Selling unwanted stuff can help you make ends meet

How do you know what's worth selling? We asked.
Posted at 10:17 PM, Aug 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-02 22:20:44-04

Getting through the month when money is short is tough, but ABC Action News is committed to helping you make ends meet.

After all, sometimes we all need a little cash, but knowing what’s worth selling isn’t so simple.

We found that some things in your home that you don’t want any more might bring you more money than you would think.

Eric Davies is asked about this pretty often.

“Hey listen, I’ve got this old piece, I’m not sure how much this could possibly be worth, can you look at this?” says Davies, paraphrasing a common question he gets at his store, The Gold Spot, located at 5000 Park Boulevard in Pinellas Park.

“Nine times out of 10, it’s a dud,” admits Davies, adding, “but there is that one home run.”

An example of a home run, says Davies, is rare artwork, or rare old coins that turn out to be worth a lot of money.

“I would highly recommend you shop it to many experts, not just one. This way you’re not getting cheated for the value of what you own. That’s important,” says Davies.

Sometimes, value is tough to measure, especially if the item you’re thinking of selling means something to you personally.

“This piano is from a woman who actually needed money for a divorce,” explains Lauren Myhre, pointing to one of several musical instruments in her store She Money Pawn on N. Dale Mabry Boulevard in Tampa. 

Myhre calls her business a “chic unique pawn boutique.” She says it’s tough for some people to separate emotion from value. 

“Everything you see here is usually from someone that has needed money,” says Myhre to ABC Action News.

One of her customers is Michele Quinonez, who found herself at She Money Pawn several years ago while going through a divorce, and needed money to pay outstanding bills -- and a lawyer.

“You feel a little less than normal,” remembers Quinonez. “You feel a little dirty in a way because you’re having to go to someone and say, 'What is my stuff worth?' I did have some things laying around, and I didn’t know if it was going to be worth anything or not,” she says.

Quinonez says it took her a little while to accept that she needed to sell some stuff. Her message to people who are currently in that situation: “It’s okay, we’ve all been there. We all have ups and downs in life. It’s okay.”

Now in a much better position financially, Quinonez now comes to She Money Pawn to buy things instead of selling things. Myhre says she has many customers who shop at her place because they can find a better deal for less than buying retail.

We asked Myhre and Eric Davies to give us a quick rundown of what’s selling well and what does not.

Almost always worth selling: 

  • jewelry, even if broken
  • gold, silver, diamonds
  • working musical instruments
  • unique art

Almost always worthless:

  • old electronics (better to be sold online, says Davies)
  • pearls
  • figures
  • sports memorabilia that is not signed