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The Tip Jar: 20 places to make money selling your unwanted stuff online

There's more out there than just eBay and Craigslist.
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This story is part of GoMN's 2017-18 Winter Guide.

I know spring is typically the season to clean and clear out your home – but I much prefer doing it during the fall before Christmas deluges our house with a pile of gifts.

If there's two things you need to know about me, it's that I hate untidiness and I love saving money – and my regular clear-outs give me an opportunity to do both.

But I have little interest in the effort required to organize and put on a yard sale, so I turn to the internet to make a little extra money selling my unwanted stuff.


– The Tip Jar: Ways to make extra cash with very little effort.

If you're inclined to do the same, these sites and apps should help you create little piece of uncluttered, feng shui bliss in your home.

Selling anything and everything

If you're looking for a one-stop-shop for selling whatever you've got online, below are some familiar names.

eBay: The forerunner of online sale websites, but it's one of the priciest. It charges a $0.30 fee to list an item and takes a 10 percent commission when you sell, but because of its auction style you can make more.

eBid: An auction rival to eBay that charges a much more reasonable commission fee of 3 percent maximum, but suffers in comparison by not having as many users (and, as such, prospective buyers) as eBay.

Amazon: One advantage is the item you're selling will appear in the "Used" section on the page of the same item sold new. However, there's a $0.99 fee to list an item, and Amazon then takes a cut of the sale ranging up to 15 percent depending on what you're selling.

Bonanza:This selling site is a place to get rid of your quirkier items, with the extraordinary selling better than any old junk.

Its fees are kinder than Amazon and eBay, charging 3.5 percent for an item sold for less than $500 and $17.50 plus 1.5 percent for anything over that. 

Craigslist:The ultimate site for free sales, with listing costing you nothing, and no commission taken out when you sell. That said, Craigslist sales are often face-to-face (if you're selling, say, furniture or a car) so safety is always a concern.

Facebook Marketplace: This offers the same free service as Craigslist with the added transparency of knowing who you're dealing with. Unlike Amazon or eBay, there's no protection/money back if the item you buy is faulty. 

Apps that let you sell for free locally

If you don't mind paying online giants sellers fees and don't want to mess around with postage, there are several apps out there that help you sell items locally.

It can mean a quick, cheap sale and you can set the price, albeit you don't have access to as big a market as you'd get with eBay or Craigslist. Here are three to check out.

5 Miles

Let Go 

Offer Up

Selling your phone, electronics

While you can sell your gadgets on the one-stop-shops like Facebook, Amazon and eBay, argues you're likely to get a better deal for your electronics by going to an independent, specialist selling site.

Head to these places to sell and buy gently-used gadgets:

Swappa – This is a retail exchange for people selling their cellphones and other devices. You sell directly to the buyer, rather than Swappa acting as an intermediary, so you can set the price. The sale isn't closed until the buyer has received the device and checked it's working.

NextWorth – This is a buyback site, so the company itself is making an offer for your device rather than you selling to someone else. That means you'll typically get a low offer compared to selling the item yourself, but it's a guaranteed sale and certainly convenient.

GazelleThis is another buyback site so expect to be lowballed. Gazelle buys your gadget from you, and in turn sells it on to buyers (making a hefty profit in the process).

Games, CDs, DVDs, Books

The following apps and websites are useful if you're tired of waiting for someone to make an offer, and want a simple way of getting rid of a lot of unwanted entertainment items fast.

These are all buyback companies, so don't use them expecting to make a fortune.

Decluttr– You can check out me using this app in the video at the top of this page. You use your phone to scan the barcode on your item and then it'll make you an offer. You then pack the items into a box 

It also accepts electronics, Lego and unwanted cellphones (it made an offer of $59 for my Samsung Galaxy S5 – better than the $0.30 it offered for a season of Battlestar Galactica).

Cash4Books– If you've just finished college and have a mountain of heavy textbooks in your possession, this app will make an offer for them.

But as textbooks are valuable even used, I'd still try and sell them first through sites like Craigslist, Amazon etc. where you can set your own price, or find some students to sell to.

Bookscouter – This is a great website for selling books, because it searches ALL buyback companies online and tells you which ones are offering money for your book – it certainly beats listing used books on Amazon for $0.01.


If you're someone with a trendier closet than me (ie. everyone), then the following sites can help you free up some space:

Tradesy: This site doesn't charge you to list, and lets you set your own price. It'll charge you 9 percent commission when you do sell, but this is cheaper compared to others.

Poshmark: A popular site that lets you sell, shop and even throw "online shopping parties" with friends. If you're selling, however, prepare for a stiff commission fee of 20 percent.

Material World:Works similarly to DeCluttr, Gazelle and NextWorth in that Material World makes an offer for your belongings – so expect to be lowballed. You can get paid in either cash or gift cards.

The Real Real: This site specializes in luxury, designer clothing and jewelry, which is authenticated before sale. For this reason you stand to make more from selling your clothes via the site, but Real Real will take a 30 percent commission.

This story is part of GoMN's 2017-18 Winter Guide.

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