I’ve always loved to bargain shop, but shopping on a budget is tough. So I found many ways to save and re-think how to still enjoy this pastime. How many times have you purchased something just to get home to see you already have something very similar in your closet? How many times have you looked in your closet and said, “Oh, I’ll wear that someday when I lose the weight/gain the weight back”? How many knick knacks are too many? What do you do with the games, toys, etc. that your kids grow out of? Here are some pointers.
By seriously looking at what you have around the house that you don’t want, don’t need, or haven’t used in a while, you can redecorate your house, clean out your unnecessary things, do a good deed, and earn money in a few easy steps.
First separate things into a few categories: Keep, sell, yard sale (there is a difference) and charity.
#1. Make use of consignment shops! They used to be taboo and/or few and far between, but now they are coming into the main stream of society. You can even find them on Newbury Street in Boston (that’s like our Rodeo Drive). By consigning old clothes that were bad buys or things you or your children grew out of, you can add to your budget and get new things you actually need. Consignment stores not only take clothes nowadays. They also take used furniture, household goods, toys, and more. Most consignment stores take gently used items and, of course, they must be clean. You will get an account when you make your first appointment and payment comes after the sale. If your items don’t sell after a certain amount of time, a lot of consignment stores give you the option of either picking up your merchandise or giving it to a charity of the stores choosing. Purchasing items at these types of stores also can save you a bundle off of retail prices.
#2. Go online. Selling things online can be done through several websites (Craigslist, Amazon, Ebay, etc). It has it’s advantages and disadvantages as well. The first advantage is you can name your price for the most part. Some sites have fees. You also need to think about how to display the items and weather the purchaser will be picking it up or if you have to ship it. Again, purchasing used online can save you a bundle, but buyer beware.
#3. Yard sale. Why is it different? Yard sales tend to bring in the least money for things that you are selling. Although it sometimes can be the easiest route to selling items, it also has less of an audience and fewer restrictions, i.e. condition of items may or may not be like new, price negotiation can occur. Weeding through many yard sales I have found one man’s junk can surely be another man’s treasure. Remember to advertise and tag items, and display them in their best light.
#4. charitable donations of clothes, furniture, and other used items are still a tax deduction at 50% for most items if you are able to file a schedule A (itemized deduction form). But you must get receipts of fare market value for any donations. Donations over $500 must be detailed.
With all these thoughts there is always one thing to remember… don’t buy what you don’t need or can’t use. Selling items to add to your budget and clean out your house doesn’t mean you should go wild with what you earned. Just food for thought.