Books are a case in point. We both love books, and over the years have accumulated [literally] thousands. At one point we decided in a fit of madness to try and catalogue them all. There were over 3000. But the collection must diminish in the next 5 years, we cannot take them all into retirement. But will not be of much use to the local CS if we just box them up and give them away. Some of our tomes are a specialist and of little interest to the majority of readers, so they are unlikely to sell.
When we left Kirby, we packed up 6 large boxes of the theology books and passed them on to someone who could give them to other ministers in training. That felt good!
But for the last few months, I have been spending the occasional afternoon looking at the shelves and taking out a pile of volumes which neither of us want to keep. Fiction, non fiction, classics, modern stuff, craft and cookbooks...Then I use the Ziffit website to determine quickly if these books have value. Some do, some don't. The books are sorted into saleable and nonsaleable. When I get to the magic £5 minimum, I stop - parcel up the books and send them off. The reject pile goes to the CS. The bizarre thing is that the most surprising books are accepted, and others not worth a penny. Recent literature and TV linked cookbooks are valueless [Sorry - we are currently not accepting this item] so all those paperback crime fiction ones end up in the CS. Which is usually where I purchased them in the first place.
This purchased 15 years ago, paid £3.14. and a huge volume called "Leicester and Its Regions" was £2.38 - but a paperback of Frankenstein was only worth 30p. The Leicester book was one I was given as a 6th former, when I went to a Conference in Leicester. I kept the book for 23 years - just in case I ever lived in Leicestershire. Then I finally did, and read it just twice in the last 20 years [when I moved, and when I left] It seems that these two contain useful information for writing PhD theses. They seem dead boring to me!! I have made about £50 selling 50 books over the last 18months - and given away the same number, if not more, to CS.
I am less good with online auctions - but when I was given a die cutter, I sold my Fiskars Shape Boss to finance the purchase of some dies. And I did sell my entire Martha Stewart Living Magazine collection this way - but only made a few pounds. Some income - but not much.
As for Car Boot Sales, they have never proved that brilliant. I only take things which I think are of decent quality - and the leftovers go to a CS rather than coming home. But unlike other bloggers [who seem to make £100s] I have not had much success. I am told that this is because the best and most profitable sales are on Sundays - and I have better things to do on Sundays than stand in the rain behind a wallpaper table loaded with items I don't need anymore!
I picked up a leaflet about cash for clothes - but the conditions were so rigorous, and the amount offered so pathetic, that I decided it was not a good idea. Any clothes we no longer need, but which remain in good condition can go to the CS.
So on the whole, if things can be useful to someone else, then Charity Shops are my preferred destination for them. That way four groups benefit - we get the space, others get items they want at a fair price, the charities make some money, and the binman has less to put into landfill.
And could somebody please tell me how Ross and Demelza managed to make all that money selling a rug, a chair and a few other bits off the back of their cart on Sunday evening?
Do you sell stuff on for money? or give it to CS - or do you use sites like Streetlife and Freecycle to pass items directly to people who can use them?