When to Sell Your Stuff to Make the Most Money

It's time for spring cleaning. Here's how to get top dollar for your unwanted items.

If you’re like most folks, you have a lot of things tucked somewhere in the garage or storage shed that you aren’t using. But the thought of sorting through it all and trying to sell it can sound annoying at best and daunting at worst, especially when you think you won’t get much money for it.

“Nearly half of all Americans have $1,000 worth of unused items sitting around their homes, but the effort of having to spend the afternoon at a consignment store (or manning a garage sale) deters them from cashing in,” said Kelly Stephenson, director of marketing at OfferUp, an online marketplace.

But what if you could virtually guarantee you’ll get top dollar for your junk … ahem … stuff? Just think of what you could do with an extra $1,000. You could take a vacation, pay off your credit card debt, start an emergency fund or pay down your student loan debt.

The folks at OfferUp put together a list of the best times of year to sell different kinds of items, so you can get top dollar for your things. Whether it’s your old weight bench or your classic ’65 Mustang, knowing the right time of year to sell your stuff can make a big difference.

And by all means, avoid the garage sale option. Do you really want people showing up at your house at 7 a.m. to rifle through your things and haggle you down? Unless you enjoy a good barter, make it easy on yourself and use an online selling platform.

“The beauty of buying and selling online is that it simplifies the process,” Stephenson said. Many sites allow users to photograph and post items for sale immediately with their mobile phones.

Keep in mind when buying or selling online that it’s important to use trusted, verified sites and apps that include ID verification, user rating systems and other safety features that keep your credit card and personal identification information safe. (Be sure to check your credit report for errors or anything else fishy. You can get a free credit report snapshot at Credit.com.)

Here are the best times of the year to sell your stuff.

January Is Best for Gym Gear

With the surge of New Year’s resolutions about getting fit, many folks look for a good deal on gear to help them do it. The treadmill collecting dust in your garage can earn you the most money in the month of January. Same is true for hand weights, foam rollers, yoga mats and fitness DVDs.

February Is Best for TVs

If you upgraded your TV set over Christmas, get rid of your old one and put some extra cash in your pocket by selling it in February. The Super Bowl is this month, and TV sales tend to soar as many people want to host a party and watch the big game on a good TV.

March Is Best for Yard Gear

April showers may be gearing up to bring May flowers, but those with a green thumb are eager to get started on their gardening no matter what the weather is like. Your extra flower bulbs, shovels, gardening gloves and pots will sell well in the month of March.

April Is Best for Summer Festival Tickets

Coachella marks the beginning of music festival season in April and it continues on through the spring and summer with Outside Lands in California, Bonnaroo in Tennessee, Lollapalooza in Illinois, and Sasquatch in Washington. By April, tickets are already available (and are often already sold out), so if you decided to buy a ticket and have since changed your mind about attending, April is the best time to get cash back and maybe even earn a profit if demand is high.

May Is Best for Sports Cars & Convertibles

If your mid-life crisis sports car is gathering dust in the garage, or your family’s move from L.A. to Seattle means the convertible is no longer going to be in the regular driving rotation, DMV.org data show that springtime is your best time for selling them.

June Is Best for Kids Toys

With summer break around the corner for most schools, June is a great time to cash in on unused toys lying around your home. Put any soccer balls, bikes your kids grew out of and puzzles or board games they’re sick of up for sale this month.

July Is Best for Baby Gear

More babies are born in July and August than any other months of the year, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. For families with old cribs and newborn baby gear packed away in the garage, a great time to sell them to get the most bang for the buck is in in the summer.

August Is Best for Back-to-School Items

Backpacks, lunch boxes and any unused school supplies left over from past school years can earn you some cash in August. Art supplies can also sell well because teachers are always looking to save cash stocking up on supplies for their classrooms.

September Is Best for Furniture

Many people, especially those with kids, tend to move during the summer months. The weather is better, the kids are out of school, the housing market is bursting with more options. By September, folks are moved and settling in, looking to fill their new space with the furniture they need. Take advantage by selling that old sofa during this month.

October Is Best for Children’s Snow Gear

No parent wants to take the gamble in April that the snow boots they’re buying for their kid are going to fit come December. If your kids have grown out of their old boots, jackets, pants, gloves and hats, sell them in October to ensure you’ll get solid offers from buyers.

November Is Best for Holiday Decor

If you have boxes of holiday decorations you know you won’t be using this year, dig them out of the garage and sell them for cash in November. Folks already gearing up for the upcoming visits from family will be interested in finding new ways to deck their halls.

December Is Best for Jewelry

The holidays not only spark a surge in the purchase of engagement rings and other sparkly gifts for significant others, but also a peak in breakups. So, if you’ve been dumped in the past year, or just want to sell some unwanted jewelry, now’s the time to sell it on a site like I Do, Now I Don’t, and get some extra holiday cash.

Now get out there and sell!

Image: bowdenimages

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