Monday, June 16, 2008

Trash Bash and Some Cash

Why throw something away if someone else wants it? The old adage that says “one person's trash is another person's treasure” never goes out of date. So when you're looking for some extra spending cash and you want to make some space in your home, combine the two endeavors by selling your stuff instead of donating it or trashing it, or recycling it.

There are plenty of people and places exist to buy what you could be selling instead of giving away or trashing. Here are some places where you can sell your stuff:

  • Antique dealersand collectors: Sell anything from old coins and costume jewelry to old records and toys that are in great shape to dealers. And sometimes not so great shape. I got several offers for an old hand-me down jeweled pocket watch, even with its bit of chipped paint. Dealers often resell your item to make themselves a profit. Be sure to get more than one quote or appraisal before you sell it.

  • Flea Markets: Got a bunch of stuff to sell like books, video tapes, figurines, fake (or real) potted plants, even clothing in good shape? Rent a booth at the nearest flea market that generates a lot of traffic. And flea market shoppers like to haggle. So inflate your prices just a bit so they can strike a bargain with you. It's expected!

  • Classified Ads: Make room for the new couch by selling the old one in your local freebie paper, especially if you're in a college town. Used furnishings are hot sale items to students.

  • Consignment/Resale Shops: If you have discovered that you like walking in fresh air or you stink at tennis, consider giving up your treadmill or tennis rackets in exchange for cash. Sell used sporting goods equipment to stores such as Play it Again; or put it on consignment at such stores. That means if the item sells, the store gets a cut. If it doesn't sell, you're still stuck with it and earn no money.

  • Friends and Co-workers: Sure it's okay to give things away now and then to friends in need. But if you're planning to sell an item and you happen to know a friend, acquaintance or co-worker seeking just such an item, why not give them first purchase option? So keep your ears open for people seeking what you're getting rid of and don't be afraid to say an item is for sale.

You can also turn your trash into treasure with these basic steps on how to recycle, including several online resources.

Start with the curb recycling program in your area. Most now accept plastic bottles #1 and #2, cardboard, aluminum and metal cans, newspaper, computer paper, magazines, catalogs and phone books. Call or check your curb recycling program’s website for the most up-to-date list of acceptable items.

Look for plastic bag recycling bins in your local grocery store, as most curbside recycling programs do not accept them. Better yet, invest in cloth grocery bags to completely eliminate your use of plastic grocery bags at all.

Donate your old electronics to a non-profit, sell them at online stores like Ebay or Amazon, or take them to your local Staples store, which now accepts e-waste products, such as modems, monitors, keyboards, printers, cell phones and more. If you do not have a Staples store in your area, contact your local hazardous waste program for advice. Electronics are often made with toxic substances that are dangerous for landfills, so it is important that you find an alternative means of disposal. Printer cartridges are also recyclable at many office supply stores, including a cash-back incentive on some brands.

Recycle your hazardous materials to keep them out of the landfills. Check with your local auto parts store for recycling car batteries, motor oil, oil filters and antifreeze. Check with your local hardware store for recycling fluorescent light bulbs. For paint, or any other hazardous household materials, contact the hazardous waste program in your area.

  • Recycle your fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds and tea bags in a compost bin that you can use to create a fertilizer for your garden.

Sell or give away any other miscellaneous household items online, such as records, videotapes and books.

The list goes on on how we can turn those trash ito cash. With just a little effort and creativity, you’ll be surprised by just how much you can personally divert from the landfill and we can say that in our own ways, we helped save Mother Earth. So, what are you waiting for? Start scouting those trash...now!

Resource: Cecill Artates is an artist, athlete and a part-time writer for a women's magazine. Her interest includes writing articles on women's health, and environmental issues.


35 comments:

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