Turn unwanted items into cash and buy used.
When you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you are likely feeling burned out and stressed out. And no matter how much you cut back on certain expenses and purchases, it may not be enough to break the cycle. Sometimes you just need that extra boost to get ahead.
Although taking on a second job or side hustle may seem like the only way to make some extra money, don’t overlook the opportunity to turn unwanted items into cash. Whether it’s an old gadget, unworn clothing or a closet full of toys collecting dust, spending time selling the items you no longer need or use can help you earn that much-needed money. To get you started, here are 13 free apps and sites that make selling and buying items in person or online a cinch.
Whether you want to sell an old smartphone, unwanted toys or a used car, you can do it all through the letgo app or on the website. Letgo allows consumers to buy and sell just about anything virtually, with categories ranging from electronics to sporting goods to cars. This free marketplace makes it a breeze to connect with buyers without giving out personal contact information as you can use the chat feature to discuss item specifications and negotiate prices. Plus, to optimize safety, you can check users’ profiles to see if they’re verified and if they have positive reviews before moving forward with a sale. Transactions are made in person, so it’s best to meet in a public place during the day and bring a friend along to ensure safety. The app is free to use, so you keep 100% of your sale price.
If you already have a Facebook account and app installed on your phone, selling new and used items is a snap through Marketplace, the platform’s digital marketplace for buying, selling and discovering items. Posting an item for sale is easy. After you upload a picture of the item and other details on your phone, the interface will automatically choose a category and prompt a price-range suggestion. You can sell to buyers locally by coordinating in-person transactions or opt to ship to people who live beyond driving distance, depending on your preference. A bonus to using Facebook Marketplace is that you’ll feel more confident in who you are dealing with since you can view a potential buyer’s Facebook profile.
When it comes to fashion, Poshmark is the perfect place to sell your gently used name-brand clothing, shoes and accessories. To list your items, create a profile and add a few photos of each item you want to sell along with a description and price. You can motivate shoppers to buy more from you by offering a discount on multiple purchases. Listings are free, but you have to pay a fee when a sale is made. Poshmark takes a flat fee of $2.95 for sales under $15 and increases this commission to 20% for anything sold over that price point. Earnings are deposited into your account, and you can withdraw money any time directly from the app via a direct deposit or by requesting a check. Becky Beach, the blogger behind the finance and lifestyle site MomBeach.com who uses the app often, suggests taking high-quality pictures of each item to attract more buyers. Place the item against a white poster board to make it pop, she says.
Selling luxury goods through consignment is much more seamless, thanks to sites like The RealReal that specialize in reselling high-end designer brands. As with most consigners, The RealReal takes a cut of the sale; however, you can earn up to 85% of the sale price for your items. Though you can sell many of your designer goods through other sites, the benefit with using The RealReal is that you don’t have to do any of the work — they take pictures of your merchandise, set prices, monitor each sale and ship goods to buyers. The site also takes extra measures to authenticate every item, which creates buying confidence and increases the likelihood of your item selling. Michelle Madhok, online shopping expert and founder of SheFinds.com, says it’s important to adhere to the list of brands they accept and ensure everything is clean, inside and out.
On the Mercari app, you can sell just about anything — from sporting equipment to beauty goods to baby gear — without the worry of meeting with potential buyers in person. “I think of it like Craigslist, but no meet ups,” says Susan Towers, founding partner at Forerunner PR. All sales are shipped to buyers so there is no face-to-face interaction required. Plus, Mercari takes the headache out of shipping sold goods by offering a pack-and-ship partnership with UPS. If you bring your sold item to a local UPS store, an associate will pack and ship it for you, taking the hassle out of finding the right-sized box and creating a shipping label. Listings are free, but Mercari charges a flat 10% commission when sales are complete. You can even earn a $5 reward during special promotions for your first listing.
According to a recent survey from Decluttr, Americans have nearly $200 worth of unused tech items at home. When it comes to selling those unwanted personal gadgets, you don’t have to deal with the hassle of waiting for an auction to close. Instead, sites like Decluttr offer an instant payment. Begin by inputting the item’s bar code — or use the in-app bar code scanner — to get a free price estimate that is guaranteed for 28 days. Once you accept the bid and the site receives your tech goods, payment for your device is sent the following day through either direct deposit, PayPal or check, making it a fast transaction process. Decluttr also offers free shipping if you select the UPS option, making it an easy way to earn money for your tech goods. “Decluttr is also a good place to purchase refurbished tech items,” says Trae Bodge, smart shopping expert at truetrae.com, a personal finance and money-saving blog. “You can save an average of $100 on an iPad and $490 on an iPhone X.” She also says you should look out for periodic sales, during which you can often save $50 off a special promotion.
This peer-to-peer marketplace app uses your phone’s GPS to reach buyers in your area. Buyers can make you an offer or reach out about listing details through the in-app chat feature. When it’s time to make a deal, use the safe exchange area location tool to pinpoint nearby police stations for transactions. Otherwise, 5miles also offers an online payment and shipping option. Darcy Segura, a buyer and reseller of vintage furniture, home decor and more through The Eclectic Den, a virtual storefront on 5miles, appreciates the app’s video-enabled listing feature. “Video enables me to showcase furniture pieces in a way that photos just don’t do justice. It really helps make my listings come alive,” she says. The app also makes it easy to share your listings via Facebook, Twitter, text or email.
Chairish is an online marketplace for home decorating and design, where you can sell vintage decor, furniture, home accessories and art. The app enables you to arrange an in-person pickup and can help you coordinate shipments for sellers, which can be a complicated process when dealing with large and heavy or fragile pieces. There’s a minimum listing price of $25, and payments are issued via PayPal following delivery and the company’s 48-hour return period. You can confirm that payment is being processed when an item is flagged as delivered in the sold items tab of the Chairish dashboard. The site’s new Hit List curates the most loved listings in one place, which can help push sales faster.
Similar to other secondhand marketplaces, OfferUp is free to use and lets you sell just about anything you want. You can choose to sell your items locally and meet in person or set up online sales and ship items to people who live out of driving distance. When listing your item, you can choose to set a firm price or asking price, which means buyers can make offers so you have opportunities to negotiate a fair deal. On OfferUp, you can increase listing visibility and sell your item faster using their Promote feature for an added fee. When you promote your item, it will appear among the top 50 items in search, browse and category results. This ensures buyers will see your promoted listing when they’re looking for similar items. Although you have to pay for this feature, it’s a worthwhile cost for anyone who wants to sell an item faster. “You can also earn $5 each time you refer a friend,” Bodge says. “They just need to download the app and purchase an item.”
Mobile users are constantly upgrading their devices, but few are spending time to sell their older models. That’s where Swappa comes in — this user-to-user marketplace was established specifically for people looking to buy and sell unwanted gadgets. You can sell almost any consumer electronic, from smartphones to laptops to video games and more. Most notably, every approved listing on Swappa is reviewed and verified by their support team to make sure it meets company standards and is fully functional and that phones are ready to be activated on the designated wireless carrier at the time of sale. To do this, photos are used to verify that the device matches the description and serial numbers are reviewed to ensure the device wasn’t been reported lost, stolen or blacklisted. When it comes time to arranging your sale, you can choose to either ship items or make a sale in person through the Swappa Local marketplace.
This online clothing consigner makes it easy to make money on your kid’s old threads since it does all the work of taking photos, listing items and managing sales. To start, all you have to do is request a Clean Out Bag, which you fill up with as many articles of clothing and accessories you can fit, then you ship it back with the prepaid label ThredUp provides. Some items are purchased outright by the site, while others are sold on consignment, meaning you only earn money if the item sells. Just like other consignment stores, ThredUp takes a cut of the profits and provides you with a payout for each item that sells, which varies per item and brand. Earnings are deposited into your ThredUp account, which you can either use as credit toward other used clothing or opt to cash out via Paypal or a prepaid debit card.
Each year, up to $3 billion worth of gift cards go unused, according to the Mercator Advisory Group, which provides data on the payments industry. Although gift cards are a popular gift, sometimes gift givers don’t get it right, and you may have received one to a store you never shop at or a restaurant you don’t like. The good news is you can turn those gift cards into cash through sites like CardCash.com, which offers up to 92% of the card value or lets you trade it in for another retailer you prefer for up to 9% more. The sale price is dependent on how popular the gift card is, but this is a great option to anyone who is stuck with gift cards they can’t or won’t use.
Considering the average cost for a wedding dress is $1,600, according to The Knot, and most brides won’t wear their white dress again, selling it online can help recoup some of the original cost. StillWhite.com provides two listing options. Select the standard for $20, which includes live analytics and four photos, or upgrade to premium for $30 to get ad space on the homepage along with room for up to eight photos and a video of your dress. You may be able to snag a coupon for savings on listing fees, so always check before paying. Plus, if you refer a family or friend to the site, you’ll earn $5 each time they buy a dress or list one for sale. This person will even get 10% off their listing fee.
The best apps to buy and sell used stuff:
— Facebook Marketplace.
— The RealReal.