5 Tips for Getting the Best Price for Your Stuff

How to Turn Trash Into Profit

I’m always amazed by the amount of “stuff” that I somehow accumulate. I don’t know about you, but for me, the struggle is real. For example, I often hang onto knickknacks and souvenirs, even toys from my childhood, long after their sentimental value has run its course. Do I really still need that Princess Leia Pez dispenser I’ve had forever? (OK, yeah, maybe I do.) But if I ever do decide to let it go, what exactly should I do with it? Donate it? Sell it? Just throw it away?

Repurpose iconRepurpose…

If your item is still in good shape, try looking at it with fresh eyes. Maybe that old couch pillow could find new life as a comfy pet bed for Fluffy. Or perhaps those old TV trays could be transformed into fun new memo boards.


Or consider this: If your item is still in pretty good shape, and you really don’t want or “need” it anymore, go ahead and donate it. Why? For one thing, it just feels good knowing that somebody out there will benefit from something you no longer want. After all, as Booker T. Washington said, “Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.”

Sell that thingOr Sell?

That said, selling your still-valuable “stuff” also feels nice since it puts a little extra bling in your billfold, so to speak. But questions arise. How do you know what it’s worth? Where do you find out? Is selling it going to be worth your efforts?

If you’re not sure whether to donate, repurpose or sell your extra stuff, here are a few tips for finding out how much it’s worth:

  • Wikihow recommends searching online, either through Google or an online database. Or you could ask eBay. Just go to the seller center, log into your user account, use the text field to search for your item, and click “look up.”
  • You could also seek the professional opinion of a certified appraiser or collectibles dealer. Or check your local library for collectibles price guides.
  • Online collectors’ clubs are another good resource. Many of these will also answer questions even if you’re not a member.
  • Once you have an idea of your item’s value, be honest with yourself when setting the price. Any cracks, chips or needed repairs will decrease its value.
  • Remember, despite what you may discover about your item’s apparent worth, its true value is only what someone will actually pay for it. For example, just because a price guide says my Princess Leia Pez dispenser is worth $10 doesn’t necessarily mean someone will be willing to pay that much. (And I’m not sure I would part with it, anyway!)
comment_2Have you ever been tasked with pricing items, perhaps for an estate sale or garage sale? How did you decide how much to ask? Please share your tips with our readers, below!


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