‘Real Money’ After the Holidays: Get the Most From Unwanted Presents

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‘Real Money’ After the Holidays: Get the Most From Unwanted Presents

gty_couple_exchanging_gifts_thg_111206_wmainWhen Jamie and Jordan Cone of Freehold, N.J., were in the market for a new camera after the holidays, they went to Secondipity.com, a likely destination for mountains of unwrapped and then unwanted electronics presents.

They’d spent all of their money on their children — Madeline, Jack, Caleb and Hattie — but still hoped to score just one present for themselves.

Before the parents headed to Secondipidity.com, though, Joanna Stern, ABC News’ technology editor, came to their home for the “Real Money” series to show them how to turn presents from holidays past into fast cash and gifts.

Below are Stern’s tips:

1. Cash in Old Clothes

ThredUP.com in San Francisco pays for gently used clothes and also sends you a bag to fill. A Kenneth Cole size 4 jacket could get as much as $8.50 and a Ralph Lauren hoodie size 5, as much as $5.

“That’s great,” Jordan Cone said. “We’ll take it.”

With two bags full — and at the door awaiting UPS pickup  – the Cones scored nearly $80, about half of what they need for the new camera.

2. Go Drawer Digging for Hidden Treasure

Stern said the family’s old Nintendo DS and BlackBerry could be traded on Amazon and Boston’sNextworth.com for $30 each.

“Sixty dollars just laying in a drawer,” Jaime Cone said.

They also got $37 they got for a smartphone with a cracked screen and roughly $40 for an old Playstation 2.

With two rooms down — and $218 already tallied — the Cones and Stern kept digging.

3. Christmas Gift Cards

At GiftCardGranny.com, the Cones were offered $46 for a $50 Amazon gift card they’d received during the holidays.

Baltimore’s GiftCardRescue.com also offered $46 for $60 worth of Barnes and Nobles gift cards.

4. Skip the Shipping and Get Money While You Shop

The Cones and Stern traded in the family’s used video games and electronics at Target.

5. Shop Wholesalers for Big-Ticket Items at Steep Discounts

Secondipidity’s warehouse in Cranbury, N.J., is home to scooters, slides, ceiling fans, games, even vacuum cleaners, because when an electronic item has been opened, retailers can’t put it back on the shelf.

Instead, they send the products to Secondipidity.com, which works with seven of the nation’s biggest retailers. The clearinghouse then sells the items at discounts up to 80 percent.

According to Consumer Reports Survey, one in five Americans will return a holiday gift — $59 billion in unwanted gifts.

“For the people who didn’t like what was under the tree this year, a lot of those gifts do come back here,” said Rob Caskey, the company’s vice president. “We inspect it. We test it. We grade it.”

In the end, the Cones scored $373 and found their camera on Secondipidity.com  for 25 percent off.

Click here to share your “Real Money” ideas.

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