How To Make Money Off The Holiday Gifts You Never Wanted

No receipt? No problem!
Publish date:
December 31, 2014
consignment, gifts, apps, ebay, Selling Clothes

One year for Christmas I got a dickey. A dickey. WTF is a dickey? I stared at this semi-circle of fabric wondering if I could use it to wipe the dog's butt. I don't know how, but the next day the present just disappeared into the ether, thank gawd.

Got a version of a dickey this Christmas/Hanukkah/Solstice/Kwanzaa? Don't toss it -- you could make bank on it. And who doesn’t want lots of lovely dosh in their wallet? There are places you can go to dump your stuff and be happy.

Before you go on a craze dumping everything into a shopping bag to haul your stuff, I have to give you some advice: Whatever you’re planning on selling, make sure it’s in good condition. No rips, tears, missing buttons, stains, pills or pulled fabric, no missing or worn-down heels. Stores, both online and off, want merch that they can sell. If your stuff looks like shit, no one will take it.

Resale Shops

If you need cash immediately -- like you’ve got a bill screaming to be paid, or there’s a pair of boots in your name, or you just want to get rid of the hideous piece of shit ASAP -- then head on over to a resale shop. Resale shops differ from consignment stores in that they pay you immediately for the stuff you bring in. I’ve used them and have walked out with $186 in one shot.

Resale shops are super-popular. Being the popular kid on the block means long lines waiting to see the buyer. If you’re the friendly type, chat up the people next to you. That’s how I found out about other resale shops to check out and cool restos to visit. It also helps to pass the time.

What can you sell at a resale shop? Clothing, shoes, and accessories like jewelry, watches, belts, hats, scarves and even tights. If you’re selling tights, though, they have to be in their original package. Resale stores and consignment stores ONLY take what’s in season. The stuff you’re schlepping has to be stuff that people will buy (more or less) immediately.

A few national resale shop to check out:

Consignment Shops

Consignment shops will pay you 50% of what they make off the item. Sounds awesome, right? Well, the thing is you have to wait for them to sell it. And if the item doesn’t sell within a certain period of time, it gets marked down. If you’ve got a high-end item, like Jimmy Choo shoes or a Burberry cashmere sweater (I’ll take ‘em off your hands), this is a good spot to sell them. That is, if you don’t mind the wait.

What can you sell at a consignment store? Clothing, shoes, and accessories like jewelry, watches, belts, hats, and scarves.

Vintage Stores

Many vintage stores will take vintage clothing, jewelry and even home décor items off your hands. Unless it’s a major label -- say Pucci, Lilli Ann or an early Halston -- you may not get a ton of money for your stuff. You will get cash, room in your closet and will no longer have to look at Great Aunt Minnie’s ugly vase or feathered cocktail hat for the rest of your life.

Tag/Apartment/Yard Sale

You can run this type of a sale all year long, not just after the holidays. Just pop an ad on Craigslist or Facebook. Then sit back and have people come over and rummage through your stuff. You can make money off of this, but you can also deal with a lot of idiots who a) don’t show up, b) try to make you sell everything for $1 (it’s happened to me), or c) spend HOURS trying everything on and leave with nothing.

What can you sell at these events? Anything and everything, except your baby sister. Yes, people will buy perfume (provided it’s at least half-full), unused cosmetics and even that dog sweater your mom bought for your cat.


This is a great alternative to standing in line at a store to sell stuff. You pick your virtual consignment store, upload images, write up a description of the goods and then wait for a buyer. If you decide on eBay to sell your things, you can put a “reserve” price on it to make sure that you’ll get either the exact amount of what you want for it, or a little above (if there’s a bidding war on your item).

Like tag sales, you can sell almost everything online. Makeup, perfume, shoes, coats etc. -- if you can ship it, you can sell it. Buyers are the ones who pay for shipping and insurance. You don’t send anything to anyone unless they’ve paid you.

Online consignment stores will send you an address sticker, add the price of shipping to the buyer and track the item too.

If you’re using eBay to sell your stuff, you’ll more than likely get the money right after the auction ends. As for the online consignment shops, each one has a different policy. Read the fine print before you take pics of your goodies.

Online consignment stores to check out:

  • Tradesy: Kinda upscale, allows you to sell fragrance, laptop bags and other goodies.
  • Poshmark: You have to use their app to register, buy and sell. You can sell makeup and perfume there too.
  • Vinted: You can sell either online or with their app. Get rid of tights, clothing, accessories and even hats.
  • The Real Real: Luxury goods -- designer bags, clothing, watches and shoes.

Did you receive any gifts you can't get rid of soon enough? Are you planning to sell any?