Where to give away *all the things* in Minneapolis
January 2, 2012 2:01 PM   Subscribe

Where is the best place to give away / sell / donate books, clothes, furniture, etc. [Minneapolis Edition, but other cities welcome!]

Decluttering maniacally! Who benefits from my largesse?

So, furniture was covered before, what what about *everything else*.

I have:

* academic books
* mass-market books
* clothes
* furniture (mass-market)
* electronics

Craigslist for everything? Anywhere actually *want* my pile of John Grisham legal thrillers? Where is the *best place* to regift this stuff :)

(I am in South Minneapolis, if it matters)
posted by gregglind to Grab Bag (9 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
If you don't want money for your clothes/mass-market books and electronics, you can drop them off at Arc's Value Village in Richfield. They offer several ways to donate: throw your stuff in bins outside the store, drive around back where employees will help you unload or donate in-store for a tax receipt. They take clothes and popular books, along with some furniture and electronics. I quarterly load up my car with my purgings and drop my stuff there.
posted by Laura Macbeth at 2:08 PM on January 2, 2012

posted by ian1977 at 2:09 PM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Magers and Quinn in Uptown (Hennepin just south of Lake) will buy used books. As will Half Price Books. (There's one on Excelsior (I think) in St Louis Park--the 12 goes there. And in St Paul and Roseville.) I have no idea who would give you a better return, or what sort of return you'd get. There's a used bookstore on 14th in Dinkytown that might buy books.

Eventually, someone will come along and say Steeple People. I'm not positive what they take. (They're Methodists. I don't think they're particularly objectionable, unless you really don't want to give it to anyone religious.)
posted by hoyland at 2:10 PM on January 2, 2012

We used Amazon's Trade In program for a bunch of books and electronics last time we moved. You find your stuff on their site and it'll print off a shipping label. Then you box it up and ship it off. If your stuff meets their criteria, they'll send you a gift card for the amount it's worth. Obviously, this only works if you buy things from Amazon.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 2:12 PM on January 2, 2012

Are you hoping to make as much money as possible, or to make this as fast and easy as possible, or something else?
posted by box at 2:18 PM on January 2, 2012

Yeah a lot of this depends on what you want to get out of this: money, space, free time?

I get rid of my used books on paperbackswap.com which means that as long as I am not post-office-phobic I can basically mail them away to people who want them and then I can get books I am actually interested in in return [and not just for me but gifts and other "you really should read this" situations]. All books not gotten rid of after some reasonable interval go to the library booksale [if they'll take them] or the thrift store. Clothes should all just be bagged and dropped off at thrift stores, take a tax deduction if it's helpful to you. Alternately, have a clothing swap party where ALL your friends bring the stuff they are ditching, have snacks and try things on, and then you offer to bag all the leftover clothes and get rid of them in on fell swoop.

If your electronics are worth anything I'd toss them up on CL for a few bucks for a batch of stuff. Not worth anything, freecycle definitely. Where I live there are always kids who want a sort of functioning eight year old laptop or an old OLPC. I don't know much about Free Geek in your area, but they're often good people to talk to because they sort of understand the need for tech in your area and there are sometimes cool volunteer projects you can get involved in as well.

Most importantly, set a goal and don't let the perfect aspect of part of it [maximizing cash!] become the enemy of the good [clearing to space!] of the good is more important to you than the perfect. It's easy to get stuck not doing anything because you can't get the math to work out right, try not to do that. Good luck.
posted by jessamyn at 2:34 PM on January 2, 2012

I was just coming in to second Paperbackswap, and its ability to give you books you really wanted; I used PBS to unload FIFTEEN BOXES of books a roommate left with me after she moved to Australia -- within a month I'd gotten rid of ten boxes, and had enough credit stored up with the site to then go on a hunt for some out-of-print books I'd always loved as a kid. The credits you have on that site don't expire, so you can use them as slowly as you want.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:16 PM on January 2, 2012

Oh -- and I got tipped off to PBS by another roommate who would raid his college library booksales for the weird academic texts that were usually out of print, because invariably someone somewhere would have been looking for them and he was usually able to get rid of them pretty quickly and build up his own credit. So the academic works may go quickly on there because someone somewhere has probably been looking for them a long time.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:18 PM on January 2, 2012

For books, you might check with your local library to see if they run a Friends of the Library bookstore. Many libraries do. They take donated books and resell them very inexpensively; the money they make actually helps keep the libraries open and operating since funding for libraries is being dramatically cut all the time. Our library is now open six days a week instead of five, all thanks to the Friends of the Library booksales (and they'd love your John Grisham collection).

If you're giving away decent clothing, there are shelters for women and children and shelters for men who are happy to pass along your donations to their clients.

I've given away loads of household stuff and furniture on Craigslist Free and sold quite a bit on Craigslist also and never had any problem whatever. I tried Freecycle but our particular Freecycle group here is moderated by some sort of control freak type person who spends her hours trying to beat everyone into shape, making it nearly impossible to just give away good quality stuff to people who would like to have it - unfortunate, but true.
posted by aryma at 10:29 PM on January 2, 2012

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