It’s possible to turn trash into cash, all you have to do is look for opportunities. From yard sales to actually making a difference in your community, your leftovers are valuable. The secondhand economy, which is the market that involves buying and selling used goods, is more widespread than you might think. Here’s how to get your share of this underappreciated financial system.
What Is the Secondhand Economy?
As mentioned above, the secondhand economy involves buying and selling used things. You can find examples in every city and online. Goodwill, for instance, accepts donations, which are then processed and distributed to retail centers. Donations come from individuals and corporations and help fund work opportunities for people with disabilities. Another example is a used car lot. Here, dealers can turn a profit while cutting down on the number of cars and trucks produced. Buyers can get a car, truck, or SUV for less-than-new, and sellers can use the money from their former vehicle to purchase another one that best fits their lifestyle.
What Is Not Part of This Submarket
While many previously used items are great for donating or reselling, not everything you own will provide a profit. For example, if you’re remodeling a home and tear it down to the studs, many of the building materials can be reused. However, others cannot. This is especially true if the home has mold, water damage, or other issues that could potentially harm someone’s health. In this case, it may be wise to rent a dumpster and dispose of wood, carpet, and appliances appropriately. Likewise, if you have a garage full of broken or damaged stuff, a junk removal service can haul it off to your local waste processing center.
A dumpster is a great choice if working on a project, such as a home renovation, that will take time. Junk hauling is perhaps a more affordable alternative when you are clearing out a room, a garage, or an estate with items of no real value.
Earning on Your Excess
There are a few ways to pad your pockets by selling your no-longer-needed belongings. Clothes, toys, and small kitchen appliances, along with books and antiques, are great for a yard sale. If you have many valuables, you may consider bringing in an estate settlement company or auction house to help you get the most money possible. Once you know what your stuff is worth, selling online can be a lucrative way to earn some cash.
Amazon, eBay, and Craigslist are three of the most popular and longest-running online selling platforms. Amazon and eBay are great if you have many of the same items, already have the ability to accept online payments, and don’t mind shipping all over the country. Craigslist, however, can be a bit trickier. This may involve face-to-face interaction with complete strangers, and you’ll need to know how to protect yourself from scams.
Another option is to set up a neighborhood or community swap meet. While you technically won’t walk away with dollars, it’s a fun way to get to know your neighbors and to trade your stuff for theirs. Stockton Mortgage offers information on how to organize a swap meet. You can also donate your pre-used items, including kids games, books, and linens, to your local women’s shelter to help abused women and children get back on their feet.
The secondhand economy is thriving. Today’s buyers no longer prioritize brand-new but instead understand the value of saving money on material possessions. Keep in mind that while you are selling, you also have an opportunity to look for ways to reduce your own future expenses when it’s time to make a purchase, no matter how big or small. Selling or donating your stuff can be fun (and financially sound) if you’re willing to look for ways to make it happen.
This helpful article was generously contributed by Lucille Rosetti, and you can find similar articles and topics on her website, The Bereaved.
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