Survey Junkie and PaidViewPoint.
- Create an online business through platforms like Etsy. Here's an idea for selling cute mugs on Etsy!
- Create your own website.
- Create a YouTube Channel
- Teach the English language online to Chinese students – sites like Magic Ears are hiring.