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Raid your closet and make extra money

July 1, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Many of us could open a closet or two and find a mountain of items we could stand to live without. But all that junk could be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Here are some tips on the best way to sell the things simply lying around your home.Colleen Carroll regularly raids her closets for extra spending money by selling her gently used clothing at a consignment shop.

"Last year I've made between $750 and $1,000," said Carroll.

Yard or garage sales are another time-honored way to make money.

"Turning your trash into treasure at a yard sale can be a lot of work," said Mandy Walker, Consumer Reports. "You've got to price everything and haul it in and out of your house. Plus you've got to make a bunch of signs and posters."

However, after paying advertising and permit fees, you keep all the profits from yard sales. Selling your items online on eBay or Amazon.com will cost you about 10 to 15 percent of your total sales. However, you get more potential buyers.

"To get going, see what similar items are selling for on the Web site. For instance, on eBay, click on 'advanced search,' then 'completed listings,'" said Walker.

If you choose to sell items online, you will need to open an account to advertise your items and to get paid. After a sale, you are advised to pack and ship items within a couple of days. After all, your reputation depends on it.

"When you're selling online, small and lightweight is the way to go. That way you can save big on packing and shipping," said Walker.

Some consignment stores will accept larger things like furniture.

Colleen Carroll says she likes being able to clean out her closet and knowing others enjoy wearing her clothing.

"Mostly I like getting a check every three months," said Carroll.

Tips to make more money at your yard sale:

  • Clearly mark prices
  • Bundle items
  • Give discounts

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