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For what it's worth, find the right market

Ready to part with that old bicycle? How about that stack of books? There's a best way to get rid of everything. Here are some of the best places to sell your stuff — plus insider tips on making (real) money in the process. — Real Simple Solutions


The best marketplace: Not surprisingly, it's eBay, which notches 10.3 million daily listings in this category. No other place makes it as easy to search for brand names and specific sizes. Shipping can be covered by the buyer, and commissions and fees are minimal.

Selling points: List your items for seven days, not three or five, for optimal exposure. Include photos. Take shots from various angles, as well as trim, detail work, and label.

Shoes and handbags

The best marketplace: Consignment shops with an established reputation and steady traffic. Sandals, comfortable flats and name-brand sneakers that are in good condition sell best. Handbags go fast.

Selling points: Visit to find area shops. At the initial dropoff, request a receipt listing your items and their prices (expect to receive 40 to 50 percent of the price at the final sale). If you're not given a receipt, that can indicate the store isn't keeping track of its merchandise. Move on.


The best marketplace: Craigslist connects local sellers and buyers in 700 towns and regions nationwide. Posting ads on the site is free, and there's no commission when you sell.

Selling points: Compare your item to similar ones on the site before setting a price, which should be 10 to 20 percent higher than what you are willing to take. That leaves room to negotiate. Deal in cash.

Household goods and electronics

The best marketplace: A garage sale is where you can unload everything from pots and pans to old televisions and computers. People here buy on impulse.

Selling points: Group smaller objects (silverware, cups) in lots, so people think they're getting a deal. Keep an extension cord handy to show that electronics and appliances still work.

Books, CDs, DVDs, and video games

The best marketplace:, which boasts tens of millions of shoppers seeking new and used items daily. Textbooks and recently published books sell best. Like eBay, Amazon charges a fee and manages the transaction.

Selling points: Price your book at a penny less than the lowest-priced copy, then check daily to ensure you're still offering the best value. At the post office, send via "media mail," about half the cost of first-class.

Where to sell everything else

Baby furniture and gear: Craigslist or classifieds.

Children's toys: If they're in good condition, Amazon.

Collectibles: eBay or a specialized auction (see

Decorative items: eBay or Craigslist.

Jewelry (non-antique): Local jewelers or an auction.

Musical instruments: or Craigslist.

For what it's worth, find the right market 06/03/10 [Last modified: Thursday, June 3, 2010 8:57pm]
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