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Finances & Money

Selling books and Borrowing wheelchairs

Selling Books

We have too many books. Not nearly as many as some people I’ve spoken to, but too many to fit nicely on our bookshelves. We haven’t bought many books recently (we just don’t have time for leisure reading anymore), but we have a lot of books from our college days. Well I decided to sell some books!

I posted the list of about 2 dozen books on Craigslist a few weeks ago for $75. Well no takers. I reposted a week later for $50, then $40, and finally $30. I got a bite! A woman was interested in the box of sci-fi/fantasy books (with some other fiction thrown in) for the $30 asking price.

Before she showed up this morning (we took the day off), I decided to stack up about a dozen other books to see if she wanted any of them. They were Nutrition, Accounting, Biology, English textbooks, nonfiction and just other random books we don’t need anymore. I was going to let her have them for free.

When she showed up, she saw the other stack and asked if she could have all of the books (about 3 dozen) for $40. I was happy to just get rid of all these books!

My suspicion is that she sells these books online. She was just too willing to take books without even looking through them. But although I could also try selling each one online, I just don’t want to deal with posting and shipping each one, especially the heavier textbooks. And before you ask, the textbooks are about a decade old. They’re not in use in any classroom anymore, but I’m sure many people would still find them useful.

Borrowing a Wheelchair

With my whole family (4 adults, 2 kids) coming down this weekend, we were planning on hitting the National Mall and checking out the museums on Saturday, and then checking out the monuments at night (highly recommended). My gram had a stroke about 2 years ago, and while she’s still mobile, she’s never really been in shape and combine that with her stroke and we know she just wouldn’t be able to keep up. And I refuse to let her sit around by herself in the middle of DC.

So I decided to look into renting a wheelchair. However, I found that no one wants to rent for less than a week, and the cheapest price was $75. We only need it for a day or two, so $75 was just too much.

So then I realized I can ask my fellow Rockvillians (or whatever we’re called here in Rockville) via Freecycle. If you recall, I’ve been pretty lucky with Freecycle in my few transactions, especially with the Garmin GPS. But I’ve only responded to postings; I’ve never posted a WANTED or OFFER listing.

I posted a “WANTED: Wheelchair to borrow” on Wednesday morning, but it didn’t post until about midnight for some reason (they are moderated). By 9am, I got 3 offers to lend out a wheelchair, and one of the offerers asked “how did you get a ‘borrow’ to get through the moderator?”. I couldn’t find anything in the rules about borrowing, but perhaps that’s why it took a while.

By 10am I was back home with a fully-functional, folding wheelchair (no footrests though). Awesome!

The odd thing was someone else posted a “WANTED: Wheelchair” listng at the same time as me. After never seeing any wheelchair postings since joining, they had 2 in one day. I guess someone else has the same idea as me.

So yet another reason to join in your area. People are not only more than willing to take your stuff for free, but they’ll also lend or give you things when you need it! And it saved me $75 and a lot of grief!

About the author

Clever Dude


  • I know what you mean about selling things individually on ebay or craigslist!

    My wife had an entire wardrobe of business clothes she no longer needs (SAHM) and we had every intention of parting the suits out online on ebay! I sat down one night and just became overwhelmed by the entire process. I got frustrated and ended up taking the enitre lot to Goodwill!

    Very resourceful with the wheelchair! I’m not sure about freecycle’s “borrow” policy either, but if they do have a policy against it perhaps they let it through based on the sincerety of your posting!

    I hope that your grandmother enjoy’s the 4th!

  • I went through a similar situation in my area.

    Some of the groups make it MANDATORY that you have to offer something before you ask for something. (this goes against the recommended guidelines )

    When I posted the request i received a response saying basically: DECLINED-RTFM so you don’t waste our time. I responded stating that I was new, apologized, and the email i thought was a bit harsh. I was then kicked from the group.

    It’s a great program. when we used it it was awesome. unfortunately can’t use it anymore due to a change of the recommended guidelines, and an overzealous moderator. Too bad really, I have lots i could get offer now…..

  • Oh man, i keep ALL books that i read. Luckily/unluckily it isn’t that many, but i like to see what i’ve accomplished over the years 😉

    Esp. the finance/business related ones! I put them all in our “breakfast nook” so I can be reminded to keep my eye on the prize.

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