How to responsibly get rid of the stuff you’ve decluttered

/ Barbara Krasnoff

iPhone games

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Science fiction books in a jigsaw formation.

A plastic yellow dog on top of a toy car amid other toys.

There is a lot of stuff in your house that you may no longer need.
Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

When you want to sell your stuff, one of the places people still think of is eBay. And rightfully so: this is where a lot of buyers go when they’re looking for a deal. People who sell on eBay range from one-time-only folks to professional retailers. Here’s how it works:

  • You get up to 250 free listings a month for most product types; after that, it’s 35 cents per listing.
  • Once your item has been sold, eBay collects 13.25 percent of the final value up to $7,500 and 2.35 percent on any value over $7,500 for most items. There is also a 30 cents per order fee.
  • There are several exceptions: 6.35 percent for guitars and basses (with 2.35 percent on any value over $7,500), 3 percent for heavy equipment (with 0.5 percent for values over $15,000), and 14.95 percent for movies and TV, except for vinyl records (with 2.35 percent on any value over $7,500). There are other exceptions; you can find them all here.

(Note that eBay also has different fees for various levels of professional sellers.)

Selling on eBay takes time, effort, and patience, but it may be worth it. The best way to start is to do a quick search and see the range of prices your object (or a similar object) is selling for.

There are other places where you can sell your stuff. If you’re on Facebook, you can sell stuff using its Marketplace. It’s easiest to sell locally, where you can meet the buyer to do the exchange or arrange for a drop-off. You can also arrange to ship your item; if so, there are a number of rules to follow. Other sites that help you sell or give away items locally include Nextdoor and that old standby, Craigslist.

For giveaways only, Freecycle is a service that introduces local people who have stuff to other local people who want that stuff. Once you find your community Freecycle through the main site, you are instructed on how to advertise what you are giving away. (You can also advertise for something you want.) Anyone who wants the object replies, and after that, it’s up to you to contact the person and arrange for the giveaway. BuyNothing works in much the same way, except it operates mainly via a mobile app: you find your community, describe what you’re giving away (together with a photo), and make arrangements for the handoff.

Either way, you’ve made two people happy — you and the lucky recipient.

Update September 12th, 2023, 5:28PM ET: This article was originally published on January 10th, 2020, and has been updated to account for changes in available services.