COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP

Money Matters

living_life_icon Financial Education

Turn Your Trash Into Cash

Jun 30, 2016

If you’re looking for some extra spending money (who isn’t?), and if you have more “stuff” than you’ll ever use (who doesn’t?), there are ways to remedy your situation and help the environment by keeping more trash out of landfills. Don’t just dump unwanted items at your curbside. Do something constructive with them!

Go online
There are many online sites where you can buy and sell used/new items such as amazon.com and ebay.com. Do your homework. Type your item’s description into the search box of an online auction site and see if similar items have bids. If so, you’ll know it actually has some value and you’ll have a good idea of how much it might be worth. 

TIP: Before discarding gift boxes and used packaging materials, think about how you might use them to ship items you sell online. Saving the materials will not only keep them from the trash bin, but will save you money in the future.

Sell secondhand 
Consignment shops welcome many items that have outlived their usefulness within your four walls. They do the selling and split the profits with you. You’ll save time and the cost of shipping and/or ads.

Hold a chapter yard sale
Yard/garage sales can net big bucks. If you have life insurance or an annuity with Royal Neighbors, or participate in our member benefits program, work with your fellow Royal Neighbors chapter members and pool your items for a great fund-raiser. You may also want to take advantage of Royal Neighbors’ Matching Funds Program to raise even more to contribute to your favorite community project.

Follow these golden rules of yard sales:

  • Don’t skimp on newspaper ads and signs touting your sale. Remember quality and quantity!
  • Price to sell. Decide what you would pay at a sale and start with that. You can always go lower.
  • Think like a merchant and “stage” your wares as a store would. Make sure clothes are clean and hung according to size, items are well-organized, and extension cords are handy so shoppers can see that electronics really work.
  • Make sure every item has a visible price tag. Stock up on used grocery bags (another way to recycle them) to use for purchases.
  • Stay safe. Lock the doors to your home. Use a fanny pack or apron to collect money and make change. Be sure you have $50 worth of change and small bills. 

TIP: Don’t use color-coded tags. They’re confusing and can be easily switched.

Donate to charity
Many of your items may be useful to women and their families who live in transitional housing. Consider donating to local agencies that are empowering women in need.

Recycle
Most cities have some sort of recycling program and some may pay for what you want to discard. For example, scrap metal can earn you cash. Search online or contact your local public works department to learn where to recycle tires, appliances, clear glass containers, etc.

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Form #: P00065 Rev. 6-2016
Form #: P00052; Rev. 11-2016
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