Don’t Throw Out These 7 Household Items – Sell Them


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I come from a long line of “dejunkers”. We are those people who constantly scan their homes for things that haven’t been used for a while – and throw them away.

But when I married a graduate student, and we were living on a marginal income, I realized that some of those things I had previously tossed were very valuable.

I’ve learned that it is really worth selling some things rather than just buying them. It allows me to earn – and save – cash. On top of that, it’s nice to see things that I no longer need to go to a new home instead of in a landfill.

Consider the following types of items you might not have realized were worth anything – and learn about some of the best places to sell them.

1. Electronics

Young woman wearing glasses working at a table with smartphone, tablet and laptop
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In the past, I’ve pushed my old cell phones, computers, and tablets into a closet until I got rid of them. Now, I sell them online.

You can also do this through sites like Gazelle. Many retailers—from Amazon to brick-and-mortar chains—also buy some used electronics, as we detail in “9 Stores That Will Pay You for Your Mess.”

If your old electronics are in too bad a condition to be worth the cash, try taking them to a store that will give you credit or a discount on your future purchase in exchange for recycling your unwanted phone or computer. To learn more, see “9 Retailers That Will Reward You for Recycling.”

2. Books

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Yes, libraries and charities may welcome your donation of used books. But if you have textbooks, first editions, or volumes from famous authors, you may be able to sell them online or to a local used bookstore.

For example, Amazon Trade-In accepts books. The Half Price Books series buys brick-and-mortar books, too.

Tip: BookScouter can help you figure out which buyer will give you the best price for a particular book you want to sell.

3. Gift cards

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We’ve all received gift cards for stores or restaurants we don’t plan to sponsor. Sure, you can give it away, but why not sell it for cash?

You can do this by exchanging gift cards like Raise. They are online marketplaces where you can sell unwanted gift cards to people who want to buy them at a discount.

You won’t get the full value – maybe $90 or $95 for a $100 gift card, for example. But you will get paid in cash.

4. Home appliances

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I was surprised to find real demand for my old appliances – including refrigerator, stove, washer and dryer.

A colleague who bought one was a landlord looking for appliances for student housing. But other buyers—including a woman who had always wanted a side-by-side refrigerator but couldn’t afford a new one—just wanted to upgrade their appliances.

This is one instance where you may need to rely on Craigslist for sales, especially for larger devices that will be very expensive to ship. But don’t forget other websites and apps that can connect you with potential buyers in your area, like Facebook Marketplace, Letgo, and OfferUp.

5. Handbags and clothes

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I had a bit of an obsession with designer handbags a few years ago, but now I rarely carry them.

Instead of having them sit unused on a closet shelf, I sell them on the Bag Borrow or Steal website. The site verifies that accessories are original designer items — not fakes — and they pay well.

Other shipping sites for luxury goods include RealReal and Style Alert by Material World.

Some generalized online shipping sites for clothing and accessories – such as Swap.com and thredUP – also buy and sell designer labels and other brand names.

6. Calculators

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How often do you see someone using a standalone calculator these days from smartphones equipped with these devices and more? Unless you’re working with engineers, economists, or mathematicians, spotting one is like seeing a rhino. But, as it turns out, there is a market for calculators.

Before you throw away your old calculator, check CalculatorSource.com to determine how much the site might pay for it.

7. Kids play

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You can sell every type of game from board games to dolls and action figures – especially if they are still in their original packaging.

Consider posting it for sale on eBay, or try selling it directly and locally on Craigslist or through Facebook Marketplace, Letgo, or OfferUp.

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