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4 Ways to Turn Your Trash Into Cash

De-cluttering during spring cleaning? Sure, you know you can sell clothing and handbags to consignment stores, but you can earn a bundle on these items too.

Used Books

The average household has more than 100 books, and you can get paid to clear them off your shelves! Visit your local used bookstore when they open up, where they’ll give you a cash offer on the spot, or log on to, where you can get quotes from online book resellers. Another option: Get a gift card in return for the buyback value of your books at Amazon’s Trade-In program (search “trade-in” at Or register as an Individual Seller on Amazon ( You can list up to 40 books per month; you choose the price and Amazon takes a 99-cent fee per listing.

Old Electronics

If you have outdated smartphones, MP3 players, tablets or other electronics in working condition, you can trade them for a store gift card at Best Buy or for a gift card or PayPal payment at Target. Simply call stores in your area or visit or to find participating locations, then bring in your items for evaluation. You could get an offer right then!

Bulky Furniture

You can swap a dining room set, sofa, or other large furniture for cash and get it moved out of your home by someone else when you call a furniture consignment store (search “consignment store” online or in the Yellow Pages). Many pick up large, gently used items for free, then sell them and share the profits — often from 25 percent to 50 percent of the purchase price — with you. No store in your area? Post a free ad on or with the provision that the buyer handles all the moving. Many folks will gladly use their truck or rent a U-Haul to nab a bargain!

Garage and Attic Junk

Storing old sports equipment like tennis rackets, dumbbells or bowling balls? Used sports gear store Play It Again Sports will pay up to 50 percent of their current resale value. Have an old banjo or violin? Bring it in to used instrument store Music Go Round, and they may make you an offer. Old tools in working condition collecting dust? They’ll sell fast because they save landscapers and handymen hundreds of dollars versus buying them new! So chances are if you call a consignment store and ask if they’ll sell them and split the profits, they will!

This article originally appeared in our print magazine.

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