Donate vs Garage Sale.... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 05-02-2005, 11:17 AM - Thread Starter
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We have a lot of stuff in our house. A LOT. And I've wanted to purge/declutter before now, but this pregnancy is making it a need.

Here's my question, would you donate it or sell it at a garage sale/ebay? I don't really want to spend the time it would take to advertise, set up, run, tear down a garage sale or run an ebay auction, but some of the stuff is pretty nice (nwt on shirts, etc) and extra money is always a bonus.

Second question - if we donate it, where should we donate it to? I used to use the Cancer Federation, but they've been so flakey in the past, not showing up for pick-ups, blaming me when the driver went to the wrong house on the wrong street.

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#2 of 13 Old 05-02-2005, 11:56 AM
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I am horrible about setting stuff aside for a yard sale but then never actually getting around to having the yard sale. Usually this will go on for a year or two until we will be moving soon (military) and then I donate everything. We itemize on our taxes so we always end up getting a nice tax write-off for the donations. I'm horrible about knowing fair market values so I use "It's Deductible" to keep track of my donations. I was very pleasantly surprised with what the stuff is actually worth. Right now I'm just at the point where I want the stuff out of my house, KWIM?

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#3 of 13 Old 05-02-2005, 12:00 PM
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I posted a similar thread in the past if you want to do a search, but this is what I have been doing lately: We have a great resale shop at our church, and I've gotten a lot of great finds there (mostly housewares, but all stuff that we needed). They sell them at garage sale prices, so I feel I've saved a lot of money by supporting them, rather than buying these things new. Anyway, I also don't have the time to deal with a garage sale, so I just donate my decluttering things there. I feel like I'm giving back to a place that is a good cause (it supports the church's work in the community and relief work), and where I've also been a beneficiary through receiving great deals. Also, you get a tax deduction, too. When I figure in all the time and energy that go into selling/ebaying, there isn't much of a margin of gain there unless the items are high-value or if you sell at high volumes.

If there are NWT items or things you may want to ebay when you have more time, I would declutter your closets and make space for the valuable things. I'm amazed how much room I can make by thinning out my closets of things we'll never wear.

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#4 of 13 Old 05-02-2005, 02:37 PM
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Remember Freecycle, too. Depending on where you live, ppl will come and pick up stuff within hours of posting.
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#5 of 13 Old 05-02-2005, 02:47 PM
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I usually donate as garage/yard sales are sooooo much work (imo). Plus I like to get things out of my house quickly after a purge/declutter so its easier for me to drive it that day to the donation center then to wait for a garage sale.
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#6 of 13 Old 05-03-2005, 03:52 PM
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At this point I will only do a yard sale if I have other people who will go in on it. Otherwise it's to much of a hassle for not enough money. I always end up losing money on Ebay, but would sell your stuff on there if you can as lots. That way you don't have to piece it all out. We have pretty much switched to donating/dump because we just don't have the time to do all that, and honestly would rather take the time to spend with family instead of sitting out in the cold yard all day.

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#7 of 13 Old 05-03-2005, 03:56 PM
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I think a yard sale is good for the right kind of person. If you have a lot of high quality stuff it might be worth the hassle. But to me I've never felt it would be worth it. I get a thrill, a little high out of donating stuff. I love bringing things to charity or putting a piece of furniture outside with a help yourself sign.

I've seen a yard sale with retail prices! Nobody was buying stuf, no surprise there.

And I've heard a lot of people complain "I had a yard sale but I only made $200. I paid so much more for this stuff...."

I think it's more realistic to be glad you made that $200. And I do know people who do all the work and then enjoy counting the money they made. But like I said the good feeling of donating is valuable too.

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#8 of 13 Old 05-03-2005, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all your input! I totally get a "high" from donating. 1) It just feels so good to get the stuff out of my house and 2) It feels good to know that it's going somewhere that others will appreciate and USE it.

My sister and I have had a garage sale every other year at her place and we mark stuff to sell. Her neighbor is selling shirts for $2-3 a piece and we're selling ours for 50cents each, so we can mark them down on Saturday to 25 cents each. We just want to get rid of the stuff, but any money that we make is bonus!

I think I've come to the perfect solution for this year since I won't be able to have my own sale (just not enough time). Sis is willing to take all my stuff, set up the garage sale, sell it and donate whatever doesn't sell. We'll split any profit 50/50. So I get it out of my house, we both get some cash for it and it gets donated as well! Win - Win, I'm thinking.

Hmmmm, now to get dh to go through his closet and the endless t-shirt drawer.......
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#9 of 13 Old 05-03-2005, 04:13 PM
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That does sound like a great plan. What a cool sis you have!

I usualy donate to the Big Sisters organization. They will come pick it up & resell at their thrift shop. In fact, they call me every couple months when they are going to be in my area to see if I have anything to donate. Because we have no extra room in our house, I keep a "donate" bag going all the time, so when they call I am ready.

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#10 of 13 Old 05-04-2005, 12:18 AM
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I ALWAYS donate. In fact I have a HUGE pile of stuff to go right now. And it's expensive stuff! Furniture, artwork, appliances ect. Our church runs a non-profit thrift shop in our area that takes donations, sells them and the profits go to helping needy familes in the county.
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#11 of 13 Old 05-04-2005, 12:31 AM
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You're right about Ebay. Even though your stuff may be NWT, you'd have to do research, and be a knowledgable ebayer in order to make enough money for it to be worth it.
Instead, I would recommend taking all the clothing that is in season and in excellent condition to your consignment shop. You may have to make an appointment, but they'll do all the work for you, you just have to bring it in, and you'll get better prices than at yardsales.
I know alot of people don't like to have yardsales, but you're right, they are much better if you're doing it with someone else. Other people to help make signs, etc. and just more stuff to bulk up the sale. Whomever said it was a waste and not as good as spending time with family or some-such... I'd love to contradict that! It is excellent family time! Get your kids to become little entrepenuers selling lemonade, cookies, sodas, eggs from your coop, whatever! Have the kids make their own blanket with toys or old books and give them ideas of fair prices (you don't want them charging $20 for a Happy Meal toy!) and let them make some money. There are so many ways to get the whole family involved that can be so fun! And also get the whole family more motivated about decluttering
I'd Freecycle the rest, too. You can always post on Freecycle that you're having your yardsale and give your address and say that things will be free after X'o'clock. A bonus of a sneaky ad for your yardsale, too

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#12 of 13 Old 05-05-2005, 04:06 AM
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We usually donate. It is more advantageous to us tax wise. Second, we work on saturdays alot and garage sales are to much work for the money. Third, Dh is a big packrat and "saves" much of what I want to purge. One year it was the beat up teapot with mushrooms on it, another year it was some old suits of his from the 70s (Hello, he hasnt worn that small a size in years)

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#13 of 13 Old 05-05-2005, 10:19 AM
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I always donate for a lot of reasons. One, I don't want to hold on to my junk. Saving it up for a yard sale is not right for me. If I HAD sold all the stuff I have given away, I would have made a lot of money. But I don't give that money up! What I do is SEED my stuff. What you send out comes back to you tenfold (sometimes a hundredfold). So whenever I drop stuff off, I translate it into a dollar amount, bless it, and it comes back times ten! This works great for me, as I do firmly believe in the principle of seed money (have seen it in action many times...everytime) but I don't often have much actual cash to seed. So I seed my stuff instead. This is a natural law, and it was even illustrated many times by Jesus...check out all those loaves and fishes stories in the bible.
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