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Sell Back Your Life

Make money off Grandma’s jewelry, your kid’s discards, and your old iPhone.

Green Apple Books

 

This is part of "Live Large, Spend Less," a comprehensive guide to surviving (and even flourishing) in America's most expensive city. See all of the stories here.

 

Precious metals
Sell gold and silver jewelry, flatware, and coins at Oxbridge Coins. Appraisers determine the karat of your gold with an acid test, weigh each item, then offer you 70 to 80 percent of the spot price—the price per ounce at which the metal is currently trading on the open market. 2115 Van Ness Ave. (near Jackson St.), 415-409-6086

Books
You can typically get between $1 and $10 in cash (50 percent more in trade) for a current bestseller or pristine classic at Green Apple Books. Art and design tomes, cookbooks, graphic novels, and collectibles can garner considerably more: A first edition of Jack London’s Revolution, for example, sold for $200. 506 Clement St. (near 7th Ave.), 415-387-2272

Electronics
Trade your used smartphone, tablet, camera, headphones, or gaming system for dough at Cex. iPhone 4s and 5s sell for $76 to $318, iPads start at $127, Beats by Dr. Dre headphones go for $71, and select Xbox 360 games earn $2 to $22. 2757 Mission St. (near 24th St.)

Furniture
Kelly Hensley, owner of consignment store Leftovers, buys mid-century modern and contemporary couches, tables, chairs, lighting, mirrors, and desks. The store prices furniture at 40 to 60 percent of the original retail price and pays you half of that when it sells. Brands like Crate and Barrel, Design Within Reach, Pottery Barn, and West Elm are in high demand. 1350 Van Ness Ave. (near Bush St.), 415-409-0088

Cookware
Cookin’ buys used enamel cookware, cast iron pans, KitchenAid mixers, and more. Bring a photo of what you have to sell before lugging your pots into the store. If the owners are in the buying mood, they’ll typically give you around 30 percent of Cookin’s selling price. 339 Divisadero St. (near Oak St.), 415-861-1854

Kids’ Stuff
Consignment shop Chloe’s Closet will pay 35 percent of the retail price for kids’ and maternity clothes, books, toys, and DVDs. Toddler sizes, particularly for boys, trump baby clothes, and brands like Tea, Hanna Andersson, H&m Kids, and Crew Cuts sell quickest. 451 Cortland Ave. (near Andover St.), 415-642-3300.

Bikes
Nonprofit Pedal Revolution offers easy tax write-offs for donated bikes. You fill out a tax form with the bike’s declared value, and they give you the signed carbon copy. 3085 21st St. (Near Shotwell St.), 415-641-1264

 

Originally published in the November issue of San Francisco

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