How to Make Money From Your Business Clutter You might have thousands of dollars in unused equipment lying around your office -- here's how to turn it into cold hard cash.

By Stephanie Vozza

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Got a few thousand dollars lying around? If your office is similar to the average U.S. household, you just might. A survey by eBay and Nielsen Customized Research found most of us have 50 unused items around their home that, if sold, could bring in $3,100.

The printer you replaced, the cell phone you upgraded and the book you never read -- it's time to convert that clutter into cash.

Here are several items just waiting to be turned in for money, and how to cash in.

Cell Phones and Electronic Gadgets
According to the latest e-waste study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 141 million cell phones and mobile devices are replaced each year and only 8% are recycled.

Donna Smallin Kuper, organizing expert and author of How to De-clutter and Make Money Now (CreateSpace, 2012) says the majority ends up in drawers, "because most people don't know what to do with their old phones when they get new ones."

In her book, she lists websites that pay cash for cell phones and other electronics. To sell an old phone, a good place to start is SellCell.com, a price comparison site that gets quotes from multiple buyers. Smallin Kuper also recommends Gazelle.com, a popular site that pays cash for select cell phones as well as iPads, iPods and Macbooks. According to its website, the company has purchased more than a million items, with the average device fetching $125.

Related: 3 Belt-Tightening Mistakes to Avoid

Another good site is NextWorth.com, which has one of the most extensive buyback lists. This company will purchase your cell phone, laptop, camera, tablet, e-reader, GPS, television, video game console and even your calculator.

When it comes to selling electronics, digital lifestyle expert Carley Knobloch says timing is everything.

"As soon as I got the iPhone 5, I sold my iPhone 4," she says. "I knew it was worth more at that moment than it ever would be."

Knobloch, founder of Digitwirl.com, recommends selling electronics as soon as you upgrade or decide you don't need it. And to help with resale value, she suggests taking good care of your gadgets, using a case when possible and skipping the custom engraving.

Related: How to Dispose of Old Devices Without Losing Data or Harming the Environment

Books
Most entrepreneurs have a shelf full of books on the latest business trends. Turn them into quick cash by selling to a site that buys books. Start at BookScouter.com, a price comparison site with a database of more than 20 vendors.

Powells is one of the most popular book selling sites. And SellBackBooks.com is a good market for textbooks. Smallin Kuper says she likes this site because of its Android app that lets you scan the ISBN.

Office Equipment and Furnishings
If you have an iPhone, sell office furnishings using the Yardsale iPhone app. Knobloch likes the app because it lets buyers search specific neighborhoods. Other good sites for selling large furnishings include Craigslist.org and Kijiji.com, both of which offer free online classified ads.

Empty Ink Cartridges
Finally, get cash for ink and toner cartridges. TonerBuyer.com buys empty, partially used and new cartridges. Or return empty cartridges to an office supply store, such as Staples or Office Max, and get store credit of $2 per cartridge.

"In our economy, everybody's looking to make a little extra money," says Knobloch. "Cleaning out the clutter and making extra cash in the process is a great way to do it."

Related: A Checklist for Strategic Cost Cutting

Stephanie Vozza is a freelance writer who has written about business, real estate and lifestyle for more than 20 years.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Side Hustle

Getting Laid Off Allowed Him to Focus on His Sentimental Side Hustle. Now He's on Track to Earn Over $700,000 in 2024.

Alaa El Ghatit wasn't fulfilled at his day job. So he started LifeOnRecord to help people record memories and well wishes.

Life Hacks

Get Access to More Than 2,500 Best-Selling Books with 12min's Learning Program

This popular learning software condenses ideas and strategies from the world's best-selling books and quickly offers key points of emphasis.

Franchise

What Is the "Hottest" Franchise to Buy?

There has to be a "best" franchise and a "hottest" industry, right? Well, sorry, there is not. Franchise expert Tim Parmeter explains why.

Franchise

This Entrepreneur Is on a Mission to Eradicate Generational Poverty in the Black Community — And She's Using Franchising to Do It.

Tarji Cater and her organization, The Franchise Player, provide education, opportunities and resources to the Black community, aiming to eradicate generational poverty and build wealth through franchising.

Growing a Business

Job Boards that Simplify Hiring for Job Seekers

Leveraging the most innovative job boards can simplify the often complex and time-consuming hiring process.

Business News

Should CEOs Take a Pay Cut to Avoid Layoffs and Cutting Jobs? It's Complicated, Experts Say

Former Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata famously took a 50% pay cut in 2013 to avoid layoffs and pay employee salaries.