SLADE COLUMN: In with new, out with old

Here are some good ways that you can sell or trade everything from home electronics and athletic equipment to books and gift cards.

In the wake of holiday gift-giving, you might have a bunch of stuff you no longer need, or some gifts that you don't want but for various reasons can't return.

Maybe you acquired some new personal electronics and you don't need your older ones now, or someone gave you a book that you already have but there's no receipt so you can't return or exchange it. Maybe you received a gift card for a restaurant you don't like, or maybe you're just looking to turn some things you no longer need into money.

Here are some good ways that you can sell or trade everything from home electronics and athletic equipment to books and gift cards.

Gift cards

If you have gift cards that you think you're unlikely to use, first off, check the rules. Some big-name franchises have gift cards that are valid at multiple businesses regardless of how they are branded.

For example, you might have a gift card that says Outback Steakhouse, but it's also good at other restaurants such as Carrabba's.

Likewise, a gift card for Old Navy is good at all Gap Inc. brands, such as Banana Republic.

Unwanted gift cards can be sold through one of the many online sites dedicated to that purpose, such as Cardpool or Gift Card Granny.

Expect to get between 70 and 90 percent of face value, with gift cards for general merchandise stores like Target being the most valuable and cards for restaurants and specialty stores being worth less.

You can buy discounted gift cards at the same sites, which can be a money-saver.

Books, movies, music

Maybe you have some new books, DVDs or CDs that you don't like but for some reason can't return.

Or maybe you're just de-cluttering your house. Either way, you have lots of good options if the items are new or are in good condition.

To get the most money, sell the items yourself on a website such as Amazon or Half.com. The trade-off there is that you might not sell your items right away, you would need to set up accounts if you don't have them, and you have to ship items to buyers when you sell them. You could also use these sites to see if your items are worth anything.

For more convenience, you could take those books and music to Mr. K's in North Charleston, Monster Music in West Ashley (music and movies, not books), Abundatrade in Mount Pleasant, or other local businesses that buy and/or trade.

Some will offer better value if you accept store credit instead of cash. Expect to get about 20 percent-30 percent of the item's potential value in cash or up to 50 percent in trade credit.

In other words, if a store thinks it can sell your item for $9, you might get about $2.50 or $4.50 in store credit.

Some stores, such as Here Be Books & Games in Summerville (books and role-playing games) and Sullivan's Trade-a-Book in Mount Pleasant (paperbacks only), trade books for credit against purchases.

Electronics

They might not be worth much, but if you just upgraded your digital camera, mp3 player, cellphone, GPS device, or other personal electronics, your older devices are probably worth something as a sale or trade.

Storefront and online companies have been jumping into the buy-sell-trade business, providing lots of options for people who don't want to sell things themselves.

Businesses that buy used electronics include Abundatrade, Best Buy, GameStop and online-only sites like gazelle and nextworth. Shop around for the best offers and check store policies.

Different stores accept different ranges of items, and some businesses want only relatively new gadgets that they can quickly resell.

If you have older items, check eBay to see how much people are paying for them. You might find that your old Nintendo Gamecube isn't worth anything to a big reseller, but might fetch $15 on eBay.

Sporting goods

Whether it's an expensive piece of exercise equipment, a bicycle your child has outgrown or something small like a baseball glove, Play It Again Sports in Mount Pleasant offers store credit or possibly cash for sporting goods in reasonably good condition.

For valuable items, remember you'll always get more money selling it yourself.

If you don't mind meeting buyers in person, classified ads are still a good way to locally sell bulky items that would be expensive or difficult to ship (like a treadmill or a bike).

And when you've sold whatever you can sell, don't forget to donate the rest. As long as something looks OK and works properly, there's likely someone, somewhere, who will find value in it.

Reach David Slade at 937-5552 or Twitter @DSladeNews.

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