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Beat the cost of living crisis: How to make £1k selling unwanted items from around your home

Beat the cost of living crisis: How to make £1k selling unwanted items from around your home 2

The majority of Britons are rightly worried about the cost of living crisis. Energy, fuel, food and other bills are rising with runaway inflation leaving them in a potential financial pickle after two years of the pandemic. 

One option many are considering is selling items from around their home they no longer need to help make ends meet. Many have garages, lofts and rooms full of items too good to chuck, gathering dust.

A typical household could easily net £1,000 selling unwanted belongings, according to new research from eBay.   

Nearly four in five households in Britain have already started, or are considering, selling old items to battle the rising cost of living, with old tech and musical instruments being the most profitable second-hand items, the data claims.

Sell your stuff! Old gadgets online could net you an extra £500, as research suggests that the majority of Britons are looking to sell their old items online to support cost of living rises

Sell your stuff! Old gadgets online could net you an extra £500, as research suggests that the majority of Britons are looking to sell their old items online to support cost of living rises

If you are considering a clear-out at home, do not be tempted to fling unwanted items into landfill, as there could be money to be made from the things you no longer need. 

Passing on, recycling or selling your old clothes, furniture and books is not only better for the environment – it could also boost your bank balance. 

The online resale market is expected to grow faster than the traditional retail market in the next decade as shoppers become more conscious about the environment. More people are turning to second-hand items. 

From musical instruments that are collecting dust, to old laptops that have since been upgraded – there are plenty of things you can sell to both make money and rehome elsewhere to extend the item’s lifecycle.  

Research by eBay suggests that your old laptops could be worth £290 through online sellers, with your lockdown hobbies or projects that you no longer use fetching in up to £300 – this includes skateboards and garden tools.

Average selling price of key items from around the home 
Selling your unwanted items online could net you up to £1,106. Here’s how:  
Laptop £290 Baby books £11  DJ equipment£68
Clothes, shoes and accessories £36  
Printer £29  Baby carriers / backpacks£32Skateboard£23  Rugs and carpets£28
Smartphones £153 Pushchairs and prams £40 Musical Instruments £137   Vintage and antique jewellery £39  
Cameras  £48Children’s furniture £22   Garden tools and equipment £19   Cookware and dinnerware £22
DVDs and Blu-Rays  £8 Nursery bedding  £12 Pianos and keyboards  £69 Photo frames  £40 
Used Tech Total £528  Baby Items Total  £67 Old Hobbies Total  £316 Home Clear-Out Total  £165

Alongside selling items from around the home, more than 55 per cent of the nation will be making efforts to spend less amid the rising cost of living crisis.

A quarter of Britons see themselves dipping into savings, as four in five adults are reportedly feeling concerned by the increasing inflation in the UK.

But, it’s both rising bills and life’s small and simple pleasures that consumers are striving to replenish their pockets to pay for this year, as a third of Britons are holding out hope for enough to splurge on a holiday after two years of lockdown restrictions.

While more than 75 per cent said they’re worried about their energy bills, one in four said they are planning on putting the extra cash towards socialising, eating meals out and buying presents for loved ones.

The online auction site revealed that the average Briton could get £1,100 by selling their old clothes, tech and toys. 

Tom Nagel, a 26 year-old from Southampton, earned an extra £600 in 12 months by selling his old video games on eBay.

He said, ‘I’m a big proponent of looking for ways to reduce consumption and eBay has not only allowed me to sell niche items, such as my retro video games, but I’ve also recently bought used tech items. 

‘You’d never think you’d find some off these things on eBay but you’d be surprised. So, it’s not just the money you can make that is so valuable, but just the variety of used products on offer too.’

Emma Grant, head of pre-loved at eBay UK said, ‘We know people around the UK are concerned by the rising cost of living.

‘And while selling unwanted items might not be a solution to the problem at large, it can be an effective way to make some extra cash to go towards bills or contribute to your savings for a holiday this summer. 

‘Simultaneously you might help someone else find something they’ve been looking for, but without the hefty price tag. A win for you, someone else and the planet alike.’ 

Tom Nagel (pictured) earned an extra £600 last year selling his old video games on eBay

Tom Nagel (pictured) earned an extra £600 last year selling his old video games on eBay

Twig: Upstart offering instant valuations 

A new competitor to the e-commerce industry could see a dramatic change in the way individuals sell online. 

Twig recently launched in the UK, allowing customers to turn unwanted possessions into instant cash.

The company aims to revolutionise the online marketplace allowing users to upload images of unwanted items to its app, offering an instant valuation and an immediate offer to sell their items straight away.

The cash can then be instantly spent using a Twig Visa debit card both online or in shops – with a fee to transfer earnings to a separate bank account. 

If you are in need of a quick cash boost, Twig could be the alternative seller to sell your unwanted items quickly.

However, a number of reviews on their app suggests it may not be the most competitive with pricing, due to the quick sell nature of the platform.

The company states it is sustainability focused, encouraging ‘consumers to adopt a sustainable lifestyle, and make a positive impact as a business’, which unfortunately means they won’t accept a number of ‘fast-fashion’ items to sell.

For the best prices for all of your unwanted clothes, apps such as Vinted and Depop offer a variety of auction or instant sell options, while old furniture or tech may be best listed on Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree. 

There are so many resale options – what are you waiting for?

I love resale – it’s good for the planet and your wallet, writes Never Go Broke co-author Jesse McClure.

If you’re new to selling items around the home, I’d start small and not try and just list everything at the same time. I’d make it part of your day and aim to make £50 or so a week in the beginning.

Starting slow will allow you to see which items sell fast, how to list them quickly but well and it will make it less of a chore. In fact, it should be fun, selling unwanted items and watching the coffers fill.

I always say making money is a fulfilling hobby. You can list items while watching television and get people to collect it as part of your day, such as if you’re working from home. 

I recommend having a secondary current current account to divert your selling money into so you can watch your hard work stack-up.

Some quick tips for selling items online is getting keywords right, choosing the correct listing category, take clear photographs and make sure you’re pricing right.

Want to make some extra money? This is Money deputy editor Lee Boyce's book with Jesse McClure, Never Go Broke could help

Want to make some extra money? This is Money deputy editor Lee Boyce’s book with Jesse McClure, Never Go Broke could help

A great place to get started is Facebook Marketplace (you can read deputy editor Lee Boyce’s 12 top tips for using it).

There’s no harm in listing items on various websites to try and attract the best bidder, for example, clothes with good labels on specialist ones. 

We all have a ‘collecting net worth’. 

That is, items we have accumulated over the years we no longer need. Sell multimedia you no longer use. Dig out those old video games and consoles. Assume everything you have has value.

I use a simple tier system. Real good quality items in tier one I’ll sell to specialists, auction houses or antiques dealers. Tier two – which makes up the bulk of what people have in their homes – should be sold online.

If your tier two items aren’t selling (I’d set a time limit so you can clear it out), tier three is a car boot sale. The bottom tier is essentially recycling value.

When you start selling items in the home, you might get the bug. In Never Go Broke, we have three steps for this very reason. 

Number one is building a resale pot from nowhere: selling items from your home, making cash from trash and using your talents for side hustles, among other things. 

Step two is learning a resale blueprint from my 20-plus years’ experience of buying and selling, and step three, practical places to use your resale pot and reinvest it for further gains. 

Times are tough. Resale could help keep your head above water. It can be incredibly fun too. 

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