Round Up: Making Money by Cleaning Out the House

shipping supplies

With all of the nesting and remodeling taking place in my house I began to wonder if I could make any money selling the stuff I so desperately wanted to purge.

I tried a couple of different approaches to offloading my unwanted belongings. Here is where I landed so far:

  • eBay Sales: $86.37 for six items (more sales pending)
  • Book Sales: $86.65
  • DVD Sales: $11.97
  • Returning Unwanted and Unused Items: $54.36
  • Consignment: $18.72

Total earned after shipping and fees: $258.07.

What I learned along the way:

  • I am not a fan of eBay. The fees for selling and shipping seem a whole lot higher than they used to be. After paying the 10% eBay fee, a PayPal fee, paying for shipping supplies and USPS labels my profits quickly dwindled. eBay sales felt like a general pain to me. Listing didn’t take a particularly long amount of time, but it does take a few minutes to take pictures, provide a description and post. A few buyers took forever to pay, which meant following up day after day and packing and driving the boxes to the post office wasn’t particularly fun either.
  • Book buying sites make selling unwanted books so easy. I used bookscouter to price out the highest paying vendors and shipped packages to five different companies. While I might have earned more on eBay or I enjoyed bundling everything up and shipping them off all at once. The downside: a couple of boxes were so big they required hand delivery to the post office and the post offices around my house, well quite frankly, suck. I didn’t want to wait in line for twenty minutes to ship $5 or $10 worth of books.
  • I had no idea anyone would want to purchase a bunch of old children’s DVDs, but to my surprise we had a small stack of old movies that a few companies were willing to buy. I punched in the UPCs and compared bids. I sold a bunch of children’s videos we received as hand-me-downs from friends and family members. A few were worth $3 or $4, but most were worth around 50 cents. This isn’t getting rich money, but since they were headed out the door anyway I figured I might as well make a little money off of them.
  • In digging through our closets I found a number of brand new items we didn’t really need. Included in that list were a few books I never got a chance to read and a couple of children’s toys. (It seems I bought a few too many things over the holidays.) I try to keep the receipts for everything I buy, so I gathered the items together and returned them. I know that buying books can be a huge waste of money for me. It’s a lesson I really need to keep at the forefront of my mind. For some reason the temptation to buy more is always lingering.
  • I wrote about my consignment adventure yesterday. I certainly didn’t earn much from my haul, but a larger volume might bring in more cash next time. I would certainly consider this route after baby number two outgrows the infant toys and baby gear a year or so from now.

Do you have any other ideas for purging stuff? How do you get rid of unwanted possessions?

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1 thought on “Round Up: Making Money by Cleaning Out the House”

  1. This was a great list. Usually, if I actually want the stuff out of the house I just give it all away. I know otherwise it will work its way back into the house if it sits for any time before being sold. I’d like to look into the book sellers. It seems like such a simple solution! We’ve purged books and media before, but there’s still more left than I’d like.


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