The average family has about $10,000 worth of unused items in their home, says Cari Cucksey, host of HGTV's Cash and Cari. She and a few other experts reveal what to look out for.
By Candace Braun Davison
When word spread in February that Ikea would be discontinuing its popular Expedit shelves, its average selling price on eBay shot up 23 percent—from about $94 to $116—according to the auction website's sales data. The shelves' simple, goes-with-anything design makes them a staple in $12-million homes and studios alike, says Jeremiah Brent, interior designer and curator for eBay
, especially since they can be used individually or stacked to mimic floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. (And, as Lifehacker's tutorials prove
, can be used to make bed platforms, benches, storage tables and TV stands. If you're over the look, reselling yours could fund your next living room mini-makeover.
Many major retailers are making it easy for you to resell your old tablets, cell phones and other electronics. Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon, GameStop and Target all have programs that allow you to instantly get a price quote for your old gadget and sell it to them in exchange for a gift card or credit toward an electronics purchase. Amazon and Walmart offer the most—up to $300 for an old tablet—and most companies will base the resell value on a few key questions: Is the screen cracked? Does it turn on? Is it fully functional? Are there any dead spots in the LCD display? Your tech toy doesn't have to be in mint condition to be resold, and most companies will give you a price quote online immediately—no haggling or hustling necessary.
If that gorgeously photographed hardcover is doing little more than keeping your bud vase and votives company, you may want to Google it to see how much a used copy is selling for. Many home design, fashion and jewelry books really hold their value—and in some cases, can be worth more than you originally paid for them. Three highly sought-after titles are Christie's Auction Collection Yves Saint Laurent et Pierre Bergé
, which sells for about $399; Emilio Pucci
by Vanessa Friedman and Alessandra Arezzi Boza, for about $45; and Vogue Living: Houses, Gardens, People
by Hamish Bowles and Calvin Klein, which brings in about $34, says Brent.
Sitting by your computer at midnight to get the first pick of Target's latest designer collaborations could come with a major payoff, particularly if you own anything from its partnerships with Missoni, Jason Wu or Phillip Lim. A Missoni-designed bicycle, for example, originally sold at Target for $399 when the line launched in 2011, but on eBay, it's selling for up to $1,280, eBay reports. Similarly, the Jason Wu for Target blue satchel bag you originally bought for $40 could bring in as much as $230.
The more out-of-date you think a workout video is, the more reason you have to spare it from the trash can. Classic titles, like Jane Fonda's Complete Workout
, are worth about three times as much as current favorites, says Brett Lauter, U.S. president of Decluttr.com
, a site that buys used CDs, DVDs and games. It's a textbook case of scarcity: The older videos aren't as widely available anymore, so people are on the hunt for them (and it doesn't hurt that Jane Fonda looks as incredible today as she did in 1989, when Complete Workout was released).
If you don't want to deal with the hassle of selling everything yourself, Decluttr will buy the DVDs from you—even if it's a title they can't sell, they promise to pay you at least 50 cents for it—and will cover all shipping costs. The company offers $1-$2 for many exercise videos, though Fonda's is worth close to $5 and Richard Simmons's Sweatin' to the Oldies
comes in at $2.63.