Moving sales are great for bargain hunters, typically not so much for people holding the sale, who might be less interested in profit than in cutting down on how much stuff needs to go into boxes in order to make moving cheaper and less stressful. With just a bit of planning, though, and often by using online resources, the decluttering can make a satisfying bit of money, too. Especially these days, when so many people are interested in minimalism, trimming can also be its own reward, even when a move isn't the motivation.
To sell stuff online but keep things local, join a buy/sell/trade Facebook group, advertising goods and making arrangements to trade for cash with neighbors.
Selling collectible or nearly new items on Amazon or eBay often brings in more bucks than trying to sell at a garage sale, since odds are that no niche collectors willing to pay top dollar live around the corner. Brand-new items with tags still on, nostalgia items related to TV shows and movies, popular books, and toys in good condition all sell well online, and the auction format of eBay is especially helpful at finding the true value of items — which means you won't cheat yourself by setting prices too low.
If a garage sale is not an option or the weather isn't cooperating, there are online opportunities for selling wares. In addition to Craigslist and eBay, Apartment Therapy Marketplace is an online venue specifically for furniture and vintage goods in select cities.
Consigning clothes, shoes, purses, and jewelry is a time-honored strategy, online or off, and there may well be a consignment shop in town that will make a good first stop. ThredUP is a way to get rid of brand-name clothes without leaving the house — though reviewers say the site is picky about what it accepts and will never make you rich. The site sends a prepaid shipping bag to fill with clothes, accessories such as bags, and shoes (children's clothing is a site specialty) and pays via PayPal within weeks.
There may be a local pawn shop that will buy unwanted electronics such as phones, tablets, and laptops in good condition, but online specialty resellers such as Gazelle, BuyBackWorld, and NextWorth attract an audience that is specifically searching out such items to buy. The sites pay via check or PayPal (and, in the case of Gazelle, Amazon gift cards).
Record stores are fewer and farther between than they were years ago, but there are plenty of websites stepping in to fill the gap on reselling old CDs, DVDs, and other media. One of the best — Bonavendi — even has a time-saving app that turns phones into UPC scanners for instant feedback on a variety of resale sites. Many other sites, such as the general-purpose reseller Decluttr, ask for barcodes. Most items will bring less than $1 each, with compensation coming by check or PayPal.
If you have space in your rental van or truck, offer to move someone else’s items, too. Whether it’s going home from college for the summer or heading to a brand new city, someone else might be going the same direction and be willing to help pay. Use ride boards and Craigslist to find possible customers.
If all else fails, a number of charities take tax-deductible donations of clothing, furniture, and other items in exchange for tax deductions. Many of these places, including the Purple Heart Foundation and Salvation Army, will even come to pick up items, eliminating any investment of time or gas on your part.