Personal Property Liquidation

Kelly Ann Butterbaugh

When times get financially tough, the idea of rummaging through your home and turning items into cash isn't the move of a financial mastermind. However, taking some time to do periodic liquidation is the habit of a smart financier. Much like we clean our homes for yard sale season, we can clean our homes in search of extra cash. Not everything that can go will command high prices, but some things laying around could be instant cash in your pocket. What's worth a high enough resale to justify reselling it?

Jewelry:

We've all heard the cash for gold commercials, so the idea of cashing in on jewelry isn't new. However, sending your gold to an unnamed buyer in an envelope is a risky game. You're never assured of a price, and when the money comes and you're disappointed, it's too late to do anything about it. Instead, take your pieces to a jeweler for resale. Often, jewelers have dates each month that they buy "estate jewelry." This is a nice name for used pieces.

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What to consider:

Not all jewelry is worth a fortune. Right now gold is high, so gold pieces laying around could be worth more in cash than they are in sentiment. Likewise, if you're undecided about selling a gold piece, don't. If you decide to replace it later, the cost of gold will cause you to pay more for the replacement than you earned for the original sale.

Plated jewelry isn't going to resell well. While gold is worth money, there's only a thin layer of gold on top of a base metal, and the base metal is worth very little. You're most likely going to get value from the design of the piece than the composition.

Old costume jewelry is worth money even if it isn't gold. Much like any antique, old jewelry has an appeal that is worth more than its components.

If you didn't pay much for it originally, it won't earn value sitting in your jewelry box. Reasonably priced jewelry will bring reasonably priced resale unless it's antique. Those who invest money in pieces from jewelers know that it will always command at least the original value. Pieces found at mall shops and lesser jewelry sellers aren't extremely high quality pieces and will return much the same as they cost.

Electronics:

It's a tough pill to swallow, but that expensive surround sound system that you bought two years ago isn't going to command a high resale. Electronics don't sell well if you're looking to liquidate for cash. If it's something you're looking to liquidate, you might be better off keeping the item and getting some use out of it.

What to consider:

Computer parts might be worth more than the whole, especially if one component blew out. Sell video cards, memory cards, and disk drives separately to earn some profit.

Used video games garner only a few dollars on the resale. Compared to the price of a new game, playing the game once in awhile might justify keeping it when the resale to a store like GameStop earns $5 or $10. The same applies to hand held game systems like Nintendo DS.

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Forget about selling anything out of date. Old TVs, VCR tapes, and computers belong at low priced yard sales rather than resale outlets or online auctions.

Sports Equipment:

Anyone with teenagers knows that the love of a sport only lasts so long. While that catcher's equipment might have cost $150 new, it can bring about $60 or more if it's still in good shape. If there's a pile of unused sports gear in your garage, take it to a local second hand sports retailer or list it online. Many people look to purchase used sports gear, and the great part about it is that it isn't expected to be in pristine condition. Brand name gear commands the highest resale, but complete sets attract a lot of attention in online sales.

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