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Losing Money When Decluttering?
Old 12-21-2016, 06:18 PM   #1
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Losing Money When Decluttering?

I just sold some racing pigeon books from my collection. I had quite a few books. As best as I could come up with prices, they were worth about $400 brand new.

Some were out of print, but I had the most recent prices. None were really old.
So I figured that $150 for the entire lot would be an good price. One buyer, one place to collect. Hopefully a fast sale, which it was.

I later found out, like hours after I sold them, one was worth $450 or so. I guess I have a bit more shelf space and an extra $150 n my pocket.

Here is that book, listed for $450, of course it is still not sold... You can see the book here.
https://racingpigeonsbooks.wordpress...ntold-secrets/

Did you ever start to declutter and find out you could have made more money off things you tossed or sold too low?
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Old 12-21-2016, 06:24 PM   #2
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No. life is too short to spend a lot of time trying to get the best price for things you want to get rid of. We've given huge amounts of stuff away and only sold the obvious and straightforward pieces. We had other priorities and wanted to get on with our lives.

Money on the table and all that. Gosh, we left oodles behind by deciding to quit earning our nice wages when we were quite young.
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Old 12-21-2016, 06:44 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
No. life is to short too spend a lot of time trying to get the best price for things you want to get rid of. We've given huge amounts of stuff away and only sold the obvious and straightforward pieces. We had other priorities and wanted to get on with our lives.

Money on the table and all that. Gosh, we left oodles behind by deciding to quit earning our nice wages when we were quite young.
+1000

999,999 times out of 1,000,000, it's just the hoarding instinct rearing its ugly head and whispering these things in one's ear anyway. Well, that's my opinion, anyway, based on the opinion (fact?) that we are all squirrels hoarding nuts at heart. I think that if you look at the big picture, the best price for one object is not worth chasing.

When I'm decluttering, I give books to the public library (which then sells them to raise money). So, if one is worth more than I thought, then my donation to the library was more as well. Consequently I feel more virtuous. It's all good.
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Old 12-21-2016, 06:48 PM   #4
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Let it go. You didn't want the book anymore and now you have $150 to buy something you do want.
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:12 PM   #5
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I would take it as a "lesson" learned. Most decluttering is junk, occasionally acquired items are in the category of collectables. For instance, I collect really old medical books. To the casual observer, these would be considered junk, but they do have a fairly high market value. If I die before my DW, they'll be junk and dicarded as such... And a real "find" for some lucky junk shopper.

At some point we have to let go and most things we value really are junk to others. I'd suggest segregating items that may have real value from the junk. In retirement, if it's your thing, you may want to devote time to researching market value before selling. I wouldnt waste time with "what if's" on things that are gone.

A final thought, I didnt get to early retirement by passing up opportunities to get better deals on the buying or selling side. It's part of who I am. So if it's worth the time to get some value, I enjoy the reward.
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:14 PM   #6
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I think you did well selling the books for $150. It's hard to tell how long the one book has been offered at $450 and if one of them has ever sold in that price range.
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:26 PM   #7
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Just because you paid $x for an item doesn't mean it will sell for $x. It's a sunk cost. Finding a collector who will pay $x for it may be like searching for a needle in a haystack. You already decided to let it go. There is no point in second guessing yourself.

I did major decluttering prior to my last big move. I consulted a book dealer. Only a few books were worth anything much. The remainder I donated to a charity. I now largely read ebooks. I donated some furniture too, to a family of recent immigrants. I don't regret any of it.
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:31 PM   #8
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I'm completely with Audrey on this.

We are currently de cluttering again as we prepare to move to England. We have sold some stuff but most of it we are giving to friends or donating to charities.
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:35 PM   #9
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I just toss the stuff inna trash, why bother?

Easy when you've been frugal all your life. I've never even bought a hard cover book (except when I was in school over 40 years ago) and who wants text books from back then?

Have a nice dinner out and forgetaboutit!
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:40 PM   #10
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Did you ever start to declutter and find out you could have made more money off things you tossed or sold too low?[/QUOTE]

Congratulations on decluttering! DH and I have so much of that to do.
I agree with everybody else.
This is why I hate holding yard sales. Either i am 1.) offended that nobody wants my crap or 2.) convinced I got ripped off if somebody buys something.

I like the approach of blessing someone else with the things no longer needed or wanted in my house. Whether that means selling or donating, that approach helps me feel more magnanimous and less hoardy/greedy.
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:48 PM   #11
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Years ago, I inherited my grandmother's 1940's mahogany bed.

When I moved from Maine to NC, I donated a bunch of stuff to a thrift store, including the bed.

A few years later, I noticed beds exactly like it were going for a tidy sum on Craigslist. For about 60 seconds I was annoyed, wishing I had researched the value before donating. Then I remembered that the same grandmother spent decades volunteering in a thrift store in NYC; she used to take us there with her when we were children.

So I decided that the bed had ended up exactly where it was supposed to be!
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:49 PM   #12
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That's woulda, shoulda, coulda nonsense.
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:52 PM   #13
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A lot of times when you find an item is "worth" a certain price, it means that's what it would sell for retail in a store that specializes in said items. You're lucky if you can sell such an item for half that price on your own, especially if it's something (say, an old clock) that may need cleaning, oiling, maintenance of some sort.
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Old 12-21-2016, 08:02 PM   #14
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I collected stamps when I was in college. The US commemoratives were worth face value-and who's gonna plaster a handful of 5 cent stamps on a letter?

My collection of stamps from Hawaii was more interesting (they issued their own stamps in the 1800s) but most sold for what I paid for them in the 1970s! I did sell one specialized item- a post card with the stamp printed on it. It was used but had an announcement of an event. You never know what something like that is worth because of variations in the content. I may have sold that at a loss. Fortunately, very small amounts of money involved. Glad I never tried to make a killing as a stamp trader.
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Old 12-21-2016, 08:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by friar1610 View Post
A lot of times when you find an item is "worth" a certain price, it means that's what it would sell for retail in a store that specializes in said items. You're lucky if you can sell such an item for half that price on your own, especially if it's something (say, an old clock) that may need cleaning, oiling, maintenance of some sort.
Exactly right. Having learned from the Grandmother's Bed Incident (details above) several years later I researched the value of another old piece of mahogany furniture I had inherited - a lovely gate-leg table. I asked a friend whose husband worked restoring and selling old wooden furniture to take a look at my table. She did all the appraising and pricing for her husband's business, and she knew the market. She said that an antiques dealer would sell my table for $800, but I would get less than half that from a dealer if I sold it to them.

I listed it on Craigslist for exactly $400, said it was non-negotiable, and a cash sale only. I sold it the same day for that amount. I strongly suspect that the young woman who turned up very eager to buy it, and who gave me a real sappy song and dance about "how cute it would look in her very first apartment" was in fact a dealer in disguise. I know when I was moving into my first apartment all those decades ago, I sure as h#ll didn't have $400 cash to spend on anything!

She probably made a profit on the deal, but I didn't care - I needed the space. I used the $400 to buy other furniture from Craigslist that was more to my taste, and I moved on. I'm sure the table ended up in the home of someone who appreciated it. Everybody won.
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Old 12-21-2016, 08:24 PM   #16
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Senator, your posts resonates loudly with me. I need to declutter, as we want to move to our very small lake house. I am embarrassed to admit that I have been paralyzed by the silly concern of dumping something valuable for way less than what it's "worth"...But, realistically, as others have said, I need to get rid of it. It isn't worth anything to me, even though I paid good money for it. I just need to get rid of it.
but....but....(big sigh.....)
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Old 12-21-2016, 08:35 PM   #17
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....

I later found out, like hours after I sold them, one was worth $450 or so. ...

Here is that book, listed for $450, of course it is still not sold...
Why would you think it was worth $450? He is asking $450, and apparently has got $0 for it at this point.

Sounds like you are ahead of the game @ $150.

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Old 12-21-2016, 08:38 PM   #18
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They sold quickly and for your asking price. Nothing wrong with that. In many cases, asking price is not indicative of value.
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Old 12-21-2016, 08:39 PM   #19
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As far as decluttering, I'm not so bothered about getting decent $, it's stuff I want to get rid of.

I'm more bothered by the idea that some of this stuff could be used and maybe even treasured by the right person. But connecting with those people and handing off is problematic. I've subscribed to 'Freecycle', but kinda chicken out at the idea of giving out my number and address to strangers. And I've seen comments about the 'no-shows', so arranging to meet in a parking lot or something could be a big waste of time.

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Old 12-21-2016, 08:55 PM   #20
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I either junk it or give it away.

My goal is to fill the trash container each week.

Step by step...
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