Am I being nice or naive?

Coming right on the heels of my Man, my life is gonna suck fir a month trhead, I ask this…am i being foolishly generous.

We’re moving. From Bavaria to Fort Bragg. My wife has even found a decent house online that she wants to rent that is close enough to bragg that I could theoritcially (depending on where my unit is) ride a bike to work. And it looks nice from thepictures, perfect for what we both want.

But we have A LOT of stuff. Not being super greedy we’re gibving a lot of things away. I had a five disk DVD player…it was practically new. But it had a few issues. Sometimes it would just simply not work, sometimes it would. I got frustrated with it and put it away. Yes, I should have greturned it, but i couldn’t find the reciept. AAFES probably would have accepted it anyway, against the rules. (They tend to knuckle under if you make an ass out of yourself, but i don’t like to do that) So I asked my german coworker if he wanted it. Its dual voltage, I’m probably NEVER going to use it again, so I gave it to him. His only cost? Buy me a brewski at my going away thing.

So I have a lot of stuff I’m giving away. I have another 5 disk panasonic player that won’t open. It can probably be repaired and one of my french coworkers fixes things like that. I told him he can have it. He was shocked. I have a 200 disk CD player that I have not used for at least 7 years. I’m giving it to SGT B since he loves to play music and DJ. For Free. I’m even giving SGT B my gas grill because really, I don’t want to clean it for shipping and I got it cheap anyway. I have unused keyboards, mice, and various components for PCs that I;m giving to people. We’re giving our patio furniture to another friend.

You might ask why am I not charging a little bit for this stuff? Because we’ve had our enjoyment out of these things. They’re used and some may not last too long. So Instead of try to scrape some insignifacant amount of money out of them the wife and I decided to give them to our friends here before we leave. And the things no one wants we’ll donate to the"lending closet"…you know, where they let new people borrow a few items until their stuff gets here. They were shocked that I didn’t want any cash for the transformers I gave them. (not robots in disguise but transformers you need to run 110 electrical items in a 220 environment) I even shpped an older HP PC to a person in the states that know that couldn’t afford one for their diaughter. It ain’t great, its about 3 years old, but it does work and it is a good PC for homework. I refused to accept any payment for it.

I’m not rich. But I have everything I need, and I know whats its like when you don’t anything. I’ve been there. So I don’t really feel any second questions like “sjhould I ask for some money, even a small amount for giving this away?”. Why should I? In my mknd, I’m helping out a few people that can’t afford to blow a paycheck on some of these items. I’m not going to use them anyway and at least for now at my current standard of living I can afford to buy things I might need. Am I being too nice?

Do you need the money? Hell, I could have used the money in the past and I have just given away things. Giving away things is a nice feeling. I could have gotten a few bucks from my old video games, but instead I gave them all to the library, and they were thrilled - they didn’t have any video games yet. I gave away some things I had outgrown to a younger friend - she loves it. I am probably going to give one of my lenghas to a teenager I know and I could get a fair bit of money out of it.

I feel if they are going to use it, that’s a better use anyway.

The only problem I can see is that you made a few people uncomfortable by giving them something that they normally wouldn’t be able to afford. And it’s not your issue so much as it is theirs, anyway. We are living in a culture where the mentality seems to be tit-for-tat and I wish reciprocity were more general and less balanced sometimes. If you feel more comfortable giving things away that you don’t need anymore and don’t want to spend the time figuring how much you can sell it for, the only logical resolution is to give it to people who will enjoy it. It’s a good way of making the world less calculating, at any rate.

We tend to just give things to friends or others that we know could use them too. I don’t know, it just seems to be a hassle to try and sell stuff and frankly, I’d rather just give the stuff away.

We’ve given away PCs, monitors, computer games, clothes, furniture, and a TV. We ask the potential recipients if they want the stuff because we don’t want them to feel uncomfortable. If they offer to pay, we ask that they just have us to dinner or something. We don’t want their money.

Yes, there are times we could have used the money, but I figure that maybe some time I’ll be in need, and maybe someone will do the same for me. If not, that’s okay too.

Think of it this way - they’re saving you time by being there, ready to accept the donated items. If you wanted to sell the stuff on eBay or craiglslist, it would be a huge hassle. If you wanted money from the “lending closet” there’d no doubt be some paperwork to fill out.

If you asked the people for money, you’d be putting them on the spot like “I know you aren’t in the market for a 200-disc changer right now, but you can have this one for just $50.” I usually don’t have $50 to spend on shit I don’t need, even if that’s a great deal.

And, of course, with moving costs, you’re saving yourself money by “lightening the load” for yourself by ditching unwanted items.

It’s all just easier and quicker, and makes you feel better, if you give the stuff away. Unless it’s pissing your wife off or putting you in the poor house, don’t feel bad at all.

I will defend myself by saying I told these folks way ahead of even getting my orders that i had items I’d like to give them.
The patio furniture, I mentioned that I would rather not clean and ship it. Our friend asked how much we wanted to my wife, and we agreed that they could just have it. And actually, the can afford to pay something for it, but I’m not going to scrape a few coins out of them for something i’d give away.

some of the thngs I’m giving to my European friends…not all is dual voltage. Some items are basically 220 and usless to me in the states anyway. I’d rather have them tell people in the future “I knew this American guy…nice fellow. Gave me a microwave for my family for no cost”. Not to be funny or snarky, but I actually make more than my french coworker even though he outranks me by two pay grades compared. Plus, as you said, it makes me happy to help out my friends. I will truly miss all of the people here. Leaving with a good note means a lot to me…and as i said…I can’t or don’t use these things anyway. Its not one sided either…my french coworker gave a me a big picutre of his then two year old because i said once she was a beautiful child. I consider that a great gift and his wife told me that they always tell the child that I (as a black guy) am her Uncle Jolly Roger.

Trust me, I have a lot of stuff I’ll never use again. some of the stuff i’ve given or am giving away are to officers and they make more money than I do. (Technically, my wife is giving it to them to avoid a conflict of interest, and thats skirting it close) but I’d rather give a person something i’m not going to use anymore than keep it in storage forever.
and some stuff is just for fun and the “Hey I like you” thing" i have a little statuette of Mistore Spock…I’ve had it for at jeast 17 years…in storage. i’m giving it my Sys Admin. Just because, he’s well, like a vulcan (and a trek fan) and he’ll get some enjoyment out of it. Someone did that for me once. A brit friend gave me a **Captain Scarlet **doll when he left, A sergeant I knew at the Pentagon gave me a **Gumby **doll when she left (that I always keep on my desk) and the guys at my very first duty station gave me an Ultraman stautue that I still have to this day.

I’m not really losing oney. I know we’re not over the weight limit of what the military will pay to move us so its not costing me anything. And my widfe wants these people to have these things. Giving it away was her idea, really!

You’re right, it feels good to do this. When I told another german soldier i know that he could have an extra scanner I had (he’s into photography and stuff) he was very happy. he wanted to pay me for it, but again, I told him, “dude, just buy me a drink. I have a scanner I don’t need your money and I want you to have it for all the times you’ve backed me up or made me feel better by being a friend.” (I really like this guy, too. He’s one of the nicest guys I’d ever met, and he’s a;ways the guy that shows up with a cup of coffee for ya or a kind word when you’re down)

I think it’s nice. I just gave my brother a $500 rug that I cannot use and could never use in the future. I can’t see asking money for something like that.

We do this within my (extended) family all the time. Right now I have a tv from my sister, two couches from a different sister, and a floor’s worth of bamboo hardwood from my sister’s husband’s dad. I traded a rotisserie I never used for a microwave I use all the time. When we got the new couch, we gave our old couch to a family down the street who had teenagers setting up their first apartment. When we move, we’ll probably give a lot of our extras to whoever wants them. I think what you’re doing is great. Maybe if people think they should pay you, you can tell them to pay it forward. And frankly, I love getting good used stuff. It suits my frugal soul. :slight_smile:

Of course not since you’re just getting rid of stuff that’s junk to you (since you said you don’t use the stuff anymore). In fact, the people did you a favor by taking junk off your hands painlessly. I also get rid of stuff I don’t use (lots of techie stuff, last year’s PC, cell phones, clothes, etc.), but I generally offer it to a friend or relative or give it away to a charity or recycle center.

She sounds like my mom. She must be a good woman.

You’re being nice. :slight_smile:

You are being nice. The “NOT-ugly Americans” need to shine too!

You’re being nice. I’ve only ever done one garage sale in my life. I’d much rather find a friend who could use my kids’ coats, not needed furniture, whatever. I also give stuff that could sell to thrift stores quite a bit.

What goes around comes around. When we needed a new dining set, it was given to us. When we needed a bed frame, one was given to us. We’ve been given a lot of what we own. To me giving away rather than selling is just my way of trying to keep up with the good that’s come my way in my life.

They’re actually doing you a favor. Most of the electronics you’re giving away are stuff I could pick up for $ 5 - $10 at Goodwill (and have in fact). I have variants on almost everthing your mentioned, In fact have multiples and it all works. I keep thinking about selling it but using ebay it’s a PITA to ship larger electronics and you get little for them unless they are vintage or oddball higher end stuff.

I’m going to just start giving it away to friends the clutter isn’t worth it.

Nah. It wouldn’t have occurred to me to question it, except you’ve pointed it out several times. You’ve used the item, you don’t want it any more, you need to get rid of it, why wouldn’t you just give it to someone who can do something with it?

I give stuff away like that all the time, and I’m dirt poor.

(Hmmm… maybe if I didn’t keep giving stuff away for free, I wouldn’t be so dang poor.)

I dunno what to say. I usually give away anything that I can’t use that someone else can. As you said, I’ve had my enjoyment out of it. If you need the money, maybe a little naive, but I vote with nice.

I give away stuff to people when I don’t use it and they can. Charging them even a token amount puts you on the hook for any problems with the stuff later. Someone will come back 6 months later wanting their $5 they paid you for the brand new coat you sold them because the zipper sticks. The value of most electronics devalues so fast you can only get a penny on the dollar for the stuff, so avoid the hassle and give it to somebody that you know will use it. I’ve given away a new coat I didn’t like to somebody that was daily wearing a spring jacket in 5 degree F weather. I’ve hooked people up with a lot of stuff that they could use. Sometime in the future they may be helping you out. Situations change.

Shrug, I’ve done what you’re doing, both at times when I was flat broke and at times when I wasn’t. That ancient sofabed (bought in 64) which I’d inherited from Mom was the first piece of furniture in the flat of a FOAF. My microwave (16€ I’d paid for it) was her whole kitchen for several weeks.

The only time I did charge for my stuff was when I left my last apartment in Miami, and the price was always “make me an offer”. I accepted every offer. And the reason I did it was because, since the local culture was to charge, I figured stuff being given away would have raised suspicions, under the “nobody gives dollars for 90 cents” rule.

Oh, and my bed in that same Miami apartment? Giveaway from a coworker (I got $10 for the bed and a futon which had cost me $70). It’s all pay-it-forward.

The only thing I tell people when I give them stuff is, “You’ve gotten this for free. I’d prefer if you give it away when you’re done or throw it out. Don’t sell it, because I could do that.” For the really good stuff, I ask for beer.