Holiday decorations are already filling the stores reminding us that the gift giving and travel season is upon us. While the holiday’s are supposed to be filled with joy, if you’re struggling financially, the burden of additional expenses only leads to added stress. Fortunately, there are some fast and easy ways to make some extra money during the holiday season to help pay for the season’s tidings.
The absolute fastest way to make money is to sell off your unwanted and unused items. Books, DVD’s, clothes, kitchenware, toys, doo-dads and knick-knacks can lead to extra cash quickly. Here are my tips for streamlining the process and getting the most buck for your junk.
1) Gather all your unused and unwanted items from around the house, attic, garage, storage and any other areas. Ask your family to pitch in. Kids can go through their clothes and toys to weed out what doesn’t fit or what they don’t want. This time of year kids items sell well. As you gather, don’t censor items thinking they won’t sell. You’d be surprised at what people will pay good money for, so gather it all up.
2) If it’s dirty, clean it. If it’s broken and can be fixed cheaply and easily, fix it.
3) Take quality pictures of all items except those you can sell on Amazon.com (books, DVD’s, etc). If it’s a brand name item, make sure you include a picture of the tag that shows the name. Some items may have more than one picture.
4) Start listing. For books and DVD’s I use Amazon.com as you can set a price and get more than at an online auction. Your used items are listed alongside the new item and can sell within minutes of listing. Amazon provides a shipping credit and you can purchase and print postage from your seller’s account.
My next stop is eBay where you can sell just about anything. During this financially tight holiday season, eBay will be a place many families shop to buy gifts, which can mean extra money for you. eBay has a user-friendly sign-up and sales set up process. The key to making the maximum amount of money on eBay is with great pictures and descriptions. Like Amazon, eBay makes preparing your items for shipping fast and easy.
Finally, for large or oddly shaped items that would be hard to ship, sell through Craigslist. Like eBay, Craigslist is a place many frugal shoppers start their search for items to buy. Selling on Craigslist is like putting your offer in the classified ads, so you don’t get as many features as Amazon or eBay. But it’s still very effective in selling your stuff. To stay safe using Craigslist, don’t include any personal information such as full name, phone, email or address. Craigslist provides an email for you. When contacted by a buyer, screen their offer carefully. Meet only in public places and bring a friend along. Finally, insist on cash payments.
Regardless of what resource you use to sell your items, always be honest about the condition. Further, because you’re looking for fast cash, price the items to sell. For example, I always price my books below everyone else’s on Amazon. Finally, when you make a sell, respond quickly to the buyer.
Now is a terrific time to make quick money from your unused and unwanted items as many people are holiday shopping for quality items at reasonable prices. It’s win-win for people who want to save and people who want to earn some extra holiday cash.
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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