Declutter for cash: Make $100s from your cast-offs


I was struck by an unusually strong urge to organize last week. And, instead of fighting it off (as usual), I realized that now is the perfect time to declutter for cash. Decluttering before the holidays not only opens up space for the new things you’re sure to get, it allows you to earn a few bucks to offset your holiday spending.

So I waded into closet after closet filled with the long-forgotten. Adorable shoes that hurt my feet. Dresses that I loved five pounds ago. Gadgets that would be helpful, if I was willing to read the directions. Quilts that no longer matched the room. Towels. Candles. Coffee Cups. Old phones and gadgets. It’s amazing how much stuff accumulates when I’m not looking.


Days later, I had a massive pile of clothing, electronics and household goods to sell. The question was where to market these items to get the best prices.

Specialized sites

From running, I know that selling household items isn’t as simple as placing a free advertisement on CraigsList anymore. CraigsList remains a great place to find all sorts of inexpensive cast-aways. However, sellers consistently say that they’re barraged with scammers the moment they place a listing.

Fortunately, there are literally dozens of alternative sites to sell things, ranging from electronics to shoes. And while most other sites charge fees to sellers, the ease of marketing through some of these other sites make them well worth the cost.


But, if you want the best price for your goods, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Here are the best sites to sell your goods by category when you declutter for cash.

Declutter for cash

The vast majority of my decluttering haul was made up of clothing and shoes.

The shoes are easy to explain. I have exceptionally wide feet. So, while I have purchased numerous pairs of attractive high-heeled shoes for things like weddings, anniversary parties and charity events, they hurt. So, I almost never wear them. And, perhaps because of the loosened dress standards brought about by Covid, I don’t see ever again subjecting myself to fashion torture. I’m happy to let someone else nab those rarely worn stilettos.


Selling clothing and shoes

Lightly-used shoes and clothing can sell for a pretty penny, when you market them through the right site. In this case, that’s Poshmark. Poshmark encourages sellers to create a “closet” on the site, where you can list all the items that you have to sell. You can link your closet to your social media accounts and start to build a following of people who like your style and wear your size. This is particularly helpful for people who are selling their own goods, not re-selling items in a variety of styles and sizes.

There is no fee to list. However, if you sell something, you’ll pay either a commission or a flat fee, depending on the item’s sales price. Commissions amount to 20% for items that sell for more than $15, which also covers the cost of shipping. There’s a flat $2.95 fee for things that sell for less.


Another great site to sell clothing and shoes is industry giant eBay. One of the most popular retailing sites in the world, eBay draws millions of potential customers every month. But it’s not our top choice for selling clothing and shoes because there are also 18 million sellers on the site. That means common items can get lost in the shuffle.

eBay will allow you to promote your listing for a boosted sales commission. But that can get prohibitively expensive, particularly when you’re peddling lower-cost used goods. Regular eBay commissions for selling clothing and shoes range from 8% and 13.25%, depending on the item’s sales price. Shipping is extra.

Avoid TheRealReal

Perhaps you’ve got designer goods and have heard advertisements suggesting that you sell them on The Real Real. Don’t. Unlike eBay and Poshmark, which allow you to set your own prices, The Real Real terms allow the site to discount your prices. And sellers say they do that ruthlessly. This site also can charge exorbitant commissions, leaving sellers with a tiny fraction of their item’s value.


Have an old phone, tablet, smart watch or some other electronic device gathering dust? There are dozens of sites willing to buy or help you sell these devices.

Our top choice to sell electronics is Swappa. What makes Swappa unique is that this site allows consumers to sell directly to other consumers. Most other sites buy your goods for resale, taking a portion of the value on each end of the transaction for their trouble. By taking out the middle-site, both buyers and sellers tend to get a better deal.

That said, selling to a reseller is often quicker and easier than negotiating directly with the end user. So, if you’re willing to give up a portion of the sales proceeds for ease, check out ItsWorthMore and TheWhizCells. Both of these electronics-buying sites are highly rated by consumers who have used them.

Household goods

If it’s household goods that you’re trying to declutter for cash, you need to ask yourself whether you want to sell locally or go after a national audience.

The bigger and bulkier the item, the greater the argument for selling locally. That’s simply because shipping can cost a fortune. As a result, even if you sell that end table locally for a little less than you would have to a national audience, you might pocket more after the shipping costs are taken into account.

When selling in person, OfferUp is tough to beat. The site charges nothing for listings when the buyer picks up items in person. If you find your listing is not getting enough attention, you can, however, pay a small fee to “boost” your listing to draw more buyers.

But if you’re selling something specialized — maybe a professional-quality sewing machine or expensive business equipment — it’s smarter to market through a site with a broader audience. This increases the chance that someone needs your unique product badly enough that they’ll pay a better price for it.

When you’re looking for a massive audience for specialized goods, there’s no better place to sell than eBay. The site draws hundreds of millions of customers each and every month. And, while shipping can be costly, eBay does provide shipping discounts for its sellers.


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