One person’s junk is another’s treasure and you could be sitting on plenty of gems at home. You can indeed turn your trash to cash almost overnight if you’re focused and diligent about diving into the work. It takes time to select the times for sale, clean and photograph them, whip up smart descriptions, and ultimately get them posted online. Be ready in advance to put in the time and you’ll benefit from the results. Here are some steps to help you get started:

Assess your possessions. Walk from room to room and ask yourself if it’s more important to hang on to things or to part with them to make some money. Go through each room several times to identify what you’re willing to sell. If you haven’t used it, looked at it or thought about it in a very long time, that item could be a candidate for sale.

If you’re hesitant to part ways, consider it financially rewarding recycling. You’re going to give someone else the pleasure of using the item you no longer way. And of course just think of the cash you’ll have to spend on other, more pressing things.

Think Big and Small. Don’t shy away from large items. Many people mistakenly think you couldn’t possibly sell a set of chairs or other bulky furniture online. Wrong! Even if you don’t want to get involved with shipping such items, you can indicate that it’s for local pick up only.

Simple things like clothing can be folded into padded envelopes and shipped off.

Get Help. If you don’t have a computer or you’re just not comfortable online, ask a friend to help you sell in exchange for a percentage of the sales. Or seek professional help from a trained eBay trading assistant. They’ll photograph, post, promote, sell and ship your wares for a fee.

And eBay offers extensive online tips and training to help sellers get started. Among the selling 101 favorites:

Invest in Free Education: Watch demo and tutorials in the eBay University Learning Center. Decide what to sell, how much to charge and how to promote your wares by browsing Completed Listings on the site.

Start Pricing Low with No Reserve: Getting that first bid is critical since buyers are more likely to jump in if there are already bids on an auction. Reserve pricing often causes buyers to lose interest if they assume an item is overpriced. Many successful sellers set a low opening bid with no reserve to jumpstart bidding and increase their final selling price.

Words Matter Most: Include key words that buyers will search for, unique or descriptive attributes, and always check your spelling. Your item title is critical in helping users find your items, so use each character wisely and check your spelling. Use all 55 characters.

Be sure to describe your item in detail. A good description is concise, well organized, and easy to read. Create bold section headlines, bulleted lists, and be sure to include item style/type, brand, size, measurements, condition, and other attributes. Think about your listing from the buyer’s perspectivethe more information you provide, the more likely buyers are to place a bid.

Priceless Photos. A picture is truly priceless when selling online. Use clear, well-lit photos from a variety of angles to accurately showcase your items. Use good lighting and an uncluttered background. Add additional photos to showcase details and unique features of your item.

Get Free Shipping Supplies: The United States Postal Service offers a variety of free shipping supplies, delivered directly to you within a few days. After you sell an item on eBay, you can pay for shipping and schedule free carrier pick-up all online and at no additional charge so you can save money, time, and a trip to the post office.

Go Beyond eBay. There’s plenty of money to be made from home elsewhere on and offline. Post on where you can require local buyers to pick up their purchases from you directly. ‘s Marketplace is a great resource for selling online too.Have a tag sale. (The key to success is lots and lots of items at low prices it’s all about the volume. You must also work at promoting your sale as far and wide as possible to attract buyers.) Contact prospective buyers directly. In the case of the couple I worked with, we researched online to find prop shops, book dealers, vintage clothing stores and more. Email and call them to inquire about the value of your items and/or to solicit their interest in making purchases.

You must use caution when visiting these sites. Even though they contain a lot of legitimate information, they also lead to links to stuff that’s not legit. Be cautious about the sites and the ads you see and NEVER respond to check-cashing, wire transfer or Western Union related offers.

Building a website and making money via online advertising is not just for kids anymore. Contextual or content-sensitive online advertising is on the rise. Last year Google says it shelled out $3.1 billion to Adsense publishers, up from $1.2 billion in 2004. Contextual means the ads have a relevance to the content of the website on which it appears, thereby increasing the chance of visitors clicking on those ads. When visitors click, the website’s owner gets paid.

There are four steps to get started.

Build a website. If you know how to send emails, navigate AOL or shop on eBay, then you’re likely capable of building your own website. Select a topic that you’re truly passionate about since you’ll be living and breathing it.

Google offers two free tools that have their advertising program built in — and — but you’re by no means limited to using their tools. Sites such as Yahoo Publisher, and Apple’s iWeb all have programs to allow users to build sites. If you already have a website, you’re ready to go.

Register for Google ads. The reality is most of us have no interest or expertise in going out and selling ads to appear on our websites. But that doesn’t mean you can’t snag even a sliver of the online advertising bucks.

Register your site with Google’s AdSense program (, which works with hundreds of thousands of websites and hundreds of thousands of online advertisers. Signing up is free, with no cost and no obligation. The system matches the advertiser’s target audience with the content of the relevant websites.

For example, I might create a website about everything there is to know and love about beagle dogs. When I register for Google’s AdSense, the ads appearing on my site will relate to that subject — ranging from dog food and breeders to pet accessories, insurance and maybe even dog Halloween costumes. You’re not going to find ads for computers or cars; all of the ads will be relevant to my overall content. And I will receive money — from pennies to dollars — every time someone clicks on those ads.

To host the ads, Google provides site owners with simple code to embed on various pages of their websites. The location of those ads is determined and controlled by you. Google’s system replaces ads daily, thereby maximizing your chances of capturing new clicks often.

Even though Google’s network is the largest of its kind, there are also other ad sites you can explore before deciding who to register with. Among them: Yahoo (, Edgeio ( Adbrite (, and Text Link Ads ( You can find others online.

Add new content regularly. Since you only make money if visitors to your site click on the ads, there are two things you can do to build an audience. One of those tasks is to add fresh unique content often. Depending on your financial goals, you might have to commit to working on your site every day by adding new content. The more pages of content you have, the more ads you can host, and the more potential you have to make money. A site with five pages won’t make nearly as much money as a site with 50 or 500 pages of relevant content.

A website about beagle dogs might feature well-researched content on breeding, training, and grooming. It may also include a section about what my puppy is up to, along with tips and tricks I’ve used to train him. I might post questions on my site soliciting advice from my readers to help me to get him to stop biting my kids. I might also compile a frequently-updated list of famous people who have owned beagles. The possibilities are endless for refreshing the content.

If you’re just looking to make a nominal amount of money, then you can add new content less frequently. Adding more content — and not just junk — but valuable stuff that someone who cares about your subject matter would enjoy reading, the more people you’ll ultimately be able to attract. And the more traffic you have, the more likely it is for some of those visitors to click on the ads.

Promote your website often. It’s not nearly as simple as build it and they will come. That’s true with any business or resource. To make money, you must have a solid product and you must hustle to let an audience know it exists.

Some companies spend big bucks promoting their websites, but there are many free things anyone can do, especially if you’re starting out with no budget. Contact friends and family: Send smart, engaging emails asking them to visit your site and to refer it to their circle of friends. This helps to build a word-of-mouth following. Submit your site to all of the search engines so your content will be indexed. Focus on reciprocal links: I might ask beagle breeders and dog walkers to link to my website and I’ll provide links to their sites. Develop a PR campaign: Pitch yourself as an expert to the local media and be sure your website is included if you’re quoted. Give speeches in your community on your topic of expertise and promote your site in the process.

In addition to numerous books and websites devoted to helping you monetize your website, Google has an extensive help center with step by step instructions ( as well as the AdSense blog and newsletter that offers lots of tips ( Google also holds regular webinars for its AdSense publishers. Google won’t do the work for you but a support team will respond to inquiries within 24 hours.

Click here to see a video about how to make money by advertising on your website.

Click here to see how one woman has turned her website into a major money maker with Google Adsense.

You must use caution when visiting these sites. Even though they contain a lot of legitimate information, they also lead to links to stuff that’s not legit. Be cautious about the sites and the ads you see and NEVER respond to check-cashing, wire transfer or Western Union related offers.





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