Wednesday, July 18, 2012

And Goodwill Towards...Taxes

This summer we (Mrs. K) decided to have a Memorial Day garage sale.  I had mixed emotions about it.  On the plus side, people come and give us money for stuff we don't want anymore...yay.  However, in order to get that money we need to have a house-wide scavenger hunt, trust me it's not as fun as I just made it sound.  Oh and I have to clean the garage so we have space to show off all our hidden treasures.  Once everything was out in the open, the only thing left to do was price things.  I usually stay out of this part.  But this year would be different, this year I had a plan.

Since we had more hidden treasures than a 3 car garage could put on display, we decided we would take the unsold items to the Goodwill and rack up some tax deductions.  Yes, I like putting the in front of things that don't need it, it's fun, leave me be.  Anyway, back to my brilliant pricing plan.  The Goodwill (wasn't that fun?) provides this handy valuation guide, to tell you how much your donated hidden treasures are worth in the eyes of the IRS.  And be careful those eyes are always watching...ALWAYS.  Given that handy valuation guide, I figure I can price everything at a 25% discount to the Goodwill value.  Where'd that come from you ask?  Well, if you add your state and federal income tax rates together, that is what you will be saving on your taxes by donating to charity.  I rounded down to 25% because we had a lot of stuff and it makes for easier math.  Using this method, whether it sells at the garage sale or I take it to the Goodwill, I get a similar amount for it and I have an easy reference for pricing garage sale items.  Not to forget, donating to the Goodwill also results in that warm fuzzy feeling in your stomach.  So if you don't like that feeling, you have been warned (and you probably should do some self-reflection because who doesn't like helping people, you monster).

How has your garage sale experience been this year?  Find anything good?  What do you do with your leftovers, save for next year, donate?

Note:  Don't go pricing everything with this method.  I don't want to go to a local garage sale and find an antique coffee grinder marked at $4 because the valuation guide said it's $15.  I mean, it would be nice to find it and make some easy money, but I don't want to find it because of this post.


  1. This was an interesting post. How did your garage sale turn out? I like that warm and fuzzy feeling and I especially like the stuff out of my home.

  2. It was a success. Memorial Day weekend seems to be the key for having high traffic garage sales around here.