A select group of people enjoy cleaning. For the rest of us, it’s just another chore on our to-do list. While straightening up your house or apartment probably isn’t your favorite task, here’s the good news: in most cases, there is some sort of financial incentive you can look to as the light at the end of the tunnel. We’re talking more than just coins in the couch cushions. Here are some of the ways “cleaning house” could earn you a little — or maybe more than a little — money.
Sell your unwanted clothing
You’ve probably passed by a Bergen County consignment shop or two, such as Nonu Vintage in Dumont, Ridgewood’s Savvy Chic, or New to You in Teaneck. Perhaps you’ve made a purchase, and maybe you’ve even sold something. If so, good for you! Some pay in cash while others offer store credit. To find the best local consignment store for your belongings, refer to the store-finder listings provided by The Association of Resale Professionals.
There is also a network of online consignment stores and resell websites. For example, Thred Up assists users in thinning out their closets and selling the discards. Simply pack your clean, gently-used clothing into one of their Clean Out Kits and send it back. The amount you receive depends on the original price, brand and category of each item. Two things to keep in mind: clothes must adhere to this list of accepted brands, and if you want any clothes that are not accepted returned, you will be charged a fee.
Benefit from unused baubles and name brands
Style changes with the times, so it’s common to have a few pieces — or maybe an entire box — of jewelry you haven’t worn in years. Instead of letting these items tarnish, you may be able to make a pretty penny by selling them. Worthy.com resells all styles of jewelry. The only catch is the items must be worth more than $1,000 to be sold through the site. Find out what a piece is worth by submitting a description and images to Worthy and they will evaluate it accordingly. Once accepted, they do most of the work, and when the auction ends, the funds are transferred to you. We’re talking about significant belongings and amounts here, so it’s important to understand the entire process before making any decisions.
Speaking of more extravagant goods, TheRealReal specializes in reselling authenticated luxury items, from high-end designer apparel and accessories (think Chanel or Hermès) to fine art. According to the website, consignors earn 60-70% of the sale price, and items sell quickly. So, if you have a Louis Vuitton bag or a Cartier watch collecting dust somewhere, it might be time to see what they’re worth!
A new kind of garage sale
The saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” may be old, but people are always finding new ways to put it to good use. As long as the weather is nice and you’re getting a good traffic flow, an old-fashioned garage sale could be worth your while. But you might find it less taxing, and possibly more profitable, to join a Facebook garage sale. Simply search Facebook for “garage sale group” or “yard sale group” along with your town or county name and you’ll probably find at least one group you can join. Once you’ve joined the group, read its rules and guidelines. Then you’re ready to start selling!
Give gift cards new life
In one of our blogs, we reviewed saving and spending tips for back-to-school and suggested purchasing unused gift cards at discounted rates on websites such as Gift Card Granny. On the flip side, if your cleaning crusade uncovers any gift cards you probably won’t use, you can sell them to the site and get back as much as 92 percent of their value in cash.
Make a mint on multimedia
Sort through your library and check sites like BookScouter.com, eBay’s Half.com and Amazon Trade-In to see who offers you the best deal on your books. Just like other consignment stores, some pay in cash while others give store credit or gift card equivalents.
Vinyl albums, especially those from the 1950s-1970s, have made a comeback. If you have a rare, mint-condition one, you could be looking at a payday somewhere in the thousands. Forever Vinyl offers auction and appraisal services and buys collections of singles, albums, CDs and live concert recordings.
Pull the plug on deserted electronics
According to a recent Gallup poll, 51 percent of iPhone owners and 40 percent of Android users in the U.S. upgrade to a new model as soon as their provider allows it (typically every two years). That said, chances are you have at least one outdated electronic device or appliance you want to replace. If so, you may be interested in Best Buy’s Trade-In Program, through which you can exchange a device from this list for a Best Buy E-Gift Card.
Clear out old sports gear, kids’ clothing and toys
If you’re left with unwanted children’s toys, clothes, or sports equipment, there are a variety of websites designed to help you sell them. On Swap Me Sports, you can buy, trade, sell, or donate sports gear. Kids to Kid shop lets you earn cash or store credit for your kids’ outgrown items and moms’ outgrown maternity wear. Here’s a full list of gently used items they’ll buy from you. And Swap.com will pay you for women’s, men’s, baby and kids’ clothing and accessories. According to the website, sellers earn an average of $150 per box sold.
Once you’ve got some extra money, make it grow! One of the best ways to do that is to deposit it into an interest-bearing account, such as savings, money market, or certificate of deposit (CD). Visit the NVE website, one of our convenient neighborhood branches in Bergen County, or call 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265) to learn more.