How to make money from your clutter

Decluttering is a great way to clear your head as well as your house and many people say that it can be a liberating experience. 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 some of 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 it off your hands.

Decluttering is a fantastic way to boost your bank balance, whilst giving a new lease of life to items that you no longer use. So 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 and the site will take a ten per cent cut of each item you sell.

2. Amazon Marketplace - Best for books and DVDs

pile of 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 e.g. 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 and DVDs this is 15%.

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 e.g. 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!

Cost: Free

4. Facebook Marketplace - Best for beauty products

make up

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.

Cost: Free

5. Car boot sales - Best for unusual bits and bobs

vintage second hand shop

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 their 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 offer a fast and easy comparison service to ensure you’re getting the best deal on your old handset. 

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 your 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.

Have you had success with clearing your clutter? Email us your tips and suggestions at [email protected]. We always love to hear from our Rest Less readers!

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13 thoughts on “How to make money from your clutter

  1. Avatar
    Fiona Humphrey on Reply

    If you have a lot of stuff to get rid of, consider auctions. I had masses of items from emptying my mum’s house which was too time consuming to list all on the various websites. I went several times to off load stuff and it made me a few pennies without having to list & send. Obviously they take a % but it saved time.

  2. Avatar
    Tess on Reply

    If you can’t sell it, consider RECYCLING – Sites like ‘ freecycle’ and ‘trash nothing’ are great for just giving away items that you have no use for but others do. It’s so much better than binning things to fill landfill sites. Charity shops are good too as they will take most things large or small and our local recycling centre (dump) also has a furniture shop.

  3. Avatar
    Lynda Hampton on Reply

    Carbooting is how I top up my pension! Hard work but it works.
    Be patient with people and items. People will try and knock you down whatever the prices are, don’t give in too much, there’s always another day! To get you started de clutter your home, and people often give you things. Eventually people will give it to you rather than take it to the charity shop, here the actual actual charity gets very little, it’s just another business.

  4. Avatar
    Nicky. Dorset on Reply

    I really enjoy receiving the emails from you, I find them interesting, informative & some inspirational ideas too! Thanks.

  5. Avatar
    Carolyn Copping on Reply

    We just had a massive clear out of our garage tools. Big power nailers and angle grinders and the like. Hubby and I decided there was no way we were going to get involved with any more DIY at that level. We sold it in lots on Facebook marketplace and it went super quickly. Many things had hundreds of views so we reached a lot of local people.

  6. Avatar
    JO on Reply

    I am going to try and sell some things in some of the ways you have suggested – my trouble is in parting with some things !
    You have made me realise I must get on and do this, if I am ever going to have a tidy house again !

  7. Avatar
    Gerti Roxborough on Reply

    Hi, thanks for the information given. Decluttering is so difficult at the best of times. Now the next step is getting on with it. Your information is just what I needed, knowing what to sell where. Most grateful!

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