Jun 04 2009

Threshold for donating vs. selling unwanted items


We have two-and-a-half weeks until we move across town to a different apartment. It’s the perfect time to get rid of stuff we no longer need or want. Decluttering means less stuff to pack for this move and our next one. It means it’ll be that much easier to get organized in our new place.

So far, my “get rid of pile” will be for the trash or to donate. I don’t have anything worth selling at this point.

For me to want to list an item for sale on craigslist or eBay, I think it would have to earn at least $40 – $50 to be worth my time.

If I had a longer time before we moved, I might be willing to lower the threshold to $20 or so. 

I don’t think the items in my donate pile are valuable — so far it’s clothes, a small aquarium, Christmas tree, and small odds and ends.

I am adding a large stack of books to my PaperBackSwap.com*  account. Whatever books I still have by moving day, I’ll just donate.  

It feels really good to pare down our belongings! The extra space we’ll have will be worth the missed opportunity cost of selling a few things.

We don’t itemize our taxes so we won’t be able to deduct the value of the donated goods, but that’s fine with me.

How do you decide whether to sell or donate your unwanted items? What is your threshold?

* Refferal link

Posted under Uncategorized | 7 Comments »

7 Responses to “Threshold for donating vs. selling unwanted items”

  1. My mom lives on a busy street and we hold a yardsale at her house twice a year. We also participate in our library’s yearly yardsale.

    What we do is… tag and sell most things at the yardsales. If they are worth more, I try ebay or blujay first. Then with whatever doesn’t sell, we go through and sort some boxes of things to sell at the next yardsale. And then whatever is left, gets packed up and donated.

  2. i’ll sell brand name items that will go on ebay for $5 or more, all books and media on amazon.com, and everything else gets donated.

  3. You know I’m going through the same thing right now. :) I did list a few items on ebay with a starting bid of $4.99 but I do have the time and storage space to sell those instead of donate. I just hate packing and shipping stuff though!

  4. Why don’t you find a good place to have a garage sale? We’re doing one this Saturday. :)

  5. Ah, a garage sale. Yet another perk of having a house! I have no garage/yard/anyplace to have a sale.

  6. We are also cleaning out right now, but not because we are moving. Our kids are getting bigger. The crib got to go, so do baby toys and baby clothes. We give some of it away, but we will sell most of it. Then we will hopefully have enough cash to get toddler beds and other stuff for our growing children.

  7. I have found that Powell’s will buy SOME books in good condition, no ex-library or BCE. They will even pay postage, so depending on how many books you have, it may be worth your while to check the ISBN numbers at the Powell’s site. They give you a choice of cash to your Paypal account or credit to their store (the credit is more than the cash amount.

    The URL is here: http://www.powells.com/sellonline

    I sent in a big box this week that they were willing to take and should receive about $50. You may not have any they want but no harm in trying especially if you would just be giving them away or swapping them were you probably have to pay postage.

    Hope this info is of help to someone!

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife and mother of 3. I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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