Author Topic: Anyone ever auctioned their stuff?  (Read 2462 times)

Trudie

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Anyone ever auctioned their stuff?
« on: November 28, 2016, 09:02:53 AM »
Over the weekend my spouse and I spent some time discussing the next phase, which will involve a move -- at least 3 hours away.  Our goal is condo/low-maintenance living and to cut our living space by about half.  We will have lots to get rid of -- a garage full of tools and gizmos, furniture, decorative objects.

We already know some stuff will just get hauled away and donated.  I'm starting to give stuff to nephews who are setting up house.  Garage sales and Craigslist are pretty luke warm in my neck of the woods (small, college town).  I've sold a few things online, but have never felt that garage sales are much worthwhile.

We were talking about perhaps doing an auction when we get prepared to move in a few years.  It's common around here for auctioneers to combine stuff from a few different households and you can split the costs.  Anyone ever done one?  Did you feel it was worthwhile?

(I know there is expense to this, but our time is also worth something.  We are fine replacing furniture (and won't need much) when we get to our new destination.  Part of it is that my husband has been recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis of the spine and we will place a premium on owning fewer things, but nicer (ergonomically suitable) furniture in the future.)


marion10

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Re: Anyone ever auctioned their stuff?
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2016, 09:27:06 AM »
It's an interesting idea- we had a conducted sale when we moved- it did not do very well- we ended up donating a lot to Goodwill- but he got paid on commission- so it was more than we would have made donating the stuff.

Spork

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Re: Anyone ever auctioned their stuff?
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2016, 09:41:01 AM »
I've never dealt with auctions... but there is likely a pretty decent commission for the auctioneer. 

I have dealt with hosting an estate sale... and the estate sales company take was 40%.  When things sell at bargain prices and then a big percentage gets taken off the top, you're likely to not make a lot. 

There *is* a lot of work to establishing reasonable price estimates, organizing stuff, etc.  I'm not saying these people are making unfair amounts.  But it becomes pretty significant.  My Dad's house was very large and chocked full of stuff...  and the sale of a lifetime of stuff was in the 4 figure range.

lthenderson

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Re: Anyone ever auctioned their stuff?
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2016, 09:49:48 AM »
We were talking about perhaps doing an auction when we get prepared to move in a few years.  It's common around here for auctioneers to combine stuff from a few different households and you can split the costs.  Anyone ever done one?  Did you feel it was worthwhile?

Yes auctioneers will do this for you. Many hold consignment auctions a couple times a year for small lots like yours. At least around here, auctioneers work on a percentage of the take so you pay the same percentage of the sale of your items whether it is a lot or a little.  There is no splitting of costs. I've attended many combined consignment auctions mainly because the stuff sells really cheap. The reason it goes cheap is because the stuff at these auctions is the leftovers after all the best stuff has been kept or sold already. I would much rather sell my stuff at a garage sale which garners much higher prices for stuff like that and then throw or give away what doesn't sell.

arebelspy

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Re: Anyone ever auctioned their stuff?
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2016, 03:01:51 AM »
I think you'd net more selling the high profile stuff on eBay/Craigslist/Amazon, and giving away the rest.
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Livingthedream55

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Re: Anyone ever auctioned their stuff?
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2016, 09:28:32 AM »
Only one. Had small vintage items that had decent value and was really disappointed how very little I got. Personally I wouldn't go that route again.

lizzzi

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Re: Anyone ever auctioned their stuff?
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2016, 02:25:58 PM »
We had to move out-of-state on fairly short notice, and had to downsize by about half. I had an auctioneer come through and basically help me clean out the whole house basement to attic...some went to the dump, and some went to the auction. A lot of our stuff he said nobody would want, but somebody must have wanted it, because I ended up with a check for $600.

I had donated a bunch of stuff to charity before the auctioneer came over. I had no time, energy, or interest for selling things myself through a garage sale or on Craigslist. The whole process worked fine for me--I was glad to see it all go--was really ready for a more simple life. YMMV.

chasesfish

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Re: Anyone ever auctioned their stuff?
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2016, 06:58:20 PM »
What Spork and arebelspy said is 100% accurate.

I had a lower level estate auctioneer as a client for a while, young guy who would grind and grind doing a monthly auction where he hauled in and combined small estates or move situations.  I went to one of his auctions and was amazed at how little money other people's junk brings.

Good luck

JAYSLOL

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Re: Anyone ever auctioned their stuff?
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2016, 01:35:46 AM »
I buy and sell stuff occasionally at auction.  I used to buy the odd storage unit, and pick at garage sales, so i would end up with lots of random stuff to sell. 

I found for the auction place i deal with, these are the things that were not worth sending to auction

* low-value large items because of the generally low return on the time and cost of transporting them there vs listing on craigslist and having someone else pick them up
* valuable items because they are usually easy to sell on craigslist and not lose a 1/3 or more of the value paying commission.  Also, for me it's hard to stomach the risk of something worth $1k selling for $50
* garage-sale type household stuff (VHS/DVDs, Kitchen stuff, books, clothes etc) because they don't really sell at all, or for virtually nothing.  Thats what garage sales are for, LOL

Instead, what i've found is there is a sweet spot for small, relatively cheap items with good re-sale value, but aren't worth listing on craigslist, and are also a pain to try to sell at a garage sale because everyone only wants to pay like 25cents when its worth $5-$10. 

* Semi-collectable coins, sets and paper money (do thorough research first on these, though)
* 70's, 80's and newer comic books and sports cards with not much value on their own, but in small lots they do ok
* Any "guy stuff" Tools, fishing and hunting gear, man-cave items and that kind of thing. 
* Other inexpensive small collectables, art, etc

Just know that for auction places, each auction night can different, so as with investing, i dollar-cost-average selling items at auction.  For example, if I wanted to sell the following items - a box of 100 comics, 12 coin sets, 4 signed art prints, 2 big boxes of hand tools, and 6 fishing rods.  I wouldn't send them all to auction at once for the same sale.  And i also wouldn't send them in Week 1:  All the comics in a big box, Week 2: All 12 coin sets... etc. 

I find when buyers see something like a big a big box of comics for example, they don't VALUE it as much as 20 small lots of 5 comics over many weeks, I think it helps to provide the buyers with a false sense of rarity by doing that, so this is how i would send those items in

Week 1:  20 comics in 4 lots, 3 coin sets, 1 signed print, a half box selection of hand tools, and a pair fishing rods
Week 2:  20 more comics, 3 coins sets, 1 signed print, another half box of tools, and 2 more fishing rods
Week 3 and 4  repeat, repeat, etc etc... until everything is sold over 4 or 5 weeks.

From each auction some things will sell for what you expect, some things will sell for WAY under value, and some things will sell for WAY over value.  Breaking up the items into a variety of small lots over time helps smooth out the bumps, like averaging in and out of the market does. 


iris lily

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Re: Anyone ever auctioned their stuff?
« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2016, 08:15:10 AM »
What Spork and arebelspy said is 100% accurate.

I had a lower level estate auctioneer as a client for a while, young guy who would grind and grind doing a monthly auction where he hauled in and combined small estates or move situations.  I went to one of his auctions and was amazed at how little money other people's junk brings.

Good luck
One of the important lessons of Millionaire Next Door is the asset level of auctioneers. They were one of the highest professions in the game of wealth accumulation.

Now why is that? I always thought it was due to the fact that they see how much people's crap is worth and they choose not to buy crap for themselves, likely buying useful items at their own auctions for pennies on the dollar.

I think we are in the days of reckoning with "stuff" and every household is jammed full, no one wants it, those days are over.

For instance the market in "brown furniture" is in the toilet. That's ok with me as a fan of Victorian brown furniture because I can now afford 18th century furniture, I can trade up into older stuff, 100 years older, haha. I probably won't because DH keeps me hemmed in on that, but I can dream.

geekette

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Re: Anyone ever auctioned their stuff?
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2016, 09:34:12 AM »
We had an estate auction for my FIL and it went very well, IMHO. 

The auction house advertised, came in days before, pulled stuff out of the house and out buildings, organized it, put up tents, brought tables, portapotties, and a food truck.  They also brought in a few small lots from other estates.

Things that sold well - coins, bills, comic books (we were lucky to have two comic book nuts there, though), and my FIL's old tools and car stuff.

Things that went for virtually nothing - household goods and furniture. 

They cleaned that place out.  If a lot didn't sell for $2.50, they added another lot.  Eventually everything sold down to the house plants.  They took all their stuff away, cleaned up (fairly well), and we had nothing to donate.  They must have known the car parts would sell well because their cut was only 20%, so we got $44k of the $55k total sale, and didn't have to do a thing.

JAYSLOL

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Re: Anyone ever auctioned their stuff?
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2016, 09:49:16 AM »
We had an estate auction for my FIL and it went very well, IMHO. 

The auction house advertised, came in days before, pulled stuff out of the house and out buildings, organized it, put up tents, brought tables, portapotties, and a food truck.  They also brought in a few small lots from other estates.

Things that sold well - coins, bills, comic books (we were lucky to have two comic book nuts there, though), and my FIL's old tools and car stuff.

Things that went for virtually nothing - household goods and furniture. 

They cleaned that place out.  If a lot didn't sell for $2.50, they added another lot.  Eventually everything sold down to the house plants.  They took all their stuff away, cleaned up (fairly well), and we had nothing to donate.  They must have known the car parts would sell well because their cut was only 20%, so we got $44k of the $55k total sale, and didn't have to do a thing.

Whoa, a $55k sale is awesome for that kind of estate auction, and 20% sounds reasonable considering how much work that would have been for them. 

JAYSLOL

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Re: Anyone ever auctioned their stuff?
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2016, 10:07:23 AM »
What Spork and arebelspy said is 100% accurate.

I had a lower level estate auctioneer as a client for a while, young guy who would grind and grind doing a monthly auction where he hauled in and combined small estates or move situations.  I went to one of his auctions and was amazed at how little money other people's junk brings.

Good luck
One of the important lessons of Millionaire Next Door is the asset level of auctioneers. They were one of the highest professions in the game of wealth accumulation.

Now why is that? I always thought it was due to the fact that they see how much people's crap is worth and they choose not to buy crap for themselves, likely buying useful items at their own auctions for pennies on the dollar.

I think we are in the days of reckoning with "stuff" and every household is jammed full, no one wants it, those days are over.

For instance the market in "brown furniture" is in the toilet. That's ok with me as a fan of Victorian brown furniture because I can now afford 18th century furniture, I can trade up into older stuff, 100 years older, haha. I probably won't because DH keeps me hemmed in on that, but I can dream.

Getting access to almost everything at a reduced rate would definitely help with SR.  Auctioneers also tend to learn the true market value of damn-near everything and can make a buck basically anytime, anywhere.  The good ones become networking experts and know multiple buyers of every type of goods in their area and call them up personally when something of their interest is up for auction