How to turn trash into cash
ARE you a potential candidate to star in the Bio channel TV show Hoarders? Are your family muttering about staging an intervention to get you to clear out your old belongings? Good news: if you tackle the hoarding issues and round up all that unwanted stuff, you could be quids in.
An old Slendertone, a radar detector, that dodgy Lionel Richie box set, the ridiculously expensive buyer's remorse dress that makes your face look a bit green -- all these and more could be worth cold, hard cash.
Cash in your gadgets
Cork company Green Your Goods (at GYG.ie) lets you trade in all sorts of things from DVDs to mobile phones to games consoles, old PlayStations and Nintendo games to SatNavs, cameras or old iPods. You'll even get a few quid for CDs from them.
"Anything we can sell we'll take," says CEO Barry Walsh. "We recently bought a Slendertone and two radar detectors." They will pick up bulk things, like say a large box of DVDs, nationwide.
Walsh says Green Your Goods will match or top the prices paid by non-Irish competitors like Envirofone, Money4UrMobile or MoneyCashMonster in 90 per cent of cases. It has a price comparison tool on its website.
Old smartphones in particular are worth a wedge of cash. An iPhone 3GS 16GB pays about €110, a BlackBerry Bold9790 pays €124 and a Samsung Jet can be turned in for €32. Other items are relatively lucrative too. An old Macbook can fetch over €100 and a used Canon EOS camera is worth up to €192.
Other gadget buyers include Envirofone, Money4UrMobile and MobileCashMonster and O2 Ireland.
And there's also Ebay.
We put together a collection of the Sunday Independent Business desk's misbegotten junk. For several printer cartridges, an ancient iPod, a CD box set of Ibiza Summer Anthems, an old SatNav, a Sodastream, a pre-digital era Sony hi-fi stereo, a Shawshank Redemption DVD, a fairly ancient Nokia, a small colour TV, a Hugo Boss jacket and a five-year-old Super Mario Brothers game we could raise close to €150.
Gold prices have been rocketing with endless talk of a bubble, so now could be a good time to get rid of pieces of jewellery that are out of style or a watch you don't wear.
The cash-for-gold outlets and online sites generally offer really poor rates -- less than half what your bauble could be worth elsewhere.
"Put it this way," says Dublin auctioneer John Weldon, "I had a client recently who came to us with gold sovereigns. He priced selling them with a cash-for-gold dealer and the price he was quoted was €130 each. We sold them at auction for €320 each."
Of course, Weldon is a vested interest, but we tested the theory with a gold ring. It was priced in a jewellers (not Weldon's) for €120, but a city centre cash for gold shop offered us €60 for it. So go to a reputable jeweller or auctioneer.
Consult a gold index website like kitco.com to get an idea of where gold values are at. You still need to factor in a buyer's mark-up of around 30 per cent, but at least it gives you an idea.
If you're of a certain age, have a look through your old vinyl records. Rare stuff like certain editions of Beatles albums fetch €2,000-plus, but more mundane records are still worth something, especially 1980s stuff right now.
Your Now That's What I Call Music collection may contain some serious crimes against music but they are worth up to a tenner each.
A good condition copy of Bruce Springsteen's Darkness on The Edge of Town sells for €25. A mint copy of The Smiths' The Queen Is Dead fetches around €30. Vinyl fans suggest Discogs.com, Gemm.com or Ebay as places to sell.
Delve into your wardrobe and if you find some decent threads that you don't wear any more flog them on Ebay, Adverts.ie or similar. On Ebay you can get about €8 for logo T-shirts, around €20 for print dresses and €10 to €50 for bridesmaids' or debs' dresses.
If you don't want to go through the palaver of online selling take a more direct route with a local vintage or second-hand clothing store. Vintage stores will buy good condition stuff if it hits on a current trend.
If you're Dublin-based, Siopaella in Temple Bar offers a chance to recycle good quality clothes from designer labels like Burberry to good premium labels like Benetton for cash. "Clients can leave clothes in our trust and once their item sells they receive 50 per cent of the selling price, or they can sell their clothes for cash immediately at a rate of 20 per cent of what the item is priced at," says proprietor Ella Guzman. "We are accepting new designer spring stock as of February 21." Check out siopaella.com for details.
Chapters on Parnell Street in Dublin, Charlie Byrnes in Galway city and many other bookshops around the country buy good condition used books. You're looking at about 50c-€1 a book.
Legendary furniture retailer Des Kelly pays cash for furniture that's in good nick if it's fit for resale. Further details are at deskelly.ie or by calling 01 8309680.
Sunday Indo Business