In 2017, Sean Dougherty and his wife decided to pack up their 2,000-square-foot home in suburban New Jersey and move to a 900-square-foot apartment in Manhattan. The couple had lived in their house for 20 years; it was previously owned by Dougherty’s in-laws, who left some furniture and possessions behind when they moved out.
“We really had to be serious about whether it was worth it to take something,” Dougherty says. The consensus was that many items — from a lobster pot to an extra bed — would have to go. The couple used several websites, including Amazon and eBay, to value their goods and sell them. Those big-name online marketplaces are among several popular websites where you can sell your old items and make a profit.
Use these six websites to sell your clutter for cash:
— Sotheby’s Home
— Facebook Marketplace
[Read: 10 Websites to Earn Money Online.]
Amazon. The online marketplace is Dougherty’s go-to site for selling books, CDs and anything else with a UPC or ISBN identification number. Amazon not only makes the process of listing items easy, it also provides an instant estimate for the potential selling price. “Here’s a website with millions of users telling you exactly what something is worth,” Dougherty says. That information lets him quickly make smart decisions about whether selling an item would be worth the time and effort. For example, if a book is selling for only a penny, he would opt to donate it to a local library for their book sale instead.
Amazon offers a number of different selling options. For individual sellers who ship products directly to buyers, there is no monthly cost, but a 99 cent fee is assessed for each sale. Also keep in mind, each sale is subject to a referral fee. These fees are assessed as a percentage and vary by category, ranging from 6 percent for personal computers to 45 percent for Amazon device accessories. You’ll also incur a $1.80 closing fee for each media item sold in categories such as books, DVDs and video games.
Gazelle. “Unused gadgets are one of the biggest offenders when it comes to gathering dust around your home, with old cellphones topping the list,” says Rob Webber, a money-saving expert and CEO of technology comparison site MoneySavingPro.com. Gazelle makes it easy to sell these old gadgets for cash.
The website buys select smartphones, iPads, MacBooks and Mac computers. Sellers answer a few basic questions about their device and receive an instant quote prior to committing to a sale. An entry-level iPhone 5 from Verizon may only garner $5, while a 512GB iPhone XS Max from Verizon can receive $820, according to current quotes listed. Gazelle pays shipping fees and resets devices to factory settings before testing and refurbishing them for sale. Plus, you can receive payment for your electronics via an Amazon gift card, PayPal or a check.
EBay. When it came time to sell porcelain figurines and vintage magazines, Dougherty turned to eBay. The site allows sellers to either auction off goods or set a fixed price and list an item indefinitely. It’s a good option for rare or collectors’ items that wouldn’t be easily found on Amazon.
Like Amazon, eBay offers multiple selling options. However, for those only selling a few items, the online marketplace allows up to 50 listings each month with no upfront cost. Additional items are subject to insertion fees of 35 cents. Once an item sells, a final value fee is assessed on the selling price and shipping. This fee is 12 percent for most media items and 10 percent for most other consumer categories. There may be other costs associated with promoting listings or selling in certain categories like commercial goods. Sellers choose how much to spend to promote a listing, and the cost is assessed as a percentage of the selling price. Sellers that opt for a higher percentage will see their listings promoted more aggressively. Business and industry categories, like heavy equipment, are subject to a $20 insertion fee and a 2 percent final value fee.
Decluttr. If you have unwanted electronics, movies and Legos, consider selling your stuff to Decluttr. “(It’s) one of the best and safest sites for selling items that you no longer need,” Webber says. “You don’t have to deal with any dodgy individuals.” The company purchases old smartphones, MacBooks, CDs, games, movies and more. Download the Decluttr app to scan bar codes and quickly see the value of excess media items around your house.
What’s more, Decluttr provides a shipping label free of charge and issues payment the day after items arrive and have been inspected. Sellers can have their money sent via direct deposit, PayPal or check, or proceeds can also be donated to charity. Current quoted prices include $1 per pound of Lego pieces, $4 for an entry-level iPhone 5 from Verizon and $510 for a 256GB iPhone XR from Verizon.
Sotheby’s Home. Sotheby’s Home, an online consignment marketplace, is a good choice for those with high-end furniture or luxury home decor. While Sotheby’s Home isn’t the right place to sell your Ikea or Pottery Barn furniture, it offers a hassle-free way to sell top-tier brands like Stickley and Lexington. “Condition-wise, we’re looking for pieces in excellent or good condition,” says Elizabeth Brown, CEO of Sotheby’s Home. “We also take select vintage and antique pieces that are timeless in style and in excellent to good shape.”
Sellers must initially send a description of the items they would like to consign on the Sotheby’s Home site. Each item must have a minimum retail price: $1,000 for furniture and $500 for lighting and accessories. Once items are approved, a consignment liaison will make a free on-site visit to take photographs and catalogue items. Goods for sale on Sotheby’s Home remain listed for six months. Once an item sells, the company handles all the logistics of pick-up and delivery to the buyer. Sotheby’s Home takes a 50 percent commission on sales if a seller has fewer than 20 items consigned or a 40 percent commission if a seller has 21 or more items listed.
Facebook Marketplace. If you have items that are too large to ship but aren’t eligible for a consignment service like Sotheby’s Home, the Facebook Marketplace is an ideal platform. There is no cost to individuals who list items for sale on the site, and ads can be targeted to buyers in certain geographic regions.
“Now, admittedly, these (consumers) are some of the cheapest people on the planet,” Dougherty says of the buyers his Facebook Marketplace ads attracted. He notes that, without fail, before completing a transaction, consumers often request to lower the price by around 20 percent. Still, Dougherty says the annoyance of negotiating prices is worth the convenience of having other people pay to haul heavy furniture out of his house.
[Read: 5 Easy Ways to Make Fast Cash.]
Sellers using Facebook Marketplace should take safety precautions when meeting with buyers. If an item is easily transportable, consider finishing the transaction in a public place such as the lobby of a police station or city hall. If the item must be picked up by a buyer, have at least one other person present at the pick-up time.
More from U.S. News