I am all about a good garage sale (that post will come later), but at least around here, garage sales are for selling out-of-date or lesser quality items. If you want to get the most money for high quality, modern clothes, children’s stuff, or sports items you don’t use any more, consignment or buy-sell-trade stores are the way to go.
Consignment stores are those which take your items and have you sign a contract stating what price they will list the item for and what they will pay you if the item sells. They usually only accept up-to-date name-brand items in really good condition. You only get paid if your item sells, but you have the potential to make more than a sell-buy-trade store, as many will give the donor 50% of the profits. The downside of these is you don’t get paid if the item doesn’t sell, and you have to remember to call them in 60 days (or something similar) to see if they sold your item–and then you need to go pick up your money. For formal or high-end clothes, I think these inconveniences are worth it, as you could make around 25% of the original price of the item. I currently have some items in the store above, but you can use a search engine or the yellow pages (does anyone keep those around?) to find consignment stores near you.
A more convenient type of store to take your stuff is the kind that pays you up front–buy-sell-trade stores. The items still need to be up-to-date and in good condition, but these stores pay you up front, and then you walk out with your money. Some examples are Crossroads Trading Company, Clothes Mentor, Plato’s Closet (all for adult clothes), Play It Again Sports (sports equipment), or Once Upon A Child (children’s toys and clothes). Some of them give you an option between cash or a higher amount of store credit, which can be good if you need clothes or kid stuff. The downside of these is you don’t get a lot for each item. More than a garage sale, probably, but maybe around $2.50 for an originally $20 item.
What you need to do: gather your up-to-date items that are in good condition, but that you don’t use anymore, and make sure they are clean, wrinkle-free etc. Look up what consignment stores or buy/sell stores are near you and take them in. (The consignment shops tend to like the items to be on hangers, and like you to make an appointment.) The store will make you an offer for each item, and you can refuse if you don’t like it. Walk away with your money!
Let me know if this helps you at all!