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Odds and Ends: 3 Ways To Make Money While Clearing Clutter

Although many people throw out, recycle or upcycle remaining odds and ends after clearing clutter out of their homes, there’s no reason that you should waste an opportunity to make a little extra cash. As the old saying goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

Whether you’re clearing out an attic or performing an annual whole home clean-up, try these top three money-making opportunities before considering waste disposal options:

Classified Listings

Online classified listings are one option that many people ignore or forget. Local offline penny papers and newspapers have online listing opportunities. You can also list your items for free on classified listings sites like Craigslist and Backpage. As with online social media yard sales groups, the best way to sell your items is with clear pricing and photographs, item condition and your general location. If you reach a point with your sale where you no longer care about selling things at the prices you want, you only need to add “Or Best Offer” or “OBO” to the listing.

Yard Sales/Facebook Sale Groups

A lot of people either forget about this excellent money-making idea or believe that yard sales are a waste of their time. Yet, you can quickly make money on a nice day with nothing more than a space near a busy road and a cash box. Even if you don’t have a great road-side location at home, you can still have a successful sale. Check if a local antique or flea market cheaply rents outside tables or ask a family member or neighbor who has a good location for help.

Another option that has worked really well recently: Check Facebook for local yard sale groups where you can list your items and then wait for group members to contact you. This way you can list larger items individually and get a better price for them. To find the link look on the left side of your Facebook page for Groups. Or just go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/ and then look for the “Buy and Sell” section and check out the links in the blue boxes below it. It should look something like this:

If you click “See All” at the bottom you will find things like:


Pawn Shops

If you can’t get money you want for expensive items like antiques, collectibles, electronics, instruments or jewelry that features precious metals like gold, silver, platinum, or high quality gemstones check out a local pawn shop.  Tri-City Pawn says, “The karat weight of your jewelry tells you what percentage of the item is pure gold, and this gives you an idea of how much money you can expect for that item. For example, 24 karat pieces are 99.99 percent gold, 14 karat pieces are 58.3 percent and 10 karat jewelry clocks in at 41.7 percent.”

Before you go look at your pieces and you should find something like 14k stamped somewhere on it. But be careful if there are any letters after the “k” it might not be pure gold. For instance if there is a “GP” that means “gold  plate” and it only has a thin coating of gold. But if it is solid gold simply Google “Gold Price Today” and you will find several sites like Kitco that will give you the current “Spot” price.

It should look something like this:

This means that the Commodity Market Traders are currently paying $1,265 for an ounce of gold and selling for $1,266. not that you will be able to get that for your jewelry. If you have one ounce of pure gold you may be able to get close but jewelry is not pure gold.

Image Courtesy of Kitco

With the Gold Spot price at $1,265 Kitco was selling the above one ounce bars for $ 1,276.39 ea. meaning that their mark-up was only $11.39 which is not bad.  They would pay you  $1,260.20 each for the same type of bars. Kitco is very large and has very small markups… you will get much less from a local pawn shop. In addition you have to factor in the fraction as mentioned above. So if you had a huge jewelry piece that actually weighed 1 troy ounce but was only 14 K the absolute best you could expect to get for it would be $1260 x 58.3 percent = $734.58 and a local pawn shop might only offer you $300 – $400. and then sell it for $725 to a local wholesaler (best to find the local wholesaler yourself).

Pawn shops love to buy items that contain precious metals but you should shop around and look for the best price. If you’re getting rid of items only because you lack storage, many pawns shops do offer loans that allow you to buy back your things later but the interest rate is generally pretty high.

Aside from selling, a good way to use Pawnshops is to look for good deals on things like video games, bicycles, and other things that you won’t find from regular stores.

About Tim McMahon

Work by editor and author, Tim McMahon, has been featured in Bloomberg, CBS News, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Forbes, Washington Post, Drudge Report, The Atlantic, Business Insider, American Thinker, Lew Rockwell, Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, Oakland Press, Free Republic, Education World, Realty Trac, Reason, Coin News, and Council for Economic Education. Connect with Tim on Google+