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Old 01-07-2015, 09:58 AM   #21
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Thou shall not covet...

I'm having trouble with this particular commandment at the moment!

ArkTinkerer
Come on! Coveting is what separates us from the animals

Come to my auction, you can buy a shoebox size diode pumped doped air cooled fiber laser that can cut through thin steel. Here I hooked up one to my cnc mill and cut some gears from a razor blade (excessive backlash in the mill ballscrew though leading to shoddy gears - not laser fault). 0805 resistor in the picture for scale. Do not stare at laser with remaining good eye!
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Old 01-07-2015, 10:13 AM   #22
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I'm very curious to hear how your auction goes. We sold our house last march and downsized to a car (honda element). We spent some time selling our stuff and our order of preference was eBay (anything valuable and shippable), craigslist (kinda sucked because of buyer flakiness) and garage sale (madhouse -- would try to avoid if at all possible).

By memory, on eBay we would get decent prices (maybe 50-75% of new). We used craigslist primarily for furniture and received roughly 1/4 of new prices (mid-range ikea and similar stuff). The garage sale was for everything else.

At the end, we only had to use free-cycle / curb-alerts for really worthless stuff (small carpets, cleaning supplies, coat hangers) and one futon we couldn't sell.
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Old 01-07-2015, 10:51 AM   #23
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Highly recommend. However, putting your own stuff up might be a little disconcerting; we did it for FIL after his wife passed and he moved to be near BIL. DW and I took the duty; about 1,000 miles from our home so we did it all with travel or remote.

In our case we first had the dumpster delivered then flew in and spent two days loading it up with unbelievable junk. Then contacted the estate sale folks. IIRC we netted about $15k for stuff we never could have spent the time selling, marketing. Plus, I absolutely hate selling stuff, be it a car or, anything. So we were pleased to put in this company's hands; after the sale they had Goodwill come in and remove all the remainder. Hardest was turning back on the tons of truly personal stuff, like dozens of photo albums.

Only issue was one of trust. BIL thought DW should be there the whole time (I was still working then). Which meant staying in this big townhouse by herself for two weeks. We finally decided that was not necessary, you couldn't audit what they we're doing if you wanted to anyway with all the activity. Se we just left it their hands and were pleased with the result. BIL finally accepted it.

Let me add one personal observation about dissolving possessions. This comes from that experience and my own parents. Try to avoid the "let's rent a storage unit for this and that we'll go through it later or keep it there." When my mother passed and father moved near us, he had a ton of stuff he kept in a storage unit never to be used. Same with some of my FIL stuff that BIL had moved near him. Sort of same thing, but when DS finally dissolved his household to move to work in Africa he rented a storage unit (climate controlled) for $200+ a month (well, good news is his project pays for the personal storage). I helped him go through it but in retrospect most of it will be junk or never approach the value of storage cost. Yes, it was a $1500 flat screen but is replaceable with a far better unit for 20% of that today. Used couches, mattress, just not worth storing. Which is my point; unless you have some definite short term needs for the space, I'm willing to bet most storage units end up being a waiting room for Goodwill.
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Old 01-07-2015, 10:58 AM   #24
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Hafta wonder what somebody did with that. Pour it all into one big bucket and rebottle it?

[QUOTE=Tom52;1540341]open bottles of liquor
QUOTE]
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Old 01-07-2015, 11:04 AM   #25
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DW and I had done garage sales in the past and had long ago decided it wasn't worth our time and effort. We didn't have any sort of high expectations on the value of the leftover junk in my in laws house. Anything with any apparent value was claimed by someone. I'm sure Goodwill trashed half the stuff we sent to them.

The estate sale definitely netted us more that we would have gotten by ourselves.
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Old 01-07-2015, 11:49 AM   #26
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I would guess in our area most estate sales sell items for 15 cents on the dollar and Craigslist, if it is for anything with any kind of demand, maybe 30 - 50 cents on the dollar, plus your time. eBay has a feature where you can look up what things sold for in the past.

One of our kids sold a bike on CL and was pleasantly surprised at how much he got. People started bidding via text and he actually sold it for much more than it was originally listed at. Heavy stuff like weight sets and big desks can be hard to get rid of as no one wants to move them. We sold a home gym set on CL and had to keep dropping the price to find a buyer.

I pay my kids a commission to sell big stuff for me on CL and the rest usually just goes to charity thrift shops. Our neighborhood has an annual garage sale so if we are home that weekend we'll do that for a few hundred bucks. We just keep dropping prices and sell everything in a couple of hours. Many of our neighbors hold out for top dollar and end the day with just about everything they started with.
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Old 01-07-2015, 11:58 AM   #27
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When my parents sold the family home and moved to a condo they moved to the new place and still had a some time where they still had the house. They took the things they knew they wanted, bought some new furniture and then lived in the condo for a few weeks and would go back to the house if there was something they decided they still wanted.

Then they had a company come in and hold a "tag sale" which sounds like an estate sale, but you are still alive! The company comes in, arranges items, tags them with a price and holds the sale. You are allowed to put a reserve price on something if you have a minimum.

The prices are higher than garage sale prices, I'm thinking close to consignment shop prices for big things like furniture. The company keeps a percentage, of course.

Emotionally, it's easier on the owners, you are not standing there watching strangers go through your stuff and make negative comments. Also the company has a better idea of realistic prices than you do. They know what sells and what doesn't.

My parents sold items ranging from decent furniture to kitchen utensils. Anything that didn't sell they had an opportunity to review and keeps things. The remainder was donated.

They were happy that they did this, netted some money and moved on with their lives at the new place.
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Old 01-07-2015, 12:02 PM   #28
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In 2009 I needed to clean out a house to prepare it for sale after an uncle died and the aunt was already in an adult foster care home. I went through things to weed out all the personal and financial and a few things that family wanted then brought in an estate sale crew. They staged the sale and priced things as well as bringing in some of their own things. The sale ran 2 days and part of the deal was to leave an empty broom clean house. They kept 1/3 of the proceeds so I received about $1100. The best part for me was getting the house totally cleared out as it would have cost a bit of money to hire someone to do it. This was also a home that had been smoked in for 30 years so everything smelled of smoke. After the sale they took things to charity and provided receipts to me for tax deductions. This was the absolute best way to handle clearing out the house.
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Old 01-07-2015, 12:47 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Fermion View Post
Come on! Coveting is what separates us from the animals

Come to my auction, you can buy a shoebox size diode pumped doped air cooled fiber laser that can cut through thin steel. Here I hooked up one to my cnc mill and cut some gears from a razor blade (excessive backlash in the mill ballscrew though leading to shoddy gears - not laser fault). 0805 resistor in the picture for scale. Do not stare at laser with remaining good eye!
Nice work! What separates us from animals is that we build things. Well, that and the way we rub it in! Now I've graduated to extremely jealous!
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Old 01-07-2015, 01:00 PM   #30
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Pros of Estate Sale Auction:
Stuff will be gone and you get some cash, no real time commitment from you.

Cons of Estate Sale Auction:
Stuff will sell cheap and you have to pay fees to auction company.
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Originally Posted by powerplay View Post
In 2009 I needed to clean out a house to prepare it for sale after an uncle died and the aunt was already in an adult foster care home. I went through things to weed out all the personal and financial and a few things that family wanted then brought in an estate sale crew. They staged the sale and priced things as well as bringing in some of their own things. The sale ran 2 days and part of the deal was to leave an empty broom clean house. They kept 1/3 of the proceeds so I received about $1100. The best part for me was getting the house totally cleared out as it would have cost a bit of money to hire someone to do it. This was also a home that had been smoked in for 30 years so everything smelled of smoke. After the sale they took things to charity and provided receipts to me for tax deductions. This was the absolute best way to handle clearing out the house.
+1 to both of these. We did a version of this when DM passed a couple years ago. Gave first pass to her living sisters of whatever they might want, then took a few things that were important to me ... then the auction service came in and emptied the house, including driving away her 1990 Corolla. Viola, about a week later, we got a check with an itemized list of what sold for how much, as well as receipts for what was donated to charity (and to which ones).

Charged us a flat fee to empty out the house, leave it broom clean and an auction fee of $xx or yy% of sale total gross, whichever was higher. All in all, it seemed fair to DW and me. By the end of the day we sold the house ourselves to a neighbor who wanted it as a rental.

That said, it wasn't our stuff or anything to which we any longer had much of an attachment.
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Old 01-07-2015, 03:45 PM   #31
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Dear OP (Fermion)

Would you please consider selling me your Twilight Zone pinball (maybe both if I can get the cash).

My kids and I have been looking for years, and it's not easy to find a good machine in Canada (Alberta)...we would be willing to make the trip down and pick it up.

Please let me know if you are interested and good luck with your sale whatever happens, Scott.
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Old 01-07-2015, 04:57 PM   #32
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Here in small town Iowa, one auctioneer does an indoor auction every month or so. The items look like the combination of a half-dozen or so estates. They typically have two sales going on in the same large room (half of our old Walmart). One is selling dishes, toys etc. while the other sells tools and furniture. I think the large volume draws a lot of potential buyers (I know the parking lot is always full).

I expect they get decent prices as re-sellers provide a floor.

In rural Nebraska (where my wife grew up) farm auctions are common. Everything in the yard, garage, and house (except the better stuff the kids removed) sells. My MIL had the habit of bidding a quarter on a box of miscellaneous and bringing a lot of junk home.
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Old 01-07-2015, 05:22 PM   #33
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I go to auctions because I get better deals. An estate SALE usually asks (and gets) higher prices in my opinion. When I cleaned out my folks house, I went the SALE route. A lady came in, arranged, tagged, and held the sale for 20%. She found $400 in my mother's underwear drawer and called to tell me she found it, so I was instantly impressed. Anyway, at the end she had a family come in and let them pick through what was left (for free), then they took everything else to the street and I paid someone $100 to haul it all off. I think I got a check for ~$7,000 (seems kind of sad for possessions from a 50+ year marriage, but I did little to nothing, and got the house cleaned out and ready to sell.


Moral of the story: If I'm buying I go to auctions. If I'm selling, I do an estate/tag SALE.


Good luck. It's kind of a sentimental time, or was for me anyway....
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Old 01-07-2015, 08:26 PM   #34
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Another thought... when I was driving today I saw a consignment store... do not know what they charge, but at least it is probably more than the 2 day estate price...

I also know of a second hand store around the corner... kinda like the Storage Wars people... have them come by and give you a bid on all the stuff... at least you will have someone else move the stuff for you....
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Old 01-07-2015, 08:29 PM   #35
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The consignment shop in my town takes 40% commission and the high-end clothing consignment shop takes 60% consignment. Sometimes it's just easier to donate with those rates.
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Old 01-08-2015, 09:16 AM   #36
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The consignment shop in my town takes 40% commission and the high-end clothing consignment shop takes 60% consignment. Sometimes it's just easier to donate with those rates.


But.... if the estate sale gets a price of say 10 to 20%.... then selling at 50% of what it really should sell at makes you more money... and you do not have to do anything....

And think how much more you make if they sell it at 100% of value... (not a new cost, but the real value of the item)...
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