Sell Used Appliances: The 7 Best Ways to Get Cash Fast


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Selling your used appliances is a great way to offset the cost of new appliances. During our recent remodel, I was able to sell our old fridge, washer, dryer, and microwave — for a little over $1100 in total!

That definitely helped soften the blow of the construction costs — and kept those items out of the landfill, at least for a few more years.

On top of that, there’s a side hustle opportunity in becoming an appliance flipper.

In this article, I’ll share how to sell used appliances online and offline for maximum profit.

The 7 Best Places to Sell Used Appliances

1. Facebook Marketplace

With more than 1 billion monthly shoppers, Facebook Marketplace has become the undisputed king of local peer-to-peer commerce.

The platform makes it very simple to upload your pictures and create your listing. Plus, it’s got built-in buyer messaging through Messenger.

You can also check out each potential buyer’s profile to see if they’re an actual human (or a scammer).

This is where I sold all our used appliances, including the washing machine below:

selling a used washing machine

2. Craigslist

Craigslist may be a shadow of its former self, but the original online classifieds site still boasts 250 million visitors a month.

Don’t expect a ton of features here — the interface hasn’t been updated much in 20 years.

But you can upload pictures of your appliances, create a description, and connect with local buyers.

3. OfferUp

OfferUp is a mobile app marketplace with a wide user-base. Buyers can search by keyword or browse a feed of local listings.

Buyers can also set a mileage radius on the results, which makes this app good for selling your appliances locally.

And user profiles on OfferUp collect ratings, so you have slightly more insight into whether or not your buyer is legit than some rando off Craigslist.

The app is free to use, but you’ll have the option to “promote” your listing for more visibility for a fee.

4. Facebook Groups

Local neighborhood groups and city-wide buy-sell groups are very popular on Facebook. For example, our neighborhood group has over 4000 members and is super active.

These types of groups can be a great place to sell used appliances because there’s already a certain level of trust built-in. You’re neighbors, after all!

(These groups can also be a good place to source used appliances to resell.)

5. eBay

For certain specialty appliances, eBay is the best platform to reach a nationwide audience of buyers. The long-running auction site has 130+ million active customers, and may earn you higher prices than just your local market.

The downside to eBay is you’ll have to deal with shipping your item, which can be prohibitively expensive for some appliances. Commercial appliances and replacement cooktops tend to sell well.

Just make sure to account for eBay’s fees and shipping costs into your price — or let the buyer pay for shipping.

6. Garage Sale

If you have more than just a used appliance to sell, hosting a garage sale may be the way to go.

Buyers can inspect the appliance in-person and you don’t have to worry about shipping.

7. Scrap Metal Recycling

This is probably a last resort if your appliance isn’t selling through any of the above options, or no longer works. But the good news is even broken down washing machines, water heaters, and other appliances still have value thanks to their metal content.

Search for scrap metal recycling centers near you, or see if a local scrapper will come by to pick up your item. (You’ll get the most money for it taking it to the center yourself.)

What if You Just Want it Gone?

Most new appliance sellers offer to “haul away” your old appliances as part of your purchase for free or a small additional charge. Otherwise, companies like Best Buy will come pick it up for a flat $199.99 fee.

If it’s still in good working condition, you can donate it Habitat for Humanity

Finally, junk removal services like 1-800-GOT-JUNK are an option.

How to Sell Your Used Appliances for the Most Money

No matter where you’re selling your used appliances, the key is to create a really clear and attractive listing. 

That means:

  • Thoroughly cleaning the item.
  • Making any necessary repairs.
  • Taking well-lit pictures from multiple different angles. If there’s any visible damage, make sure to document it so the buyer isn’t surprised when they show up.
  • Uploading a video if it will help showcase the item.
  • Including the brand name and model number of the item. Many buyers are brand-loyal and use the brand name in their search.
  • Including accurate dimensions and measurements of the appliance.
  • Showing the item’s retail price and link to its “new” sales page so buyers can learn more about the model.
  • Offering delivery (for an additional cost) if you’re able.
  • Pricing fairly — and maybe leaving a little wiggle room (see below).

For example, here’s my Facebook Marketplace listing from when I sold our old fridge:

my GE fridge listing on FB marketplace

It includes the brand name, model, and important specs about the appliance. In the description, I also include a note about why we were selling it.

Once you post your used appliance for sale, respond quickly and professionally to prospective buyers. 

Many buyers are shopping for a used appliance because theirs just broke and need to replace it fast!

Getting Paid for Your Used Appliance

When it comes time to collect payment, you’ll find that cash and Venmo are most common.

Avoid personal checks, and avoid anyone who wants to pay you in advance for your item. While it sounds like a good deal, it’s likely a scam.

Reselling Appliances as a Side Hustle

Ryan Finlay pulled himself out from $25,000 in debt by flipping appliances. Starting with just $200 in the bank, he set the goal of finding $50-100/day in profit on Craigslist.

His operation followed the basic adage of “buy low, sell high,” but did it in a systematic and repeatable way.

Ryan specialized in washers, dryers, ovens, and refrigerators — often storing a dozen or more used appliances in his Portland, Oregon garage.

When we spoke, he’d sold more than 3000 appliances! 

How to Find Used Appliances to Resell

You can source appliances to resell from the same marketplaces others are using to sell theirs, including:

  • Facebook Marketplace
  • OfferUp
  • Craigslist
  • Garage sales
  • Estate sales
  • Local Facebook groups
  • Your NextDoor community

Ryan explained the key to this business is knowing what items are worth. That means spending a few days on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or eBay to get a feel for what certain items might go for.

Ryan recommended starting with what you know because the learning curve will be shorter.

That way, when you spot something that seems like it might have some margin in it, you can respond quickly.

For example, Ryan began doing a lot of deals in home theater items because it was an area he was familiar with. He added that name-brand merchandise is important since many buyers will search by brand name and those can command higher prices.

One interesting thing about the Internet is that people will post items on both Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace for free. Maybe they’re moving and just need to get it out of the house quickly.

As you might imagine, competition is stiff for the free items, so you have to act quickly. If a really valuable item is offered for free, Ryan recommended shooting the seller a quick note, offering to BUY it and including your offer price in the first message.

Often times, that gesture will put you ahead of the rest of the pack.

Be Prepared to Negotiate

When you’re selling a used appliance on Facebook Marketplace or another app, you might want to bake a little room for negotiation into your initial price. 

That’s because it is common for buyers to try and negotiate you down — sometimes starting as low as half of your asking price.

Try not to take offense. This is part of the culture of these buying-and-selling apps, and there’s almost an expectation that you come back with a higher price and eventually agree on something in the middle.

(To be fair, the really low ball offers do make me a little upset!)

Be patient. If you get a ton of interest right away, that could be a sign you priced too low. 

On the reselling side, one thing that surprised me was that Ryan claimed not to be a ruthless negotiator when he shows up to pick up an item.

“The constant haggling can really wear on you,” he explained. “There’s no need to beat sellers up for an extra few bucks.”

Logistics of Selling Used Appliances

The biggest challenge of selling used appliances is simply the transportation. In our case, the buyers all brought pickup trucks to pick up the appliances.

With the rear seats folded down, some SUVs may be fit a washer or dryer, or possibly a fridge lying down. That’s another reason providing accurate measurements is important. You don’t want a buyer showing up only to find the item won’t fit in their car!

The other consideration — especially if you’re selling appliances as a side hustle — is the storage. These are big, bulky items that take up a ton of space. 

I was definitely happy when they were finally out of the garage!

Have a Goal in Mind

Ryan determined he could support himself and his family if he earned just $100 a day selling used appliances. That daily target gave him something tangible and attainable to shoot for.

What Else Could You Sell?

Appliances aren’t the only items you can sell for a profit. He dabbled in furniture, electronics, and power tools before focusing on appliances. 

Here are some of the other used products Side Hustle Nation readers have been selling.

Used Books

There’s an entire industry set up around flipping books. One guest of mine reported earning up to $4000 a month re-selling used books.

Mattresses and Furniture

The rise of the “bed-in-a-box” industry has resulted in an entirely new side hustle: picking up and flipping mattress returns. When customers aren’t satisfied with their purchase, they can get their money back.

But what happens to the mattress? Companies like Sharetown specialize in “reverse logistics” to pick up those bulky items and either donate them or resell them on secondary marketplaces.

For Sharetown reps, it’s risk-free inventory as long as you have the ability to move and store the mattresses.

Side Hustle Nation Approved
Become a Sharetown Rep
4.0

Sharetown reps make money by reselling gently-used furniture and bed-in-a-box mattresses. Top reps earn $4000+ per month.

Pros:
  • Low startup costs
  • Great earning power
  • No hunting for inventory
Cons:
  • Requires a truck or SUV
  • Bulky items to store
  • Not available in all areas

Liquidation Pallets

Jamie and Sarah McAuley of Grand Rapids, Michigan, reported earning $25,000 flipping pallets of returned merchandise in their spare time.

A local liquidator buys up returned products from Amazon, Target, Walmart, and other stores, and resells those to flippers like Jamie and Sarah. Many of the items are in new, unopened condition!

In turn, they sell those products for a profit on eBay and Facebook Marketplace — and share the results on their popular YouTube channel.

Shoes

I knew that flipping limited edition sneakers was a thing, but I was surprised to learn that flipping regular shoes could be quite profitable as well.

Beau Hunter of Houston used his shoe flipping side hustle to help pay off over $100,000 in debt! He recommended targeting gently-used name brand shoes at thrift stores, and mentioned that large sizes for men sell particularly well on eBay.

Customers that are loyal to a specific brand or hard-to-find style turn to the auction site to find their next pair.

Shoes are relatively small and lightweight — making them much easier to store and ship than appliances.

Phones

The concept of flipping phones is simple—people buy used mobile devices and resell them for a profit.

For professional flippers like Jeff Duhon, it can turn into a full-time income stream. He targets $100 in profit per flip, and does dozens a month.

As with other niches, there’s a learning curve to figure out the different models and carriers to know which phones have the highest resale values.

Ryan’s #1 Tip for Side Hustle Nation

“The best opportunities are found once you’re already in motion.”

Serious About Making Extra Money?

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Nick Loper

About the Author

Nick Loper is a side hustle expert who loves helping people earn more money and start businesses they care about. He hosts the award-winning Side Hustle Show, where he's interviewed over 500 successful entrepreneurs, and is the bestselling author of Buy Buttons, The Side Hustle, and $1,000 100 Ways.

His work has been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur, Forbes, TIME, Newsweek, Business Insider, MSN, Yahoo Finance, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Financial Times, Bankrate, Hubspot, Ahrefs, Shopify, Investopedia, VICE, Vox, Mashable, ChooseFI, Bigger Pockets, The Penny Hoarder, GoBankingRates, and more.

8 thoughts on “Sell Used Appliances: The 7 Best Ways to Get Cash Fast”

  1. Another great side hustle idea. Really like it! Thanks Nick and Ryan!
    Now planning on building a garage and tearing out the seats in my car!

    Reply
  2. Hmmmm…. this one is a miss and not good at all. I was interested in hearing this podcast because I myself have been buying and selling stuff on CL for about 6 or 7 years. Totally on the side with maybe 1-5 hours a month (yes, a month). Most months I don’t buy anything… I probably spend 1/2 the year on CL buying/selling (when my other business slows down). In the last 5 years I’ve made almost 100k profit buying and selling anything from tools, to concert tickets, to bike parts, to lamps, to RVs/motorcycles/boats. At any given time I can switch from one category to the next based on what is “hot” or my storage and inventory constraints.

    This is all pretty simple stuff…. find something (or an area) you know about, search for items on CL, see the trends, and buy it under the market prices, and list/sell in the right season (if applicable to the item). ANYONE can figure that out. So my comment and negativity is this: Although I do like Ryan’s story and don’t want to beat him down, his tips and advice were very basic and common knowledge. There’s nothing he said or advised that is of use to someone wanting to get into this side hustle. For example, there are many “tools” I use – websites, apps, etc. to help me with my purchases or sales… and either Ryan is withholding them, or he is not savvy enough to have found them (the latter is my guess) . They are not hard to find… and CL is so popular that there are lots of these tools out there.

    Lastly…. appliances and furniture… really? Could you pick an item that is harder to pick-up, transport, stock, and deliver (if needed to close the deal). WOW! That is the worst… and it also completely limits himself to only sell his items for “local pick-up only.” 95% of the items I buy can be resold online… to the WORLDWIDE market… why limit yourself to your city and surrounding neighborhoods. No bueno!

    I could go on and on about how misguided his advice is, but I will leave it at that.

    The one good thing I took away from this podcast is that I’m WAAAAY ahead of this “expert,” so that was nice…

    Nick, you have a great podcast and I enjoy nearly all of your interviews… terrific guests, insightful questions, and great rhetoric. This one missed the mark due to your guests lack of expertise… I look forward to the next one!

    Reply
    • Hey Edwin, sorry this one didn’t do it for you, but appreciate the honest feedback. Sounds like you’re already a Craigslist pro! I definitely like the idea of picking up items locally that could be re-sold online. Any tools/apps you can share that help with that tactic?

      Reply
  3. Great post and topic. I just launched a website that will scan the products on craigslist and compare the prices of the items with amazon and ebay and display the potential profit. I was wondering if you might consider doing a product review on it. The website is https://www.arbitrage.pro

    Reply
  4. I buy computers / components / peripherals on craigslist and resell them. I also build quite a few custom computers for people on there as well. You need a big enough city that offers some selection, but a small enough city so that you aren’t wasting your time going back and forth too much. And basically – if you know what things are and how much things are worth, you buy them when there are good deals, then turn around and sell them for more. I often will buy a new fancy case, add a video card, or do other things like that to make an item more attractive.

    Reply

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