Spring Cleaning? Get Cash for your Trash

It’s that time of the year again. Spring is just around the corner and with the changing of seasons comes the yearly ritual of spring-cleaning. Not only is spring cleaning therapeutic, it is also a great way to turn clutter into cash. With the advent of the Internet, never again will last year’s accumulation of “stuff ” be just a pile of forgotten treasures on their way to the dump. Now with a little effort and time, last year’s junk can become this year’s cash.

The Apps

Whether you prefer Wallapop, Swappa, letgo, or something else entirely, app-based marketplaces provide consumers with quick, simple, aesthetic tools to offload their “crap” for cash. Apps like Wallapop and letgo function like modernized, “pretty-fied” Craigslist platforms, featuring a vast array of junk items—from electronics and vehicles to furniture and clothes. Apps like Swappa have a more narrow focus, featuring “new-ish” smartphones, tablets, smart watches, and accessories for these electronics. Depending on what you’re trying to offload, there’s likely an app that caters to your specific (or general) needs. Even that gift card your grandmother got you for Olive Garden, which you never intend to use, can be swapped for cash via Gift Card Granny.


When it comes to selling online, eBay is usually the first site people think of. With an uncomplicated selling platform and easy-to-use setup process, eBay has rightfully earned its place as one of the top of online selling resources. Additionally, by using eBay as a selling platform – there is an added benefit of reaching millions of eBay users. With such a large audience, there is a much greater chance of reaching that one person who can’t live without that ‘thing’ collecting dust on your shelf.

With Ebay’s long retail history, it often helps you find listings which describe either the item you are selling or one similar. This data will help you get a better idea of what prices similar items have fetched.


You can easily sign up to sell as an individual on Amazon if you plan to sell fewer than 40 items a month. Amazon will charge you $0.99 per sale plus other selling fees, but also offers you access to the world’s largest online marketplace. If you plan to sell more than 40 items per month, you can register as a professional seller. The associated fees are a bit higher, but are likely offset by your increased sales volume. Once you’ve registered as a seller, Amazon’s process is pretty straightforward: 1) list item 2) sell item 3) ship item 4) get paid.


Another option for turning clutter to cash is Craigslist. The advantages are that sellers don’t typically have to ship items to purchasers and can instead meet in person. When selling an item on Craigslist, it’s best to employ healthy skepticism and a “safety first” mentality. With a cautious approach, selling on Craigslist can be a lucrative option to clear clutter. Following these suggestions should help you avoid scams on Craigslist:

• Deal locally with people you can meet in person and in a public place.
• Never wire funds via any wire service – anyone who asks you to do so is likely a scammer.
• Fake cashier’s checks and money orders are common and a bank will hold you responsible when the fake is ultimately discovered.
• Never give out financial or personal information such as your bank account number, social security number, eBay/ PayPal info, etc.
• Avoid deals involving shipping or escrow services and know that only a scammer will “guarantee” your transaction.

Facebook Groups

Although not a new online marketplace concept, Facebook groups are a popular but lesser known platform for selling resources. Maybe your town has a Facebook “swap meet” group of some kind (or maybe you can start one). Everything from local yard sale groups to special interest groups fill Facebook with a whole new crop of potential buyers. One major benefit of using a local Facebook trading/selling group is that shipping costs and online selling fees are not an issue. Sellers generally have the ability to list and sell an item free of charge. This works great for larger items and items not suitable for shipping.

While the apps and platforms described above appear to be the most popular, there are many other options available to earn money while clearing clutter. Selling items online has earned relatively inexperienced sellers billions of dollars over the past few years and continues to do so every day. If turning clutter into cash is a simple matter of taking a few minutes to snap a photo and enter a description online, it is a no-brainer. Spring cleaning just became spring cash.

Image Source: Photo by Alena Koval from Pexels, License Summary.

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