How to Find Money in Your House

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What’s the only thing better than having an uncluttered house? That’s easy: Cutting out the clutter and getting paid to do it!

Every house gets a little overrun with extra stuff now and then. Did you know selling things you no longer (or never did) need is easier than ever? From garage sales to web posting, there are endless ways of turning clutter into cash, often without ever leaving your home.

Here are some tips to get you started.

Selling on the Web

There are all kinds of ways to do this nowadays—and it’s never been easier. Not only is it easier to fit into your schedule than lugging your items to a flea market or consignment sale, it also opens you to far more potential customers. Here are some tactics:

  • Include well-lit, high-quality photos of your items. Most shoppers won’t even consider buying something without a picture or two. Smartphones make this a breeze, and you can usually upload pics directly to sale sites with apps.
     
  • Look around the web for similar items to get a sense of fair pricing.
     
  • Think about shipping ahead of time and decide whether you plan to charge customers for that cost. If you will, find out how much the actual shipping cost will be (as close as possible), and include that amount when figuring up prices.

And speaking of prices . . .

Don’t Overprice Your Stuff

We all know one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. But don’t take that old saying too literally. Your old records aren’t actually gold-plated, and no one’s going to pay top dollar for them either.

Feeling unsure about how much to ask for something? Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Imagine wanting to buy it, and ask yourself how much you’d realistically spend on it.

As you think about that, keep your goals in mind—clearing out junk and bringing in extra money. Making back however much you originally paid for your items is neither realistic, nor is it the goal of your sale.

It’s also a good idea to settle in your mind just how low you’re willing to go should you run into a hard bargainer. You’re especially likely to meet thrifty shoppers if you host a yard sale. The advantage of knowing the minimum price you can accept on an item is that it helps you avoid underselling anything in the heat of the haggling moment.

Be as Accessible as Possible

This maxim holds true both for online selling and yard or garage sales.

If the internet’s your venue, there’s virtually no limit to your virtual marketplace. So don’t hold back on the options. At the very least, post a general announcement about your fire sale on every social media platform in your repertoire. Then consider making individual posts for certain items you expect to be particularly sellable.

Beyond your own personal accounts, don’t forget to add notices with pictures to eBay, your area Craigslist, and any local-only Facebook groups for buying, selling and trading. These are all great and easy ways to maximize exposure and get plenty of eyeballs on your items.

If you’re hawking your stuff in front of your house, accessibility is just as important. The more people you can lure to your door, the better your chances of earning some extra cash. With that in mind, here are some thoughts on catching the attention of would-be yard-salers:

  • Recall how hard it is to read small words when you’re driving.
     
  • Make big signs that are simple to read.
     
  • Use the word “SALE” on your sign, along with an arrow pointing to your house. Be sure to include the address—and make that part gigantic as well.
     
  • Feel free to post several signs throughout your neighborhood or at street corners around your sale.

Timing Is Key for a Yard Sale

Because many people are paid at month’s end, holding your yard or garage sale at the beginning of the month is a smart idea. Two other factors to keep an eye on are the weather and the calendar. Rain or holidays could slow down business.

What if You Don’t Have a Yard?

If you’re in an apartment or lack the curb appeal to bring in a ton of yard sale business, never fear. The multifamily yard sale is your ideal solution! Just contact several other friends and families looking to make some money and figure out who’s got the best place to host. This not only solves your space need, it also lets you and the other sellers split the work on promotions and displaying your wares. Everyone can set up their own tables for deals and payments.

Bring Kids Into the Picture

Two guaranteed ways to drive traffic to your sale? The cute faces of kids and the opportunity to buy something delicious from them! Get your kids in on the fun of your yard sale by having them sell baked goods at their own table. A lemonade stand is another option.

Don’t let clutter crowd your home, when you could be using it to take big steps toward your financial goals. With the right approach, you could rake in the extra money you need to pay off another debt in your debt snowball or finish building your emergency fund.