Have pre-loved items you’ll find in your home right now that will sell for cash

Households looking to increase their incomes amid the cost of living squeeze should consider selling on pre-loved items, according to MoneySavingExpert (MSE). Rather than letting old tech, books and clothes gather dust around the home, why not give them a new lease of life with someone else and make some money at the same time?

MSE finance specialists have shared their top tips for selling items online. From eBay and Facebook Marketplace to more specialist websites such as Cash For Cartridges and Sell My Wedding Dress, ensure you do your research and compare quotes before agreeing on a final price.

CDs/DVDs and games



10 pre-loved items around your home you could sell to increase income (Unsplash)

Several websites let you trade in old CDs, DVDs and computer games for quick cash. While eBay usually offers greater profits, these alternatives are faster and easier to use.

Value your discs instantly by typing in the barcode or product name on the site. Most now also have apps that allow you to scan barcodes using your phone’s camera, speeding up the process.

MSE advises: “What each site will offer for a given item varies, so always compare prices on a few. Some also have a minimum number of items you need to trade in, or a minimum overall value, so if you’re selling lower value items such as CDs you may need a lot of them.”

The five main players, chosen based on MSE forum feedback, are:

  • WeBuyBooks – A forum favourite, it takes books and some DVDs and CDs.

  • CEX – CEX has been trading for more than 25 years and offers cash or store credit for trade-ins.

  • Ziffit – A slightly newer outfit than the others, Ziffit is popular with forumites and pays quickly.

  • GameXchange – GameXchange is generally best for retro games (postage is not free).

  • Music Magpie – Music Magpie is well established and says it pays on the day it receives your items, though some feedback from MoneySavers is mixed.

Once you have compared the valuations and found the top payer, simply accept the offer, pack the item(s) well and post to the relevant address. Payment is usually sent via cheque, PayPal or bank transfer within seven or eight days, depending on which site you have used. Remember, there’s no protection if things go wrong or a site goes bust.

Tech ‘leftovers’



10 pre-loved items around your home you could sell to increase income (Unsplash)
10 pre-loved items around your home you could sell to increase income (Unsplash)

Decluttering your home from unused boxes, cables and remote controls can be a source of cash. Rather than letting these bulky items take up room in a cupboard or loft, selling them on to people seeking replacement accessories for older gadgets might be worth it.

Gumtree, Preloved, eBay and Facebook Marketplace are the best sites to consider for these kinds of tech “leftovers”. A comparison of sales on eBay in March found empty Playstation 4 boxes typically fetch £15, for example.

MSE advises: “Bear in mind that what you can earn for these kind of items depends on their condition, demand and how scarce they are. You’ll also need to factor in any the fees on the sites where you sell them.”

If you dig out old tech accessories you cannot sell, consider finding them a new home via Freecycle or Freegle so they avoid landfill. Failing that, dispose of them properly by taking them to a recycling center that deals with unwanted electrical items.

mobiles



10 pre-loved items around your home you could sell to increase income (Unsplash)
10 pre-loved items around your home you could sell to increase income (Unsplash)

“If you’ve recently upgraded and have an old mobile lying around, you could make £100s by selling it to a mobile-buying site”, MSE advises. “The more recent the handset, the more you’ll get for it. ”

You should compare offers on mobile-buying sites to get the best price for your device. MSE recommends checking out Sell My Mobile and Compare and Recycle, although better prices may be able to be found on eBay.

Printer cartridges



10 pre-loved items around your home you could sell to increase income (Unsplash)
10 pre-loved items around your home you could sell to increase income

Recycling used printer cartridges via sites such as Cash For Cartridges, Recycle Ink Cartridges and Infotone can help claw back some money. You may only be able to get up to 50p per item but this adds up over time and might be worth it.

MSE advises: “Printer cartridges are expensive, sometimes even more costly than the printers themselves. So, next time one runs out, offset the cost of a new one by recycling the empty one for cash.”

Note that some recycling sites will happily take your empty cartridges but only pay for certain ones. Check feedback and compare prices first.

Books



10 pre-loved items around your home you could sell to increase income (Unsplash)
10 pre-loved items around your home you could sell to increase income (Unsplash)

“Listing books one-by-one on eBay may get the most cash, but it’ll take some time”, MSE advises. “One of the best options for selling old books is Amazon Marketplace, as you need only search for the book and write a short description.Your listing stays up till it sells.”

Users can list up to 35 books a month for free, with Amazon taking a commission of 15 per cent of the total price paid (including postage) plus 75p. To list more than 35 books, a £25 monthly subscription must be paid, with commission dropping to 15 per cent plus 50p. Amazon provides full reviews for most books from its database.

Hundreds of pounds can be made if you are selling pricey textbooks, less for old paperbacks. Trade-in sites such as WeBuyBooks and Ziffit can be less hassle but prices will probably be lower than selling them yourself.

Lego



10 pre-loved items around your home you could sell to increase income (Unsplash)
10 pre-loved items around your home you could sell to increase income (Unsplash)

“If you’ve mountains of unmatched Lego bricks sitting somewhere – perhaps your children have grown out of them or they were a hobby you’re no longer into – you can now turn them into cash and sell them online to Music Magpie by the kilo (or half kilo)”, MSE advises.

Music Magpie pays £3 per kilogram of genuine Lego in good condition. Bricks should be weighed to the nearest 0.5kg and then sealed in a plastic bag before being boxed up. The site requires a minimum sale price of £5 but this can include other items such as books, CDs and DVDs.

Payment is made via bank transfer or PayPal as soon as the items are received. If you have unsealed or complete Lego sets or figures, you will probably make more on eBay.

Clothes



10 pre-loved items around your home you could sell to increase income
10 pre-loved items around your home you could sell to increase income

Cash-for-clothes companies might be worth considering if you have wardrobes fit to burst with unwanted garments. Items in good condition can be sold at around 40p per kilogram.

Search “cash-for-clothes” online to find relevant local businesses. Either hand over the clothes in person or request a delivery that pays at the door.

MSE advises: “Of course, if you’re not strapped for cash, you could donate your togs to charity instead. And for gear in really good condition, you’ll likely get more selling on Facebook [Marketplace] or eBay, so this is best for clothing which isn’t top quality and won’t fetch much online.”

wedding dresses



10 pre-loved items around your home you could sell to increase income (Unsplash)
10 pre-loved items around your home you could sell to increase income (Unsplash)

If you have a bridal gown boxed up in the loft, why not dig it out and turn it into cash? A sought-after dress by a well-known designer can make more than £500.

When setting the price, check eBay to find how much similar dresses have sold for. You could be making someone else’s big day while giving your finances a boost.

Free sites: Preloved, Gumtree

Paid-for sites: eBay (13 per cent commission), Sell My Wedding Dress (£10 for six months’ advertising), Still White (£17, but your ad stays up until it sells)

“As a rough rule of thumb, eBay wins over the specialist paid-for sites if your dress sells for less than £100”, MSE advises.

Gold



10 pre-loved items around your home you could sell to increase income (Unsplash)
10 pre-loved items around your home you could sell to increase income (Unsplash)

While TV adverts often promise astronomical sums of cash in return for gold, some businesses offer far less than your jewelery is worth. But if you do it right, an 18-carat gold wedding ring could fetch £55 and an old gold tooth crown could make £54, MSE advises.

“Gold-buying companies’ business models are simple: they buy gold, melt it down and flog it on for more”, the team says. “This means you can get cold hard cash for broken and unloved bling. Yet it’s a Wild West out there, so make sure you get quotes from several reputable places including jewelers and a few reputable gold websites.”

Two sites with good feedback to consider are Hatton Garden Metals and Lois Jewellery. Remember that gold prices fluctuate and you could make more, or less, by selling at a later date. There is no protection if things go wrong – if a site goes bust, you may not get your gold back.

‘rubbish’



10 pre-loved items around your home you could sell to increase income (Unsplash)
10 pre-loved items around your home you could sell to increase income (Unsplash)

What you deem to be rubbish might be exactly what someone else is looking for. From crafters to collectors, plenty of people are after items such as empty perfume bottles, toilet roll tubes and football programs.

Sites such as eBay tend to be the best for these types of reusable rubbish – particularly if you can sell in bulk. Be aware of sale restrictions on perishable and dangerous goods – if in doubt check the terms and conditions.

MSE advises: “The easiest way to find out if you can sell something is by checking what’s been sold online recently. Not all sites let you do this, but on eBay you can check what price previous listings have gone for by searching for an item, then selecting ‘sold listings’ on the left-hand toolbar.”

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