KNOXVILLE (WATE) – How much stuff do you have at home, hiding under your kids’ beds or lurking in your closets, that you never use? While a yard sale can be a quick and easy way to unload all those extras, you’ll never get top dollar for items sold to local bargain hunters.
If you have brand-name or designer clothes in good condition, your best bet is to take those items to a local consignment shop. Depending on the shop’s policy, you might be paid either up front or when an item sells. Some stores split the selling price 50/50.
Used bookstores are a dying breed, but there is one in Knoxville that will buy and trade your used books. Otherwise, there are dozens of websites that can help sell your old titles. These include big names such as Amazon and Half.com. To find out how much your books are worth, head to BookScouter.com, which lists the going price on more than 40 websites. Recent college textbooks are your best bets for making some money.
If you have a truly valuable antique collection, you’ll likely get the most money through an auction house. If you have collectibles that aren’t quite auction-house caliber, look for an antique store that might be interested in either purchasing them or selling them on consignment. You can also test the waters with eBay.
How about used sports equipment no longer in use? Some re-sale shops such as Play It Again Sports specialize in used fitness equipment. The shop might purchase smaller items bats, balls and protective gear. Larger items, such as treadmills, might be sold on a consignment basis. You can also turn to Craigslist, but follow the safety precautions.
Like old baseball bats and tennis clubs, lots of folks have put away that clarinet last played years ago. Unfortunately, most old pianos are a dime a dozen, and you’re lucky if you can give them away. Before selling an old instrument, your first stop should be the local music supply store.There, it might cost you a couple of dollars, but ask whether the store can give your instrument a once-over to clean it up and check for defects. Then ask if they sell instruments on consignment.
If not, Plan B is to contact local school music departments and let them know you have an instrument for sale. Band teachers might be happy to pass along the word to families looking for that clarinet. Finally, we come to everything else: kitchen gadgets, toys, picture frames and all the rest.
Except in rare cases, most of this stuff is, sadly, not going to fetch much. These are the items that are primed for your yard sale. If you don’t need quick cash, load everything up and take it to your local thrift store. There you get a tax deduction, plus the good feelings that come with a decluttered house and the knowledge that your stuff will be used to help others.