Today’s final installment on Best Ways to Sell your Old Things ends with a unique way of making money (or rather saving money) – Donations to a Charity.
If you missed the last three articles, you can click on the links below:
- Selling Your Old Things on Craigslist
- Selling Your Old Things on eBay
- Selling Your Old Things at a Yard Sale/Garage Sale
So what do you do with all the things that you didn’t sell on Craigslist, eBay, or at a yard sale/garage sale? You could throw them away in the dumpster, but if you’ve already tried to sell them, they must still have some value to you. How about donating your gently used items to a charitable organization? In today’s final installment, I discuss another way to save some of your money by taking a deduction on your tax bill.
Back in the days of apartment living, I couldn’t host a yard sale or garage sale on any given weekend, well, because I didn’t have a garage or a yard. I found that the easiest way to declutter my space was to donate items at our local Salvation Army or Goodwill. It was much easier to donate than to figure out creative ways to hold a yard sale. Even though I used Craigslist many times to sell an item, as a single woman, I found it was tough sometimes to invite a stranger into my apartment to show them an item, knowing he/she may or may not purchase. If you don’t feel like you are up for selling your stuff on Craigslist, eBay, or at yard sales/garage sales, then this might be your best option.
Here are Some Things You Could Do When Donating Your Items:
1. Create an inventory of your items you are donating and the condition that it is in. Be as specific as possible. (You can get a general idea of the amount an item is worth on Salvation Army’s website or use a software program such as Turbotax.)
I make a simple excel spreadsheet like the example below:
|1/1/2012||Salvation Army||Pink Old Navy Women’s Button Down Dress Shirt||Used||$X.XX|
|1/1/2012||Salvation Army||Blue Gap Men’s Button Down Long-sleeve Dress Shirt||Like New||$X.XX|
2. Drop off items at your local donation center.
3. Fill out contact information and take receipt for tax purposes.
4. Save and file receipt with copy of excel spreadsheet for your tax file.
5. Use receipt during the tax year in which the items were donated.
Donating items are a great way to rid of your items after a garage sale/yard sale. It helps to declutter your home or apartment, and you know that someone else will be able to benefit from the sale in a direct and indirect way. After our yard sale, we took our unused items to our local charitable organization. We didn’t want have our old things clutter our basement again.
Additionally, The Freecycle Network is another site where you can post a listing of things you are giving away for free. Check out www.freecycle.org, and see if there is one in your city. Although, you won’t receive a receipt to take a deduction off your tax bill, you know your old things re going to a good home.
Pros to Donating to a Charity:
– Donating helps to declutter your house or apartment.
– You can get a tax deduction (if you are itemizing your deductions above the standard tax deduction).
– Your gently used items get a second chance to be useful in someone else’s home.
– Your item keeps waste out of landfills, thereby, helping our environment.
Cons to Donating to a Charity:
– You will not see a quick turnaround of money back into your pockets.
– You have to itemize and keep track of your records.
To Deduct or Not, That is the Question
While conducting my research on selling things via Craigslist, eBay, and at yard sales, I came across a forum on Fat Wallet in which people debated and discussed whether it was better to donate to a charity or to hold a yard sale. There seems to be more yay’s than nay’s towards donating to a charity over holding a yard sale. However, here’s something to think about about when donating your items for a tax write-off. In order for you to take a deduction off your taxes, you have to itemize your deductions above the standard deduction. Take a look at the standard deduction rates for 2013:
|Filing Status:||Standard Deduction Rates:|
|Married Filing Jointly||$12,200|
|Head of Household||$8,950|
|Married Filing Separately||$6,100|
So there you have it, folks. There are plenty of options to sell or donate your gently used items to de-clutter your space, reduce waste, and help others in the community. Do you prefer donating items over the other three ways (Craigslist, eBay, Yard/Garage sale) to sell or rid of your old things?
Come back on Thursday to read my new tutorial on Prof’s fantastic t-shirt for Halloween. Lagravis better watch out! Prof is going to rock his shirt for Halloween!
From my hometown to yours,