Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.
Sell stuff. Most people around this time of year need more space and more cash, and a great way to create both of these for your festive next is by selling things you’ve already got. You may have shelves of books or a cupboard stuffed with clothes you never wear. In my case, I realised last month that I had a few drawers of old DVDs that I either never watched, or watched once but never again, or even ungraded to blu-ray over the last decade.
Over the past few years, I’ve curated myself a little routine of selling online, on various platforms, so here are some insights into that process. I had a particularly successful week last week as it’s coming up to Christmas and I’ve really gone to town searching my home for mine and my partner’s unwanted items, and created this ‘Week in the Life of a Side Hustler’ for MoneyMagpie.
I have a full-time job, so this had to be something that fits around my paid work, and not something I relied on to pay the rent and bills: more like, well, a side hustle! So here are my profits for this particularly good selling week.
My partner and I have a Vinted account that we add items of clothing to nearly every week as we clear out the cupboard for the new season. This week I’ve added two tops from Warehouse for £11 each, a Skagen watch for £70 and an All Saints shawl for £85. They may take a while to sell, but they’re up there for people to see. This month I sold some Office shoes for £20, a Monsoon dress for £10 and (this past week) a French Connection coat for £50: This was an average selling month for me, and on average I make between £80 – £100 a month this way from Vinted alone.
Total this week: £50
I had some old Star Wars roleplaying games books that I wanted to shift, which were over thirty years old, rather yellowing and unused since the 90s. So I had a good search on eBay for similar items and realised there were collectors out there who really wanted these items, whatever condition they were in. For books I bought as a teen for about a fiver each, their value had doubled, trebled and sometimes even quadrupled (and more!) in the ensuing years.
Seeing the top prices for some of these books were between £30 and £60, I priced mine in the middle and asked for a set price of £35 each. Thankfully, this was a good call and I had interest in the books as a job lot of 5, totalling £150 (I discounted them from £175 when purchased together), and bingo: another £150 to add to the pot.
Total this week: £150
I’d used Music Magpie before, about ten years ago to sell a bunch of CDs when I needed a few hundred quid to move house (and to create more space), and I’d managed to tot up the tidy sum of £300 for about 100 CDs. Now, most of these were somewhat unusual film soundtracks, which bagged me about £3 each, but the non-soundtrack ones – pop, rock, etc – netted between 30p and £1.50 each at the lowest end of things. Still, I ended up with a nice bit of extra cash.
This time, I had a few drawers of DVDs that I’d since replaced with blu-rays over the past decade, so I downloaded the Music Magpie app and used the barcode to scan the three or four piles of discs in boxes I’d accumulated. Some they didn’t want, so I created a reject pile of around 15 discs, but the others totalled about 35 discs and a selling price of about £30 the lot. This doesn’t seem like much, considering I made a few hundred on those CDs, but times have changed and so has the price of physical media, driven down by streaming availability and depreciation. But £30 was better than nothing, so I can add that to the weekly total. They also collect your box of discs for free, which really helps.
Total this week: £35
Finally, this has been a reliable and occasional source of income for me as I’ve sold everything from concert tickets for gigs I couldn’t attend, to trinkets, furniture and used mattresses. It’s a really great way of putting things up for sale, discussing the sale on your terms with interested parties, and then agreeing on a price.
This week, I wanted to get rid of a small chest of drawers that, since I moved house, just never really fit anywhere. It was low and wide and pine, and I thought £35 was a fair price. Thankfully, so did two buyers who contacted me about it. One of them couldn’t make it over to collect (and I wasn’t prepared to deliver) so I went with the second buyer, who agreed that £35 and a self-pickup was a good deal. They came that evening to take it away and had paid before they drove over, although you can also ask for cash.
Total this week: £35
TOTAL SALES THIS WEEK: £270.
Two hundred and seventy quid. Now that’s not bad for a week’s selling, and I put everything online on the Monday (although I had some of the clothing up there on Vinted already: a further note about Vinted is that they don’t charge and fees, so that’s pure profit on each sale. £270 is a solid monthly average but I could also shift a few more items that are already on my sites, or find more stuff to sell around the house.
How much I sell does depend on the time I have available to do all this, and as I say, this month I decided to go for it and really sell everything I could in one week, and I’m more than happy with the results. Even for a month’s selling, I’d be happy with an extra £270. One day I’m sure I’ll run out of stuff to sell but I’ll keep looking, and I urge you to do the same! Someone probably wants something you don’t!
To read more ideas about how to make money from your old stuff – read our free eBook here.