Decluttering is a constant battle — and if you’re downsizing to smaller digs, it can be an all-out war. One way many people make the process less painful is by selling their castoffs — because parting with old possessions doesn’t feel half as bad with a cash kickback, right?
There’s just one problem: many find the old standby of hawking their wares on Craigslist to be more of a pain than it’s worth. Plus, the act of having to invite random strangers into your home can feel kind of creepy — and if those randos want to haggle, the headache really isn’t worth it.
But you’re in luck! Plenty of apps have filled the void by making the process of selling your possessions much easier — often with a better payoff to boot. So whether you’re lightening your load before a move, downsizing to a smaller space, or just decluttering, here’s how to sell the items topping your get-it-outta-here list.
Best for selling: Furniture
Think of Trove as a virtual consignment shop for furniture. Sign up through your Facebook or Google account, and answer a series of questions before your item is listed: title and description, price (and if you’re willing to negotiate), type of payment accepted, where you’re located, and when you’re available for the buyer to pick up the item. You’ll also need to upload at least one photo — the more, the better. If you check the box for negotiating, you receive notifications of all offers, and then you can accept the one you like best based on price, mutual connections, and the buyer’s reviews.
Any downsides? Similar to Craigslist, an in-person meeting and inspection are required to complete the transaction. A helpful tip: never let a buyer leave with your item until the transaction has been marked as approved in the app — that’s how you’ll get paid if the buyer has chosen a debit or credit payment. Listing is free, and although Trove takes a 10% fee from credit card transactions, it doesn’t charge for other payment methods (e.g., PayPal).
Best for selling: Tech
Want to sell your old cell phones, DVDs, CDs, and video games you have laying around without the hassle of finding a buyer yourself? Download the free Decluttr app, use your phone’s camera to scan the barcode, and you’ll get an instant selling price. The app has a Tech Price Promise, which guarantees you the first price it offers — or you get your item back for free.
Any downsides? You do have to actually pack your item(s) into a box and mail it to Decluttr. But hey, it provides a free shipping label, and once your box arrives at the warehouse, the Decluttr team checks the item(s), then sends payment through direct deposit, PayPal, or check (or donates it to charity upon your request).
Best for selling: Old clothes
Rather than hauling all your unwanted or ill-fitting clothes and accessories to a local consignment store, you can create an account at ThredUp and request a “kit.” In a nutshell: ThredUp sends you a giant, polka-dot plastic bag, which you can fill up with women’s and children’s clothing, shoes, handbags, fashion jewelry, or other accessories. (Menswear is not yet accepted, but check the site for updates on the items that are in demand.) Ship the filled bag for free by dropping it at any U.S. Postal Service or FedEx location, and once your bag is processed, you’ll earn cash or credit in your account for the items that are accepted.
Any downsides? There’s one caveat: any items that aren’t accepted will be donated (i.e., you won’t get them back). But honestly, do you really want them back?
Best for selling: Anything locally
Described as Craigslist meets Nextdoor (a private social network for neighborhoods), the 5miles app has 14 million buyers across the United States, yet it focuses on the ones in your immediate area. It’s safer to use than Craigslist, though, with features such as online payment, shipping options for people who don’t want to meet, and a tool to locate nearby police stations where you can do in-person transactions. The app also prides itself on a 24/7 “Awesome Experience” customer service team to help with issues.
Nice plus: Prefer the old-fashioned method of decluttering, aka garage or yard sales? You can list your sale in a special section of the app, where buyers can search for sales in their area and come check out your goods in person. It’s way more effective than newspaper classifieds.
Any downsides? While there’s a category on 5miles for just about anything you might want to sell before a move, keep in mind that you may not sell everything. Top sellers include furniture, household wares, electronics, and sports/outdoor items. While it’s free for both buyers and sellers, there is a fee on some automotive listings, in case that’s on your to-sell list.