Turn Clutter into Cash

By Brooke Nevils

illustration of home goodsillustration of home goods➜ Small Kitchen Appliances
Regardless of the brand, these items-especially bread, pasta and espresso machines-have been steady sellers for Skip McGrath, author of Three Weeks to eBay Profits. He often picks them up at garage sales and then resells them on eBay for up to 20 times as much, like the $2 garage sale food dehydrator that sold for $40. Even if an item isn't in mint condition, it could sell. "I sold a broken espresso machine for about $50 because the buyer wanted it for parts," says McGrath. But, he cautions, make sure you're upfront about the condition of the item. Image by Jenny Bowers.

➜ Video Games
"We'll pay up to $30 per game as well as your shipping costs," says Anthony Scarsella, chief gadget officer at Gazelle.com, which buys used electronics products directly from consumers. While you're at it, throw in a few of your old movies. "We will pay $1 for DVDs and $5 for Blu-rays," says Scarsella.

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➜ "Tacky" Sweaters
From an appliquéd Rudolph with a light-up nose to ornately hand-knitted cats, the brightly colored picture sweaters-particularly holiday sweaters- of the '80s and '90s are back in high demand. Resale prices online or at consignment shops can range from $10 to $100.

➜ 1950s Furniture
Midcentury modern furniture "can sell the same day it comes in," says Sabrina Fischer, owner of Peacock Furniture Galleria, a consignment shop in Erie, PA. Vanities, dining tables, dressers, desks and bed frames in good condition fetch anywhere from $300 to $900 in consignment or resale stores, and even more online at sites like eBay and Etsy.

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➜ Vintage Electronics
Purist hi-fi buffs and nostalgia collectors are willing to pay top dollar for pre-1980s stereo and hi-fi equipment, especially if it's still working. "The bestselling items right now are LP turntables, reel-to-reel tape decks, vacuum tube amplifiers, cassette tape decks and high-end speaker systems," says McGrath.

➜ Lunchpails
There's a whole market of "pailientologists" on the prowl for vintage lunchboxes. A rare, mint-condition item can go for thousands (a 1954 Superman lunchbox recently sold at auction for $11,865), but a pre-1990 metal or plastic box in decent shape with an image of a TV show or celebrity on the front may fetch anywhere from $20 to $50. The Collecting Lunchboxes Block on Yardsellr.com is a great no-fee site for selling your items.

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➜ Gold
"With gold at around $1,800 an ounce, now's a great time to cash in those old gold chains and mateless earrings sitting in your jewelry box," points out Farnoosh Torabi, personal finance expert for Yahoo! Finance. But keep in mind that the price you'll get for your stuff depends on weight and karats. Call your local jewelry store to see if they purchase gold (or can recommend an appraiser), or go to MyGoldParty.com to learn about hosting a goldselling party.

Original article appeared on WomansDay.com.

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