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Generate Some Cash for the Holidays by Selling “Stuff” on eBay and Craigslist

The stores have been marketing Christmas to us since at least October, though they really ramp up their efforts in November and December. They have to. Many retailers “depend on the last two months of the year for up to 40 percent of their annual sales” (Syracuse.com).

While consumer shopping is expected to be up 4.1% in November and December, that is slower growth than the previous two years (Syracuse.com). There are many reasons why shoppers may be holding tight to their purse strings this year, including the looming fiscal cliff [3].

However, if you have a basement (and closet and bedroom) full of stuff, economic uncertainty can help you pad your bottom line because more and more shoppers are looking for a good deal.

Where do they look? Often on Craigslist and eBay.

Now is the perfect time to list your junk stuff and make a few extra bucks yourself.

Here is a quick guide about what to sell where:


1. Kids’ outgrown name brand clothes. If you buy your kids brand name clothes like Gap, Gymboree, and Janie and Jack, you can make some good money selling those clothes. Particularly hot items right now are those with holiday themes or prints.

I always buy my kids’ clothes from Gymboree when they have a sale. I also use a 20% off coupon and my Gymboree Visa to get another 5% off. Doing this, I can buy them new for close to the price that I sell them used on eBay [4]. A good selling strategy is to price the item at the lowest amount you would like to get for the item and then include a buy it now price that would make you happy.

2. Kids’ toys & games. If your kids have electronics and toys they no longer use, you will likely find parents who don’t mind buying used for their kids’ presents and will snatch the items right up at a discount. (This is also a good time to sell toys and games your kids never even opened because they didn’t care for them or they weren’t age appropriate.)

Be mindful of the shipping, though. Some heavier items might do better on Craigslist because buyers don’t want to pay a lot in shipping.

3. Jewelry. Do you have jewelry that you don’t use anymore or jewelry that you received as a gift but you don’t care for? Sell it on eBay. Nothing says holiday present more than jewelry, and those items are really hot on eBay right now. I bought a necklace in Ireland for a friend, but we had a falling out when I returned home, and I never gave it to her. I sold it on eBay for more than I bought it for in Ireland.

4. Holiday collectibles. Do you have a Dickens’ collection of houses for a miniature holiday village? The holidays are when people try to add to their collection, so if you are so over setting up the village every year, sell the pieces. Depending on how many you have and whether you have the original packaging, you can make several hundred dollars.


I sell on Craigslist everything that isn’t in top shape or that will be too heavy to ship. I find that buyers on Craigslist are looking for a deal, so you probably won’t earn the money you might earn from selling on eBay. Still, if you have items not quite good enough to list on eBay, you can generally make some money selling them on Craigslist.

What do you recommend selling this holiday season? Do you buy presents off eBay and Craigslist?

Additional data from Syracuse.com [5].