You've heard the expression, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade," right?
Well, how about "When life gives you other people's discarded books and CDs, make some extra money"?!
That's exactly what one woman does to help pay for clothing for her three teenage daughters. She's perfected a fun technique that will have you mining treasure from the unloved media treasure that many small independent used CD/bookstores just give away for free.
From trash to treasure
Meet Charlotte, a middle-school teacher with three 17-year-old daughters.
With that many teenage girls at home, you better believe clothing is a big expense in Charlotte's household! But she's found a way to make bank on discarded media to help foot the bill.
Her strategy involves picking up the books, DVDs and CDs that people bring to shops like 2nd and Charles (located in 16 states) in the hopes that the store will buy them up.
All the discs and books that the store can't use and that the original owners no longer want ends up in huge bins at the front of the store. At that point, they're free for anyone to grab.
Charlotte is one of the people who grab the freebies on a regular basis. She then takes the books to community book swaps. "I trade in the duds for books I know will [sell] better," she tells Clark.com. "So I get children's books and other books that I can turnaround [for a profit.]"
Another angle Charlotte works is the local teen consignment shop. She can bring books and other media there in exchange for store credit to buy clothes for her daughters.
"It's been working out great for me," she says.
As a last resort, there's always Decluttr.com. This is a website that buys almost any disc for the trace minerals present in those old CDs and DVDs. Charlotte says she makes about $1 or $2 for each disc that she gets for free and then sells to Decluttr!
Shipping is free with this service and you'll get fast next-day payments after your stuff is received. Decluttr says it has paid out $100 million to three million customers since launching in 2013.
Watch the video below to get the full scoop on Charlotte's technique.