If you're looking to replace an appliance, last year's stimulus provided states with money to offer for consumers who recycle an old appliance and replace it with a new one that's more energy efficient. Depending on where you live, you could save several hundred dollars on a new refrigerator, dishwasher, broiler or other item. Check EnergySavers.gov for your state's program details. Some are running out of money quickly, so act fast.
If you have books you don't need anymore you can make a lot selling to a secondhand bookstore. If there's none nearby or they reject some books, try Cash4Books.net. The site even offers free FedEx shipping when you sell five or more books. Your payment can come to you either by check or PayPal.
When switching out that wardrobe, bring gently worn pieces to a clothing reseller or consignment shop. Resellers buy the item outright, while consigners agree to put it out in the store for a month or two and take a percentage of the price if it sells. Depending on where you live, shops of either type may want only high-end brands and designer names. Before you bring in clothes, call around to compare fees -- some consigners take more than half of the selling price.
DVD's, CD's and Video Games you no longer utilize can be sold as well. As long as the discs are in working condition, you can sell them to secondhand retailers such as BRE Software and CashforCDs.com. If you sell enough items they'll cover postage. How much you'll get depends on demand, but you can usually get a few bucks. But you'll get less, if anything, if you don't have the game instructions or CD covers to include.
Electronics you don't need anymore will also bring in cash. That old iPod with the cracked screen may even be worth something. A host of sites and manufacturers including Dell, Apple and Gazelle.com buy used gadgets. If your item can't be resold as is, many companies offer some value for its parts. Payment and prices vary by site, so shop around before accepting an estimate. A used BlackBerry Storm cell phone that still works, for example could be $75 or $100. Make sure your device is cleared of any personal information before you send it.
For more information on getting cash out of spring cleaning and other consumer tips click here.
Kelli Grant & Erika Wortham