The Second-Hand Economy: How to Earn Extra Money

  • Liana 
  • 4 min read

Article by Guest Writer Erin Reynolds from DIY Mama

The second-hand economy is a great place to make extra money, but many Americans are unsure of how to get started. The great thing about buying and selling second-hand is that you can turn it into a sustainable way of life, reducing your carbon footprint for an eco-friendly way to earn cash. Whether you want to set up your own business online or via an app or just sell a few things in a garage sale, there are plenty of options for taking advantage of this area of the economy.

The key is to plan well. However you choose to get involved in second-hand selling, it’s crucial to make sure you’re prepared beforehand. Do your research ahead of time; does the app you’ll be selling with require you to pay for shipping or do they provide a prepaid label? Will you need racks or tables to display items on for a garage sale? Think of this venture as a business, which will help you stay organized and motivated.

Keep reading for a few tips on how to get started in the second-hand economy.

Figure Out a System That Works

When you’re cleaning out items from your home to sell, you’ll likely come across some things that can’t be sold due to their condition. Some of these may be recyclable, but others will simply need to be trashed. If you have a large area to clean out — such as a basement, attic, or crawl space — you might want to rent a dumpster so you can throw out items as you’re cleaning. For smaller jobs, a junk removal service may be the best option, as they’ll do the heavy lifting but won’t take up too much of your time.

Find the Right App

There are several apps out there today that will help you sell your gently used items — from clothing to accessories to furniture — but it’s important to find the right one for your needs. Some only allow vintage goods, while others are strictly for handmade items. The right app can help you earn quite a bit of cash, so do your research and figure out which one will help you maximize your selling power. Keep in mind that with these apps, it’s important to take well-lit photos of your item and to list details for potential buyers to aid in a quick sale.

Have a Garage Sale

If you don’t have a large online presence or are wary of selling items through an app, never fear — a garage sale can have just as much impact if you do it correctly. Preparing well will help you have an easy experience, and this includes making sure you price each item and display them in a pleasing way. If everything is thrown onto the driveway with no order or signage, people will be a lot less likely to look or buy. Get organized, and make sure you have cash to make change.

Start a Business

Selling items in the second-hand economy can be a side-gig or a full-time career depending on how much time and energy you put into it. If you’re thinking of starting your own business, consider creating a website and putting some effort into a social media presence that will help you get your items in front of as many people as possible. You’ll also want to make sure you have enough funding to live comfortably for at least a couple of years.

Earning extra money in the second-hand economy can be an easy way to start a retirement fund, pay some bills, or simply pad your savings. The key to success here is to make sure you’re well-prepared by doing some research first, including a little recon to see what your competition is. With a good plan, you can make any second-hand venture a success.

Article by Guest Writer Erin Reynolds from DIY Mama

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