Yard Sale versus Goodwill

Posted by Mrs Money on August 27th, 2008

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clothes.jpgYesterday I wrote about my bargains I got at our local Goodwill. Today I decided that instead of holding onto junk in our basement and shed for the yard sale it looks like we’ll never have, I would take the items to Goodwill so I can get a tax write off with my tax software and make a donation and hopefully help someone in need. After all, what goes around comes around. I want good karma!

I have been holding onto these items and it was a hard decision to just drop them off. I keep picturing the boxes and bags with big dollar signs on them, like I just did a very unfrugal thing by donating the items instead of trying to sell them. This was my thinking: I’ve been waiting all summer to have a yard sale, I haven’t had time, the stuff is taking up space driving me crazy, and most of the items I donated ranged from 10 cents to a dollar. Am I really going to miss that? Probably not.  The money that I would have made would probably not be worth my time sitting outside, haggling prices with people.

Many of the larger dollar items I kept: a dehumidifier, pictures, tables, etc. I figure I can always list those on craigslist and make some money off those items because those are actually worth selling.  The other things probably wouldn’t sell on craigslist.  When we get back from vacation I’ll need to list those as soon as possible.

Do you think I made a good decision?

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10 Responses to “Yard Sale versus Goodwill”


  1. Catherine says:

    Yes, I do think you made the right decision. In the long run, you will probably have a higher tax write-off than you would have made on selling the items at a yard sale. Plus, the amount of time and energy you spent on a yard sale can be put towards something more productive.

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  2. Grant says:

    I agree with Catherine. Many times with goodwill items you can write them off based on their original value. So if you bought an item for $100 and donated it, the tax write off would be worth around $25. If you couldn’t get more than $25 for that item in a garage sale (nevermind the time and effort) then you are better off donating.

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  3. Todd A says:

    I think taking items to Goodwill (and I would include churches, charitable organizations) is an excellent way to recycle lightly used goods. In some cases though, selfish as it may be, I prefer to give items (like outgrown bicycles/toys/etc.) to friends with children of an appropriate age. It just feels so good to know that something I give will bring joy to the child of a friend.

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  4. Mrs Money says:

    Catherine- I agree with you completely. I can’t wait to write the donations off!

    Grant- It’s the time and effort that kills me! Way too much work for not enough money. I feel better donating.

    Todd- I don’t have any children’s items but I would do the same thing if I did. Thanks for your comment!!

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  5. BW says:

    Usually what I do when I need to get rid of stuff is try to sell it on eBay and then give the stuff that doesn’t sell to the Goodwill.

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  6. I decided to have a garage sale. The one suggestion I have when it comes to garage sales is to not take time off from work to prepare for the garage sale. I ended up losing money, when taking into account the amount of time I took off work.

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  7. Mrs Money says:

    BW- the only problem with that is that I hate when the stuff doesn’t sell and then I am stuck with the fees. That’s why I prefer craigslist.

    John- Thanks for letting me know that! I don’t think I have enough stuff worth money to justify the yard sale.

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  8. GR8 Mate, Wish we had people like you in Australia too, this is valuable content!

    [Reply]


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