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Saving money and increasing income

De-clutter to make and save money

You might be able to increase your income by selling some things you no longer need. And even if you don't make much money, it can be good for your wellbeing to have a clear out.

We know that this can be a lot harder for some than for others. If you are:


  1. Be honest - what do you really need to keep?
  2. Is there anything that can be given new life by updating it?
  3. Search online for anything you own that might be of a higher value
  4. Work out any hidden costs, such as postage
  5. Ask for free help from experts
  6. Take nice photographs if you are selling online
  7. Make sure you clean or mend anything you are selling

New tax rules for online selling

From 1 January 2024, digital platforms (such as Vinted and eBay) must collect and report seller information and income to HMRC.

  • If you are selling unwanted items from your home, it is unlikely that you will need to pay tax
  • If you buy items with the intention to resell them for a profit, this is considered 'trading' and you will usually have to pay tax
  • If you earn less than £1,000 from online selling, you do not have to inform HMRC or pay tax

Find out more about online selling and paying tax.

Selling CDs, DVDs, books and games

We are all streaming these days, but many of us have CDs, DVDs and games taking up space. And people do still buy them.

Even ordinary ones may have a small value. If you have a lot to sell, it can add up. And you may own something that a collector would be willing to pay a bit more for.

How to find out what is worth selling

  • Go to one of the high street exchanges. They will price up each item and offer to buy them from you
  • Scan the barcode and enter it into a valuation website. For books, enter the IBSN code. You can find that on the back cover

Make sure you check:

  • How and when you will be paid. Such as by PayPal, cash or tokens to spend in-store
  • The cost of postage, if you are doing this online

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Making money from selling your old clothes

More and more people are buying second-hand clothes. You may be able to cash in on the vintage and pre-loved fashion trends by selling some of your own.

Of course, you cannot sell everything. But you can go through your wardrobe and ask yourself:

  • Have you worn it in the last year?
  • Does it really suit you?
  • Does it really fit you?
  • Does it really fit your lifestyle?
  • Could you make it useful by mending or updating it?

Be honest. You might be surprised by how often the answer is 'no'.

Where can I make money from selling clothes?

There are a number of online marketplaces, such as ASOS and Vinted.

There is also Facebook Marketplace. And there may be some local buy and sell groups in your area on Facebook.

You will need to sign up as a member to these so you can buy and sell.

If you are selling online:

Make sure the clothes look as good as possible in the photos.

  • Clear any mess away
  • If you can, add a cool background. Such as a poster or fabric in a colour that looks good against the clothes

You will need to check:

  • If there are any fees to list your clothes on a website
  • How much 'commission' they charge for each sale
  • How much you have to pay for postage
  • How and when you will be paid
  • How to deal with returns

A 'commission' is a payment to the platform or online shop. It is often around 10 per cent but it can vary. So, if you sell a dress for £5.00, the 10 per cent commission will be £1.00.

Selling valuable clothes at the right price

Browsing through online marketplaces will give you an idea of what is selling at higher prices. You might get more money for:

  • Anything with a designer label. Especially bags and shoes
  • Coats and dresses from good high street brands
  • Anything that is good quality and over 30 years old - the older the better

For older and designer items: You can always check with an antiques seller or auction house. They will give you an idea of value. You do not have to pay them for advising you.

Making a new wardrobe from old clothes

You won't want to sell everything. There might be some things that you can make use of, with some small adjustments. If the fit isn't quite right or the colour looks out of date, there are options.

Maybe you can:

  • Take up or turn down hems and sleeves
  • Add a belt to make a shapeless item fit better
  • Mend or patch up anything that has torn or worn away
  • Dye the fabric another colour
  • Add new buttons

You do not have to spend a lot of money to make a big difference to old clothes. Many markets will have stalls that sell bags of cut-off fabric and ribbons. And you can often buy starter sewing kits in stores or online.

Tip: If you are not very good at sewing, you can use glue or patches that iron on.

Old toys and playthings

Toys can fall out of favour quickly. When that happens, you could think of selling any that are of value.

You can look for anything that is:

  • Part of a wider collection
  • A limited edition
  • Still in its box

Again, auction houses will be able to help you learn if an item is collectable.

Selling old gadgets to make money

As with clothes, retro gadgets have a market. Many of us hang on to these long after we have a need for them.

Mobile phones

If you have any old phones you could see if they can be sold for a decent price.

Look out for:

  • Any iPhone models
  • Any with a popular feature. Such as a flip top
  • Any very early models

You can sell these online or through exchange shops.

Even broken items can be worth something on online marketplaces and auctions. Engineers will find a use for them. You need to box up a bundle to be sold.

Tip: Make the description as detailed as possible so it can be found by people looking for the items in the bundle.

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