Curbside recycling. She finds it, fixes it, and sells it!

From Curb to Cash

by Susan Perna

A light bulb went off in my head the other day when my husband turned to me and said, "You make more money selling junk than you do in stocks." I had to chuckle when he said that, but in reality, there is a lot of truth to his comment. Last week, I lost $160 in stocks, but I made over $400 in one month selling junk that I found in people's trash. When I say junk, I don't mean discarded items of little or no value. I am talking about useful items that people throw away.

Digging through people's curbside trash is one of the more extreme ways to be resourceful and can be a rewarding place to look for all kinds of free stuff to keep or sell. What got me hooked was the irresistible allure of curbside goodies in my neighbor's trash. I spend hours each week hunting for buried treasures amongst heaps of trash piles.

Most people turn their noses up at curbside recycling, but for others, garbage piles are sources of priceless treasures. Over the years, I have developed a keen eye for things others think is just old junk. At first, digging through trash was a hobby and then as time went on, it became an addiction. I literally became addicted to junk.

Last May, when Houstonian residents suffered a major flood that damaged thousands of homes, I was able to was furnish my home with some of the unspoiled hidden goodies among the piles of flood damaged debris, which included three restorable wooden end tables, pictures, two perfectly good brass lamps, a silhouette wooden Nativity set worth over $100, and boxes of discarded clothing. As time went on, I accumulated more and more stuff to the point that I didn't have any more room for anything else, so I had to do something about it. This is when I decided to start selling the stuff that was no longer wanted. I clean or refurbish my finds and then sell the items online or locally.

The saying "a penny saved is a penny earned" is true. Every penny counts when it comes to saving these days. Selling your unwanted items online can be an awesome way to generate extra income. Last year, I made a ton of money off of other people's garbage. I was able to earn enough cash to buy a few nice things without breaking the bank. In order to be successful in selling items, you will need to find out how much they go for online. First, you have to look up the item's retail value when brand new and then look up the item's sale value when used. You can compare prices of items on Amazon, Craigslist, and eBay. After you get a good idea of how much your items are worth, you can then determine your selling price. Then you will have to figure out where to sell your items.

Listed below are some of the top online sites to sell your refurbished goods:

Craigslist is a great place to sell items to local purchasers that you have a hard time selling online like furniture, children's items like strollers and bikes, yard equipment, exercise machines, and more.

If you have an Amazon account, you can sell your unwanted items here. You can list virtually anything on Amazon. It's a trustworthy platform, and you don't have to pay any fees until your item sells.

eBay is another good site to sell stuff, but first you will need to set up an account. eBay offers sellers protection, so you don't have to worry. You can sell anything on there from antiques to clothing to household items.

There are a large number of users, so it's guaranteed you will get a lot of traffic. Make sure to price your items close to or better than the competition and your items will be sure to sell. eBay charges a small fee for each item you sell. If you don't want the hassles of selling your stuff online, then you can sell your stuff at a community sale, yard/garage sale, or local market. Once you have picked the appropriate marketplace to list your finds, all you have to do is sit back and watch the cash start flowing in.

Reviewed December 2017

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