Add together the receipt prices of everything you own and the sum will probably send your eyes widening. Years, months, or maybe just weeks later, those hard-bought possessions are taking up space in your home and all you can think about is getting rid of them.
But if you have the patience and willingness to put in a little effort, you may well be able to recover at least part of your money. While selling may require more effort than dumping and the returns may hardly seem worth your while, making it a habit can positively impact your finances over the long term.
Here, moneyland.ch lists 9 ways to turn your trash into cash without a lot of effort:
1. Sell to dealers.
Although you stand to fetch a fairer price when you sell stuff yourself via classifieds or auctions, selling successfully takes time and effort (taking photographs, writing descriptions, creating ads). Selling directly to dealers is a quicker way to get money for your used goods.
Examples of second hand dealers are Byboox.ch, which purchases used books, and Verkaufen.ch – a dealer which purchases used phones, tablets and laptops. Most larger towns in Switzerland host some form of precious metal exchanges which purchase old gold and silver jewelry. Although prices paid are low, these provide an easy way to get rid of otherwise worthless and recover some money in the process.
2. Use classified websites.
Online marketplaces like Tutti and Anibis let you reach a much broader target audience than you could hope to reach at your local flea market. These websites also provide a useful valuation resource by allowing you to research prices charged for similar items. Make sure the merchandise looks as good as possible and that titles, photos and text descriptions are clean and accurate.
3. Sell to the brocki.
Although charity shops normally only accept donated items (which still beats dumping perfectly good wares), there are second hand stores which are ready to pay money for quality goods. If you have antiques, quality furniture in premium condition, designer furniture or designer fashion items, second hand stores may pay you money to take these off your hands and possibly even collect the goods – saving you the cost of transportation.
4. Second hand fashion stores.
For many people, fashion items make up a significant portion of spending, and are often purchased out of boredom or on impulse. The majority of clothes and shoes end up filling charity sacks – sometimes after months or years of maturing in a closet. Selling your sparsely-used clothes and shoes to second hand fashion stores lets you recover some of your money while giving them a chance at a second life. Designer clothes have an exceptionally good chance of being accepted. Today many second hand stores let you send photos of your clothes in for review and let you know if they are interested, which save you time, travel and possible disappointment.
5. Community exchanges.
Most Swiss municipalities host regular community exchanges such as clothing exchanges, toy exchanges, book exchanges, bicycle exchanges and many more. These exchanges allow you to sell your used goods for money rather than dumping them. Many exchanges are open for all vendors and no participation fee is levied. Other exchanges may ask you to contribute time to the organization of the event in exchange for being allowed to sell.
6. Contact car exporters.
Used cars and car parts can be difficult to get rid of in Switzerland without paying a junkyard to accept them. However, numerous export-orientated dealers have become established in Switzerland in recent years, and many of these are willing to pay cash for your used cars and parts because they know they can sell them at a good price overseas. Many exporters will come and collect used cars, saving you the trouble of transporting them. A quick internet search will reveal exporters near you which can be contacted online or by phone.
7. Make a friend at the flea market.
Most of us don't have the time and desire to sit behind a flea market stall for a day at the time with no guarantee that items will sell. However, finding a flea market vendor who is willing to purchase your used goods at a token price is one option for getting goods out of your house while obtaining some money for them. Many of the vendors who sell at flea markets do it on a regular basis as a part-time business. Some even travel to flea markets around the country to flag their wares. Once you establish a rapport with a vendor based near you, they may continue to buy and resell your used goods in the future.
8. Make use of online auctions.
Selling on online auctions like Ricardo and Ebay requires a fair amount of commitment and effort (think photos, captions, posting). Typically, you pay a fee to sell goods through these auctions, which cuts into your profits. However, if you have specialized items to sell, such as designer goods, antiques, vinyls, difficult-to-find car parts, rare toys and games or collectibles, taking advantage of the broad customer bases of these auctions can help you get more money for your merchandise than you would otherwise. Bear in mind that value is relative, and someone somewhere might be willing to pay dearly for stuff which you think of as useless junk.
9. Barter for stuff you want.
An alternative to converting second hand stuff into cash and then using the cash to buy other stuff is to trade your goods directly for the goods or services you want. Online platforms like Exsila and Dertausch make it easy to trade your used stuff for other things you want. The only money required is what you pay to post stuff to trade partners.
Connecting with people who need what you have and are willing to pay for it is easier than ever, and giving someone else the chance to use your old stuff prevents their having to go out and buy exactly the same thing new. All things considered, putting in the time and effort to sell instead of throw away benefits your wallet, other peoples’ wallets and the environment.