Unexpected car repairs, an appliance on the fritz, a looming utility bill: life happens. And when it happens, it so very often ends up costing us beaucoup bucks. That pinch can leave you curled up into a ball in shock over the dent left in your savings account. Or, for many of us, wondering how you're going to pay that bill at all. So if you find yourself hitting the old search engine asking, "What can I sell to make money?" rest assured, first, that you're not alone. And second, read on! We've got you covered.
How can selling your possessions help you earn money?
Selling what you already have just laying around the house is a quick, convenient way to put cash in your hand and comfort in your pocket and maybe even germinate the seed of an idea in your biz brain. After all, what if you not only make a few bucks but also end up enjoying yourself along the way? Selling clothes and other used items can put you onto the path of a pretty lucrative side hustle or, who knows, maybe your own consignment shop or antiques store.
At the very least, the process of evaluating what you need and what you don't and purging those unnecessary items will help you make a buck while also feeding your confidence. Because, yeah, you're in a pinch. But you can totally get yourself out of it.
What do I own that I can sell?
Both consignment shops and online markets like Etsy love the vintage and the antique. If you happen to have a collection of your great grandmother's lacy gloves or a couple of your grandfather's shirts, keep your favorites and send the rest on to new, happy homes. More expensive items will do well at higher-end shops, both online and in-person, so focus on designer names and labels first.
When it comes to wondering "What can I sell to make money?" you might just be sitting on the answer. After all, you only need so many chairs. Give yourself a little more floor space for you next feng shui re-arrangement, while also feeding the old savings account. Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are both excellent places to start. Don't forget lamps and artwork, too!
From textbooks to paperbacks, your old books can find new homes and make you a little scratch along the way. Amazon is a prime place to start for general titles. For rare or vintage titles or specialty books, check out sites with more of a niche, like Textbooks.com. This site is perfect if you've got a lot of primo old textbooks at home just weighing down a shelf.
There are movie nuts out there willing to shell out anything from five bucks to $100 for early or limited editions of movies on VHS. You read that right. VHS — not digital. Disney movies are big sellers, but you can connect with folks hunting up obscure cult classics or other older films that simply aren't available on DVD. And you can make yourself a fair amount of money doing so. Spend some time evaluating the condition of your movies and researching their value before you list. Then let the bidding begin.
Super old toys, books, action figures and even those limited-release drinking glasses fast food restaurants used to give away (remember those??) can make you a few dollars online. Always be sure to do a little digging to get an approximate value of your collectibles before you list them, especially on the bigger sites.
- Local jewelers
We're not just talking diamonds and emeralds here. Even a nice gold chain or a silver bracelet will probably have at least some value. Visit your local jeweler to have your pieces assessed. The store might even quote you a price right there for the whole lot. If you're unsure of the value of your pieces or want to be certain you're getting a fair quote, go ahead and visit a few jewelers before making a final sale. Getting a few estimates can help if you're planning to sell online, too.
7. Outdoorsy stuff.
- Yard sales
- Newspaper classifieds
Not just hiking gear! Hit the lawn and garden section of your home (read: raid that shed) and see what unused and salable treasures might be hiding inside. After all, you only need so many rakes, right? Who knows, you might even have a spare mower or weed eater. These higher-ticket items can fetch you even more than that old hoe. Again, be honest when you evaluate the state of your equipment, and check online for an idea of how to price it before you list.
8. Sporting goods.
From skis to hockey sticks to soccer balls, sporting equipment takes up just a ton of room. Turns out it's also a bit of money just waiting for you to cash it in. Check out the above options to turn your old golf clubs into the money you need for your next utility bill.
9. Not-so-old toys.
If you have kids, you know how quickly your home gets overrun with toys, games, puzzle pieces and stuffed critters. Yet how many of these do your kids still actually play with? Take a quick pass through the toy box for the more unpopular, less-cherished goods. A little research, a little time spent listing, et voila: a little extra cash. Um, probably for more toys at Christmas but hey, that's not nothing.
10. Your skills.
Got some extra time? Got a niche skill, or just a lot of energy and gumption? Tune yourself into the ever-growing gig economy, and you'll be surprised at what's out there. There are tons of ways for you to make a little (or more than a little) fun money. Dog walking, babysitting, blogging... the hardest part of going this route might just be deciding which opportunities to pursue.
What can I make at home to sell?
11. Make space.
Got a spare bedroom, or a mostly unused basement? Maybe even a nice outbuilding? Perfect! You can turn any one of these spaces into a sweet little home away from home for a weary traveler. Fixing up your spot can bring in a bit of cash via Airbnb or similar services. Hosts can expect to make anywhere from a couple hundred to a few thousand dollars a month, based on your location and the time of year.
12. (Re)make new.
Rehabbing or refinishing used items can be an engrossing way to make money from home. Spend a few dollars and a little time to make a few more dollars on the turnaround. Lather, rinse and repeat. Depending on how all-in you go with this particular venture, you could make fifty bucks or $5,000. There's a whole world of flipping out there. Dive in!
13. Make from scratch.
Turn a hobby into an income by selling your arts and crafts online on sites like Etsy. Local craft and seasonal fairs are another option. You know you're just looking for an excuse to knit more hats or sew more of those funky aprons your friends love anyway. Hobbyist sellers can make a couple hundred bucks, here and there. But if you treat your online store like a serious business and focus on growing it, there's definite potential to turn your hobby into a primary source of income.
14. Make & bake.
Selling homemade baked goods or specialty items at fairs and festivals and for special seasonal occasions is a great way to make some money. If you're serious about creating a solid income stream from this venture, however, check out health codes and cottage food laws in your area. As a hobby or part-time sideline hustle, your income will vary greatly on the size of your customer base and your pricing. If nothing else, you should be able to cover the cost of ingredients for your next batch.
15. Make art.
Have you been bitten by the shutterbug? You can sell your photography online by way of a drop-shipping company like Redbubble or by listing stock photos for other folks to use via Shutterstock. When selling stock photography, you might earn as little as a few pennies per image per month. You can increase your sales with excellent pics (obviously) and a few simple marketing skills. Drop-ship stores rely entirely on those skills, so expect to spend some solid time promoting and advertising. Again, you could make nothing or you could make tons. The sky's the limit, but it's all on you.
From tableware to Tiny Tunes memorabilia, from yard sales to online marketplaces, your old stuff can be your answer to that question, What can you sell to make money? Put your entrepreneurial spirit, your crafty skills and even your passions and hobbies to use. You can purge your house of unnecessary stuff, get a line on a viable ongoing gig and, who knows, maybe even have a little fun — all while lining your pocketbook at the same time. What's not to love about that?