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What do you do with "good" cookware you do not need?

I think that everyone who is a cookware enthusiastic (addict?) ends up with a lot of good quality “stuff” they do not need … Some was bought in an excess of enthusiasm, some was an unnecessary part of a set, some were an uninspired present, some were a mistake… Among my never used cookware I have a 10in nonstick A/C pan, a 3 cup Zojirushi Micom, a mini KA food processor, some Nomex puppet baking mitts, etc. The barely used list is even longer.

For average quality “stuff” I simply donate it to Goodwill. But I very much doubt that Goodwill knows what to do with a new AC pan – they probably will sell it for the same $5 as any other pan they sell. Ideally, I would donate these things to some charity that can deal with good cookware, maybe one associated with a cooking school but never found anything appropriate. I guess I could sell l them on e-bay or Craiglist but I really do not have the time.

What do you do with the good stuff you do not need? Thanks, -- CF

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  1. I think your idea of donation is the right one. Have you considered something like a battered women's shelter or a halfway house. They may not appreciate AC when you give it to them but the first time they use it they'll know it's something special.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Aabacus

      I run an agency with a women's shelter and you might be surprised by how many women are accustomed to good cooking and good cookware - domestic violence and abuse know no social or economic bounds! So, do donate - it will be greatly appreciated.

        1. re: janeh

          My apologies. You are of course correct. I didn't mean to insinuate otherwise. It was more along the lines of 95% of all folks don't appreciate good cookware...not specific to that group.

          1. re: janeh

            Thanks. I give everything I don't use and that friends don't want to Le Chaînon, a centre for women in crisis here (battered, homeless, otherwise needing a safe place for a while). Some goods go to clothe the women at the centre and help them transition to independent housing, others to fund the undertaking.

        2. I give it to friends.

          Arrange all your unneeded stuff on a table, take a picture to show people so they can see what's available, and invite them over to take whatever they want.

          You can also do a bit of friendly arm-twisting if necessary -- "If you want the rice cooker, you have to take the tea kettle too!"

          5 Replies
          1. re: tanuki soup

            I do too. Never had a hard time finding a friend who could use a nice piece of cookware. Especially knives and knife accessories. Around here I'm like the Johnny Appleseed of kitchen cutlery. My friends are a pretty sharp bunch these days.

            1. re: tanuki soup

              Maybe your friends have stuff they don't need, too. How about having an "exchange" party where people bring what they don't need and take what they do. You might even be able to build some good "sharing" situations -- "I'll keep the 3 gallon pot if you keep the big chinois and we'll share".

              1. re: travelerjjm

                i've always wanted to do this with my cookbooks… but i was always afraid i wouldn't want what my friends had to give!!!

                I'd donate it: i've found wonderful things at our local hospice thrift store and I APPRECIATE COOKWARE!!!

                1. re: rmarisco

                  You're not required to take anything at a swap -- you take what you want or need, and whatever's left over at the end of the evening goes to the charity shop.

            2. If you no longer need it and you give it to Goodwill, it doesn't matter whether or not someone appreciates it for what it is...someone who needs a decent pan gets a decent pan for a price they can afford.

              And yes, there are Hounds who haunt charity shops just hoping to find your cast-off "good" stuff.

              4 Replies
              1. re: sunshine842

                Ah, my most recent Le Creuset purchase was at the Goodwill. I am enjoying someone's kind donation!

                1. re: janeh

                  and everyone in the chain is happy...the donor is rid of something they don't use...Goodwill has some cash with which to help those who need it (which is getting harder to find when times are tough) ... you saved some money and found something you wanted and/or needed.

                  Nobody should have to prove themselves "good enough" to deserve what you no longer want/need, and as janeh said above...it just might be going to someone who knows exactly what it is and what it's worth, but had to leave her home in the middle of the night with her children and only the clothes on their backs to avoid being beaten to death.

                2. re: sunshine842

                  Goodwill prices items on the item, never name. All of the dresses are 7-10$, including Cavalli (got 2 of them, it was my day).

                  A local thrift shop here became private after Amvets dropped them. We were happy that they remained a thrift shop and kept all of the employees. Rumor was that the owners were keeping too much of the money. Well, whoever prices everything must be at a computer because they charge far more for anything that's even slightly name brand. I suppose I see their point but considering the rumor and the fact that they are selling high prices items at high price that were donated (may as well goto nordstrom rack)... we stopped shopping there.

                  1. re: sunshine842

                    Why not? Also remember that there are Hounds who don't have a lot of money.

                  2. I recently sold a too-large Le Creuset French oven on eBay. Mailing it was the only PITA part. If I hadn't wanted to spend the time doing that, I would probably have given it to a friend. I had thought of giving it as a wedding gift (I'd never used it), but my friend is an All-Clad fan.

                    Nowadays, Goodwill is very aware of the value of things, and puts its best stuff up for sale on eBay.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Jay F

                      Goodwill sells on eBay? Wow, didn't know that. I wonder if the other large charities (Salvation Army, Vietnam Vets) do so as well.

                      I usually end up wanting to give away electrics that were in the "It seemed like a great idea at the time" category -- usually specialty items (like the infamous crepe maker) that nobody we know has any interest in. So they get put aside for the next Vietnam Vets collection drive.

                      Last time we moved, I also got rid of all but 3 pieces of LC (too darn heavy). None of the relatives wanted them -- for the exact same reason, LOL -- and I didn't want the hassle of the shipping charges on eBay, so ended up giving those away also.

                      With eBay's new policy of applying the Final Value Fee to the shipping AS WELL AS the actual price the item sells for, that's a clear dis-incentive for individuals to sell any of the heavy stuff on there anymore, IMHO.

                      I recently listed a Calphalon pan there, and it sold, but for only 1/3 of what I paid for it (not counting the shipping, which was $13 for a 5 lb 8 oz package via the cheapest method). Only one bid on it too, despite the fact that it had been used no more than 3 times. Had I initially priced it higher, it probably would not have sold at all.

                      1. re: skyline

                        skyline: "Goodwill sells on eBay? Wow, didn't know that. I wonder if the other large charities (Salvation Army, Vietnam Vets) do so as well."

                        I don't know about the other charities. What I mainly see are used CDs and books on Amazon Marketplace or eBay being sold by local Goodwill stores here and there around the country. I've bought a couple of classical CDs from the Goodwill in Portland OR, usually on AM.

                    2. I donate it to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and to the women's shelter.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ellabee

                        I definitely recommend the ReStore. Smaller volume of donations means you can talk to the people who will be pricing it for sale and give them an idea of value, although they do research. Merchandise is a step up from the SA and Goodwill.

                        (Full disclosure - my mother is a long-time volunteer and I've spent time helping out.)