How To Convert Unused Stuff to Cash for Charity…Online!

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Finding money in your budget to give to charity can be a challenge.

Luckily, in many cases, charity doesn’t need to feel like a sacrifice! Here are a few ways to make money to give to charity, with minimal effort and a large payoff. Sometimes, we look around at our living spaces and realize we are buried in too much stuff.

The realization can hit when we go to put clothes away and the drawers are stuffed, we open a closet and old knick-knacks fall out, or when we decide to redesign a space and can’t find a way to clear out the clutter. We all have trouble parting with things we consider keepsakes, but many of our old cell phones, clothes, accessories and home goods are just a waste of space. Luckily, if you are looking to unburden your home while making a bit of extra cash, all you need to do is open up your laptop. Here are some favorites from our Community Purse members:

ebay-logo1. Ebay

Few people realize how easy it is to sell things on this popular auction website at www.ebay.com. It can seem like you need to know a special formula to be a star seller, but with a few tips, anyone can become a pro.

First, take good pictures. Take pictures against solid color backgrounds and in good natural light. If you are selling clothes or household items, make sure to get a close up of an item’s pattern or texture to give the seller a better idea of what the item looks like. I have found that items almost always sell better when I touch up photos in a photo editing software to better capture the way the items look in real life. Far from being deceitful, brightening up photos in a free photo-editing software like Fotor for Mac gives a buyer a better idea of how items might look in person. Your items look older and cheaper when transferred through a lens, and you want to make sure they show up well online.

Second, keep your descriptions simple and to the point. Look at what other sellers are writing about similar items, and figure out what descriptors you need in your post. Different items require different levels of description, but don’t be particularly worried about what you write as long as you have all of the item’s key details.

Third, do not necessarily price your item for what you would want it to sell for in an ideal world. Remember that getting old items out of your house is the real goal, not making tons of money. Don’t price an item for less than you’d be willing to part with it, but be realistic about the demand for any particular good.
Finally, leave positive feedback whenever you sell to someone or buy to someone and the experience goes well. If you give another Ebay user a good review, they are more likely to respond in kind, which helps you sell more in the future.

gazelle_logo_lrg2. Gazelle

Why hold on to old cell phones? It is fine to keep a spare lying around in case your current phone breaks, but you need to know when to let go. And, your old phones will probably sell for a lot more than you think they’re worth, especially if you’ve kept them in good condition.

Gazelle.com is a great way to get rid of old smartphones, and couldn’t be easier.

Simply go to www.gazelle.com, specify your type of phone and condition and you can get an automatic quote for how much your phone is worth. If you decide that price is worth it, Gazelle will send a postage-paid box to your house, you drop the phone in, and mail it back with the enclosed label. Once they receive the item, they inspect it make certain it matches your description. Next, they make a deposit to your PayPal account or send a check or Amazon gift card for the quoted amount. Gazelle requires you to unlock your phones before they are mailed in to get the maximum value, and they provide instructions on the quick and easy process.

etsy-logo3. Etsy

If the items you are selling are more than twenty years old, they qualify as “vintage” and can be sold on www.etsy.com. Higher-end items might sell for more money on a website such as Etsy, where you can connect with a buyer who will appreciate kitsch and is looking for something funky and decorative. Check out the website for inspiration on how to market your items and see how people price similar goods. It will also give you an idea of whether or not this is the appropriate venue to sell your grandmother’s chandelier.

craigslist-logo-transparent4. Craigslist

Last but not least, and potentially the easiest money-making resale tool on this list, is Craigslist (www.craigslist.org). You don’t even need pretty pictures or online marketing to sell things on this website, and you can basically sell anything. However, Craigslist is particularly useful when you want to sell things that wouldn’t fit into a box to ship to a buyer who lives across the country. Things like old basketball hoops, Air Hockey tables, sports equipment, and furniture can easily be sold on Craigslist—and the buyer has to be the one to transport the items sold, saving you a lot of hassle.
What are your online hacks for easy money? Let us know at info@communitypurse.org, and your ideas might be featured in a future blog post!