eBay, Craigslist,Garage Sale Vs. Goodwill, Salvation Army Donation

In many frugal living blogs people say that one of the best way to receive income is by selling your old stuffs on Craigslist or eBay. They say – ‘Cash Your Crap’ to become debt free, or, to earn extra money. This, no doubt is a good suggestion. But, there are other ways you can use your old stuff and clothing. You can re-purpose them or you can donate them as well. It all depends on your priorities and choices. To go for cashing out or to go for achieving satisfaction in life.

Levi's discount

To many of us, ‘giving’ has some meaning too. We are what this society has made us to be. If you are wealthy and rich today, it is because the society helped you become one. If you’re a middle income earner, you should be thankful to the society for you have a steady income. So, shouldn’t we try to give back to the society as much as you can? At least I do feel the need to help the needy and poor.

By selling on eBay or Craigslist you will earn money, but what if you are not in need of that money? If your loans are paid off, and you are debt free? Probably you will not be interested in selling your used items. You’d naturally gain more satisfaction out of donation to Goodwill.

Every Spring as part of annual Spring cleaning  we donate old clothes to Goodwill. When we move we donate few used furniture to Salvation army. It all depends upon your priority and where you’d get more satisfaction.

I had seen one goodwill ad which stated, “Thank you for donating that jeans, it earned me my first job”, if you ever come across a person wearing clothes you donated, you’d feel proud. The cost of that feeling is priceless.

I found this discussion forum very useful and got valuable insights while writing this article up.

This is where the donation or giving away for free comes in to the picture. There are few benefits which are common to both donations and resales.

  • Your home be less cluttered.
  • In the process of identifying goods to get rid off , you may uncover hidden gems.

Here’s why I think Donate is a better option

1. Goodwill and salvation army are most trusted names. : almost 90% of all donation goes to the needy. as per Goodwill mission statement

“To provide to people with barriers to employment – particularly those with disabilities – an array of quality  vocational and educational services so that they can work most independently.”

2. Feeling of giving: These donation stores work for disabled and poor people.Your clothing donation can make a big difference in the lives of children and adults in need. Let me re iterate one of the campaigns from Goodwill. “your pair of jeans gave me my first job”. When you donate, you change lives.

3. Takes less time : When you donate, either you call a Salvation Army pickup or you drive to nearest Goodwill store. You do not have to spend hours listing your item on eBay or Craigslist, replying to mails, attending to buyers visiting your home or monitoring the bidding process etc. You can get rid of your clutter in less time.

4. This is environment friendly: You sure prevent more landfills by donating. Less garbage is helping mother earth. How good it feels?

5. Helps in building your own, or your company’s brand: If you are a registered donor at Goodwill it will improve your own brand and your organization’s brand as well, if you advertise.

6. Get discounts at merchants: Many local and big name brands gives a discount if you donate to Goodwill. One example is Levi’s. You need to get a receipt of your donation to claim this discount.

When selling and re-purposing cloths is better option

When you’re head over toe in debt, probably getting money in return is more satisfying. And you should sell in that case. As I said earlier, resale your used stuff or donate them, but do what gives you more satisfaction.

Also, the costlier items should be sold. I have no doubt I’ll sell collector’s items that we have, if we need to. It’s foolishness to donate as most probably the recipient wouldn’t have an use of those items as well.

Readers, what you prefer? On one side you can earn a few bucks, and on other, you can help people. What gives you more satisfaction?

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  1. Dana says

    I agree that it is much easier to donate to Goodwill or Salvation Army – it can take quite a bit of time to list items on ebay, then ship the items, etc. I think we do a bit of a mix – some items we donate (furniture or toys) while some items we sell on ebay (mostly kid’s brand names that I know will sell well).

    • says

      Google translate helped me in translating this from German to English, thanks for your comment, glad you liked the theme.

  2. alex says

    Waste Management of Los Angeles is teaming up with the Los Angeles Sparks (WNBA) for the ‘Bag your Shoes’ campaign happening now! The goal is to collect 1,000 pairs of shoes! Come down and “recycle” your shoes, see you at the game!


  1. I did donate last year. but now this year I am not going to donate my old car, I’d rather put it on Craigslist. On Craigslist you can sell junk. I won’t sell old clothes which I’ll drop off at goodwills though.

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