Turn Clutter Into Cash

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From THESTREET.COM:

Your spring cleaning may turn up a mint.

Amid a teetering economy, many people would like to pick up a few extra bucks. Desks and drawers in your house won't provide a steady supply of money, but it's becoming easier to convert household clutter into cash.

If something is worthless, it usually gets thrown out. But many items that have become useless after you buy a newer model end up in a junk drawer.

Even though you know you will never use the outdated item again, it still has value. Once it gets thrown into a desk drawer, however, it usually remains there until someone in the house goes on a cleaning jag.

To get the most money for items in your drawers, the best method is to auction them off on Web sites such as eBay (EBAY) or over classified-advertising sites such as Craigslist.

The drawback is that it takes time and effort to take a photo of the item, write out a description and upload the photo to the Web site. Then you will have to spend time with potential buyers answering questions, collecting the money and shipping the item.

While many people have the intention of doing this, items that end up in drawers never seem to get sold. Other times, even though the items has value, it's too much trouble to put it up for sale.

A new generation of Web sites, however, makes it simple to sell these long-forgotten items with little effort.

While there may be some minor differences in how each Web site works, most follow the same basic plan. The Web site gives you information on the types of items it buys. It then requests that you find the manufacturer, the model number and rate the item's condition.

When you have input all the information, the Web site gives you an estimate of the item's worth. If satisfied, you can request a prepaid envelope in which to send in the item at no charge. Once the company receives the item, it will evaluate it to make sure it is in good condition and then send you a check.

Here are a few things you may have stashed in junk drawers, and the names of Web sites that are likely to buy them:

Jewelry, Watches and Coins

Gold has already increased in value more than 30% since the beginning of the year. With the Fed making a surprise announcement of a quarter-point rate cut Sunday, gold reacted by surging to more than $1,000 an ounce. With a further Fed rate cut expected at today's meeting, gold may very well increase even more in the days to come.

This price surge isn't limited to gold.

Silver prices have also made a move higher. While silver prices were as low as $6 last year, they are now at about $20 an ounce.

This means that any old jewelry, watches and coins that you no longer use and have hidden away in drawers are potentially worth a lot more these days.

While quality pieces of jewelry should be taken to a store for an appraisal, less-valuable pieces can be sold through Web sites like Broken Gold.

The site buys everything from gold, silver and platinum to junk gold such as tangled gold chains, bent/broken jewelry, unmatched gold earrings and dental gold. That means even those odd and broken pieces of jewelry that you have saved can put some money back into your pocket.

Cell Phones

When you upgrade to a new cell phone, the old one usually ends up in a desk drawer. It may be time to dig through the drawers to find them. There are a number of web sites that actively seek old cell phones like Cell For Cash, Simply Sellular and Sell Your Cell and pay you for them.
Since the newer models are worth more and cell phones outdate quickly, the sooner you sell any cell phones that you no longer need, the better the price you are likely to get.

Electronic Gadgets

Many people simply throw their old MP3 player into a drawer when they upgrade to a new model. As with most electronics, the longer that it sits in the drawer, the less valuable it becomes. Whether it's an Apple (AAPL) iPod or another brand of MP3 player, Second Rotation will pay you money to take them out and send the old model to them.

Older version of electronic gadgets that can be sold aren't limited to MP3 players. Second Rotation offers to buy a large number of gadgets including cell phones, laptops, gaming consoles, digital cameras, camcorders and GPS devices over the Internet. Any of these that have been placed in drawers can be retrieved to earn a few extra dollars.

When you decide to do your spring cleaning, take a bit of time to go through all the stuff that has collected in the drawers around the house that you no longer need or want. You may find that this year's clean-up project will also result in some extra dollars in you pocket.

 

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