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Decluttering, what sells, what doesn't (and things I'll never buy new again)
Old 03-07-2019, 12:06 PM   #1
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Decluttering, what sells, what doesn't (and things I'll never buy new again)

We've been de-cluttering for years, and we've been pleasantly surprised at how much we've made on some items/categories and how little resale value some items/categories yield. We've sold over a hundred items over the past few years, most on eBay or NextDoor. We netted just over $8,700 on $9,500 in sales - on stuff we would never use again...

The good: I was astonished at how well I did selling some vintage Leica/Rollei (film) cameras in working order/good condition. I was pleasantly surprised at how much we got for a Nikon DSLR, Rado/Lasalle watches, Mont Blanc/DuPont/Cartier pens, a perfectly restored Case pocket knife, vintage Pioneer receiver, and some vintage Porsche Design sunglasses.

The middle: Did OK selling some power tools, sailing gear, books & CDs. After years of no sale, we gladly sold our fine china (53 pieces in perfect condition) at replacements.com for about 25 cents on the dollar.

The bad: Exercise equipment and bikes, we probably got 10 cents on the dollar and everything was complete w manuals in like new condition. Furniture, ended up giving much of it away despite like new condition because we didn't want to wait for buyers - last piece (until we move, then there will be many more pieces) disappeared "free" from the end of our driveway today. Limited edition Swarovski crystal and Longaberger baskets about 10 cents on the dollar (though now we know we should've sold the crystal to replacements.com ). Artwork, even limited edition stuff sells for 10 cents on the dollar but buyers are very hard to find - we never actually completed a sale. Artwork not limited edition, might as well give it away IME. Christmas decor, DW had about 20 limited edition Santas of various types - we ended up selling them for pennies on the dollar.

I'll probably NEVER buy new exercise equipment, furniture (excluding bedding) or any "collectible" again. You can pick those items up used for a song, even top/good quality stuff. And I will think long and hard about any new artwork, probably the most disappointing category for us.

People (understandably) talk about how bad resale is on cars, but it's way better than many other medium ticket items.

You?
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Old 03-07-2019, 12:30 PM   #2
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We've had to downsize from a suburban 3200sf boat anchor to our much smaller vacation/retirement home in the last 6 months. We had the vacation home for 10 years, so it was already well equipped.


Net proceeds: $0.00


It was a lot of work just to give it away. OTOH, it felt pretty good to let go of stuff. "Your possessions possess you" was our conclusion.
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Old 03-07-2019, 12:42 PM   #3
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When we moved from MI to WA we gave away almost all of our furniture and sold anything else that was heavy or no longer used. I, too, found that we could buy nice, almost new furniture on Craigslist and Marketplace for very little compared to new. It takes a little patience, but with my $300 Harbor Freight trailer, I could be johnny-on-the -spot when a bargain showed up. Lawn equipment is the same way - people will almost give away a lawn mower that just needs fresh gas.
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Old 03-07-2019, 12:56 PM   #4
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Just went through this process. Odd things that we found had a good market:
Old eyeglasses
Any outdoor clothing with North Face or Patagonia on it.
Olukai shoes

Things with almost zero market. Spice racks, furniture, old antique nic nacs, old bikes.
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Old 03-07-2019, 01:06 PM   #5
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Things with negative market value: Old, CRT-based TV sets, especially the biggest ones. You can't give them away. You would have to PAY people to take them off your hands!
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Old 03-07-2019, 01:35 PM   #6
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Never buy new furniture again? Who wants to sleep in a used bed or lounge on a used sofa. Do you know how gross the vast majority of people are? No thanks.
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Old 03-07-2019, 01:38 PM   #7
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Never buy new furniture again? Who wants to sleep in a used bed or lounge on a used sofa. Do you know how gross the vast majority of people are? No thanks.
I don't think I'd have a problem buying used wooden furniture, like tables, chairs, desks and cabinetry. But probably not a sofa, and definitely not a mattress. Nothing which has crevices where junk can "hide" and nothing fabric that can absorb years or decades of God only knows what.
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Old 03-07-2019, 01:53 PM   #8
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Lawn equipment is the same way - people will almost give away a lawn mower that just needs fresh gas.
Come to think of it, i've never actually paid for a lawnmower. And I've owned a few, including a rider. I also did not pay for a snow blower. I am 37 and lived in snow most of my life. Engines and mechanics scares 90% of the population.
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Old 03-07-2019, 01:54 PM   #9
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Some exercise equipment new I think is fine as long as you get good use of out them. That said, I've donated away a really good like new exercise bike and treadmill before because they weren't comfortable to use. Replaced with ones I like and use often.
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Old 03-07-2019, 01:59 PM   #10
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DMiL is planning a move to assisted living. A couple years ago she bought a decent Schwinn recumbent exercise bike. She'd like to sell it (it probably cost $500) ... I told her to fuggedaboutit. As you say, used exercise equipment is nearly valueless if you're trying to get rid of it.
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Old 03-07-2019, 02:07 PM   #11
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I gave away most of my stuff I wanted to get rid of. Some I could have sold but there is the hassle factor involved. People call and say "Ill be over at 4:00 to pick it up", then they do't show up, or they suddenly decide to bargain, or they don't have the cash and want me to accept a check, can they come back tomorrow with their brother's pickup truck instead of the Fiesta they drove over in, etc. etc. etc.

I gave away a lot of stuff with a simple prayer that whoever ended up with it needs it and will put it to good use.

I expect that a lot of needy people are helped by retirees who downsize.
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Old 03-07-2019, 02:09 PM   #12
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A hobbyist woodworker here but seem to be slowing down with age. Have racks of hardwood (mostly oak) that I've started selling on craigslist. Fortunately good hardwood lumber is like wine and gets better with age, selling it for close to twice what I paid for it. Replaced my entire suite of kitchen appliances last year, glad I decided to sell the old stuff instead of paying to have it taken away by the delivery guys. Didn't ask a lot for it but it all sold very quickly, luckily one buyer wanted everything.
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Old 03-07-2019, 02:17 PM   #13
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When we downsized a few years ago, DH was convinced everything in his detached man cave would easily pay for the upgrade in house & neighborhood. So, he took a solid month to get ready for 'his' garage sale. If we'd had 20 blacksmith forges and welders instead of 1 each, we could have easily cash flowed the upgrade. Everything else went for pennies on the dollar, with several items going for free, aka stolen.

The next few months we took a pick-up truck load to Goodwill and Salvatation army at least 5 times a week. I have ~14 place settings of fine china with probably 20 serving pieces, and saw a similarly sized collection (same pattern) sell for $100 on Facebook marketplace. I just can't let it go yet. Someone can sell it all for $10 after I'm gone.

It's painful to watch that stuff go for almost nothing, but if we hadn't we'd be sleeping in the backyard while all our stuff made itself at home in our new, smaller house.

In short, I feel your pain. Our kids didn't want any of it. I think they're the smarter ones in this equation.
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Old 03-07-2019, 02:24 PM   #14
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When we downsized I sold half of our furniture. I used Craigslist. I wouldn’t buy couch, bed, etc used due to bedbugs.
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Old 03-07-2019, 02:32 PM   #15
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And jewelry - yikes, I've got a set of pearls, don't get me started on what I've been offered.....
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Old 03-07-2019, 02:45 PM   #16
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Well let's talk about fishing equipment -- She doesn't understand you need casting, spinning, surfing, fly, trolling rods and reels. To her I should be able to fish with 1 or 2 rods. And then there's the boat parts...
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Old 03-07-2019, 02:58 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DFDubb View Post
Never buy new furniture again? Who wants to sleep in a used bed or lounge on a used sofa. Do you know how gross the vast majority of people are? No thanks.
I guess you didn't notice this in the OP: I'll probably NEVER buy new furniture (excluding bedding)... I wouldn't buy anything upholstered either.
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I gave away most of my stuff I wanted to get rid of. Some I could have sold but there is the hassle factor involved. People call and say "Ill be over at 4:00 to pick it up", then they do't show up, or they suddenly decide to bargain, or they don't have the cash and want me to accept a check, can they come back tomorrow with their brother's pickup truck instead of the Fiesta they drove over in, etc. etc. etc.

I gave away a lot of stuff with a simple prayer that whoever ended up with it needs it and will put it to good use.

I expect that a lot of needy people are helped by retirees who downsize.
All the furniture we got rid of ending up with a "FREE" sign at the end of our driveway, never sold a single piece - and we still have a bunch left that won't move with us. Even putting it on nextdoor.com for FREE didn't work. At least at the end of our driveway most items were gone by noon same day, only one item had to go out for 2 days. I never saw who took any of it, I assume it might be contractors, landscapers, maids who work in the neighborhood but who knows, maybe it's rich folks!

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DMiL is planning a move to assisted living. A couple years ago she bought a decent Schwinn recumbent exercise bike. She'd like to sell it (it probably cost $500) ... I told her to fuggedaboutit. As you say, used exercise equipment is nearly valueless if you're trying to get rid of it.
FWIW we got about 10% on our Bowflex in perfect condition and it took a LONG time to find a buyer. And the going rate for our LifeFitness treadmill, also in perfect condition, is about 5% of what we paid for it...
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Old 03-07-2019, 03:22 PM   #18
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I gave away most of my stuff I wanted to get rid of. Some I could have sold but there is the hassle factor involved.
+1 My time and serenity are worth a lot to me. Also, as Midpack points out, so much of it yields 10 cents on the dollar if that and it's just not worth fooling with.

For me, two big factors are:

(1) I have never bought or sold on ebay and don't feel comfy with it, and

(2) To have a garage/yard sale here, you have to buy a permit which is minimum $10, or often more, and yes, they rigorously enforce that and check every single garage sale for their permit. It's the weirdest garage sale situation I have ever seen. So anyway that's $10+ right off the top, plus the hard work of bringing everything outside (and back in if it starts raining), labeling everything, dealing with less than honest customers sometimes, making change, and so much more.

I'd much rather give anything useful to Good Will or the Salvation Army. As for valuables, well, really I don't own anything valuable to anybody but me.

I make three piles when decluttering: toss, donate, and keep. Then when I have tossed and donated everything in those respective piles, a while later I will go through the "keep" pile a second time and do it again.

I did this numerous times before moving back in 2015, and moved very little to my Dream Home. Even so, I often see something and wonder why on earth I kept it. I have not missed one single thing that I tossed or donated.
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Old 03-07-2019, 03:27 PM   #19
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Among many other things it is funny what items that say they are the "collectors edition" sell for (i.e. nothing) and also funny how little china sells for. Many other examples but those are always amazing. Some stuff it is hard to give away. People confuse what they paid for something and it's value. The two concepts have very little to do with each other.
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Old 03-07-2019, 04:29 PM   #20
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One can buy solid fine wood furniture on the used market for about the same price as cheap particle board laminate stuff that is new.
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