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Old 08-15-2016, 04:12 PM
 
Location: Full time in the RV
2,867 posts, read 6,405,166 times
Reputation: 2420

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This is timely for me as DW and I just retired. Our house goes on the market this week or next and once sold we will buy a bigger RV and hit the road full time.

I have been decrapping in preparation for this the past few years. I also had to clear out mom's house when she died in 2012 and she had lots of stuff. Here is what I have learned:

Nothing you have is valuable. Sentiment does not mean dollars.

Our only child took what she wanted, which was very little, then got married and moved away.

Gold and silver items are worth no more than melt value no matter how cute the setting. Sold some on eBay and the rest to a jewelry store who gave me melt value.

Books and DVDs-mom had hundreds. Sold some on half.com (eBay site for fixed price for books and DVDs). Made no more than couple bucks on most. Current books that didn't sell I gave away or tossed. DVDs that didn't sell I sold them in a single lot to a film student for cheap. Old books are hard to sell online without ISBN numbers so some sold very cheap to an old time bookstore, the rest I gave away. Old books are not worth money no matter what you think. I had a very old Gone With The Wind that I thought would go for big bucks. Ha! Looked on eBay and saw the same edition in MUCH better shape for $5-6.

Albums and cassettes. I sold a 50 album set from Franklin Mint in the 80s to a collector. The rest-and there were hundreds-went to a guy whose wife uses them in craft projects. No one wanted cassettes even for free so they were trashed.

Dolls-Mom had over a thousand. The most valuable were Wizard of Oz from the 80s. They cost $200 new and sold on eBay for about $30. The problem with dolls is some require oversize boxes and are fragile, both of which increase shipping costs. Sold some online and the remaining-1,000+, were sold for $3 each to a woman wanting to start an online doll store.

VHS tapes-gave away some kids/Disney ones. Saved a few, mostly home made stuff, along with a VCR, to look at sometime down the road. I know these can be transferred to DVD or computer but I have no desire to do that right now. Tossed the remainder.

Home items-selling some on a local FB yard sale site, giving some to a thrift store charity, trashing the rest.

In the end I got experience on eBay and learned a lot about shipping options, packing tricks and tips etc.

The current goal is to fill our three trash cans full for the twice weekly pickup.
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Old 08-15-2016, 04:29 PM
 
381 posts, read 352,338 times
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RMD3819,

Very good post. Good info. Thanks.
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Old 08-16-2016, 07:03 AM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,923,045 times
Reputation: 6716
Quote:
Originally Posted by RMD3819 View Post
This is timely for me as DW and I just retired. Our house goes on the market this week or next and once sold we will buy a bigger RV and hit the road full time.

I have been decrapping in preparation for this the past few years. I also had to clear out mom's house when she died in 2012 and she had lots of stuff. Here is what I have learned:

Nothing you have is valuable. Sentiment does not mean dollars.

Our only child took what she wanted, which was very little, then got married and moved away.

Gold and silver items are worth no more than melt value no matter how cute the setting. Sold some on eBay and the rest to a jewelry store who gave me melt value.

Books and DVDs-mom had hundreds. Sold some on half.com (eBay site for fixed price for books and DVDs). Made no more than couple bucks on most. Current books that didn't sell I gave away or tossed. DVDs that didn't sell I sold them in a single lot to a film student for cheap. Old books are hard to sell online without ISBN numbers so some sold very cheap to an old time bookstore, the rest I gave away. Old books are not worth money no matter what you think. I had a very old Gone With The Wind that I thought would go for big bucks. Ha! Looked on eBay and saw the same edition in MUCH better shape for $5-6.

Albums and cassettes. I sold a 50 album set from Franklin Mint in the 80s to a collector. The rest-and there were hundreds-went to a guy whose wife uses them in craft projects. No one wanted cassettes even for free so they were trashed.

Dolls-Mom had over a thousand. The most valuable were Wizard of Oz from the 80s. They cost $200 new and sold on eBay for about $30. The problem with dolls is some require oversize boxes and are fragile, both of which increase shipping costs. Sold some online and the remaining-1,000+, were sold for $3 each to a woman wanting to start an online doll store.

VHS tapes-gave away some kids/Disney ones. Saved a few, mostly home made stuff, along with a VCR, to look at sometime down the road. I know these can be transferred to DVD or computer but I have no desire to do that right now. Tossed the remainder.

Home items-selling some on a local FB yard sale site, giving some to a thrift store charity, trashing the rest.

In the end I got experience on eBay and learned a lot about shipping options, packing tricks and tips etc.

The current goal is to fill our three trash cans full for the twice weekly pickup.
I agree with a lot of this - but not all of it.

Some things can be valuable (although most aren't). When it comes to your personal home contents - presumably you know what you own - and have some idea what it's worth. For example - I have a complete set of these dishes (service for 8 - in excellent condition):

lindt stymeist colorways | eBay

If I value each piece conservatively at $10 an item - that's over $2k. I could probably sell the set as a whole quickly for $1k. I have lots of similar home furnishings and housewares from the 60's-70's-80's. Some isn't worth much - but some is worth even more than these dishes.

Now if I hypothetically had a relative with a house full of 19th century antiques (about which I know nothing) - and had to dispose of them - I honestly wouldn't know what might be valuable and what was junk. So I'd spend a little time researching - to get an idea. Once I had a feel for things - I would call in a dealer/auction place to discuss disposing of things. The kind of outfit I'd call in would depend on my assessment of value (I wouldn't call in the same kind of firm if the stuff was valuable as opposed to junk).

BTW - when it comes to furniture - I haven't sold much. Have sold a few chairs on Ebay. Also sold an armoire through a local classified ad. But each piece fetched hundreds of dollars.

Gold and silver? Again - I agree in general. With some exceptions. For example - expensive watches.

Books and DVDs? Ditto. With some very limited exceptions. I probably own about 5 books that are worth more than a couple of dollars. Like this one:

https://www.amazon.com/Exotica-Picto.../dp/0911266151

It's super easy to look these things up in a minute or two to get an idea. If you're not interested in selling things yourself on Ebay/Amazon - you can sell to a dealer (for probably < 50% of "retail" value).

I had a few dolls from when I was a kid (50's era). Sold them on Ebay. The most valuable was a Madame Alexander Cissy doll:

Vintage 1950&apos;s Madame Alexander 20" Cissy Doll Tagged Dress | eBay

BTW - the same thinking applies when it comes to records. I had about 100. One was worth a lot (over $100). A few were worth about $25. Sold those on Ebay. And the rest of them together were worth about $50 (sold all of those to a local dealer).

Note that I did most of my EBay selling years ago - over a multi-year period. When Ebay was more fun than it is today (at least IMO - you could accept personal checks and didn't have to deal with PayPal). You do have to learn about packing/shipping/posting pictures on line/etc. And it helps if you have a lot of boxes - packing materials and the like to start with (that stuff is expensive). If you buy things on line - you can save boxes/packing materials that the things you buy are shipped in. I have sold fragile items. Like mid-century (Laurel mushroom) lamps with glass shades. You do have to be super careful when it comes to shipping fragile items.

Also - if you have lots of something - you can hire an Ebay "seller's assistant". We did that with my late FIL's coin collection. Thousands and thousands of coins (many were old silver coins). Which the assistant organized into about 40 lots. He took pictures - posted the listings - handled buyer inquiries - etc. He wound up selling all but 2 lots (and he bought those himself) - for a heck of a lot more than the face value of the coins (and the silver content). And he charged us 15% of the net. Which was a very just price to pay IMO for the work he did for us.

I guess my bottom line is it can pay off to go through things at least a little bit carefully before you write it all off as worthless junk and sell it for next to nothing at a yard sale. Robyn
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Old 08-17-2016, 01:55 PM
 
Location: Full time in the RV
2,867 posts, read 6,405,166 times
Reputation: 2420
Good advice Robyn. Can't rep you again.

I like eBay-I bought three cars on there-as I think it is a good barometer of the rough value of things. The caution is you must recognize that an EBay asking price is of little value if no one buys-or bids-on it.

Which brings me to today's update-

I found a crate of Beanie Babies I thought was long gone. As I usually do, I look on eBay to get an idea if there is a market for these at any price. I usually sort by price and this came to the top:
3 1st Edition Princess Diana Beanie Babies Must Read | eBay

$652,200 for a set of three identical Beanie Babies. I doubt I have one of these but even if I did I would get no where near that price as there are dozens of other listings of this exact item for WAY lower. A quick random scan through the other 81,000+ other listings, none with bids that I found, I have concluded there is no market worth pursuing therefore they will be donated or tossed.

Anyone looking to use eBay to downsize I recommend ULINE - Shipping Boxes, Shipping Supplies, Packaging Materials, Packing Supplies for shipping supplies. I have used them several times. They have everything imaginable.
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Old 08-17-2016, 02:07 PM
 
4,343 posts, read 6,054,558 times
Reputation: 10428
Today I gave a six & a half foot pre-lit Christmas tree to a neighbor. It felt good!
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Old 08-17-2016, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,923,045 times
Reputation: 6716
Quote:
Originally Posted by RMD3819 View Post
Good advice Robyn. Can't rep you again.

I like eBay-I bought three cars on there-as I think it is a good barometer of the rough value of things. The caution is you must recognize that an EBay asking price is of little value if no one buys-or bids-on it.

Which brings me to today's update-

I found a crate of Beanie Babies I thought was long gone. As I usually do, I look on eBay to get an idea if there is a market for these at any price. I usually sort by price and this came to the top:
3 1st Edition Princess Diana Beanie Babies Must Read | eBay

$652,200 for a set of three identical Beanie Babies. I doubt I have one of these but even if I did I would get no where near that price as there are dozens of other listings of this exact item for WAY lower. A quick random scan through the other 81,000+ other listings, none with bids that I found, I have concluded there is no market worth pursuing therefore they will be donated or tossed.

Anyone looking to use eBay to downsize I recommend ULINE - Shipping Boxes, Shipping Supplies, Packaging Materials, Packing Supplies for shipping supplies. I have used them several times. They have everything imaginable.
I'm not sure that all of these Beanie Babies items are the same. For example - I found this in sold listings (sold for $50k):

RARE Mint 1st Edition Princess Diana 1997 Retired Beanie Baby | eBay

There are others that sold for 5 bucks. I don't know doodle about Beanie Babies - but would look at the provenance of any I had before trashing them. Robyn
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Old 08-23-2016, 04:51 AM
 
Location: Full time in the RV
2,867 posts, read 6,405,166 times
Reputation: 2420
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robyn55 View Post
I'm not sure that all of these Beanie Babies items are the same. For example - I found this in sold listings (sold for $50k):

RARE Mint 1st Edition Princess Diana 1997 Retired Beanie Baby | eBay

There are others that sold for 5 bucks. I don't know doodle about Beanie Babies - but would look at the provenance of any I had before trashing them. Robyn
That is a good idea. I had not thought about looking through the sold items.

We actually found one of those Diana Beanie Babies, however it is one that goes for $5-maybe.

I have this baseball card, but mine is ungraded and I doubt it will fetch $1.2 MILLION:
1968 Topps 177 Rookie Stars Featuring Nolan Ryan SGC 98 Gem Mint | eBay
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Old 08-23-2016, 09:33 AM
 
6,306 posts, read 5,049,308 times
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Threw out some old cosmetics! Any little thing helps -
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Old 08-23-2016, 11:35 AM
 
10,813 posts, read 8,058,272 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemencia53 View Post
Threw out some old cosmetics! Any little thing helps -
It does!
This is one of my favorite threads, always inspires me to do more.

During a recent month-long stay in an out-of-state vacation rental, I discovered I can easily get by with a drastically reduced casual summer wardrobe.
So as soon as we returned home - even before I unpacked - I went thru my closet and bagged up all the casual summer clothes, including shoes, that weren't in my suitcase. If I can go a month without them, I figure I don't need them. We'll donate them this week.

I wish I had taken before/after pics of my closet. I can't resist opening the door and looking in every time I pass by it, the change is incredible!
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Old 08-24-2016, 07:24 AM
 
6,306 posts, read 5,049,308 times
Reputation: 12815
Quote:
Originally Posted by biscuitmom View Post
It does!
This is one of my favorite threads, always inspires me to do more.

During a recent month-long stay in an out-of-state vacation rental, I discovered I can easily get by with a drastically reduced casual summer wardrobe.
So as soon as we returned home - even before I unpacked - I went thru my closet and bagged up all the casual summer clothes, including shoes, that weren't in my suitcase. If I can go a month without them, I figure I don't need them. We'll donate them this week.

I wish I had taken before/after pics of my closet. I can't resist opening the door and looking in every time I pass by it, the change is incredible!
I keep a semi minimal wardrobe. Shoes too. I do have the same style in different colors, but if they fit and I love them, why not.

A uniform type wardrobe works for me. I do make sure I have clothes required for those emergency type things, funerals for example.

And if I'm not going to wear something for a while I do take it out and try it on to make sure it will fits every now and then. Shoes too.
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