In these times of austerity, we may want to look for ways to turn the clutter in our closets into cash. Thanks to the Internet, doing so is more feasible than ever.

The Magical World of eBay
If you know some of the secrets of eBay, it can be a fantastic option for turning your clothes and clutter into cash. As long as you are selling items that you have used and are finished with, these earnings are tax free.

The first thing you would need to do is set up an eBay account and a PayPal account. The PayPal account will allow you to receive payments for the goods you sell on eBay, and setting them all up shouldn't take very much effort.

You will probably get the best price for old clothes by selling them on eBay because your items will be available for many to bid on. You will need to take a look at your items, and consider which are best to post online. Consider whether you would be happy to receive them in the mail. If in doubt, send them to the thrift store.

It is also important to remember that what you paid for an item five years ago has no bearing on its worth today. Be realistic about the pricing. Starting an item at too high a price will put off buyers. When you "list" your items, remember that buyers type key words into a search engine to find what they're looking for. So, include as many as you can in your title. It is also very beneficial to include photographs. If you can, photograph your clothes on a mannequin.

SEE: 4 Common Sales Techniques People Fall For

Write a concise and detailed description of your item, including measurements and quality of the product. Be strategic with the end time of your listings. Keep it available for bidding long enough to get a reasonable amount of bids, but short enough that if people have any interest in the items they will want to bid sooner than later.

Taking pictures and listing items on eBay does take time and effort, but if you don't think selling your items for a few dollars is worthwhile, take a leaf out of Adam Baker's book "Man Vs. Debt." He made about $15,000 and paid off his debts by selling unwanted possessions on eBay.

SEE: Odd eBay Sales

Consignment Stores
Consignment stores can be a good option if you are looking for a less time-intensive option. You will not make the same amount of money for your items, because the store retains a percentage of the sale cost. In consignment shops, the seller pays you a portion of the proceeds from the sale. If you are planning on taking your items to these stores, then call each of the consignment stores to see what their rates are and which clothes they will take. Consignment shops often have strict standards, so make sure your clothes are in decent enough shape.

Consider a Garage Sale
Consider having a garage sale at your home. This can cost you a small amount money in advertising, but it is a good way to get rid of a lot of clothes fast. If your items are in good shape, you can still pocket a nice amount of cash. Especially if you know some of the best garage sale secrets. Be prepared to bargain with your customers, and do so with a smile. If some items aren't selling well, give everything a reshuffle, because people could have missed them on first look.

Finally, remember why you are having the sale. If the idea was to declutter, towards the end of the day create an "everything must go" sign. If you wanted to make money and think you could do better selling certain items elsewhere (on Craigslist or eBay for example) put them to one side.

Donate to Charity
Finally, donate everything that you have left to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. Ask them for a receipt. In most cases, you can get a tax deduction for your donations.

The Bottom Line
Now you're ready to turn your mountain of unworn, unloved clothing into a nice bundle of cash. Whether it's selling through eBay, garage sales or consignment shops, there are plenty of options for selling your unwanted items.

Related Articles
  1. Budgeting

    10 Ways to Save Money at the Farmers' Market

    Strategic shopping can help your budget as well as your health.
  2. Investing

    The 8 Best Business and Finance T.V. Shows

    With so many talking heads to choose from, which is the right show for your business and money matter needs? We review the best shows on now.
  3. Active Trading Fundamentals

    The Biggest Private Equity Firms in San Francisco

    Learn about some of the larger private equity firms with a presence in San Francisco, including KKR, the Blackstone Group and Warburg Pincus.
  4. Active Trading Fundamentals

    The Companies of Peter Theil's Founders Fund

    Learn about the major public companies that Peter Thiel has invested in and companies that are on the verge of going public at multibillion-dollar valuations.
  5. Active Trading Fundamentals

    The Biggest Private Equity Firms in Los Angeles

    Learn why Los Angeles is a thriving market for private equity, and identify the five largest private equity firms operating in the city.
  6. Economics

    Understanding Switching Costs

    Consumers incur switching costs when they receive a monetary or other type of penalty for changing a supplier, brand or product.
  7. Investing

    What’s Holding Back the U.S. Consumer

    Even as job growth has surged and gasoline prices have plunged, U.S. consumers are proving slow to respond and repair their overextended balance sheets.
  8. Savings

    6 Ways to Save Money on Back-to-School Stuff

    Those school-supply lists just keep getting longer each year. Here's how to shop smart.
  9. Economics

    Explaining Market Penetration

    Market penetration is the measure of how much a good or service is being used within a total potential market.
  10. Economics

    Calculating the Marginal Rate of Substitution

    The marginal rate of substitution determines how much of one good a consumer will give up to obtain extra units of another good.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Venture Capitalist

    An investor who either provides capital to startup ventures or ...
  2. Duty Free

    Goods that international travelers can purchase without paying ...
  3. Linked Transfer Account

    Accounts held by an individual at a financial institution that ...
  4. Freelancer

    A freelancer is an individual who earns money on a per-job or ...
  5. Donation-based Crowd Funding

    Donation-based crowdfunding is a way to source money for a project ...
  6. Provisional Patent Application

    A short-term means of protecting an invention that requires less ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. What does marginal utility tell us about consumer choice?

    In microeconomics, utility represents a way to relate the amount of goods consumed to the amount of happiness or satisfaction ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What are some common ways product differentiation is achieved?

    There are many ways to achieve product differentiation, some more common than others. Horizontal Differentiation Horizontal ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How does the trust maker transfer funds into a revocable trust?

    Once a revocable trust is created, a trust maker transfers funds or property into the trust by including them in a list with ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is the difference between an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) and a VAR ...

    An original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is a company that manufactures a basic product or a component product, such as a ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Is the retail sector also affected by seasonal factors?

    Generally speaking, the retail sector is highly seasonal. Almost invariably, sales in the retail sector are highest in the ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Can I buy insurance to reduce unlimited liability in a partnership?

    Partnership insurance is actually quite common. Most of the time, partners buy insurance to safeguard against the possibility ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!