Sell or Donate: How Do you Decide?

February 28, 2010 at 12:15 AM 4 comments

Last week I listed four unwanted items on eBay and sold them all for just over $130. I have a bunch of other things in the house that my husband and I no longer need, but I’m not sure whether to sell them or donate them to the local shelter.

The first four items were in near perfect shape. In fact, two of them were brand new and the other two were barely used, so it felt like a no-brainer to get back a little money for them. I have two more items that will sell in the $30-$35 range and I plan to post them to eBay this weekend, but the remainder of unwanted items will probably bring in only around $5 or $10 each. By the time I fork over the eBay and PayPal fees I’m not sure if it’s really worth it to the go through the listing process and I’m considering donating them instead.

I’ve gone through quite a few decluttering phases over the years, which involved filling the car with large bags of wanted clothing, bedding and housewares and trucking them off to local shelters and good will. Nothing feels as good as knowing that someone will be able to use our gently used items, so I’m just not sure what to do with my unwanted stuff.

So what do you think? Should I try to sell these items or donate them? What about you? When you have unwanted items how do you decide what to do with them?

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. halfdozendaily  |  February 28, 2010 at 1:34 AM

    I think if you don't NEED the money, I'd donate the smaller items. For me time is worth more… If an item can fetch a good amount of $$ I'd sell it, but not if your time/energy ends up being worth only a couple dollars!

  • 2. Leslie  |  February 28, 2010 at 10:33 AM

    I just donate everything. Since we don't live in the US, the hassle of sending international mail ON TOP OF Ebay fees makes it a real waste of time and energy to sell anything online. And our country doesn't really have re-sell shops or anything like that.

    When I decide I don't want something, I want it gone RIGHT THEN – I would go crazy keeping it around in our (small) house until the right time, the right person, until it sells on Ebay, whatever.

    I figure it's good karma. 🙂 It also makes us much pickier about what we buy, since we know in advance that we'll never be re-selling anything after using it.

    Good luck deciding – I enjoy your blog. 🙂

  • 3. One Frugal Girl  |  March 1, 2010 at 3:25 AM

    Thanks for the advice! I decided to go ahead and donate everything. I agree that my time is more valuable than the money I'd bring in and someone less fortunate will probably pick it up from good will for next to nothing.

  • 4. Anonymous  |  March 1, 2010 at 5:23 PM

    I bet you've already done this but from the other side of the coin…I have been able to buy many more things at a really good price for my twins when I was able to get them on eBay. I never go to thrift stores (MA doesn't even sell kids clothes at one of the large thrift stores–at least not when I checked last year).

    Just a thought for the future.


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