On Saturday 11 March, Jasmine Birtles, founder of self help money site Money Magpie is running the second ever UK National Clear Your Clutter Day. She will be encouraging people all over the UK to declutter their homes – and their lives – to gain freedom, space and a useful pile of cash! In this guest blog, she shares some of her tips for making money out of the junk that households don’t need anymore.
APDO members probably know better than most just how much junk the average home has.Of course, professional organisers are not generally expected to sell their clients’ goods, but it’s worth being aware of what some items could be worth if they were sold.
Happily there are now a few more outlets that will help to sell items quicker than you might expect, so with some of the junk at least, your client can get it out of the door and make some money all in one go.
Here are a few ideas for making money from the different types of junk that clients have finally decided to throw out:
DVDs, CDs and more?
Now is the time to make money by selling these as the market for them will only decrease with time as more and more people download them or subscribe to streaming services like Netflix.
If your client has shelves full of lovely old programmes, films and concerts they could be making instant cash from them through sites like Zapper and Ziffit If they have a lot of items the company will generally arrange to collect them for free. If there are just a few books and CDs they can send them for free.
It’s quick to upload the details and you get an instant quote for everything and either a payment through PayPal or a cheque in the post in a few days time.
Vintage and antique items
Here’s where your clients could potentially make some sensible money. Even if the family heirlooms were bought on the pier at Blackpool back in the day, your client could be pleasantly surprised at how much they might get now.
Collectibles often sell well on eBay. Find out how much you might get by putting the name or description of your collectible into the search bar and then clicking on ‘sold’ on the left-hand sidebar. You will see how much similar items went for. You’re often best uploading things on a ‘Buy It Now’ basis rather than auction in order to get the best price.
For more valuable items try the local auction house. Most of them have on-site specialists who can advise on a myriad of collectibles and minor antiques and will usually provide you with free verbal valuations.
If your client thinks they have something really valuable, email or send a picture and description of it to Sotheby’s, Christies or Bonhams in London. They will come back to them with a valuation.
Sometimes, a few items aren’t worth selling on their own at an auction house but they could be sold in one lot. Ask the auctioneers if this would be an option
Get rid of old gadgets
You’d be surprised at how much you can get for some gadgets, even if they’re ‘ancient’ technology or broken. There’s a growing market for gadgets of all sorts as you can see in this article.
It can be worth getting the client to search around on eBay for how much broken versions of their old gadgets are selling for and then either uploading them individually or selling them as a job lot on the site.
Your client can make money by recycling their old mobile phones. Even battered, ancient ones can be recycled for parts. You can make up to £200 for good ones, particularly iPhones. Try the mobile phone recycling tool here on MoneyMagpie.com [http://www.moneymagpie.com/make-money/make-money-recycle-mobile-cash] to find the best deal.
A few companies will pay for old printer cartridges. Cash for Cartridges for example will pay you £4.50 per item.
Odd electronic bits
Sometimes people sell a bundle of wires, adapters, odd bits of electronics that nobody recognises which are bought by enthusiasts or engineers who need the parts. Put them in a box and upload a picture with a description of the contents to eBay.co.uk and see what you get. You might be pleasantly surprised!
eBay is a wonderful resource for people needing to de-junk, but a few other sites are worth considering too.
The best thing about Facebook Groups where you can sell items is that they are free. They’re local so you’re generally selling to people who are not too far away and that makes them handy for large items like furniture. But people are selling anything and everything on them, so it’s worth seeing what is available in your clients’ areas.
Again, Gumtree is local and, often, free. You have to be aware of the fraudsters that lurk there – rather like Craigslist in America – but as it has been going for so long, there are still a lot of people who look there first for certain items like cars and furniture.
Let everyone know about Clear Your Clutter Day where you can see some APDO members talking about how to declutter, how to organise and how to do it all on the cheap! If you need a helping hand to motivate you through feelings of overwhelm or provide a structured plan, find a local professional organiser.