Is It Better Financially to Donate or Consign Clothing?
Updated at the Bottom
I asked this on Facebook last night, but I thought I would open up a larger conversation here with more details. Facebook’s tiny status box always makes me feel as if I should keep things brief even if we have mostly unlimited space over there. Whereas my blog feels more like Montana; big sky country. I can babble and babble and babble…
So here is the situation. I am cleaning out the house, and I have a lot of old clothes and old toys that I need to get out of the house. I could have a yard sale, but I think the planning and implementing of that would break me. I could sell it online, but again, I think the time I would need to dedicate to the task would be untenable considering how much my work time has been impacted by this kitchen remodel.
Which leaves two feasible options (unless you can think of a third that takes about the same amount of time as these two): donate to a registered charity and take the tax deduction at the end of the year, or take it all to a consignment shop and see what they will give me for the haul.
To begin, it sounds like people’s experience with Thredup hasn’t been positive, so I’d rather just drive it over to a Thredup-like store in the area vs. go the mail-sent route. If we go the registered charity route, we have one down here that we like and often work with.
Other details to know:
- All of the clothes (kid AND adult) and toys are in great condition.
- A lot of the kid clothing is popular, brand names.
- Most of the adult clothing is out-of-style or was never in style to begin with because I am just not a stylish person.
- Most of the adult clothing is casual; not dressy.
- We are talking about a lot of stuff. Like it will take a few trips if we bring it all to consignment shops.
Okay, so which would help us more in the financial sense, since obviously donating would be better in the altruistic sense? Has anyone ever worked out whether it’s better to donate or sell?
And if you’ve sold items in the past, what could I expect to get for a bag that contains (let’s say) 20 items of laundered, folded, in-good-condition brand name kid clothing? I guess I have no sense what these places pay. I know it all depends on what they assess the value to be when I get there, but what is a ball park figure? Or tell me about your experience consigning — what you brought in and how much cash you took home?
Blogs are so much better than the backyard fence when you only got advice from two or three neighbours. Bring it on.
I don’t want to cut-and-paste people’s comments from Facebook because I’m not certain they want their words out there like that, so if you wrote something on Facebook, could you cut-and-paste it here so that others searching for this information can see your words?
Also, the most helpful thing would be to hear people’s real life experiences with selling stuff to consignment shops on online places like Thredup. Like how much (generally) did you bring, how much did they pay, and did you walk out happy or frustrated? Because you can’t find anything like that online, giving specific examples so people can look at what they have and make a decision. What sort of payment can someone expect based on real life examples, also knowing that each individual case is going to be different?