Decluttering can be a great way to clear your head as well as your house, and during these difficult times, it could give your finances a valuable boost too.
It’s amazing how much simpler life becomes once you remove all the stuff you no longer want or need from your life.
The trickier bit can be deciding how to get rid of your clutter, especially if you paid good money for it. However, there’s a lot of truth to be found in the saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” because there’s nearly always someone out there who will pay to take the things you don’t want off your hands.
Decluttering is a fantastic way to bring in a bit of extra cash and give a new lease of life to items that you no longer use. We’ve handpicked five effective tools that you can use to make money from your clutter – why not give it a try?
1. Ebay - Best for electronics
When we upgrade things like laptops and mobile phones, it’s easy to stash away old versions, often thinking that you paid too much money for it to simply throw it away. But the good news is, you don’t have to!
Buying brand new electronic devices can be pretty pricey, which is why so many people are happy to settle for a second-hand device instead. eBay is a great way to shift electronics that are in all sorts of conditions – from not working through to brand new – just so long as you’re completely honest about it.
You can choose to auction your items if you’re feeling adventurous, or use the ‘Buy it Now’ option to set a fixed price – it’s worth having a look on site at items similar to the ones you want to sell. This will give you a better idea about which of these is more likely to lead to a successful sale.
Cost: It’s free to list up to 1,000 items a month. You’ll be charged 35p per listing if you exceed this allowance. When an item sells, you’ll be charged a final value fee which is calculated as 12.8% of the total amount of the sale (which includes the item price, postage, taxes and any other applicable fees), plus a fixed charge of 30p per order. If the total amount of the sale is over £2,500 for a single item, you’ll pay 3% for the portion of the sale price above £2,500.
2. Amazon Marketplace - Best for books and DVDs
With Kindles and online movie streaming becoming increasingly popular, it’s understandable that you may no longer want or need to keep huge book or DVD collections.
Things like textbooks and higher quality DVDs (4K Ultra HD or Blu-ray) will often sell extremely well on Amazon. Many people don’t feel the need to pay the full price for a brand new copy, especially if they plan to watch/read it a few times and then pass it on themselves. So before you assume that your books and DVDs aren’t worth anything, try looking them up on Amazon to see how much second-hand copies are being sold for – you might be surprised!
Cost: Amazon charges 75p per item sold, plus a small cut of each item sold – for books with a sale price over £5 and DVDs this is 15.3%, falling to 5.1% for books with a sale price lower than £5.
3. Gumtree - Best for furniture
Gumtree is the perfect place to sell large furniture items to people in your area. There are plenty of people out there who only buy second-hand furniture – either to use as it is, or to fix up if it’s looking a little shabby. So whatever the condition of your furniture, your chances of making a sale are pretty good.
It’s up to you to decide how you want the buyer to pay – cash, PayPal, cheque, etc. – and how the item will be delivered. Usually the buyer comes to collect the furniture from you at an agreed location, or the seller delivers it themselves in exchange for a fee. However, when arranging to meet up with a buyer, you should always make sure someone else is with you and never give out your bank details, as you can never be too careful.
4. Facebook Marketplace - Best for beauty products
If you’ve got unopened beauty products that you know you’ll never use, then consider listing them on Facebook Marketplace. It’s a great tool for selling to people in your local community, as buyers can search for the products being sold nearby and offer to collect them in person.
With many of us now spending so much time on social media, Facebook has become a hotspot for impulse buying – which means it’s a great place to shift your clutter quickly. As long as the items you want to sell are unopened, there’s no reason why someone won’t want to bag their favourite beauty products at a discounted price.
5. Car boot sales - Best for unusual bits and bobs
People usually head to car boot sales in search of hidden treasure – and to be honest, at a car boot sale, anything goes! Whether you’ve got an old service uniform, miscellaneous ornaments or an old tea set – there’s often someone out there who will buy your bits and bobs out of nostalgia, or even just for fun.
Clothes are also a big hit at car boot sales – no matter what decade your clothes are from, they’ll often sell, especially with vintage clothes being so on-trend at the moment.
So if you don’t fancy selling online and you’d rather get out in the fresh air amongst other sellers, then why not get yourself to a car boot sale?
Cost: There is sometimes a fee for your pitch – prices will vary depending on which car boot sale you decide to sell at.
6. SellMyMobile.com - Best for mobile phones
The market for second-hand phones has boomed in recent years as people are looking to save money whilst protecting the environment and re-using more. But how many old phones do you have stashed away as a backup? With new models being released all the time, the old handsets in your drawer lose value the longer you hold on to them. Only allow yourself to keep one spare mobile phone if you feel you need to and trade in anything extra for cash – you’ll be glad you did when you find yourself with more space and more money.
If you’re looking for somewhere to start then SellMyMobile.com offers a fast and easy comparison service to ensure you’re getting the best deal on your old handset.
Cost: the site is free to use.
7. iPad-Recycle.co.uk - Best for old iPads
If you’ve got an old iPad hanging around that you no longer use, you might be able to get some cash for it.
The iPad-Recycle website has more than 3,750 ‘Excellent’ reviews on Trustpilot, and will pay you for your old iPad on the same day it is received. Most generations of iPads can be traded in, from the second-generation iPad to the latest generation iPad Pro, although the older the iPad, the less you’ll get for it. It’s simple to send your iPad off. All you need to do is find your particular iPad on the site, select the condition it’s in and click ‘recycle now’. Once you’ve filled in the required details online, you can print off a label or wait for a postage pack to send your iPad off in.
The site will notify you on the morning it receives and tests your iPad, and you should receive your payment by bank transfer that day.
Cost: The site is free to use.
8. Vinted.co.uk - Best for old clothes
If you’d rather sell your clothes online than at a car boot sale, the Vinted app is well worth a look. It can be downloaded for free and once you have it, you take photos of your item, upload it with a description, and set your price. When it sells, your buyer will also cover the shipping costs. The site makes its money by charging a buyer protection fee on items bought through the site, which only buyers and not sellers have to pay.
Any money you receive from buyers is held in your Vinted balance, which you can withdraw to your bank account when the purchase has been completed. As well as selling clothes, you can advertise children’s toys, furniture, and childcare equipment, new cosmetics, perfumes, and other beauty products or gadgets, along with textiles, tableware, and home accessories. If you’re looking to buy clothes but want to keep costs down, our article 19 ways to cut clothing costs has lots of useful tips.
Cost: The Vinted app is free to use.
A few extra tips…
- Try to find a compromise between your commitment to sell an item and your desire to make money from it. There’s no point in pricing your item so high that it will never sell, but at the same time if the item is priced too low, then there almost becomes little point in selling it. Balance is key.
- Keep an eye on the prices that other second-hand items like yours are selling for, and try to make your price a tiny bit lower. Even if your item is 10p cheaper than someone else’s, then you’ll be in with a better chance of selling it.
- Always be honest about the condition of the item you’re selling, and if there’s any damage, give specific details. Many people will overlook a little bit of wear and tear if it’s mentioned, but could be disappointed if they receive an item and it’s not what they expected. This could lead to you getting negative reviews and hurt your chances of making sales in the future, so it’s best to be straightforward about any faults.