Making money from my junk…

I don’t have time to hold a garage sale. And honestly, I’d rather bring stuff to my sister’s house when she has one and let her deal with it… (sorry sis!). Basically, what it comes down to is that I just don’t have the patience to deal with hosting a garage sale for myself. So I end up donating a lot of stuff when I get the wild hair to dump possessions.

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been making some regular visits to Goodwill to get rid of items I no longer use or want. But there are some things that are just too good – or inappropriate – to donate. Telemark skis and boots will almost always bring a good price, as will other high end gear. Play It Again Sports is one company that buys good used sports equipment. I have some items that I don’t use anymore and will be hauling down to my PIAS when I make the trek into town. One pair of tele skis and boots will go (I’m keeping my good pair of K2s and Scarpas), a mag trainer for a bike and some climbing shoes that I haven’t used in years. Instead of Freecycling the equipment away, I figure I might as well get a few bucks for it and toss it in the savings for the future.

A couple years ago I realized that I could sell books on Amazon and recoup a little bit of my money. I have a book problem – like 12-step worthy. But I try to keep a reign on it by listing books for sale on Amazon when I bring more in the house. One in, one out. However, there are some that just aren’t worth listing for sale. I’ll admit I’m guilty of buying the used books that are priced at $.01 – but I just don’t think it’s worth it for me to sell mine at that price. My time is worth more than a penny. So when I get online and see that a book I want to list is only bringing a few cents, then it ends up in a paper bag to go to the library. But if I can get a few bucks or more for it, then I’m all over it like a bad suit. I pulled out a large stack of books from the bookcase and will be checking prices online – listing those that will sell quickly, and hauling the rest to the library.

CDs are another item to be taken in. Believe it or not, there are still music stores that will buy your used CDs. I haven’t purchased a physical CD in a couple years – I, like most people, have transitioned to downloading digital music on services like iTunes and Amazon. But there are a couple places in town that buy used CDs. I have several that I’ve already ripped to my laptop, so that’s a start – bringing those in, while I work on ripping more. Plus I have a pile of CDs I just haven’t listened to in years. Even if I garner a buck a piece, it’s better than using valuable space to store something I no longer use – and the extra money will come in handy for something I’m sure.

I also have a pistol I purchased a few years ago that I’ve hated since the first day I shot it. Being that this is Montana, there is no shortage of gun shops and pawn shops willing to buy used guns. This particular pistol – a .32 semi-auto – was purchased new and has only been shot twice. I don’t know the ins and outs of privately selling a handgun, so it’s a safer bet to take it to a professional and let them deal with the legalities. Long guns – rifles and shotguns – are a no-brainer to sell between individuals. But when you shorten the gun up to handgun size, the laws suddenly get a bit more complex. I could trade it in on a revolver or a .30-30, both of which I’d like to get, but at this point I think the easiest thing is to sell it off and worry about another acquisition at a later date. I’ll be stopping in at a couple shops in the coming days to get a quote or two on selling – whoever gives me the best offer will get the gun, and I’ll put the money in the kitty.

It goes without saying that items can be listed for sale in the paper, on Craigslist or auctioned on eBay. I’m sure I have items that could easily be sold that way; however, for my present circumstances and timeline I’d rather take the items I have to sell to an established store that will take them off my hands without hassle. My two exceptions at this time are the books that are being listed on Amazon, and my car that’s been listed on AutoTrader and Craigslist. I’m giving both of those the benefit of the doubt first. If the books don’t sell by the time I move, they will be taken to the library. If the Subaru doesn’t go by the end of December, I’ll haul it with me to the Midwest and sell it off to CarMax.

Next time you get ready to drop things at Goodwill, or worse yet at the dump, take a more critical look and see if there’s something you can make a little cash off of instead. There are easy options out there for turning your unwanted stuff into cash.

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