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Old 12-23-2016, 11:14 AM   #61
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If you itemize deductions on your taxes, you can come out a little ahead even when you give things away to the thrift store. I keep track of everything we donate and use the "it's deductible " website to help set the value of each item. So far this year we've donated $1,958 worth of stuff to three different charities. No single item was worth more than $30, but all those household items and clothing added up. We will save roughly $548 on our taxes.
We do this too. Generally we just give it to Salvation Army or the library. I take pictures of the stuff with my phone and store these in a folder for tax time.

Most of the time we don't claim more then about $600 on the donations. Maybe I should be more careful and bump up that number? What's a bag of nice women's clothing worth? Ugh.
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Old 02-18-2017, 12:31 PM   #62
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I love this thread! I am currently going through the down-sizing process and I find myself continually see-sawing back and forth between "just give it away" and "somebody would pay money for that". We have had some limited success selling items online or to acquaintances but it seems more bother than it's worth and the amount of money we make is not going to change our retirement lifestyle. Once I have myself convinced of that, I am quite happy boxing up loads of stuff and dropping off at charities. But .....eventually that little worm starts eating away at me and I start to think I should be trying to get money for this stuff. It's like whack-a-mole. Every time I feel like I've got those urges under control, they pop up again and I start to despair of all the (theoretical) money I am leaving on the table.


Is there a way to flag this thread so I can quickly pull it up and re-read whenever I need to whack that mole?
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Losing Money When Decluttering?
Old 02-18-2017, 03:21 PM   #63
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Losing Money When Decluttering?

DS just reminded me again today that if I ever find the black binder with his Magic cards from late 1990s/early 2000s, there are valuable ones in there! I swear I checked them on e-Bay, found nothing valuable and then chucked them. Not a single Black Lotus in there. Really.
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Old 02-18-2017, 04:22 PM   #64
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Check out nextavenue.org...they have an article called "No one wants your parents stuff".

Eye opening and a little sad at the same time......
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Old 02-18-2017, 04:28 PM   #65
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Check out nextavenue.org...they have an article called "No one wants your parents stuff".

Eye opening and a little sad at the same time......
Here is the link Response to 'Nobody Wants Your Parents' Stuff'
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Old 02-18-2017, 05:07 PM   #66
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we've been selling off my inlaws stuff. what they thought would sell well doesn't and some of the junk sells well. Value is in the moment.
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Old 02-18-2017, 06:10 PM   #67
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I had thousands of old science fiction magazines (from early 70s and later). I'm sure a few of them were worth something but I just wanted them out of the house and put them up on Freecycle. One woman took half for her daughter, and another took the other half for hers. Win-Win.
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Old 02-18-2017, 06:12 PM   #68
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I have a small collection of night watchman's clocks, mostly very common, one very rare one. I also have a racing pigeon stamping clock. Why did I buy these My kids have no interest in them, and there are very few fellow collectors out there that I could solicit to sell them. Although I was intrigued when I initially bought these years ago, I sincerely doubt that I can recoup even the initial costs of these devises. More junk for the kids to toss.
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Old 02-18-2017, 06:31 PM   #69
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I have a small collection of night watchman's clocks, mostly very common, one very rare one. I also have a racing pigeon stamping clock. Why did I buy these My kids have no interest in them, and there are very few fellow collectors out there that I could solicit to sell them. Although I was intrigued when I initially bought these years ago, I sincerely doubt that I can recoup even the initial costs of these devises. More junk for the kids to toss.
Sounds like your had a lot of fun buying these. Maybe that is the reward?
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Old 02-19-2017, 01:58 AM   #70
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It took us almost 9 months to declutter the Houston home before we moved to Reno. I gave away more than 1/3 of my library; someone will benefit.
In my experience, if you worry about value what took 6-9 months will never happen (my AgedP's garage is still loaded with stuff which she can't part with--I just always hope no fire starts there.)


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I just sold some racing pigeon books from my collection. I had quite a few books. As best as I could come up with prices, they were worth about $400 brand new.

Some were out of print, but I had the most recent prices. None were really old.
So I figured that $150 for the entire lot would be an good price. One buyer, one place to collect. Hopefully a fast sale, which it was.

I later found out, like hours after I sold them, one was worth $450 or so. I guess I have a bit more shelf space and an extra $150 n my pocket.

Here is that book, listed for $450, of course it is still not sold... You can see the book here.
https://racingpigeonsbooks.wordpress...ntold-secrets/

Did you ever start to declutter and find out you could have made more money off things you tossed or sold too low?
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Old 02-19-2017, 04:26 AM   #71
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I love this thread! I am currently going through the down-sizing process and I find myself continually see-sawing back and forth between "just give it away" and "somebody would pay money for that". We have had some limited success selling items online or to acquaintances but it seems more bother than it's worth and the amount of money we make is not going to change our retirement lifestyle. Once I have myself convinced of that, I am quite happy boxing up loads of stuff and dropping off at charities. But .....eventually that little worm starts eating away at me and I start to think I should be trying to get money for this stuff. It's like whack-a-mole. Every time I feel like I've got those urges under control, they pop up again and I start to despair of all the (theoretical) money I am leaving on the table.


Is there a way to flag this thread so I can quickly pull it up and re-read whenever I need to whack that mole?
Sounds like you need a good one day garage sale. Start at 8 or 9, and put everything on 1/2 off 3 hours into the sale. Take any left overs to Goodwill, etc. Use 4 different colored stickers to price, with a "menu" posted (red=$1, etc.) to save time pricing. You won't make tons of $, but certainly enough for a couple of nice evenings out. And the stuff is gone in one day. Good luck.
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Old 02-19-2017, 04:35 AM   #72
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If anyone is really concerned with losing some money on selling items too cheap (craigslist, garage sale), put together a list of those items and research on ebay (for free). It's easy to do. Be sure you are looking at SOLD listings. Compare the condition of your item to those sold, and price yours about 20% less for a quick sale. Cherry pick the highest priced items and give the rest to charity, or freecycle, whatever. Kind of the best of both worlds. BTW, a garage sale is not the place to try to sell your "valuable items"-people shop GS to get great deals, not pay ebay type prices.

As a garage sale junkie, and ebay seller, I can tell you that many things you think are valuable may not be worth enough to invest the time involved in selling online. But a selling a dozen or so of your more valuable items (and the peace of mind of having done the research) may be worth it.
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Old 02-19-2017, 04:43 AM   #73
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I have a small collection of night watchman's clocks, mostly very common, one very rare one. I also have a racing pigeon stamping clock. Why did I buy these My kids have no interest in them, and there are very few fellow collectors out there that I could solicit to sell them. Although I was intrigued when I initially bought these years ago, I sincerely doubt that I can recoup even the initial costs of these devises. More junk for the kids to toss.
Consider doing the kids a favor now by selling/donating even if you don't recoup your "investment". They may not be interested in them, but leaving them behind could create emotional "baggage" after you are gone.

MIL left her "collection" of Christmas village houses, storefronts, etc. None are worth more than she paid for them, plus, they are fragile (china?) and hard to ship. DW struggles with selling them for emotional reasons, yet has never set up the "villages" at Christmas-not her style. So the boxes sit on a large storage shelf in the basement. I would donate them in a second to charity, but the timing isn't right.
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Old 02-19-2017, 07:26 AM   #74
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There are a few buyback sites for books, video games, and DVDs that let you scan with an app or type in the ISBN or whatever barcode number.

I'm going through a major decluttering with the help of my SO. I decided to burn to hard drives the movies I wanted to keep. I just kept a number of books. The criteria for both was anything kept had to be something I've watched or read repeatedly.

The buyback site we used saw a small return compared to the original costs, but it was still a few hundred dollars.

In order to clear off shelves I bought a nice DVD case and recycled several dozen DVD cases.

The rest were boxed up in enough boxes to fill the trunk and then dropped off at the library. They don't take cash donations so I'm hoping plenty of these will get sold off in their rummage bin.

All the decluttering has made me more conscious of what I bring into the house. I'm just one person and managed to fill up several recycling bins and still had tons left over to donate.
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Old 02-19-2017, 07:40 AM   #75
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Sounds like your had a lot of fun buying these. Maybe that is the reward?
certainly it is. there is something fascinating to me about mechanical clocks, and how they represent the emerging technology of the past. imagine looking at a coiled piece of steel and realizing that you could use that energy to power a time keeping piece. who'd thought? fast forward a few years later and you have the beginnings of the security business with watchmen's clocks-a way to insure that your security guard is doing his job and monitoring it with a piece of punctured paper-all of that powered by that same coiled piece of steel. Later we see transportation and factories dependent upon accurate time keeping, and eventually we all become slaves to the clock. You can see parallels in the development of cell phones.......
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Old 02-19-2017, 07:55 AM   #76
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........... imagine looking at a coiled piece of steel and realizing that you could use that energy to power a time keeping piece. who'd thought? .........
Or looking at a grain of sand and realizing it could be used to control the flow of electrons.........
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Old 02-19-2017, 01:09 PM   #77
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we just got rid of all of mine and DW's old pre-computer professional drafting equipment. Some of my father's old drafting equipment was in there as well. We put it on freecycle.com , we thought that might work because we live in a college town, and sure enough, someone wanted the stuff. They are are a student in a junior college and their organic horticulture class is using hand drafting. They said they would share the equipment with the rest of the class. That also counts as a small milestone, finding a use for nice but obsolete equipment.
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Old 02-19-2017, 02:30 PM   #78
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Just now found the thread and I'll admit I've made the same "mistake" as OP. Don't have any feelings of loss or remorse over it.

I sold a huge box of Dungeons and Dragons stuff from the 1980's and early 1990s from when I was a kid. I think I sold it for $100. Turns out just one of the items in it was probably worth $150 or so. That's okay - I got a good bit of cash for something that was collecting dust in my house and that I hadn't used in two decades.

Another time I had an old wood stove from the 1970's in good condition that I pulled out of our fireplace when we were remodeling. It was sitting in the backyard and heavy as hell. Instead of spending energy hauling it to the dump, I listed it on craigslist for free ("you need a couple of strong guys to lift it though"). Turns out people were paying $200-300 for those kind of stoves. Oh well! I was busy remodeling, these folks saved me effort, and it would have gone in the dump otherwise. Instead, someone got a heck of a deal on a free wood stove.

I have a good track record selling old junk when it's worth selling (otherwise I'll give it away or toss it). Not always the best price because sometimes I just want rid of the junk.
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Old 02-19-2017, 02:46 PM   #79
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I sold my old but perfectly good camera equipment using Amazon and got a far better price for the stuff than simply trading it in at a camera store. I took advantage of the UPS store near me which for a small fee will wrap, box and ship the equipment to the buyer. Minimal time spent for the $$'s.

OTOH, I tried to sell several paintings from a very well known local artist. These days all he sells 'new' are just prints of his past paintings. Well, the offers I got were ridiculous maybe 10˘ on the dollar. So, I donated the paintings to a charitable auction and took the tax deduction. And the money is used to provide housing for single parents and, most recently, veterans who are down on their luck.
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Old 02-19-2017, 03:10 PM   #80
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Remember a racing pigeon in the hand is worth two in the bush. I used to get caught up in the 'asking price' of similar items I was trying to sell on EBAY. Asking price is not the same as $ it actually sold for. Be happy with the $150 and don't dwell for the sake of your mental health, nothing to be done about it now right?
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