Saturday, July 2, 2011

Craigslist: The Summertime Money Maker

I had a busy week and the weekend hasn’t slowed the pace a step. I’ve been trying to work through the heat and it hasn’t been easy. And seriously slowing my progress. So, while I’m out sweating my butt off, here’s a guest post for your perusal. Seems like there's some great ways to make a few extra bucks this summer! Isabella York at Balsam Hill was kind enough to share this post telling how. Read on...

By Isabella York

Craigslist: The Summertime Money Maker

Summer, more often than not, is the time for home improvement projects. With the school year finally over, this period offers the best opportunity to get your teenagers' help with the gardening or even fence repainting (you might have to bribe them with several dollars for this one though!)

In our family, the dry, hot months of summer means cleaning the house and getting out our brushes, power tools and all the other stuff from the garage to make our home feel brand spanking new. As we were getting ready to landscape the front yard just last month, we pulled out a still healthy hedge that lined the front foot path to make room for a small fence. My boy remarked that it would be a good idea to sell it on Craigslist, the open market for anything that you wanted an ad for. After ten minutes of posting on Craigslist, we already had three people interested in buying it! This got me and my husband thinking about other items that may be worth selling on the site, and after looking around the house for more stuff, we came up with this list:

  1. Parts and items from home improvement projects that have not come into fruition. For us in the home improvement hobbyist world, we often come into our garage and find odds and ends, and other items that are part of projects that have failed, succeeded or forgotten. These items are gems to the Craigslist ad world, where people try to find little things they might not necessarily pay for full price out in stores. Upgraded your doors and found the old one lying around? Those are perfect for selling! Just make sure you put the dimensions on right. Cans of spray paint you barely used would also be perfect for do-it-yourselfers wanting good deals. Take note of the stuff you've set aside for projects you don't ever think you're going to get back to, and sell them online. You may even buy new stuff for better, newer projects in the future with the money you make from these!

  2. Spare parts and accessories of a car already sold. If you happen to have spare parts of a car that you've already sold, these could really sell well on the site! We got rid of our 2000 Honda Accord five years ago, but still had some parts lying around. A box of spark plugs, an old caliper, a couple of car mats and an old car cover gone, we made about $100 from car enthusiasts who were on the lookout for cheaper auto parts online. Some of our customers have even asked us to reserve for them any other car accessories that we may find lying in the house in the near future.

  3. Appliances that have zonked out. There are a lot of fixer uppers out there, who love to buy stuff we consider junk, fix it up, and sell it as refurbished items. A few of our old appliances like our microwave, toaster and waffle irons are apparently very easy to fix, and go for quite a bit more than your neighborhood junkyard.

  4. Old furniture.In the process of building your dream home, you are bound to collect a few furniture pieces that warrant a "What was I thinking when I bought that?" a few years later, and kept in the garage until you've found a better place for it. I have seen one woman's design nightmare change into another's dream online. Somehow, old furniture is one of the easiest items to sell on Craigslist, especially for collectors and designers. Just make sure you've cleaned it out and repaired the few rips on upholstery that have accumulated over the years.

  5. Musical instruments. Tried to teach yourself guitar or the drums but realized you were just making noise? Musical instruments are a category of the better selling items on the site, as musicians are always looking out for gear or other items to add to their collections. Even just a drum cymbal or a guitar pickup can be several dollars each so go post it online! If you have no idea how much it goes for, check music forums and ask for advice. They usually give a straight answer on how much these things cost.

With the onset of home improvements, and the cleaning out process that comes with it, you can actually make money on items you may consider junk! So take out those brushes and prepare for a home improvement project that is not only fulfilling design wise, but also in the wallet. Make money of the stuff you've accumulated throughout the years (and during the spurts of your inner DIY-er), and get the funding for bigger and better projects that will last you until the next season!

Isabella York is a dedicated working mother. She works for Balsam Hill, a purveyor of Artificial Christmas Trees in traditional and modern styles, and assorted other Christmas Trees.

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