With the weather heating up and the quiet summer months ahead, now is the perfect time to clear out your cupboards. But before you get out the black bin bags and dump your unwanted items, remember there is money to be made from your clutter.
The saying ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ certainly rings true when it comes to the junk cluttering up your cupboards. The UAE is a transient society and with many expats coming and going, there is a constant source of barely used goods being bought and sold.
Thankfully, the nation’s attitude towards secondhand goods has changed dramatically since the financial crisis of 2008 – 2009. Prior to that, picking up a bargain at a flea market was not the done thing; instead the economic boom of the mid-2000s saw everyone obsessed with the shiny and brand new.
Now however, the nation has learned some lessons and become a little thriftier. Garage sales, flea markets and the launch of leading classifieds websites, has seen a dramatic shift in favour of buying secondhand. With that in mind, here are five ways to make some cash from your trash – money that can otherwise be stored in your savings or deposit account and make the cash work for you.
Garage sales: If you are having a clear out and find piles of unwanted CDs, DVDs, clothes, crockery or kids toys, then it might be worth having a garage sale. By having the sale at home, you don’t have to transport the items and can sell a vast quantity in one go. Advertise the sale on classified websites, on your local supermarket ads’ boards or on signposts around the community or a notice board in your apartment block or office. Social media sites such as Facebook community groups and Twitter are also good ways to attract more shoppers.
Top tip: Set a start time and be ready. People tend to arrive on time to ensure they get the best products and the best deals. Also make sure the ad clearly states the address, start and finish time and what you are selling.
Classified Websites: If you have big-ticket items such as a car, large furniture or barely used electrical goods, then advertise on online. Some of the classifieds site in the UAE receives an enormous amount of people going through them looking for deal everyday, making it the best way to reach the most people. Remember you will either be inundated with calls or receive no offers at all, so you may have to adjust your price to attract more interest.
Top tip: When you advertise your item, put a slightly higher price than your final price as buyers often want to haggle but don’t push it as you risk to not get any calls. There is competition everywhere.
Designer deals: If you have some beautiful shoes, bags or dresses that you no longer use but can’t bear to sell for a pittance, why not try a dress exchange service or sell to a secondhand clothes shop that will sell the items for you. Garderobe on Beach Road buys and sells secondhand designer and vintage clothing and other sites like luxurycloset.com or myexwardrobe.com offers a similar service.
Top tip: When choosing items to sell on, designer labels will reap the most rewards and remember all clothes need to be cleaned and pressed.
Flea markets: If you want to take your trash to the marketplace, why not sign up for one of the nation’s many flea markets. Log onto dubaifleamarket.com and you will see there are markets at locations across Dubai and Abu Dhabi including Safa Park and Mirdif. You do have to pay fees – typically totalling Dh320 – to rent the table, so only go for this option if you think you have stuff to sell that will make more than that. The good news is that the flea markets are continuing through the summer with an indoor option on July 5 at Dubai World Trade Centre.
Top tip: Get there early. Sellers often have to queue up to park their car and unload their stuff and if you want to get the best table, it’s advisable to be there at least an hour before the event kicks off.
Cash Converters: The Dubai franchise of this global leader in the buying and selling of used goods does what it says on the tin: It takes your items and resells them with options to either take cash upfront or wait and take the cash on sale. There is even a home service that will come and pick up your items, though fees can apply. On secondhand or used goods, you will typically receive 65% of the sale price.
Top tip: Only pick your best-quality items for this option. They need to be in almost-perfect condition.