Take my couch, please!
June 20, 2013 12:01 PM   Subscribe

Looking to offload (donate/sell/giveaway) some furniture in Berkeley CA this week, but don't know what's the best route. We need help!

We're moving house and would like to part ways with our couch (~6 years old, decent shape) and some Ikea bookcases (long gone Mikel). I usually just put stuff out on the corner and it disappears, but I'm not sure the couch will move so quickly and I'd really like to get it to a good home. We need to be out out of our old place by July 1, so time's a bit short.

Ideally I could call some charity and they would come and take it all away and do whatever they do with it. Alas... I think there's a glut of old furniture in the market. Should we list it on Craigslist for cheap or free? Should we just do the corner?

How can we get somebody to take the furniture off our hands for us in the next week?

Hive mind, help!
posted by kendrak to Home & Garden (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I found that listing my couch on Craigslist for $50 was way more effective than trying to give it away.
posted by Nimmie Amee at 12:07 PM on June 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

List it on Craigslist for very cheap should bring lots of calls and you should be rid of it quickly. People are suspicious of free furniture, but cheap is another thing.

List each item in a separate listing, so people specifically looking for X can find your listing. (I learned that from the Interwebs!)
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:10 PM on June 20, 2013

Putting it out on the curb will work as a last ditch effort.
posted by kalessin at 12:11 PM on June 20, 2013

I called the local thrift shop and talked to their guy who looks at their furniture to make sure it was clean and sellable. My sofa was missing some cushions, so he passed on it going to the store, but I told him I would give him $20 to bring it to the dumpster for me on his own time (for 10 minutes of work). He was thrilled and I was glad to pay him for the job.
posted by HeyAllie at 12:12 PM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

I've used Freecycle to get rid of large items I don't use. At least in Houston I've always had loads of responses to anything I posted. Dealing directly with individuals who are interested you can set the timing and any conditions, e.g. bring two people, because it's on the porch, it's heavy, and I'm not going to be here.
posted by IanMorr at 12:19 PM on June 20, 2013

My housemates and I (in N. Oakland) have been looking for a decent free couch and could pick it up in the next week if it is a good fit. I'll send you a memail.
posted by needs more cowbell at 12:19 PM on June 20, 2013 [5 favorites]

Yes- Craigslist for $25-$50 and see what happens. I got rid of half my furniture in about two days this way last year. Listing it for free was my original instinct, since that's what it was worth to me, but adding a nominal price decreased the Craigslist flakery by 80%. I'm getting rid of a functional but crotchety lawn mower this way today, in fact.
posted by charmedimsure at 12:49 PM on June 20, 2013

I got rid of a couch on Freecycle within 24 hours. They came and picked it up.
posted by Ouisch at 12:57 PM on June 20, 2013

I'm not a fan of putting big stuff out on the street and hoping that the Furniture Elves will spirit it away for me. I figure it's my responsibility as a good neighbor not to create public eyesores, or block the sidewalk. But I suppose you could put it out, and if it wasn't scooped up in 24 hours, then hire someone.

I used Taskrabbit to hire a couple of hungry fellas to dispose of my bulky furniture. I paid them nicely for it, and told them they were free to try and sell the stuff on their own if they liked. The time saved in not having to deal with posting online ads and showing the stuff was worth it to me, and I was happy to give the guys work.
posted by nacho fries at 1:15 PM on June 20, 2013

I put my couch on craigslist for free last month and some guys came and took it in less than 20 minutes. This is in San Francisco.

Fluff up the pillows, run a vacuum over it, take nice pictures - it'll disappear. People are only suspicious of "free" when it's a cryptic ad with no pictures or pictures of a trashy couch with bloodstains. Post up some bright pictures that prove you have a clean home and the couch isn't busted, and it'll be gone soon.
posted by gyusan at 1:51 PM on June 20, 2013

I listed a two year old mattress (too soft) that no one would take for free on Craigslist. I stuck it outside and it was gone by the time I cam home from work.
posted by cnc at 2:03 PM on June 20, 2013

Out of the Closet will do pickup.
posted by liketitanic at 8:39 PM on June 20, 2013

Urban Ore is great for genuinely still useful furniture. Check the forbidden list first.
posted by eotvos at 10:00 PM on June 20, 2013

Call Berkeley Food and Housing Project. Sometimes they're super grateful for these types of donations as they find housing for someone who's been without a place to live for a while, and needs furniture. (510) 649-4965

If they're not into it, nth-ing listing it for $ rather than free.
posted by blandcamp at 3:23 PM on June 21, 2013

Thanks everybody for the suggestions! I tried Out of the Closet, but turns out the couch was a bit broken, so they couldn't take it. Then we listed it on Craiglist for $50, but not a single bite in 24 hours. So I put it up on Task Rabbit and it was gone within hours. I had to pay for it, but I felt great getting it out of our lives and not on the corner. (Our hood has three such couches on one block.)

Sofa beds are really the worst.
posted by kendrak at 10:22 PM on July 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

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