The following is a guest post by Kyle Taylor. If you are interested in guest posting, please see our guest posting guidelines.
The holidays can be a wonderful time to spend time with family and friends, but if your money is tight, the holidays can also be stressful. There are so many people to buy for! Besides the kids, you may need to buy for your parents, brothers and sisters as well as teachers. You might also want to give a token gift to coaches, music teachers, and service providers such as the mailman and your hair dresser.
If you haven’t planned for Christmas expenses all year long, or even for several months ahead of time, you may see your budget coming up short. Luckily, the time right after New Year’s is a good time to also make money. Here are some strategies we have used to raise cash quickly after the holidays have left our bank account drained:
1. Sell Your Healthy and Diet Cookbooks
Do you have healthy cooking or diet cookbooks sitting around? Right after Christmas or the New Year is the best time to sell them. People are excited about their New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and get in shape, and they want to buy the tools to do that. If you have Weight Watchers cookbooks, those sell especially well. I once had one sell for $40!
Ebay is a great place to sell your cookbooks; just do a search of completed listings to see what price people are willing to pay. Start your listing low, but not as low as .99. Depending on the book, $4.99 is a good price to start the auction; offer both media mail shipping for those who want to save money and priority mail for those who want their books right away.
2. Sell Your Exercise Equipment
Again, riding on people’s desire to get in shape, now is the time to sell that exercise equipment that is gathering dust in your basement or serving as a clothing rack in your bedroom. Most exercise equipment will do well-being sold on Craigslist because your buyer does not have to pay for shipping, and you don’t have to pay a selling fee, which can add up on more expensive pieces of equipment. Besides large pieces of equipment, also consider selling dumbbells, yoga mats, and exercise DVDs, such as P90X, which can be great sellers. These smaller items can do well on eBay.
3. Sell Gift Cards You Don’t Plan to Use
Chances are you received several gift cards for Christmas from stores that you may not necessarily go to, or maybe you would just prefer the cash to help you recoup some of your money from Christmas. Many people sell gift cards on eBay, but that may be the worst place to sell them because you get back only 80% of the value, plus you have to pay fees. Instead, look to other sites that offer you a greater return on your gift card balance.
(Bonus) Sell Your Used DVD’s and CD’s
Many of us have a big pile of used DVD’s and CD’s lying around. Chances are good that you probably even got some of them for Christmas. Well, if you no longer plan on watching them, why not sell them? You used to have to bring them to a used music or movies store in order to unload them. Not anymore. Free services like musicMagpie.com allow you to sell your old DVD’s and CD’s from the comfort of your computer. Ah, the joys of the internet!
If your holiday gift giving has left your wallet empty, there are ways to become flush again, especially if you sell things related to people’s natural tendency to resolve to get healthier in 2013. In no time, you will have money in your pocket again and as a bonus, a house with a little less clutter.
What is your favorite way to make cash after the holidays?