Ebay, Plato’s Closet or Charity? All 3??

Everyone who knows me, or at least is my friend on Facebook knows what I huge supporter I am of charity. I believe it helps the giver as well as the receiver and there aren’t that many opportunities in this world. Charity remains because people chose to give. 

But there are also times when a little extra cash flow would be nice too. And back to school shopping time is for sure one of those times. 

Ryan and I were going through his closet, trying to determine what still fit, what was nice (no stains, rips, etc), what still had price tags on them (eh hemmmm) and what was completely trashed, or um, well worn. 

So what to do with the nice, but too small clothes? The ones with tags? The ones that might have a slight stain on them but not really noticeable? The ones with huge stains that were WAY noticeable? 

Here’s what I decided to do. 

All clothing with tags still on them, or barely (and I mean BARELY) worn I have listed on Ebay. I’ve already sold some of them. The Abercrombie T-shirts sold almost as soon as I listed them. I have jeans, khakis, jackets, and more shirts listed. Any and all money from the sale goes directly to the allotted back to school funds. Yea for Ryan and easy for me. Snap a few pictures, list the item, ship it out. Bing, bam, boom. 

Plato’s Closet (for those who don’t know what that is, it’s a place that buys and sells new and used clothing.) is a great place to buy, but lately, I have been having a hard time selling there. Here’s an example: I took 2 laundry baskets full of all name brand clothing (Abercrombie, American Eagle, Hollister, Tommy Hilfiger, Polo, etc) that had a wide assortment of jeans, shirts, shorts, ect. I dropped them off and was offered $21 when I came back. $21!!!!!!????? Wait, what???? One pair of jeans costs more than $21!!!) I took my baskets of clothes and left, vowing to never sell there again. I wasn’t sure if I should be angry or insulted or feeling like I was being taken advantage of, but I felt all three.

But after my temper simmered, I realized I had to change my heart. If I was taking clothes to Plato’s Closet, I needed to accept that it was a form of charity. Someone was going to be able to buy those new jeans for less than half of what they would pay at the store. Someone who wanted that ONE PAIR of American Eagle jeans and couldn’t afford it. These still had tags on them!! By changing my heart and the way I was looking at it, it could be a form of charity. By not expecting anything back, it was indeed, the best kind of charity.

The items that are not sold on Ebay, or not “given” to Plato’s, I bagged and donated. Before you think I only donated the stained clothing, you are incorrect! Stained clothing make the best rags for washing cars, cleaning the boat or anything else! I keep and cut up all stained clothing, or if it’s REALLY bad, it gets tossed. That hasn’t happened in quite a few years though. Whenever I donate clothing to charity, I try to imagine the little boy who will be wearing it and how I could not in all good conscience donate something I would be appalled at seeing on my child. No tax write-off is worth the humiliation of donating horrendous clothing.

I think I have come up with a pretty good system that solves myriad problems. It helps me, Ryan and others. Countless others. Isn’t that also important to factor in? As I take Ryan back to school shopping today, I’m glad to buy him clothes that will wear well, because he isn’t the only one who will ultimately be wearing them. 

 

So what do you do with clothing that is still, in some cases, perfect? Do you have a favorite charity to donate to or do you sell on Ebay or Craigslist?   

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