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5 Tips for Getting the Best Price for Your Stuff

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!


Have you ever sold something online?

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Lynn Babcock
Lynn Babcock(@environan)
4 years ago

I don’t lnow about you but for me this time of year brings out the “urge to purge”. I generally tend to ask family members if they would like or need the items and not then I generally donate then to either a shelter or a charity box. Shelters are constantly in need of such things of bedding, towels, clothes (especially footwear) and toiletry items. Be sure to call the shelter you wish to donate to ahead of time. The charity boxes I donate to are The Salvation Army, Children’s Wish Foundation and an aminal rescue thridt store. The first two can be contacted to pick up items including larger items. Shopping at thrift stores is great, not only are you supporting the great work these places do, there is no tax (at least here in Ontaio) on th resale of goods.

Jennifer Miller
Jennifer Miller(@apparalgirl)
3 years ago

I love to purge the old stuff out. A rule I have is if I haven’t touched it in a year the chances are I will never touch it again. So then I get rid of it. Its hard to find places to donate items to that isn’t looking to make a profit. I would love to donate my childrens toys to kids that really can use it. Any suggestions?

Ryan Leigh Runyon
Ryan Leigh Runyon(@ryanleighgmail-com)
3 years ago

I’ve been selling items on Facebook groups since this past fall – mainly larger, nicer-quality items and kids items. Everything else will go in our upcoming garage sale, and what doesn’t sell gets donated the same day. I’ve sold around $280 worth so far (I do price it very competitively, because having it gone is worth more to me), and having it gone feels great! Also, getting ready to go through kids’ books this weekend to donate to the school Book Swap at Field Day!

Sandra Morrow
Sandra Morrow(@sandra-simplyclean)
3 years ago

I’ve heard 25-30% of original cost. I sometimes look on Facebook Marketplace to see what they are going for there.

3 years ago
Reply to  Sandra Morrow

Great ideas, readers! Thanks for your comments and suggestions!

Heather Wiese
Heather Wiese(@heather)
3 years ago

When I have a garage sale, I price my items to move. I get a bit of cash, and someone goes away with a little treasure. Anything left over is donated to local thrift stores.