Get Rid of Extra Stuff For Cash

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Couple Having A Garage Sale
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Everyone has extra stuff that they don't use or need anymore. There are two reasons to get rid of this extra stuff. First and foremost you want to sell this stuff to make money that you can save for your down payment. As a secondary benefit, you will be getting rid of clutter in your life to simplify your belongings and make your life easier to manage. While it is sometimes psychologically difficult to part with your belongings (I know it is for me), you will want to focus on the dream: owning a house, condo, or town home of your own. Will you really care about selling your old leather jacket you don't wear anymore when you are relaxing in your new house?

Ok I'm Convinced. Now What Should I Sell?

Good question! Everyone will have a different answer to this and I will present my unique perspective. First, I will tell you what not to sell. Do not sell items that are "investments". Examples of investments are coin collections (especially gold and silver coins), expensive paintings, antiques of value, stamp collections, baseball card collections, comic book collections, and rare collectibles. The reason not to sell these items is they are investments and will go up in value over time. Moreover, I believe the more assets you have the more money and cash flow you will attract to yourself over time. What I would recommend selling are items that have no investment value and you are not using anymore. Great examples are old clothes that don't fit or that you are not wearing anymore (items that are designer labels will sell really well), sporting equipment such as skis and rollerblades, electronics and computers, CDs and DVDs, and furniture. These are all items that are useful to others however have no intrinsic investment value and also are cluttering up your life if they are not in use.

How Should I Sell My Extra Stuff For Money?

Now that you have identified the items you want to sell to make some extra cash for your down payment savings, let's look at how to sell these items. There are three main ways to sell your extra stuff:

  1. Ebay is the best way to sell items that you can easily ship. Due to the popularity of this website, you can find a buyer for almost anything (at the right price). If you already have an Ebay account, this is definitely the way to go. If you don't have an Ebay account, you may want to use a friend's account to sell your items because feedback is so important and you may not be able to sell your items without first having some positive feedback.
  2. Craigslist is like Ebay but allows you to connect with people in your area. If you are selling sporting equipment, furniture, or anything else that is large and hard to ship, Craigslist is a super way to go because you can have the buyer pick up the items directly from your residence.
  3. If you have a ton of stuff to sell, a garage sale / yard sale makes a lot of sense since you don't have to ship anything. People will come and take home what they buy. You may want to check out Wikipedia's definition of a garage sale. The downside to this option is this site is all about saving money to buy your first house and it's hard to have a garage sale if you are living in an apartment. Some apartments may allow tenants to have a yard sale and you will want to check with your apartment management team. Also, you could always borrow a friend's yard or garage for your sale.

Remember Not To Buy Unnecessary Items

You just made a few hundred (or even thousand) dollars by selling your extra stuff. You feel great because you are one step closer to having enough money for your mortgage down payment and also because you life has a lot less clutter in it. The natural instinct is to take this cash and spend it. Don't do this. Take the cash immediately to the bank and deposit it. The last thing you want to do is take this money to buy more stuff, believe me I know it's difficult. Put the money in an account that's not easy to withdraw from and remember to not buy items unless they are really necessary. Following this rule in addition to making more money by selling your old things that you don't need anymore will help you achieve your down payment in no time. Remember to keep picturing yourself in your new house, this will provide the greatest motivation to overcome temptations to spend money on unnecessary things.

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