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What to Do with Yard Sale Junk that Didn’t Sell

stuff leftover at the end of a yard sale
Sc0rpi0nce/Shutterstock

The likelihood of you selling everything at your yard sale is pretty slim, even if you advertise well. Successful sales usually still have some leftover junk. So, what do you do with it?

Don’t keep it. You were getting rid of that stuff for some reason, right? It no longer has a space in your home, so don’t allow it to take up a new residence and add clutter to your house.

Don’t put it in the trash either. There are so many other things you can do with the stuff you don’t want anymore. Unless your stuff is somehow recyclable, find something to do other than having it end up in a landfill.

There are lots of options that will help you clear out leftover yard sale items.

Sell It Online

If you were selling items in your sale that are worth some money or highly collectible, you might find a great outlet for them online. Try selling some stuff on eBay. It’s a great next step for things like hard-to-find movies, collectible figurines, old comic books, records, and other stuff that people collect. If you don’t make any sales, your out a minimal posting fee (sometimes eBay offers a certain amount of free postings per month) and you can still try the next ideas.

Offer Stuff to Friends for Cheap or Free

At least some of your friends likely have similar interests to you, so why not see if anyone who couldn’t make it to your sale needs or wants any of the stuff you have left. You can offer things to them at a discounted price or give it away for free.

Donate to Local Charities

Consider donating personal use items, like clothing, to a place that doesn’t resell items. By doing this, you’ll be helping someone in need get the clothing that may help them get an interview. There are plenty of places that take clothing donations and other items.

Check with local women’s shelters as a place to donate women’s and children’s clothing. Homeless shelters offer an outlet to donate clothing from the entire family. See if any disaster relief foundations, such as the Red Cross, are looking for specific donations.

With used linens, bedding, and pet items, contact local animal shelters about donating things to them that will help homeless dogs and cats stay comfortable while they wait for their forever homes.

Take Books to the Friends of the Library or School Library

Donate books to your local library. They won’t put them out on the shelves for people to check-out, but the Friends of the Library will have a chance to sell them at their annual sale. Call before you haul them there to make sure your library has a program like this.

If you have lots of kids books and learning books, contact a local school, and see if you may be able to donate there.

Sell College Books Back

If some of those books happen to be college textbooks, look into selling them back to the bookstore. Many college bookstores buy back books. While you will only get a fraction of the cost, and they definitely won’t be buying your chemistry textbooks from 1997, it’s still worth a try if the books are relatively current.

Amazon has a trade-in service, too. You may be able to get money on an Amazon gift card on textbooks, other books, video games, electronics, and more.

If your old books aren’t appealing to the bookstore or any online buy-back programs, it’s pretty safe to say they’re destined for the recycling bin—used bookstores and Friends of the Library programs typically don’t want your books.

Scrap It (For Parts, Even)

Whether you’re hauling an old TV to the scrapyard or taking your still working old laptop to Best Buy for a trade-in (they’ll refurbish it to resell), scrapping stuff instead of selling it may be your only option (aside from a landfill).

You shouldn’t toss old electronics in the trash, so find out if there is a scrap place or business in your area that will take old computers, TV, cellphones, and gaming systems off your hands (whether or not they work). Typically your city or county will have a hazardous waste disposal facility somewhere that you can drop off old batteries, electronics, CFL bulbs, and other material that shouldn’t be trashed.

Donate Stuff to the Thrift Store

There is always the option to donate to a local thrift store. If you have stuff that no one else will take and you don’t want it thrown away, find out if it’s an item worth giving to someone else to resell. Keep in mind that many thrift stores don’t take old TVs, VCRs (although there are people out there still watching movies on VHS and happy to find a working VCR).

Yvonne Glasgow Yvonne Glasgow
Yvonne Glasgow has been a professional writer for almost two decades. Yvonne has worked for nutritionists, start-ups, dating companies, SEO firms, newspapers, board game companies, and much more as a writer and editor. She's also a published poet and a short story writer. Read Full Bio »

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