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Cutting Costs: Sell, Consign or Donate Unwanted Items

Updated on April 15, 2010

 Storing unwanted items is a waste of space and money, because every item you own costs you time and effort.  If you are storing items that you are unlikely to use again, why not pass them on?  There are many ways to get rid of unwanted items, some of which will put money in your pocket.  In fact, much of what you do not want may be of value to someone else.

Sell, Consign or Donate Unwanted Items

Passing on unwanted items can be done by selling them yourself, or through a consignment shop. You can also donate unwanted items to the Good Will or Salvation Army. When you donate items to a not-for-profit organization, get a tax-deductable donation receipt. You can also donate your unwanted items directly to those who want them through organizations like freecycle. You can join a freecycle organization in your area through freecycle.org, or you can simply place items in your yard with a sign that says “Free!” People will help themselves to what they are interested in, and unlike a yard sale, you do not have to man it.

The variety of ways to sell your unwanted items is nearly endless, beginning with the traditional yard sale. You can gather all of your unwanted items together, mark your prices, advertise and hold a yard sale. If you do not have enough items to make a good sale, you can join with friends or neighbors and collaborate. For local sales, with no set selling date, there is Craigslist. If you don’t mind shipping your items, or would benefit from a larger audience, you can sell online at a number of sites. EBay is amongst the most well known, but do not limit yourself to it. There is Bonanzle which has a good reputation amongst sellers, has low overhead, and almost no rules. Individuals can also set up accounts to sell some items through Amazon.com.

If you are an avid reader, always on the lookout for a new book, consider trading books with others online. There are several sites dedicated to book and media trading. Paperback Swap is one of the most popular sites. They have a wide selection of titles, and the only cost to you is shipping out the books you are giving away. To receive items, you select from the titles available, and request that they be sent to you. Fairness is maintained on the site through a point system based on the number of books you have to give away and have given away. Bookins is another media trading site, but here the cost to you is the books you receive, not send.

(c) Copyright text and photo Christa Dovel 2010

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    • Christa Dovel profile imageAUTHOR

      Christa Dovel 

      7 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America

      I noticed that best sellers were much easier to get a hold of than classics -- even classics that were bast sellers in their day.

      Good luck getting everything you want.

    • kschimmel profile image

      Kimberly Schimmel 

      7 years ago from North Carolina, USA

      Christa, I was able to complete a set of Twilight novels with the non-movie covers. Now I'm working on a set of hardbacks. Once I have them all in hardback, I'll probably donate or swap my paperbacks.

    • Christa Dovel profile imageAUTHOR

      Christa Dovel 

      7 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America

      I'm going to have to take another look at it. I got rid of a number of books through it, but could not find many I wanted, and old books are my favorites. I have a list of authors I would like to collect complete sets by.

    • kschimmel profile image

      Kimberly Schimmel 

      7 years ago from North Carolina, USA

      I have been a Paperbackswap member for a long time and I LOVE IT! Now my son is a member and finds his favorite reading matter--old English literature.

    • Christa Dovel profile imageAUTHOR

      Christa Dovel 

      7 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America

      Thank you RandomLife!

    • RandomLife profile image

      RandomLife 

      7 years ago from Nashville TN

      Great hub!!! New follower here =)

    • Christa Dovel profile imageAUTHOR

      Christa Dovel 

      8 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America

      Dario, thank you for sharing this site. It looks reminds me of the book exchange that I use.

    • profile image

      Dario 

      8 years ago

      Give your unwanted items in http://www.givingetting.com and your help someone and help yourself

    • Christa Dovel profile imageAUTHOR

      Christa Dovel 

      8 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America

      Thanks for the tip, 4FoodSafety. Do you use an alternative account, or does Craigslist have a messaging system? I have not used it in more than a year, because the items I wanted to sell seemed to attract scammers by the score.

      **********************

      Note to scammers: Seriously, do you think I am going to believe that the only check you can pay me with is $2,000 more than the price of the item, and that, then I need to return part of that $ to you, wired, in an unsecured manner? Get a life!

    • 4FoodSafety profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      8 years ago from Fontana, WI

      I have listed items for friends out on Craigslist - tip never give out your real email. Always take the option to protect your identity and your email address. Great Hub - love being frugal - you are the very best!

    • Christa Dovel profile imageAUTHOR

      Christa Dovel 

      8 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America

      LOL. I have decided that if I am getting rid of things, them I will not go in a second hand store w/o a list! Otherwise I find all sorts of things that might come in handy. :)

    • elayne001 profile image

      Elayne 

      8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      I am getting better at getting rid of unused things in my home. I drop them off at the second hand store and then pick up a few more items that I think I need. Good hub. Aloha!

    • Christa Dovel profile imageAUTHOR

      Christa Dovel 

      8 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America

      Thank you Brtaiwo.

    • profile image

      brtaiwo 

      8 years ago

      Excellent. Keep it up.

    • Christa Dovel profile imageAUTHOR

      Christa Dovel 

      8 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America

      I agree LiftedUp. The other week I took some things to a second hand shop and walked out with a magazine rack and a bookshelf that I wanted.

    • LiftedUp profile image

      LiftedUp 

      8 years ago from Plains of Colorado

      Second hand stores are great, aren't they! And when I have things to donate, I appreciate the knowledge that someone else can use them.

    • Christa Dovel profile imageAUTHOR

      Christa Dovel 

      8 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America

      Shopping second hand stores and consignment shops can be so much fun if you live in an area that has good stuff (not worn out clothing form the '80s). When I was pregnant with my first, I found most of my maternity cloths at second hand shops, most in brand new condition!

    • CuzzoShizzo profile image

      CuzzoShizzo 

      8 years ago from USA

      I like shopping at consignment shops. When I was moving into my new place I did not have a lot of money for furniture, so I visited a few consignment shops and got everything that I needed for a great price. The items that I purchased were just barely used and worked out great for my new home. Thanks to everyone who takes their unwanted items to a consignment shop.

    • Christa Dovel profile imageAUTHOR

      Christa Dovel 

      8 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America

      I too have been cleaning out things in my house. I have been using a book exchange, to get rid of books I don't plan to read again, and get ones I want. Plus, getting rid of clutter is so important.

    • amulets profile image

      amulets 

      8 years ago from Singapore

      Sounds interesting. At least it will help to get rid of some cluttering in the house while preparing for Chinese New year. Thanks for the tips!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      I am doing this to get my place empty and get a few pennies.

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