How/where should I donate massage equipment?
September 11, 2018 7:08 PM   Subscribe

I have leftover equipment from when I was a massage therapist. Anybody have ideas of how to donate specialized equipment such as this? I'm looking for options OTHER than Goodwill, freecycle and craigslist.

All of the equipment is used but in good condition and it would be a shame to throw it away.

I have had many, MANY bad experiences with no-shows, time-wasters, and flakes on Freecycle and craigslist trying to give previous things away, and will not be trying those sites again (I am not amenable to changing that decision).

I briefly tried selling some of the equipment on OfferUp but once again started encountering the aforementioned time wasters etc. I just Cannot with these people anymore.

Also not going to take it to Goodwill as previous experience has shown me that they handle things roughly and that most things just go in the trash. Being able to write off on taxes is just not appealing enough to override my sense of disgust at how poorly they handle their donated items. Last time I donated there, I literally watched a worker THROW one of my donated items across the room into a pile, breaking it.

I have tried contacting the only nearby massage school and they don't return messages.

The stuff would be too annoying to ship so any solution must be available locally (I'm in the Hagerstown, MD area).

Anyone have any suggestions for how I can get rid off this stuff without too much more effort but have it actually find a good home? Are there any specialized charities or non-flaky people anyone knows of who would want this equipment?

I am pretty close to just hauling it all to the dump, which would be a shame, but man I do NOT want to spend a bunch more time or frustration on this.

Equipment includes massage table, table warmer, side extenders, massage chair, hot stone set, posters, step stools. I have pictures and models, etc.
posted by nirblegee to Grab Bag (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would consider going to the nearby massage school, seeing if they have a bulletin board and posting an ad there. Or searching Facebook and Reddit to see if there is a group for their students and posting an ad there.

Basically, find a way to reach out to massage students directly so you have an actual interested audience, rather than whatever random person might think 'oh, wouldn't it be fun to have a massage table in the basement?'
posted by jacquilynne at 7:22 PM on September 11, 2018 [2 favorites]

Some of the larger foot races in my area use massage tables and related equipment in the medical tents. Maybe see if your local race organizers might be interested? If you're contacting them cold, you might consider describing it as "medical equipment" until someone who will understand what it is gets looped into the conversation.
posted by brett at 8:19 PM on September 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

It looks like there are 2 massage schools near you:

James Rumsey Technical Institute
25 miles from Hagerstown, MD
3274 Hedgesville Road Martinsburg, WV 25403

Central Maryland School of Massage
34.4 miles from Hagerstown, MD
1890 N Market St Frederick, MD 21701

I agree with the above posters that you should go to where students and new grads are, in order to donate these items in a non-wasteful way. If you can't get the schools to return your phone calls, maybe just post on the Facebook pages for the students of that school. The school I did my MT training at (not in your state sadly) would have happily accepted these items or passed them along to students for free if you were to drop them off.

Some of the items (basically everything excluding hot stone set and massage chair) would also be of value to students in athletic training or physical therapy programs, so if you live near any colleges or universities offering those programs you could reach out to them as well.
posted by zdravo at 9:14 PM on September 11, 2018

Consider senior centers.
posted by matildaben at 9:56 PM on September 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Is there a local massage facebook group that you can join, even if just to get rid of the stuff? Alternatively, maybe look into any of the smaller medical clinics in town. I volunteered for a while as an LMT at the medical clinic attached to a homeless-youth organization - I'm sure they would have appreciated a donation like yours.
posted by hopeless romantique at 4:50 AM on September 12, 2018

I wish we lived in the same country! I would totally take this stuff off your hands.

Have you tried your local massage therapist's association? In Canada they go by province but I think yours is country-wide, American Massage Therapy Association? They probably have ad boards. I'd also put an ad in a massage magazine. Lots of them are free online now or worth the few ad dollars to sell your equipment.
posted by windykites at 9:28 AM on September 12, 2018

Maybe a local chiropractic office would want it.
posted by WeekendJen at 6:20 PM on September 12, 2018

Thanks for the suggestions. At this point I am looking for the least amount of additional effort, so there won't be any zooming around various places. A local facebook closed group has allowed me to sell and give away a couple of items so far. There has still been a tremendous amount of flakiness, stupid questions, and no-shows/late cancels.
posted by nirblegee at 6:31 PM on September 12, 2018

Less effort on your part = higher likelihood of flakiness on their part. For the stuff that has a higher market value than "free", you could try charging a small $5-10 deposit via PayPal/Venmo when they commit to the appointment.
posted by serelliya at 9:47 AM on September 14, 2018

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