How To

Spring Cleaning: How to Turn Junk into Cash [Video]

A few years ago I bought a pair of designer pumps…just because. It was an impulse purchase I made while very pregnant. Since shoes were the only articles of clothing that still fit in my original size, I decided they were worth the splurge. I wanted to make myself feel better. (We all make mistakes.)

While, they cost me more than $500 and I only wore them once, the good news is that I was able to sell them for more than $200 a year later. No more having those shoes sit in my closet collecting dust, staring at me and judging…as if to say, “What were you thinking, Farnoosh?”

With spring upon us, now is a smart time to take inventory of all the “shtuff” we have lying around the house that isn’t bringing us any joy or usefulness. What can you live without? What’s truly run its course?

My rule of thumb: If you discover something, say, an article of clothing, a tool, a gadget, that you FORGOT you even owned because it’s been at least two years since you used it, it’s most likely worth tossing.

But before you fill up those recycling bags, know that some of your trash is another person’s treasure, for which they are willing to pay good money.

Here’s a round up of a few websites and apps that can help you turn your clutter into cash.

No use for your smartphone? Try Gazelle

Just upgraded your iPhone to the newest model? You may be able to sell your old one online using Gazelle.com, a trade-in site for consumer electronics. There you can sell Apple and Android devices for quick cash. Find out how much your device is worth by answering a few questions on the site. If you decide to sell it, you can ship it to Gazelle for free (as long as the item’s worth $1 or more). You can choose to cash in via check, Amazon.com gift cards or Paypal.

Gazelle also has ecoATM kiosks, automated machines in malls, large retailers and grocery stores, where you can instantly earn cash for your unwanted tablets and smartphones.

According to the company, the sooner you sell, the better, as your phone’s depreciation is largely based on its age. The site says sellers can earn the most for the newest generation, highest GB, unlocked iPhones and Samsung devices.

Below is a list of values for mostly Apple devices. Samsung phones follow a similar path of depreciation, but slightly more aggressive since Android devices don’t hold their values as much as Apple devices, according to the company.

Kiosk (Gazelle ecoATM) – Good Condition

iPhone 6s: $165

iPhone 6: $120

iPhone 5s: $45

iPhone 5: $40

Online (Gazelle.com) – Good Condition

iPhone 6s: $245

iPhone 6: $170

iPhone 5s: $80

iPhone 5: $50

Old camera collecting dust? Hit up NextWorth

For various other devices and electronics lying around your house, including smartphones, tablets, video games, action cameras, wearables, and portable audio devices like mp3 players, try selling through NextWorth.com. Like, Gazelle, you can get an instant quote for your gadget after answering a series of questions.  Nextworth also provides free shipping, tracking, insurance, and personalized updates for every item that is sent.

Once your electronic arrives, the site begins processing the device. Once approved, sellers receive an email verification and are paid within a week through PayPal or via check.

No need for that fancy dress or designer handbag hiding in your closet? Sell at Tradesy and TheRealReal

Is your closet overflowing with high end clothes you haven’t worn in years? A number of upscale fashion resale websites let us cash in on our old duds.

At Tradesy.com, the fashion resale site says sellers can earn, on average, a little more than 50% of the original retail price of an item, depending on the category and brand. In some cases, designer bags resale for the same or more than retail price. Most clothing resells for about 30% of its retail price.

Over at TheRealReal.com, popular items to sell include designer handbags, shoes, clothing and accessories. All handbags can be priced up to 90% of the original retail cost, though the item’s condition and newness (i.e. how recent it is) play a big part in the resale value. The most popular handbag designers on the site include Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, and Prada. Items that are either in pristine or very good condition will always have a higher resale value.

Fine jewelry is also a big category on TheRealReal. The average earnings for selling fancy bobbles is over $2,100.

For every day clothes, visit ThredUp and Poshmark

thredUP is a popular site to sell everyday clothing, shoes and handbgs. How it works: thredUp sends you “Clean Out” bag with a prepaid shipping label. Fill it up with items that are still in great condition and bought new in the last five years. Leave it on your doorstop for USPS pick up.

From there, thredUP processes the bag, takes photos, determines pricing and takes care of the merchandising. Kathleen Weng, VP of Merchandising, says thredUP accepts about 50% of what’s sent it.

Make money once your items(s) gets sold, earning up to 80% of the selling price. The top 5 mainstream brands on thredUP include Ann Taylor, J. Crew, Banana Republic, Gap, H&M.

For new and gently worn non-luxury items, you can also try selling on Poshmark. There, clothing sells for an average of $30 and up, accessories for an average of $55 and up, and shoes for an average of $35 and up. Brands such as Ugg, Nike, The North Face and Michael Kors are some of the most popular on Poshmark.

Got old CDs, DVDs, games and books? Head to Decluttr.com

Your old school collection of CDs and DVDs may be sentimental, but do you even have a way of listening or watching them with a Discman or DVD player?

To cash in, consider Decluttr, which is completely free, including the shipping. Just enter your items into the site, or scan them using Decluttr’s free app and receive an instant quote.

The site says you can usually get your money the day after the company receives the items. You can choose to get paid via PayPal, check or direct deposit. You can even donate to a charity using your sales.

 

Have a question for Farnoosh? You can submit your questions via Twitter @Farnoosh, Facebook or email at farnoosh@farnoosh.tv (please note “Mint Blog” in the subject line).

Farnoosh Torabi is America’s leading personal finance authority hooked on helping Americans live their richest, happiest lives. From her early days reporting for Money Magazine to now hosting a primetime series on CNBC and writing monthly for O, The Oprah Magazine, she’s become our favorite go-to money expert and friend.