3 Easy Ways to Find Cash in Your Closet

December 26 is traditionally known as Boxing Day in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and some other Commonwealth nations. Traditionally, this was the day when employers or lords of a house would put gifts in a Christmas Box and give it to their servants. Over the years, it’s become a day when people donate boxes of old items– like clothes and shoes they no longer need following the holidays– to the needy.

It’s wonderful to give during this time of year, but during these closet and garage purges people often find more valuable items. These aren’t things you want to keep, but due to their value it wouldn’t necessarily be appropriate to simply give them away. Fortunately, there is a third option.

“Finding clothing in your closet is like finding extra money in your wallet that you did not know you had,” says Carolyn Schneider, author of the The Ultimate Consignment & Thrift Store Guide (Fifth edition, October 2012) and expert bargain shopper. “It is very easy to clean out your closets and make extra money for clothing that you will never wear again.”

What’s worth selling? Schneider offers the following advice:

  • Know what sells.  Designer women’s clothing, handbags, shoes are always in very high demand. Designer items from Chanel, Gucci, Hermes, Prada will get you top dollar.
  • Consign your items but read the consignment contract carefully.  Most consignment splits are 50/50, and usually for 60 days.  Items that do not sell right away are usually reduced, 20% after the first 30 days and an additional 20% after another 30 days.
  • Reconstruct your clothing.  Companies such as www.woolybison.com specialize in reconstructing thrift and vintage clothing into handbags. For example, one customer had them reconstruct her grandfather’s Vietnam army blanket into two handbags.

Finally, for items in less demand, it’s best to donate them to a thrift store. Always ask for a receipt for tax purposes because the IRS allows you to deduct fair market value for the item; that’s the price the item would sell for in the thrift store. If you’re donating multiple items, it’s also best to keep an itemized list with that receipt in case you’re ever audited.

For more tips, visit savvyshoppingguide.com, an online resource dedicated to helping shoppers save thousands of dollars on designer clothing, accessories and much more.