January Money Diet Day 6 – Sell Something

Yard sale photo

Photo: Punk Toad

Today, we’ll explore a way to directly impact your net worth.

Find something unused among your treasures, sell it to a buyer for cash, and either invest the money or pay down debt. You’ll eliminate clutter and free up some space, you’ll improve your net worth, and you’ll keep one more thing out of landfill. Win-win-win!

One easy way to get started is by selling unwanted books, DVDs and CDs on Amazon. You don’t need to take any photographs; just sign up for a seller account, list your items (Amazon gives you very specific guidelines so you can accurately list the quality of the item) and wait for the orders. Books and discs are easy to ship, and Amazon reimburses you for the postage. If you use the USPS’s media mail, you might even make a little profit on the shipping fee.

eBay takes a little more effort, but the results can be amazing — especially if you have a hot collectible. I’ve sold hundreds of things on eBay, and their Quick Start Guide shows you how easy it is to list your items. Just set up a seller account, take a photo of your item, write an accurate description, and carefully pack and ship your item. If that sounds like too much, you can use a third party seller who will take care of the transaction for you in exchange for a cut of the sale.

Craigslist can be great for getting rid of larger items like unwanted furniture or appliances. If you have unworn clothing, you can take it to a consignment store or a retailer like Plato’s Closet that pays cash on the spot for trendy clothing. If you live in a warmer climate, you can hold a garage sale this month.

Today’s homework assignment: Look around, see what you’re ready to part with, and find a buyer. If you can, don’t put the money in your general fund. Instead, use the cash to directly improve your net worth by either saving/investing it or paying off debt. Be sure to leave a comment and let us know what you sell this month!


The signature for Eliza Cross

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

January Money Diet Day 6 – Sell Something

  • Mea Johnson

    Lois, I feel you. I have been cutting out the fat in my house for the last year…and recently just did a clear out. I will look over some more and see about anything I can sell. I do like the idea of putting the money towards my net worth, so I will take that idea and use it in the future when I sell my things!

  • With the rise of ebooks, printed books haven’t been selling very well on Amazon unless you find rare editions, fiction does the worst with many only bringing in a penny or two. I helped my daughter-in-law to make a few dollars extra while staying at home with the children but soon found it wasn’t worth the time any more. She does better just selling them at the used bookstore for credit or at yard sales. Another option is to sell a collection by a particular author or on a particular subject on Craigslist this seems to do better.

    This year I finally have my belongings whittled down enough that when I look around I really have nothing left to get rid of. It’s taken 3 years but I’m finally happy where I am now.

  • Jody

    Just sold an older Bose sound sock that we didn’t really use anymore, plus it wasn’t compatible with my new phone. I sold it using some Facebook Groups, like this one:


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