Your home has become a depository of stuff you have no use for anymore -- from that peasant blouse that looked cute 10 pounds ago to the MP3 player you unceremoniously ditched after falling in love with your iPhone.
Want to unload your junk and make a quick buck in the process? Here's a rundown of ways to offload all manner of things -- from used electronics and computers to clothes and jewelry -- in exchange for cash and/or store gift cards.
Get ready to declutter and reap some financial rewards.
Turn 'Re-Commerce' into Cash
Maybe old cell phones are taking up space in your desk drawer. Or perhaps a vintage Xbox has been collecting dust in the hallway closet ever since your kid upgraded to the Xbox 360.
Trade-in recycling programs are a great way to get back some of the money you've dropped on now-obsolete electronics. The practice is called "re-commerce," and a number of companies and retailers are getting in on it.
For example, Gazelle.com, a trade-in and recycling firm, helps people sell more than 250,000 consumer products -- from cell phones, laptops and tablet computers to digital cameras and video gaming consoles. The company assesses the value of each item based on supply and demand in the market, and the item's condition, Michael Schneider, a Gazelle spokesman, tells DailyFinance.
"The average consumer gets $100 in cash back when they trade in an item on
Gazelle.com," Schneider says.
If the item is worth more than $1, the company will send consumers a free box to ship it. If it turns out the item has no value, the site will recycle it for free -- so at least you'll have done some environmental good.
The company also runs the online programs for retailers such as Walmart (WMT), Costco (COST) and Office Depot (ODP), among other merchants.
In exchange for turning in their used electronics, shoppers can also get gift cards at these stores, and Gazelle plans to spread the program to other retailers, Schneider says.
If you want an instant reward for turning in your used electronics, NextWorth.com, the trade-in recycling firm, and Target (TGT), are more than happy to oblige. Via its partnership with NextWorth, the discounter operates Target Mobile Centers at over 1,450 Target stores nationwide.
Shoppers simply bring their old electronic devices to a Target Mobile Center for appraisal, and receive store credit for them.
"The biggest point of difference [from other trade-in firms] is our in-store presence," which offers convenience, as well as "in-store offers and on-the-spot payment," says Ashley Halberstadt, a NextWorth spokesperson.
And like Gazelle, on the NextWorth.com site itself, consumers can also trade in their used electronics for cash.
Be an eBay Expert
It's no secret that people buy and sell a huge variety of goods and services -- practically everything -- on eBay (EBAY), which bills itself as the world's largest online marketplace.
But there's an art to getting the best return for your unwanted clothes and accessories, for example.
For one, it's about knowing "what to list and when, popular brands and pricing considerations, and of course, the year-round top 10 fashion items that sell well," Johnna Hoff, an eBay spokesperson, explains.
In no particular order, Hoff says, these include: shoes, handbags and purses; shirts and tops; children's clothes -- "bundles of clothing especially sell -- for example, sell baby clothes in a specific size all together" -- women's intimates, dresses, jeans, and men's outerwear.
For a detailed guide on how to get the most out of selling on eBay, consult the company's Fashion Selling Guide, a comprehensive primer on what sells well on a seasonal basis, such as backpacks in the fall; hot-selling brands, from Levis jeans and Nine West shoes to Kate Spade handbags; and how to present what you're selling to nab the best price.
Also, eBay offers a mobile app that allows sellers to list items on the go, and has a research feature indicating how much similar items cost, Hoff says, "making listings even quicker."
Tap Social Selling
YardSellr.com taps social networks to get the word out about what you're hawking through Facebook and Twitter.
While eBay, for example, mostly charges a fee to sell your stuff, YardSellr is free. You can sell everything from clothes and jewelry to musical instruments and old Barbie dolls.