So you’ve spring cleaned your home — now what?
Before you toss that busted vacuum or bath bomb gift set from the holidays, why not try to make a quick buck off your seasonal purge? Consider these surprising items from every room in your house that online buyers are just waiting to snatch up on eBay, Etsy, Amazon and other mega marketplaces everyone knows.
The Bedroom: Linens, Blankets and Pillows
You read that right. Shoppers on a budget who may not want to pay full retail on the bedroom décor of their dreams — and don't mind if it isn't brand new — are searching online for the next best thing second-hand. Accent blankets, chic throw pillows and splurge-worthy sheets are especially hot sellers, says Danni Ackerman, online selling expert and owner of Time Machine Shopping Experience in Las Vegas.
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To up your chances of attracting higher bidders, shoot crisp photos of your items actually on the bed. “If you take a picture of it all folded up or jumbled in a pile, it’s harder for people to determine whether it’s worth taking the risk,” Ackerman says. “But if you present the image that this comes from a very nice and clean room, they’re going to be more likely to pay a higher price.”
If you can package several items as a complete set, like this Anthropologie duvet and sham set going for $330, all the better. You can make more money and get rid of more things with just one sale.
The Bathroom: Hot-Hair Tools and Beauty Gift Sets
If you're about to trade in your old T3 Featherweight for a new Dyson Supersonic, hock your unwanted gear online, where thrifty buyers are looking for originally expensive hand-me-down tools.
If it’s a hot item (pun intended) still making the rounds of beauty awards lists, Ackerman says you can expect a higher payout close to what you originally paid. But don’t discount older devices. Ackerman says there’s a market for discontinued models of hair tools no longer available in stores, especially for buyers who may have broken an old favorite and want to replace it.
While you're clearing out your bathroom, look for unused beauty products, too. If you still have spa-worthy gift sets that you’ve yet to crack open since receiving them last holiday season, throw them up online. These unopened items resell well, Ackerman says, and they're more in demand with Mother’s Day and shower season around the corner.
The Kitchen: Vintage Tupperware
As bomber jackets and Netflix revivals prove, old trends are back in. So while spring-cleaning your kitchen, consider selling off vintage, nostalgia-inducing products, which can command a hot dollar on the resale market.
“Vintage Tupperware is hot,” Ackerman says, of those bright-colored plastic nesting bowls with air-tight lids. “For those of us who grew up with that stuff, there’s nothing better, so people are going to pay a good price to get those pieces that are comfortable to them.”
To know whether your pieces are worth selling, check the market rate for similar ones online. On eBay, Ackerman suggests going to the “sold” page and filtering by highest price first to see the best selling rates for the type, quantity and condition of your set. If you have something like this vintage Tupperware salad bowl set, you could score $70.
The Garage: Weathered Lawn Décor and Broken Appliances
When it comes to home decorating trends, the shabbier, the better — at least for lawns and gardens. That’s good news for spring cleaners hoping to rid themselves of worn-out garden sculptures and patio décor that’s been weathered down to a shabby-chic look. For example, this set of vintage wooden folding lawn chairs on Etsy could pocket the seller $49.
If you’re worried about shipping large objects, clarify in your listing that the item is available only for local pickup. Ackerman also suggests checking out Greyhound’s shipping service or uShip, a site that matches your shipping needs to independent drivers in your area.
As for items beyond "rustic" that are just plain busted, turns out there’s a big market for reselling old appliance parts. Ackerman says she has a client whose business involves taking apart vacuum cleaners, chain saws, lawn mowers, sewing machines and the like to sell the individual parts online. DIY-masters will buy them to repair their own broken appliances instead of buying brand-new, often expensive equipment. After all, you know what they say about one person’s trash ...
The Dining Room: Mismatched Pieces of China
Maybe you've inherited some china that you no longer want to hang on to, or you volunteered to clear out your great-aunt's attic and find yourself knee-deep in porcelain. While batching some items like clothing or linens can make a sale more enticing, the trick to selling off your old dishes and serving pieces is to list them individually.
“People have their whole china set that’s been passed down for years, but they may have broken a plate or two, or maybe there was a piece they never had that they now want,” Ackerman explains. Selling off china à la carte is the way to go — even a selection of mismatched dessert plates could score you a cool $20 like this Etsy seller. Plus, it’ll be way easier to ship a single piece than a whole set. Seriously, save yourself the trouble.
*Product prices are accurate as of April 2017 and come from eBay and Etsy.