I replaced my doorknob locks and deadbolts when moving into my new house. I have the original locks still, but don't know what to do with them. It seems unlikely that anyone would want to use them, especially as part of a private sale or exchange as they wouldn't be able to trust that I don't have a copy of the key. Similarly, I wouldn't expect a donation center like Goodwill to accept them either. However, they're still useful locks and seem like something too valuable to simply discard.

What is typically done with the previous locks after replacing them?

  • Post them on ebay. There is a large demand for different types of locks with keys or missing keys. The locksport (picking locks for fun/challenge/competition) community is always looking for locks. – Gunner Aug 17 '19 at 21:14

Make sure they are complete

Both knobs, core assembly, latches (latches are not standard/universal), and the screws.

The screws that hold the latch on are not nearly as important, and one can subsitute a plain old wood screw or drywall screw.

Worn out ones, straight into recycle bin or trash, it is metal, they will separate it out with magnets or eddy currents.

Once I verify it is complete, I throw each knob or deadbolt (complete) into a gallon Ziploc and then throw the Ziplocs into a box. And then, the keys. If you have enough keys, throw one in each Ziploc.

Then the kaboodle either goes on eBay or to the Habitat for Humanity store. Because that's where people go when they want lock sets, not Goodwill. Also Goodwill won't get that this is a set, HfH will.


If the cosmetic and mechanical condition is good, go ahead and sell or donate the locks. You're over-estimating the risk. Plenty of buyers don't care that you might retain a key to the locks because you won't easily discover where the buyer eventually uses the lock. Further, a buyer might have these locks re-keyed for his security or simply to match other locks he already has.

Or, donate them for science. Give the locks to an inquisitive relative or neighbor kid who might like to tear them apart, see how they work, take a swing at re-keying them himself, etc.

  • Keys for common household and automotive locks are far less unique than many people think. Security comes from the fact that even though thousands of strangers will have keys that would fit a typical house, they would have no way of knowing which houses their key would fit. – supercat Jun 8 at 19:47

You could sell them on ebay or yes, give them to Good Will. It's pretty cheap to have them re-keyed. Many do it yourselfer's can probably re-key them themselves.

  • 2
    Habitat ReStore – Kris Aug 16 '19 at 23:19

There is scrap value to them, when all else fails.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.