Our Cross-Country Move: How to get Amazon and other stores to pay for your move and clean out your house
Got your attention? Yes, we had a very creative, cross-country move just a few weeks ago. And you guys need to reap the benefits of what we learned. I shared our tips on how to sell everything you own and win at Craigslist last week. Now, for part 2.
Yes, Amazon helped pay for our move in multiple ways and here's how they can help you too if you're planning to move or just an awesome spring cleaning.
1. Gather ye unused, unopened, and good condition DVDs, Blu-Rays, Books, Video Games, and CDs. Like, everything.
This is where the spring cleaning comes into play. Make a pile of everything you can think of. If you have Netflix or something similar, ditch every DVD and Blu-Ray that isn't meaningful to you, grab those books from college, and the random cd's that you already have all the mp3s for. Make sure everything you grab is in good condition (can be reused, case still in nice condition/giftable) and of course, anything unopened.
And now, lay them at the feet of the gloriousness that is the Amazon Trade-In Store. Dun dun dun. This is kind of amazing. All you need is a normal Amazon account and all of these items can somewhat magically turn into Amazon credit. Search the Trade-in Store for each of your items and select the trade in button on each one. Some DVDs we had were worth a lot ($15 for an unopened blu-ray of a full TV season) and some were only about $1 or $2. This is why I say grab everything together because it all adds up.
By selecting trade-in on each item, the Amazon Trade-In Store begins a shopping cart for you where you can indicate the condition of all your items. Do this part last because the cart tends to default to all the lowest condition settings if you keep going back to it. Add all your items, going through not just DVDs but books, video games, and CDs too. Then edit your cart to indicate the condition of each item, then proceed to checkout.
Amazon will actually PAY for the postage. All you need to do is take the pile o' stuff that you just cleared your home of and throw it in a box. Amazon will even send you back an item if you'd like if the condition doesn't match upon receipt. In a matter of days after sending, the full amount of your cart is credited to your Amazon account as Amazon credit.
(Note: you can also, of course, sell items like textbooks on Amazon Marketplace but we opted to sell things for less value to do it easily, quick, and conveniently in advance of our move).
2. Search the couch cushions and get all your spare change together.
I'm sure you've heard of Coinstar. Gus and I had a giant pickle jar labeled "Our Future" on it that we filled with our spare change. We took that baby to a local grocery store that had a Coinstar and turned all $88 in change into Amazon credit too.
Amazon is one of the awesome vendors that offer gift cards through Coinstar machines. Others include Lowes, Home Depot, Southwest, etc. Rather than pay the close to 10% service fee to get cash from the machine, turn your change into a gift card from a retailer you'll definitely use it from.
3. Spend your Amazon credit on any moving supplies or necessities.
Amazon sells everything these days... like even meat apparently through Amazon Fresh. Some of the things we did with Amazon credit to support our move was buying a large box of Space Bags. You can find tape, scissors, labels, anything you could think of - and with Amazon prime, you can get at no additional charge in 2 days. We continue to use Amazon credit to take care of gifts for our loved ones out of state and even basics like Shampoo. It's awesome.
So as I mentioned, with Coinstar, you could turn your spare change into the Amazon credit, or a flight on Southwest, or wood for a new project at Lowe's. It's all about using what you've got creatively. Turning an enormous pile of redundant and unused stuff into things we actually needed is about as close to Harry Potter as I'm going to get for awhile. Hope you get crafty with your stuff too in your next cleaning or move.