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Moving? Make Extra Cash by Selling Unwanted Items First

Don't pay to move stuff you don't want.

Katie Teague Writer II
Katie is a writer covering all things how-to at CNET, with a focus on Social Security and notable events. When she's not writing, she enjoys playing in golf scrambles, practicing yoga and spending time on the lake.
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Katie Teague
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Moving to a new home is a great time to sift through all your belongings and decide what you don't need anymore. Not only will this give you a fresh start, but you can also save money and earn some cash.

There are multiple ways to go about selling your unwanted items, depending on what they are. For instance, several websites will buy your used electronics. And other sites will sell your gently used clothes and other items.

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We'll explain how to get rid of unwanted items and make money along the way. For more moving tips, here are six tips for moving on a budget. Also, here's when and how to change your home address when you move.

Read more: Best Moving Companies of 2023

Get rid of items with Facebook Marketplace

If you'd like to sell your items locally to avoid shipping costs, Facebook Marketplace is a great place to list your things -- especially if you have large or heavy items. 

For instance, if you're trying to sell a couch you no longer need, people in your area looking for a used couch can see your listing. You can also share your listing with friends and family via your Facebook page.

There's also an option to ship items to distant buyers if you don't mind heading to the post office or UPS.

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Try these sites for selling or trading electronics

Have several old phones and tablets that've been taking up drawer space? It's time to sell them. There are multiple places that will buy your used electronics -- and you may make more than you think (yes, even that 10-year-old Android phone you've been holding on to). 

Sell:

If you're interested in moving up to a newer device, you can also trade in your old one. It still rids your house of clutter while getting you an upgraded phone or tablet.

Trade:

Check out our full list of the best places to sell your used electronics.

Sell your gently used items here

If you've got gently used clothes, shoes, handbags, jewelry, video games or even nice dinnerware that you no longer need, consider selling them online. You can use one of the apps below to sell your items. Note that these companies will take a commission for everything you sell.

Poshmark: This online marketplace takes a 20% commission of what you make unless the item you're selling is under $15 -- in that case, it takes a flat fee of $2.95. 

Mercari: You'll be charged a 10% commission fee on everything you sell through Mercari. As of April 2023, you're also charged a payment processing fee of 2.9% plus $0.50 when you complete a sale.

Depop: When you complete a sale on Depop, the site takes a 10% commission fee.

eBay: The selling fees at eBay depend on the category of the item you're selling and its price.. Most categories incur a 13.25% fee for the first $7,500 of a sale and 2.35% on anything more than that. Items like watches and women's handbags start at a higher 15% rate, while musical instruments start at 8%. 

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eBay

Have a yard sale to declutter before you move

Have a hodgepodge of things you'd like to get rid of? You can plan a yard sale on the weekend. It's a good way to get rid of multiple items at once without worrying about fees or spending money on shipping supplies. 

Pick a sunny weekend to showcase your belongings and make sure to advertise online and with signs around your neighborhood. Also, be willing to negotiate on the price of some items and offer BOGO deals to get rid of more items. For instance, buy three shirts, get one free.

If all else fails, donate your stuff to charity or neighbors

For anything you're unable to sell but also don't want to bring with you, donate it. While large centers like Goodwill are good options for your unwanted things, you can also try reaching out to homeless shelters and schools to see if they're accepting clothes or books. 

Again, you can use Facebook to give away your items, but be sure to mark them as "free." You can either post the free items to your homepage or list them for $0 on Facebook Marketplace.

The Buy Nothing Project is a "worldwide gift economy network" that enables giving stuff away for free. Focused on community groups, the free Buy Nothing app lets you donate your items to people in your neighborhood or across the world. 

Need more moving tips? Here are the pros and cons of plastic moving boxes versus cardboard. Also, here's how to lift heavy boxes and furniture.