Spring Cleaning May Reveal Cash When You Kondo

[FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE] Whether it’s the change of seasons, Marie Kondo’s Netflix ‘Tidying Up’ megahit series, or scientific research suggesting the health benefits of decluttering, people are increasingly focusing on purging their belongings.

Most of the experts who offer advice on how to best declutter tend to agree on the importance of sorting items into categories. Knowing whether or not an item heading out the door is trash or treasure, however, requires close examination. We asked two professionals who spend their days evaluating merchandise for advice on how to know when an item is worth the effort to resell it.

“What you may think is worth a lot isn’t always the case,” says Christopher McCarthy from Lowell Jewelry and Loan. McCarthy says that oftentimes, people overlook items that have real value for things that are worth less than they expect. “We see a lot of items that are mass-produced as collectibles which don’t hold their value such as figurines or commemorative plates.” By contrast, there can be unexpected value in vintage household items like vinyl records or rare toys.

His store, in Lowell, Massachusetts, is the first pawnshop in New England to offer a drive-through window. Their customer-centric approach includes helping people understand the true worth of their belongings, from household goods to equipment to jewelry.

“Selling your jewelry involves trust” notes Martin Strasser, who holds numerous accreditations in jewelry and diamonds from the Gemological Institute of America and others.  “Not all gold buyers pay the same or have the expertise to pay premiums for diamonds or luxury watches”. His pawnshop, Premier Jewellery and Loan in Kelowna, British Columbia uses a highly-trained staff combined with the latest technology to help customers truly understand the real value of their jewelry, watches, and even dental gold.”

Strasser and McCarthy offer the following three tips for helping determine the value of an item:

  1. NOTE THE CONSTRUCTION: When you’re trying to determine whether an item has value, note the craftsmanship, how it is made, materials used in making it, as well as any labels, markings, or hallmarks. While an average piece of costume jewelry, for example, isn’t likely to hold much value, an item produced by an iconic designer like Chanel or Yves St Laurent could be highly prized.
  2. DO YOUR HOMEWORK: With sources like Etsy and eBay, it’s fairly easy to find similar items to help you determine the value of your piece.
  3. WORK WITH A REPUTABLE PROFESSIONAL: Once you’ve determined that your item might be right for selling, it’s important to work with a dealer you trust. Both Strasser and McCarthy own businesses that have been an active part of their community for decades and hold numerous professional certifications.

Letting go of clutter can be difficult, but the benefits far outweigh any negatives. Learning to let go of excess items can help a person feel that they’re unburdened of objects that don’t give them pleasure. When they are also able to make financial gains, which Strasser refers to as unlocking the value of one’s assets, then the benefits can be even more worthwhile.