How to Buy New Things without Spending Money

I call the concept, money recycling. I make no new purchase without selling something I already own first. This concept is not about buying things you want, as that would defeat the purpose, but about buying things you need. I have purchased a TV, laptop, desktop computer, another phone and a tiring list of items without paying a single dollar in this manner.

There was no way I could trade that old fridge for a new one, nor could I sell an old toaster and expect to buy a new one with the profits. The idea was to sell something old and buy something used. Or sell several old pieces to buy a single new one.


What to Sell

Recently, a truck passed by my house featuring a proud banner that read “We Buy Your Garbage”. This gives us an idea on the amount of things we don’t value that someone else will buy. Just because we think that someone won’t buy it, doesn’t mean there is no market for the item out there. My medium-sized refrigerator passed away unexpectedly and without a noise. There was no fixing it. It was old, stinky and I would have to pay someone to come haul it away. I decided to turn the tables and have someone pay me something for it, anything.

used refrigerator

“Refrigerator for $20”, read my classifieds listing as I mentioned the piece of junk didn’t work and it needed transport. Also notice my caption to draw attention to potential appliance hunters. No 30 minutes passed before I received the first call. One day later I had a positive $20 dollars in my bank account and a great lesson learned.

I start by finding “hot items” like headphones, speakers, small clothing items, appliances, games etc. These have the benefit of selling fast and gaining multiple offers. I avoid eBay as they charge about 13% including PayPal’s fees. Craigslist and OfferUp are my places of choice. Another trick is to update the information in your listings regularly. This makes the system refresh your posting and move it to the top.

If I can’t find any other items I don’t need, I simply sell that old TV I’m trying to replace.



Knowing that you’re buying something you need, you can take advantage of the people buying something they want. I had an old pair of Versace shoes gifted to me. Wanting to do some money recycling, I posted the shoes for sale online. I ended up trading the shoes for a gold chain worth twice as much as the Versace loafers. The sale was to my advantage, because the buyer was willing to lose money over an item he craved.

Trading items can often result in higher profits due to improper worth evaluation on the seller’s part. I keep trading in mind, always, as an alternative.


Sell something before making a purchase. There will always be something that can be sold around the house. Use the profits to support the weight of the pending purchase. Call this money recycling but I will be glad to hear your new title.

Be willing to trade. Trading can bump profits by taking advantage of the seller’s undervaluing of their product.


Have you recycled any money recently?

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