Cash in the Attic: How to Value Your Belongings Before Selling


Now that we’ve reached the time of year for spring cleaning, you may want to free up some space by selling some of your old belongings. It’s a great way to bring in some cash during these uncertain times, and with people stuck indoors there’s a lot more online shopping going on at the moment.

One of the big mistakes that people make when selling online is not properly understanding the value of their items. Price it too high and you won’t find a buyer; price it too low and you’ll end up losing money. Here are some tips to help you find the right price.

Use sites like eBay and Amazon for research

Your first step is simple: take a look and see what other sellers are listing similar items for. This will show you the market rate, which may be more or less than you originally paid for the item. If you’re selling something rare or unusual, then you can still do your research. Compare items of a similar type, age and condition. For instance, an item of clothing that was made by the same brand and has the same amount of wear and tear.

Make sure similar items are actually selling

You may go onto eBay and see that several people have listed the item that you’re selling for a particular price. Great – that gives you the value, right? Well, not necessarily. This shows you what people are trying to sell the item for, but not necessarily what customers are willing to pay. To get that info, you need to look at the prices of items that have already been sold. Websites like can help by analysing the sale prices of different items.

Understand how the condition effects value

The condition is always important. Clothing that has never been worn is more desirable than used items, and bric-a-brac can often be sold for more if it has never left the box. Spend some time evaluating the quality of what you have for sale and be realistic about what it’s now worth. One thing to consider is the expected ‘shelf-life’ of what you’re selling. For instance, somebody buying a piece of furniture will reasonably expect it to last a good few years. Consider how long your item will last in its current condition, and price accordingly.

Speak to a professional

For true antiques and one-of-a-kind collectables, you’ll almost always be doing yourself a disservice by trying to sell something on without speaking to an expert. They will be able to tell you whether the item is authentic or not, what its value is, and potentially what kind of collector will be looking to buy it. When you’re trying to sell something that’s worth a lot of money, you need to make sure that it is seen by the right person. That’s why we wouldn’t recommend using general sites like eBay to sell items that appeal to a niche group.

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