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13 ON YOUR SIDE Money Guide: Second-hand stores vs. Facebook Marketplace

Selling gently used items can be a great way to make extra cash, but which method is best?

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — We're launching a new effort to help you save money, make money and spend wisely. We are calling it the 13 ON YOUR SIDE Money Guide. 13 ON YOUR SIDE's Meredith TerHaar kicks things off with an easy way to make some cash for families.

Parents, a "cash cow" might be mooing in your closets, basement or attic in the form of toys, clothes and gear no longer in use. But what's the best way to resell those items? Meredith compared second hand stores to Facebook Marketplace to find out.

"They've got all kinds of toys on both sides of the aisle," she explained as she perused the items at Once Upon a Child — one of several second hand stores in West Michigan that makes it easy to resell gently used items.

"We buy all seasons all the time, I tell people everyday we take your snowsuits and your swimsuits at the same time, when it's convenient for you," explained Director of Operations Kim Small.

Simply check in and shop or wait while they evaluate your items. You can expect to get about 30 percent of what they can sell it for in store. Meredith had gathered some no-longer-in-use baby toys and a hanging high chair to sell, as well as some shoes.

"We can offer you $24.65 for these items," explained Kim.

"This is so fantastic you guys.  It's one stop shop and they give you cash the same day," explained Meredith.

Rather than take the cash, Meredith headed home to post these items on Facebook Marketplace to compare the experiences.

"If you've never posted on Marketplace before you just go to your Facebook page, click here, post photos and add a description," explained Meredith.

Five days later she only had 3 potential buyers interested. Time to lower those prices.

Soon after, she had a buyer. She got $5 for the car seat cover, and a few days later, $8 for the blocks and hammer toy, without having to lower that original price.

But still no buyers for the shoes and hanging high chair. So that puts her Facebook Marketplace total at $13. 

In hindsight selling the items at Once Upon a Child would have been far easier and more convenient, this time. 

Let's look at the pros and cons of 2nd hand stores:

  • Pro: Efficiency. You bring your items and get same-day cash.
  • Con: You might make less than you could on Facebook Marketplac

Now Marketplace:

  • Pro: You determine your price. You don't have to leave home.
  • Con: It can take weeks to sell items and sometimes people commit to buying your item, then never show up.

Ultimately it's up to you, your timeline and your priorities.

Interested in selling to a second hand store? Kim says they are always in need of sizes 2 to 8 because kids of that age tend to be harder on stuff...so gently used items are harder to find.

For more information about Once Upon a Child, visit their website.

For more 13 ON YOUR SIDE Money Guide stories, watch the 13 ON YOUR SIDE Morning News all week long.

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