Where Should I Take it? Advice from Sally

You’ve started your process of organization, sorting through what to keep and what to get rid of – so what do you do with the items that you are not keeping?

Consign it. 

• Go to consignment stores and see what things are selling for. Most people believe that what they have is worth more than what the market price is. 

• Consignment store will set the price, and then lower it after 30 days if it has not sold. If it still has not sold after 60 days the store will usually donate the item but does not give the seller a donation receipt. 

• Many stores do allow the seller to retrieve their things. If the seller wants their items back, they must make it clear to the store, and keep track of the dates. 

• Commissions range from 35-50%. 

• Most stores have pickup and delivery available for $150.00 each way.

Sell on Craig’s List or Ebay.

Selling online can take time and patience. There are local companies who can provide this service for you. Here are some tips if you decide to do it yourself:

• Provide clear photographs of your item.

• Write a concise description, including measurements and materials

• Look at similar items to see what they are selling for to help determine your price.

• Always review the guidelines of any online resale site before posting.

Donate it.

• Items they should be in clean and unbroken condition. Donation centers are reselling these items. 

• Before taking anything out of your house check all clothing pockets, open and inspect suitcases and flip through all books. You never know what you might find.

• Check books. You should also see if they are first editions. You can go to ABE.com to help determine if your book has value or not.

• Get a receipt. The IRS, Salvation Army and Goodwill all post lists of suggested values for your donations on their websites. If you have a higher value item, such as designer clothing, take a digital picture of the item and the label to document it. Donations worth more than the IRS limit would require a formal appraisal.

• Some items that are not accepted for donation even if in perfect condition include: metal file cabinets, sofa beds, mattresses and box springs (there can be exceptions for these), Nordic track machines and treadmills.

• Post your item on Freecycle, a free website where people give things away, no strings attached. http://www.freecycle.org/ 

Throw it away.

Some items are simply too old or broken to be consigned or donated. These will have to be thrown out. 

• Small items can be placed in garbage bags and cans for regular trash pickup. 

• Consider leaving large items curbside or in the alley with “Free to Good Home” sign attached. Your trash might be someone else’s treasure. If it is not gone in a few days, then you will have to dispose of it yourself. Take it to the dump, or call for bulk pickup.