If you get a scrappable item that’s in good working order—or close enough to it that you feel you could polish it up—it’s often hard to decide whether you should take it down to your local scrap yard or put a little work in and try to sell it yourself.

A lot of items that are still perfectly usable end up in recycling and trash facilities over time, and we all know that reusing is just as good for the environment as recycling. How to decide whether or not an item is good for resale?

Know Yourself

A lot of whether you should scrap an item or fix it up and resell it as something fully functional comes down to your expertise and interests. If you repair computers professionally or as a hobby, there’s a much better chance you can give that old laptop its shine again than if you don’t. The same holds true for a mechanic with an old, beat-up car.

In addition to your own expertise and interests, though, there are a few general rules to follow when it comes to deciding whether to scrap or sell a given item.