Holy guacamole... unexpected value of stuff in storage

December 9, 2011 8:19am CST
Someone posted a discussion recently about ways to earn a little extra, so I thought I'd follow up on the idea of selling old stuff, since I've just had a bit of a surprise. I've been going through the computer room (also known as the box room, since that's where the boxes of stuff in storage are). My lady wants to rearrange furniture and stuff, so I'm clearing as much junk out as I can... less to move around! What really surprised me is the amount of "junk" that's actually saleable. My lady's throwing out a bunch of clothes (which will go to charity, since they're very good quality) but I found a stack of stuff that we're going to put on eBay. PC components, old PC games, freebie DVDs we got with newspapers, a couple of books in mint condition, the perfumes she no longer wants... there's SO much stuff to sell it's unbelievable. You'd be surprised how much you can get for what you consider "junk", as well. The biggest surprises for me are a couple of old comic book annuals (one of which is fairly rare and should fetch a nice price) and some magazines. For example, I kept an old French TV guide from the end of 2001. It's in very good condition. Who'd want a TV guide from France? Well, since (by pure luck!) it happens to be the one with the Harry Potter cinema poster for the first episode in it... quite a few people, actually! I totalled all the eBay stuff up for the piles of unwanted "junk" I have to sell and it comes to well over $1,000. That's just SCARY! Have you considered how much valuable rubbish you have stored away in boxes around your house? You might be amazed.
2 people like this
12 responses
@bostonphil (4397)
• United States
10 Dec 11
I have bought and sold all kinds of things over the years. I have made a little money doing so. I have bought costume jewelry from ebay and had mixed results. I got some great stuff and not so great stuff. I have thought about trying to sell on ebay but I find it too much trouble for myself. I have not ruled it out forever, just for now. But I do know other persons who have done well selling on ebay. However, I have had some success selling on craigslist, consignment shops and garage sales. Besides ebay, you might look into some other possibilities. And yes, it is amazing how much money you can make from stuff you have that you never use, do not want and do not need. Remember that one person's junk is another person's treasure.
2 people like this
10 Dec 11
I don't do it much, as a rule - I don't have the talent for spotting bargains that other people will pay enough for! I was just really surprised when I totalled up the value of everything I'd dug out of 2 or 3 boxes. Almost makes me wish I had more boxes to dig through (though I think I prefer having fewer to move around, given how heavy they are....).
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Dec 11
Several years back, times were tough for me. It was during this period that I began to sell some of my things and I was pleasantly surprised at how much they brought in. I then graduated into buying things for resale. I would go to an estates sale or garage sale and buy items that I though I could make a profit on. I made a little money that way and it kept me afloat. There are a lot of books on the market about collectibles. I learned a lot. I met buyers, sellers and collectors. Almost everyone collects something. One time I had a garage sale and I was selling some old perfume bottles. There was a little perfume in each bottle and I did not spill it out because perfume lasts. A woman came by and bought them all because of the old perfume. She collected old smells. It was and is a fascinating experience. So out of some bad times, I learned something new and made a little money to boot. I still buy and sell a little bit.
• United States
11 Dec 11
After reading your response here, Bostonphil, I now regret one of the things that I did recently. I had some perfume bottles that I was collecting. I did not like the smell of the perfume, but I liked the bottles because they were pretty and unusual. I decided that I did not need them any more, because I am trying to downsize and I have to start somewhere. I gave the bottles to charity to sell, because they are something that I think people would be interested in, but I dumped the perfume and washed the bottles before I gave them away. I thought I was doing a good thing, because I was trying to make sure that everything was clean and in good condition, and I didn't think anyone would want perfume that might have been used by someone else. After reading your comment, though, I realize that they could actually have been more valuable with the perfume still in them, because some of them came from my grandma and my mom, so they were pretty old.
@peavey (16319)
• United States
9 Dec 11
I do a compulsive clean up about once a year and have probably tossed things that should have been sold. I don't tend to keep things around much longer than that unless I want to use them. Phooey. I was hoping to find some great secret to making money on some of my junk that I keep, but would be happy to unload for the right price.
2 people like this
9 Dec 11
Most of this stuff fits that description quite well - I'd be tempted to keep it but when I can get $25 for a magazine I'll probably never look at again (simply because it's 10+ years old), I figure "Heck, yeah"!
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@peavey (16319)
• United States
9 Dec 11
I'd be happy with that, too, but I toss magazines long before then, unless it's for patterns or something I'll use again. Or... maybe I should take another look at the rest of my junk. :)
2 people like this
9 Dec 11
You never know what's in the magazine, that's the thing. A cheapo publication you bought for a couple of dollars and keep for a recipe or pattern could well have an article about someone who's now incredibly famous that collectors will want. It's that kind of pure luck that makes it worth checking...!!
1 person likes this
@mturacom (634)
• India
12 Dec 11
It happens with most of the people. We just put junk in our store room in a hope that it will used later on but that time never comes. Most of the time the value and condition degrades over time. Even if someday something is need, it is very hard to find it out from all the junk we have collected over time. So its better to sell some of the unwanted items from time to time.
12 Dec 11
Would you believe I found an old PC motherboard. I think it has a
@mturacom (634)
• India
12 Dec 11
I don't know what it would be worth but who knows you may find other parts too, just to know that you had a spare pc in your trash. LOL
1 person likes this
13 Dec 11
LOL, it's true. 2 motherboards with CPUs and RAM, 3 HDDs, a floppy drive, an old tower case with power/fans, 2 old CRT monitors, network card, 2 sound cards, wifi card, SCSI card... I have tons of old bits and pieces. All that space they're taking up!
• United States
9 Dec 11
I tend to be a "pack rat", but lately I have been trying very hard to reduce the amount of "clutter" around here. I have probably thrown out a bunch of things that are worth money, especially after having read some of the things that you say you are going to sell on eBay. If I think someone would like something or an item might be of use to someone, then I normally just give it to charity, but over the years I have wondered how much these things were actually worth. I suspect that some of them were actually relatively valuable, but I don't regret giving them to charity if the money was used to help others in need.
1 person likes this
9 Dec 11
UK charities have gotten pretty snobby over the last 5-10 years. Whereas they used to take anything and resell it for a few pence (and thus were awesome places to pick up cheap clothes and create your own style), they know refuse anything that isn't in almost-perfect condition. When I first moved back to the UK, for example, I cleared out three large cardboard boxes of VHS cassettes. I took one to each of three charities. The first two were ecstatic, really grateful because they were all in pristine condition. The third - British Heart Foundation - didn't even say "Thank you". Just "Put it over there, will you?" Obviously they don't get anything from me any more. As I mentioned, my lady's clothes will all go to charity: they're gorgeous, in very good condition and mostly Parisian, so I know the charities will be able to sell them - and I'm VERY happy they'll make money from her generosity. When it comes to magazines and PC bits, they won't do the research and will put them on sale for 10p each. I'd rather sell them myself and donate some of the proceeds. That way everybody wins.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Dec 11
Fortunately, our charities do things differently - or at least some of them do. There are some that have homeless shelters or children's homes that they fund in conjunction with the other charity work that they do, so even if things are not necessarily in pristine condition they usually find a use for them. They even use fabric, such as jeans with holes in the knees, for either sewing classes for the children's home (the school part) or cut them off for shorts, etc. I am not saying that we should give them junk or anything, but clothes that are perfectly fine but have a stain or something like that will still get used rather than thrown away, because they can still keep someone warm and dry.
1 person likes this
10 Dec 11
Most of ours think they're "too good" for that, these days. Shame, really, as they're wasting a huge amount of income - even if they took them in and put them in a "jumble" box at 20p a pop, they'd sell like hot cakes. Mmmm, hot cakes. Now I'm hungry.
@KOSTAS499 (1625)
• Greece
13 Dec 11
Did you post them on Ebay? How are they doing? That's what I was thinkinkg a few days ago. Stuff that we have for years could be collectables to others. I have a 1995 Harley-Davidson catalog. I checked it just out of curiosity and someone is selling them as collectables! I have to go through my boxes. :)
1 person likes this
13 Dec 11
I haven't posted the magazines yet because they're over the "no-fee" limit (more than 99p starting price). I'm waiting for a free listing weekend for them. I currently have 83 items listed, mostly VHS cassettes going 100% for charity, so they get the listing fees refunded if they sell and the charity gets all the proceeds. Of the stuff I found in boxes the other day, I've already sold one item for 6 times what I was asking (!!) and have a bid on another. Every little helps.
@KOSTAS499 (1625)
• Greece
13 Dec 11
I have sold 2 items and tomorrow I will have client No 3. I have to post some new stuff, my current items are not good bait :)
@kaichoukebz (1190)
• Philippines
9 Dec 11
I am a bit confuse on how can I sell at Ebay. I do not know how to transfer a product from a seller to the buyer. I heard lots of positive comments with regards to Ebay. I am very happy about it.
1 person likes this
9 Dec 11
Transferring stuff to the buyer is pretty simple: you put it in an envelope and send it by post. The winner's address is revealed to you as part of the process so that you can send the goods.
• Philippines
9 Dec 11
Oh! I see. I need to sell also some of my junks here at home.
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@allen0187 (32597)
• Philippines
13 Dec 11
hi spike. good luck in selling those items in ebay man. i do the same. sold a couple of audio cds that i don't listen to anymore in ebay and made some cash. this year, i'll be consigning some of the clothes that i don't wear anymore to a friend who has an online shop. it would have been better if she would have bought the clothes for cash but that would have been unfair to her. i could have sold these clothes myself but that would have been too much work for me. lol! so it works both ways! not really looking at how much i'd earn but considering the space i'll have and the clutter that i'll lose when i get these seldom used clothes out of my closets. anyway, some of the other stuff that are laying around the house will be donated as well. just figured that if i'm not using these stuff, these will be better off with those who can actually have use for these.
@CatGods (4596)
• United States
9 Dec 11
Yes I have tons of stuff up for sale and I have tons of more stuff to list. Some of it is my stuff and others is stuff that was either given to me because some one didn't want it any more or stuff I found for literally pennies on the dollar. I don't sell on ebay because I think the fees are too high. I use free marketplace sites. It's a nice way for me to make some additional cash.
1 person likes this
10 Dec 11
I don't buy stuff "pennies on the dollar" any more: I've always been incredibly unlucky and picked the things that were dirt cheap because no one wanted them. So I've never been able to resell. If you're good at it, that can be an excellent way to earn some extra - nice one!
• India
9 Dec 11
Quite some interesting revelation Spike! We stuff quite a lot almost in every conceivable space around the house. In fact, some of it gets disposed off, handed out to domestic help, gardener [my wife was quite generous-she handed out an old Nokia phone to a gardener in the college] and office boys. We do occasionally turn things around in overhead cabinets in bed rooms, big boxes stacked in utility spaces and I have seen old fancy bags, battery operated toys, electronic components et al! I have never considered e-bay selling because I haven't even figured out-my basic complacence stems from assumed lack of avenue for my country. In your quick recap, are there such limitations? If there aren't it makes immense sense to follow you!
9 Dec 11
I don't know about country limitations. Since I've ordered stuff from China, Hong Kong, USA, UK and Europe in the past, I assume they don't care where you are. The only real difference is postage costs - as a seller, you have to watch out you don't undercut yourself. E.g. I just had an email from a guy somewhere in Europe asking if he can bid on a PC game. Yes, he can, but he'll have to pay extra for me to send it.
@cher913 (25893)
• Canada
9 Dec 11
i have sold a few things and tried to sell other stuff but i just found there wasn't much interest in the stuff that i wanted to sell and i also found trying to figure out shipping was tough too. i will probably continue to sell on ebay but not sure what or when. maybe in the new year.
9 Dec 11
Like most classified/auction sites, it's all random. I've listed a lot of things MANY times (the cheap stuff at £0.99 gets free listing, so I don't care how often I have to do it). It's very much the luck of the draw: I listed some perfumes two or three times with absolutely no interest then, recently, listed them again and had someone BEGGING me to take them down and sell them to her immediately for her mum's birthday (because the auction would have ended too late). She paid extra, took both at once and everyone was very happy!
@daeckardt (6245)
• United States
22 Jul 12
I have never considered selling stuff on eBay. In fact, every time I got an account with them, I would make a purchase and then they would close my account on me so I just don't even go there any more! I guess that is my fault though. Most of the junk I keep around here I wouldn't know the value of and I would probably let someone else take care of that for me instead of worrying about it myself. Were you able to get as much as expected from your unwanted "junk"? I hope you did well with your little sale! Have a great weekend!!!
@inertia4 (27395)
• United States
10 Dec 11
I know I have tons of stuff that I can probably feel off on E-Bay. I just need to get around to cleaning things out and sifting though them. I am sure I could make some nice change myself.