Things to sell from home (and where to sell them)

Things to sell from home (and where to sell them)

Things to sell from home (and where to sell them)

Got some items taking up space or collecting dust?

Things to sell from home (and where to sell them)

    Once upon a time, I was a shopaholic. Aside from retail and online binge-shopping, I would grab a wad of cash and head to yard sales, estate sales, and antique shops. I had more knick-knacks than your great aunt Bertha. Over the years, I accumulated a lot of things, and weeding through my garage one summer will forever be known as the “Nightmare of 2019.”

    When you spend a lot of hard-earned money, it’s hard to say goodbye. Getting rid of items that still had price tags felt the same as dumping buckets of cash into Niagara Falls.

    And then it happened. I had the epiphany that if I liked all of these goods, wouldn’t someone else? I found numerous things to sell from home and I was as giddy as a kid petting a rainbow unicorn.

    My eyes lit up like it was Christmas day when I removed the lids from old boxes in my garage to reveal coveted vinyl records and first-edition comic books. I kept digging and found the Fender guitar I tried to play in 1997 right beside a pair of Nike shoes still in the box.

    I then realized that I had things to sell from home extending beyond my garage. If you’d like some tips on what is of value in your home (and what you need to let go of), let me become your personal Marie Kondo... with a beard.

    Let’s find things to sell from home (and where to sell them) starting with your wardrobe.

    Resell items from inside your closet

    When it comes to going through your closet, it’s important to sort items from what you can resell from items to donate. That old Justin Bieber t-shirt with a hole under the arm is easy to toss in your bag for Goodwill.

    When you choose to donate, an option is to bring gently used clothing to nonprofits that give clothes directly to the homeless, foster children, and women who have escaped domestic abuse. When you’re burrowing inside your closet, go ahead and “shop” and pull out items you no longer need, but would still buy. That’s the key to reselling successfully. The first place in your closet to look is for clothing that still has tags on it. I typically have a few shirts that are brand new. I bought them the previous season thinking I’d be a size smaller, but Ben and Jerry’s kept releasing new flavors.

    A note-worthy place online to sell new or gently used clothing, shoes, purses (you name it!) is Poshmark.

    It was easy to set up an account. Once you list your items to sell, they are stored in your “closet,” and you attend “parties” to get your items noticed. It’s like eBay, but for the cool, in-crowd.

    If you’re into designer fashion, then Tradesy and re{fASHION}er is your place to shine. If you’d like the option to swap items with others, then check out LePrix. You can trade your Stella McCartney sweater for a Hermès scarf. Need to sell your designer handbags, then head straight to Rebag.

    If you uncovered several trendy-looking vintage and retro items out of your closet, Etsy and ASOS Marketplace are the winners. Important note: you cannot sell on Etsy unless it’s vintage or you made it yourself.

    No, I didn’t forget about eBay, Mercari, or Facebook Marketplace. I sell on these platforms religiously and it’s actually my main hub for retail arbitrage. We’ll talk more about eCommerce sites later on.


    Where (and when) to sell closet-items in person?

    I’m writing this article in the midst of the 2020 pandemic. So, right now, it’s smart to play it safe. In the season of contactless delivery, there is also contactless pickup. ThredUP sends you a “clean out kit” (a.k.a. an empty bag) that you can fill up, leave it to be picked up by your mail carrier (it ships for free), and then they’ll take it from there. Sellers take a lower cut, but it’s a no-fuss process.

    Another option for free in-home pickup is The RealReal. In addition to clothing, shoes, and accessories, they also accept fine jewelry, home decor, and even fine art.

    When it’s safe to wander back to in-person stores, a place I frequent is Crossroads Trading. I enjoy the option of 30% of the item’s selling price in cash right on the spot, or 50% store credit. From the years of selling clothes there, they tend to take items that are gently used, name brands, vintage, retro, or highly unique. Yet it all depends on who goes through your bags that day.

    A place that I have adored since the 90s when I shopped at their first store location in Tucson, AZ is Buffalo Exchange. They have grown and sprouted locations across the United States and they now offer their pack it, send it, and get paid option. It’s very similar to ThredUP and you’ll get 25% of the selling price or 50% store credit.

    Where to sell collectibles, antiques, and vintage items

    Let’s start from square one. What defines something that is a collectible? It’s an item that is of great value and interest to collectors. That sounds reasonable. This can include everything from trading cards and coins to dolls and vinyl records.

    After prowling around my attic, I found a box of MAD Magazines from the 1960s and 1970s in good condition. I quickly realized that these are vintage and highly collectible. Instead of selling the entire box of around 50 copies in one lump sum, I took the time to check the value of every single edition. I sold some as individual copies and others in lots of 10. That dusty box I found ended up putting around $600 in my pocket. I even saved 6 copies for a rainy day.

    I sold the magazines on Craigslist at the time. That was a decade ago and when it comes to local pickup, I’m a fan of Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, and LetGo these days. It’s very easy to list your items and also to share them on multiple local selling pages. My items typically sell fast and these days people pay me through my Venmo account. They pay, pick up the item on my front porch, and we don’t even have to see each other.


    An item that is over 100 years old is considered antique. I owned an antique store in Atlanta, GA and I’m a big fan of antique furniture and memorabilia. My prized possession is my upright victrola from the historic (and famous) Potter house in Atlanta that was housed by soldiers during the Civil War. I also have a magazine in very good condition from the 1800s that I treasure.

    To make the most bang for your buck, it’s best to sell antiques locally and directly to the buyer. Other options include auctions, antique stores that offer consignment, or eBay if it’s small enough to ship.

    Pro Tip: When you sell on eBay it’s very important as a seller to protect yourself from crooked buyers. I actually take close-up photos and videotape myself carefully wrapping and packaging items. I make sure the items are highly protected from major drops, bumps, etc. This way, if a buyer says something is chipped, cracked, or broken, I have proof of how it left me.

    Vintage typically is anything older than two decades, but younger than your grandma. My Nirvana t-shirt is now officially vintage. Come to think of it, I’m vintage.

    Many vintage items (outside of fashion) that are of value to resell typically fit into the collectible category. You’re looking at memorabilia items like Boy Scout merit badges to old metal signs and license plates.

    That tin Superman lunch box you had in 1st grade is now worth $100. That Pyrex set your grandma gave you that sits in the back cabinet of your kitchen? The butter dishes sell for around $225 on eBay. Do you still have that original American Girl doll from 1986? If her name is Samantha, she sells as high as $4,200 on eBay.

    What you have sitting around your house can easily turn into thousands of extra dollars in the bank.

    How (and where) to sell miscellaneous items

    There are many things of value around your home. Musical instruments and accessories uphold their value if they remain in excellent condition. I keep my guitars in their cases, so they stay flawless. There are always musicians out there needing a new keyboard, drum set, or piccolo, and these items are best sold locally and directly to the buyer.

    Unless you’re desperate, I do not recommend selling instruments to pawn shops or second-hand music stores. You’ll barely get anything for it. In my freshman year of college, I sold my like-new saxophone for only $50. My parents had paid over $400 for it and my original plan was to take that secret to my grave.

    Other items that hold their value are outdoors, sports, and exercise equipment. I once bought a snowboard from Goodwill for around $30 and after going 4 winters without touching it, I sold it for $75. You know that treadmill you bought that just sits there? You need to either love it or list it. If it’s something bulky to ship, you know what to do if you’ve read this far.


    I’m a gadget guy and a bit addicted to buying the latest and greatest electronics. Items you can resell (if they’re in good condition and working order) include cell phones, laptops, tablets, TVs, cameras, and video game consoles to name several. For the smaller items, I typically sell these using eBay or Facebook Marketplace. Another option is to use Amazon’s trade in program. You can receive an Amazon gift card in exchange for thousands of eligible items and it’s free to ship your items to them. I call that a win-win situation.

    If you have a lot of books, it may be worth it to set up an Amazon seller account. After all, that’s how Amazon began back in 1995 as a website that only sold books. College textbooks retain their value, so if you’re done with World History, sell it. If you are an avid reader, find places where you can trade out your old books for new ones.

    You know that DVD collection that you’ve held on to, but never touch since you’re glued to Netflix? Selling used DVDs can actually turn into a little side hustle if you have enough. I ended up with close to 1,000 (I’m a movie buff), and finally sifting through the bins and kept the ones I’d feel too sick to let go of. While you’re at it, go through your video game collection.

    Things to sell from home also include kitchen items which tend to do well in the eCommerce marketplace. Especially, if you have a like-new Instapot, KitchenAid mixer or Vitamix. If you’re ready to invest in new appliances, you can sell your old ones for local pickup. Appliances do not hold their value unless they are under 2 years old and a major (and reliable) name brand.

    What to expect when you sell things from home

    First off, don’t hold your breath. It’s very exciting when you start this side hustle. It can certainly feel like a business depending on how much you have to sell. The reality is that the jacket you listed yesterday, may not sell for a couple of weeks, if at all.

    It’s smart to see what similar items like yours are being listed for and make sure you are competitive with your prices. What you may think is worth $50 may only sell for $20. Yet there will be times when you really score and realize that old toy you thought was trash-worthy is actually a collector’s item.

    My best advice is to keep at it. If you need to relist an item, perhaps take better photos and offer free shipping, but make the price higher so you aren’t losing a penny. Play around with it. Try different online sites and local selling platforms until you understand how to play the game.

    There will be wins and there will be losses. But at the end of the day, you will have more money in your pocket and less clutter in your closet.



    Tristan Luciotti

    5 posts

    Tristan is a foster dad, writer, indie filmmaker, video game creator, and digital marketing wizard. He loves hiking the Oregon coast and is ready to share his financial - and life - survival tips.