Turn trash into treasure


yard saleWant to make some cash? Go yard sale-ing.

The idea is simple.  You pick up treasures, polish them up a bit if need be, and resell them on eBay.  It’s an easy and fun way to make a few dollars and a beneficial arrangement for all:  Your customers get the goods they want quickly and conveniently.  The people holding the sales get to clean out their garages and basements.  And you get to spend your weekends running around to neighborhood sales and chatting with lovely folk!

Yard sales are pretty easy to find if you know how to look.  My favorite method is to get in my car and drive around back lanes looking for signs.  Most weekends in the summer, you’ll find them in droves.  But if you don’t like to take chances, check for ads in the newspaper, look at flyers at the grocery store or just ask around.  If you live in a big city, visit craigslist.org and click on your city name.  Then, click “garage sales” under the “for sale section.”  (I guess people in big cities have garages instead of yards!)  You should get a nice long list of sales in your area.

eBay logoThen I sell the items on eBay! (Sometimes I use Etsy for arty things or jewelry.)

To sell things on eBay, you’ll need an internet link and some know-how.  Don’t be scared, you can do it from your computer at home to access the main eBay site. Or you can use your iPad or tablet or iPhone through the mobile eBay app if you’re a little more savvy.

To start the process, go to ebay.com and make an account. It’s free! You will need to provide eBay with both a credit card and a checking account number, so be prepared.  (They need these to keep the process safe for buyers.)

Then take a photo of your item. If it’s a document or painting, try and scan it for greater resolution. It is possible to sell things on e-Bay without pictures, but sellers tend to get higher prices with photos.

The first twenty items you list for sale on eBay per month are free of insertion fees. After the first twenty items, there is a $0.30 insertion fee per item. When your item is bought, a final value fee (10% of the total sale amount) is collected. This covers e-Bay’s costs.

And that’s really all you need to make money yard sale-ing and on eBay!  Have fun and who knows, you might hit the jackpot and pick up a Ming vase or a dusty old Monet.  It hasn’t happened to me yet, but I did make $150 reselling a clarinet once online.  Good luck!