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Dealing with 'stuff'
Old 03-20-2006, 03:27 PM   #1
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Dealing with 'stuff'

Most of you are much too young to start looking at the things you have packed around for years and ask “Do I really need/use this? Would the kids really want it?”.

What got DH fired into action was his elderly sister’s collectables and her need for cash for MS drugs.* He got busy with a camera and did a lot of research.* Teaching him how to use eBay involved a lot of moaning and whining but he figured it out (not bad for a guy closing in on 70), and sold them off on eBay for a very tidy sum.* He caught the CraigsList and eBay bug!* He gets so tickled when he adds up the profit on hers and our sales.

Bit by bit (box by box) we are starting to clear things out.* It may take a year or two before we are ready for our next down-size, but just like our IRAs, results take a while.*
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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'
Old 03-20-2006, 04:23 PM   #2
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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'

Brat, I've been doing that for my grandfather since his wife died a few years ago. He loves getting the extra cash (really needs it) I enjoy doing the Ebay thing. It does take longer than having a yardsale or just donating the stuff but if time isn't a problem then it's a great way to get rid of "stuff".
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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'
Old 03-20-2006, 04:45 PM   #3
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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'

I hear ya Brat. *My 83 year old mother has been downsizing for the past 7 years. *She knew it was a matter of time before she would have to go to Assisted Living. *That finally happened a year ago and she sold the house and gave away much of the little she had left. *

DW and I combined our two households together 18 months ago. *So all her stuff that she kept after her downsizing from a house to a condo have been added to my stuff which came from combining two households together from my second marriage to a pack rat. *The end result is a lot of stuff. *We plan on doing the Ebay and Craiglist thing when we get the time in retirement. *It will be a long term project due to the volume of stuff and the value of a lot of it. *We have our goals and our schedule to downsize requires de-stuffing the house first. *

Tossing out all my accumulated work-related industry documents will be a pleasure. *
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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'
Old 03-20-2006, 04:53 PM   #4
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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveR
Tossing out all my accumulated work-related industry documents will be a pleasure. *
And is a good way to brush off any plaintif's attorney.
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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'
Old 03-20-2006, 04:54 PM   #5
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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'

Hey, you guys rock! *I would have no idea how to sell something on E-bay. *I did buy 1 item from ebay last summer and the whole process turned out very good.

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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'
Old 03-20-2006, 05:26 PM   #6
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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'

Dreamer it's really easy to sell on Ebay, just do some research on past prices for the item you want to sell so you don't get taken.
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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'
Old 03-20-2006, 06:15 PM   #7
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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'

We too are in the process of "de-stuffing" However, the Ebay avenue seems like a lot of "work" for limited $. I am amazed at the number of items I see going for less than $25. It seems by the time you take the pics, put up the postings, handle the inquiries, make the sale and mail off the item, you got some pretty small hourly wages. Contrast an Ebay effort to a donation and maybe half the return but almost no effort. What am I missing? Is there a minimum value that makes sense for the effort?
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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'
Old 03-20-2006, 07:14 PM   #8
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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'

I WAS just going to give away all my old architecture magazines, but thanks to Nords* ( ) who pointed out that people actually buy these on e-Bay, my miser-self has kicked in and started saying "You could make good money on those, don't throw them away!"

I need to get on there and figure out the "seller" thing.* Can't be that hard, I just am not sure I want to spend the time.

We also have a lot of duplicate stuff from combining households. Rotary Garage Sale is in August, so I've resolved that anything not sold by then goes out the door.
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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'
Old 03-20-2006, 08:26 PM   #9
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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'

Quote:
Originally Posted by nwsteve
It seems by the time you take the pics, put up the postings, handle the inquiries, make the sale and mail off the item, you got some pretty small hourly wages.* Contrast an Ebay effort to a donation and maybe half the return but almost no effort.* What am I missing?* Is there a minimum value that makes sense for the effort?
Thanks
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Couldn't agree more, but it keeps DH busy and makes him feel good about the results.* The difference is that he is retired and not calculating the value of his time.* On my part I am just delighted to see the stuff gone!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheryl
I WAS just going to give away all my old architecture magazines, but thanks to Nords* ( ) who pointed out that people actually buy these on e-Bay, my miser-self has kicked in and started saying "You could make good money on those, don't throw them away!"
Humm, could it be that those values were taught in design studio?* My DH offered his books to the local library, they said they were interested but wanted to look at his collection first.* The librarian hasn't followed through after almost a year even after several contacts.* He is about to take them to Powells.
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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'
Old 03-20-2006, 09:19 PM   #10
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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'

You may be like us and find out something is worth little.

FIL for years deprived himself and bought philatelic items and coins. He had them all catalogued and in beautiful binders and folders for us. We had them appraised and they are worth much less than what he paid for them. He got a lot of enjoyment out of them, but his main reason, to leave a valuable collection to his family did not come to fruition. I find it very sad as he did not have excess money and really deprived himself through the years to put together this "valuable"collection.

I am dreading when they pass as they have a house with a basement, back attic and top attic full, and tons of built ins jam packed as they have lived there almost fifty years. There are a handful of things of value.

Try going to an estate auction sometime- it is truly sobering to see people pass over a box of stuff for $5 that someone thought was worth buying and saving.
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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'
Old 03-21-2006, 10:37 AM   #11
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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'

Quote:
Originally Posted by shorttimer
You may be like us and find out something is worth little.
I was extremely disappointed to learn that Katrina did nothing to improve the resale value of our extensive collection of Pat O'Brien hurricane glasses.

Our kid, however, feels quite debonaire drinking smoothies from them.
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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'
Old 03-21-2006, 10:59 AM   #12
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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'

I have had success in putting eBayable stuff on craigslist for sale. Folks on craigslist are looking for stuff to buy in bulk at a discount then ebay it off. Two recent examples were Dungeons and Dragons role playing games and magazines acquired during my youth over 5-10 years. I knew they were worth something, and sold them as a lot for $125 to a craigslist shopper who told me he was going to ebay them. He figured he could clear $300 for the lot. An extra $175 profit for many hours of photography, auction listing, collecting money, packaging and shipping. For him it was worth the hassle, but not for me. I was happy to get the $125 cash in hand. Then the ebayer went on to sell two single 32 page books from my collection for $35 each, and another box game for $90. Shoulda coulda woulda - just like stock picking! If I knew those items would sell for that, I would have sold them myself.

This guy also took my old card collection and is selling it bit by bit and giving me 45% of the gross sales amount. So far I am way ahead of where I would have been had I just sold the collection as a single lot.

Let someone who's time is less valuable than yours do the auctioning for you. Or sell the stuff outright to one of these Ebay sellers. Unless you have a small number of highly valuable things which would make it worthwhile to sell them individually so you get all the profits.




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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'
Old 03-21-2006, 11:25 AM   #13
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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'

Good point Justin - I'm much more willing to pack up the whole mess and ship it once, than send a bunch of magazines individually. After all I'm not retired yet!
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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'
Old 03-21-2006, 11:55 AM   #14
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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'

Anybody want back copies of National Geographic from 1980 to present? Perfect condition!

How about Consumer Reports from 1982 to present?

Old copies of Byte?

Or a collection of old Dos and original Windows manuals and original software? Or a collection of old computer games on 5.25 floppies? My son now has the disk drive and made a computer to play these on.

A stack of old computer games from the late 1980's and early 1990's?

How about an 8mm movie camera..all metal from the 1950's I would guess or a real microscope used in dental school?

Here is a real deal........a nice collection of authenic beer stiens..all German and some with Pictographs.

Any offers on a variety of kitchen gadgets like a pasta maker, yogurt maker, 1960's era electric frying pan, toaster and waffle iron?

We are running a special this week on knick knacks and "collector plates", Hummels and other collectable items; so don't delay!

I have my work cut out for me when I retire! :
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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'
Old 03-21-2006, 12:07 PM   #15
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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'

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a real microscope used in dental school?*
Actually got ~ $100 for an antique one last month.
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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'
Old 03-21-2006, 12:11 PM   #16
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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveR
Old copies of Byte?
If you have the first issue (I do!), you can get a couple dollars for it.

recent ebay auction

eBay is great for collectibles, especially when you're not sure of the value. Craigslist is good for mundane stuff. Freecycle is good for stuff that nobody would buy.
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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'
Old 03-21-2006, 12:18 PM   #17
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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'

Hey Steve, I'd actually be interested in the old Consumer Reports! I always liked reading their auto tests.
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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'
Old 03-21-2006, 12:23 PM   #18
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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'

In 2001 a batchelor 45 year old coworker in England died of a heart attack. *He was (like me) a bit of a recluse and when the management went to clear his apartment they found nearly 20 years of magazines like Readers Digest, TV Guide, National Geographic, etc.

My boss said the police (English) were asking if it was OK to pose for a photo shoot. *The magazines were evidently stacked neatly by year, in 4 ft. high stacks and covered two spare bedrooms. *There were little pathways. *My boss said they all just stood there privately wondering about the guy's sanity.

He seemed very much your normal person but .....
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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'
Old 03-21-2006, 12:24 PM   #19
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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'

Heck I just sold a pair of doll shoes for $29, dh asked to see them before I mail them so he knows what to look for when he's out poking around at yardsales. The look on his face was priceless when I told him what they sold for. I only do Ebay as a hobby, it would stop being fun if I HAD to do it.
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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'
Old 03-21-2006, 12:52 PM   #20
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Re: Dealing with 'stuff'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre1969
Hey Steve, I'd actually be interested in the old Consumer Reports! I always liked reading their auto tests.
I wish I had the issue dating sometime in the 70's where CR tested a car that was so bad the final sentence read something to the effect, "All said, it was a pleasure to slam the door and walk away."

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