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Find Relief from Debt by Turning Trash into Cash

How to turn trash into cash

As the saying goes, “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.” Are you on a mission to get out of debt? Maybe you’re already budgeting and working extra hours, but still looking for some extra cash: That extra cash might just be closer than you think. Look around your home for things just lying around collecting dust. You’d be surprised to find that some of those things are worth big bucks and can bring you relief from debt.

What Items Bring in the Most Money?

Here are some items to keep an eye out for that could make a decent dent in your debt.

Traditional Collectibles

It’s easy to find buyers of rare stamps, baseball cards, limited edition books, and coins.


Bikes and bike parts are gold right now! Because of COVID-19, bike shops have to wait a long time to get products from suppliers. If you have a bike to sell, now is the time.


Want to sell jewelry made of real gold or gemstones? You’ll get a fair price at an auction or a local jeweller. Collectors might want your costume jewelry, even if it looks tacky to you. Some pieces are worth hundreds of dollars.

Clothing and Accessories

Clothes can make you money on Facebook Marketplace or Kijiji if they’re in good shape. Scarves, vintage sunglasses, and jean jackets can make you a tidy sum too. For designer labels, your best option is to check out consignment stores. They pay a higher price.

Athletic Wear

Brand name aerobics and fitness clothes from the ‘80s or ‘90s are popular today. Sellers can make a few dollars or even hit the jackpot. In 2019, a pair of 1972 Nike Waffle Racing Flat “Moon Shoes” sold at auction for $475,500.


Collectors are a nostalgic bunch. Many are searching for board games, stuffies, and other things they played with as kids. Certain action figures and playsets from the 1980s are hot items. He-Man’s archenemy, Skeletor, may be worth hundreds. There’s also a market for Barbie dolls, Lego and Hot Wheels.

Believe it or not, certain video games and Pokémon cards have sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Outdated Technology

Somebody out there is buying flip clocks, old flip phones, and retro video game consoles. If you have a very old Apple Computer, your money troubles might be over.

Items that Might Surprise You

Debt relief can come from unexpected places. Duck decoys don’t glitter like gold, but some are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Why? Because multi-millionaires who hunt for sport think they’re cool. Collectors also pay money for cast iron doorstops, cake pans, old vacuum cleaners, and VHS tapes. McHappy Meal Toys are just plastic junk, but some are collectible. How about a cardboard cereal box? A rare Cap’n Crunch cereal box from the late 1960s sold at auction for more than $2,500.

What Makes Something Valuable?

How much your item is worth depends on a few things:

How Old is it?

In general, the older something is, the more money it’s worth, as long as it’s in good condition. Items from the 1800s or early 1900s might be museum-worthy and worth thousands of dollars.

How Rare is it?

A hard-to-find item is worth more than something easy to find. For example, old glass bottles are everywhere, but bottles made of coloured glass are more valuable. An antique purple perfume bottle was recently listed on eBay for $289.12.

Did it Belong to a Celebrity?

Anything that belonged to a famous actor, singer, artist or athlete is like money in the bank. A jersey that Jackie Robinson wore in 1947 on the Brooklyn Dodgers sold at auction for over $2 million.

Is it in Good Shape?

An old object in good shape is worth more than something that’s falling apart. Collectors would pay money for a Chatelaine magazine from the 1930s, but not if it’s mouldy or torn.

Did Someone Famous Die?

Sadly, images of the Royal Family on magazine covers, plates, or stamps become valuable when those people die. This is also true of artists and performers. When famous musicians pass away, their albums might suddenly be in demand and sell for more.

Is it Trendy Today?

For some reason, there’s a Beanie Baby craze right now. Some of these mini stuffed animals from the 1990s are worth thousands today. It’s hard to predict what will suddenly become trendy and why.

Was it Expensive Before?

Gold, precious gemstones, crystal, and pure silk are valuable at any age, as long as they’re in good shape.

Does it Make People Nostalgic?

People love to buy items that remind them of their childhood. Your old Brady Bunch lunchbox or Cabbage Patch Kid is worth money to someone. Collectors also go crazy for vinyl records and vintage board games.

Is it From an Important Time in History?

An item from an important time in history could be worth more than you’d expect. Why hang on to your Women’s Suffrage pamphlet, Elvis Presley concert ticket or a war bond poster? Items that go way back in time, like a war medal from World War I, are especially valuable.

Setting a Price

The Internet has pricing guides for all sorts of items. These include antique radios, comic books, and baseball cards. Websites like Value My Stuff and Worthpoint are great resources for getting items appraised for a small fee. You can also find Facebook groups or online discussions about what things are worth. To get the most debt relief out of these items as possible, it’s worth spending a little time researching how to get the most money for your items.

Where to Sell

Once you know what you’re selling, here’s how to find buyers:

Auctions – For antiques or other valuable items, find an auction house and sell to the highest bidder. Or choose an online auction site like eBay.

Pawnshops – Take your old tools, musical instruments, and other day-to-day items to a pawn shop near you.

Online storefronts – Open your own online storefront on Shopify, Etsy or Bonanza.

Consignment stores – Sell gently used luxury clothes to a local consignment store.

Community buy-and-sell sites – People in your community want specific used items. Don’t put your old rocking chair or camp stove out on the curb. Make a few bucks by posting them on Facebook Marketplace or Kijiji.

Garage Sales – If you have lots to get rid of, have a garage sale. Even by selling just a few CDs, vases or books, you might be a few hundred dollars richer. Get some fresh air and meet your neighbours. As a bonus, you’ll be helping the environment by keeping stuff out of landfills.

Get Started

If you’re having trouble making ends meet, look around your home. A nice chunk of savings might be sitting in a bin at the back of your storage area.

If you’re still looking for relief from debt after cashing in on the stuff lying around your home, we have experts ready to help. Contact then to start your journey to debt relief today.

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