4 Easy ways to make money from your old stuff

Sarah Hughes

Britain is a nation of hoarders! In 2019, research found that the average UK adult has got unwanted goods worth £1,600 – collectively, that’s a huge £81.6 billion across the country. Millions of us simply never get round to getting rid of items we just never use - and could be sitting on a little goldmine as a result.

With people currently spending more time at home than ever, it’s likely that huge numbers of us are realizing just how many things we have and how cluttered our homes have become. It’s clear the nation is long overdue a good declutter. While the dump is always an option, why not give your old things a new home and make some money too? Are you drowning in gadgets? Have a wardrobe full of clothes you never wear? Can’t move in your living room? Then read on - here are 4 easy ways to make money from your old stuff.  

Sell Online

Everything’s digital these days, and if you’re looking at ways to sell your unwanted items, a great place to start is online. You’ve certainly got a lot of options, and with 185 million active buyers worldwide, eBay is a popular option. You can sell pretty much anything legal on there and registration is free. All you need is a good quality photo and a few pithy lines of description and you can hopefully watch people enter a bidding war to buy your goods. However, eBay do take a percentage when the sale is made – private sellers pay 10% of the final transaction value (up to a maximum of £250), so build it into your thinking. If you don’t want to part with a fee, Facebook Marketplace might be for you – you can access it through your existing account – just press the search icon and look for “Marketplace” and go from there. It’s free but you will need to sort a payment method out with the buyer yourself.

Car boot sales

A Great British Sunday tradition! Pay for a pitch (usually around a tenner), get up early and head out to a field and try and sell everything you can. Whatever you have to sell, it’s possible to find someone who will buy it at a car boot sale – often the more obscure the item, the better. Furniture, toys, old vinyl records and well-kept clothes usually do well. While you should keep your prices simple, it’s wise to mark up the prices a little bit, as some customers will want to haggle. Remember, this is stuff you don’t want, so be prepared to sell for less than you thought. On the other hand, the return on some items may give you a pleasant surprise! Of course, while there are no car boot sales at the moment due to the pandemic, as restrictions ease we’ll hopefully see them return over the summer. If you don’t want to wait, unsurprisingly there are online alternatives:  check out Online Car Booty who hold week-long virtual car boot sales from 3pm each Sunday.

Local ads

Placing a classified ad in a local newspaper or sticking a notice in a shop window or community notice board might seem old fashioned. But it is tried and tested, cheap and make no mistake, people do look! If you’re not very tech-savvy, this could be a good option for you. Obviously, if you are looking to sell a lot of small items at one time, this probably wouldn’t work, but if you’ve got a large piece of furniture, or maybe a single interesting item, give it a try. The process is simple – create a brief message detailing the item, leave an email address or a phone number, and wait for the buyers to contact you. Again, you’ll need to agree a method of payment or simply take cash.

Mobile phone specialists

Remember that hoarding study we mentioned at the beginning of this article? Well, it also found that 40% of Britons were guilty of keeping old mobiles stashed away! Look in that kitchen drawer (you know the one) and you’ll probably find a few devices you just didn’t want to chuck away when you upgraded to a new model. Thankfully, it is child’s play to make money from your old phones on the many sites that specialise in buying them. While it is better to do this as soon as you upgrade (old handsets do lose value as new ones hit the market), even older models have some value, and even the battered and broken can often be recycled for parts. You’ll find some excellent deals on price comparison sites such as sellmymobile.com; for example, you can compare how much you would get to sell Samsung s20 phone sets, iPhone 11s, Huawei P20 and many other popular models.

Make sure you’ve deleted all your contacts, messages and photos from the handset and if you have cloud storage on your mobile deal, ensure the device is no longer connected to it.

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