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Selling House Contents

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Lana55, Jun 13, 2019.

  1. Lana55

    Lana55 New commenter

    I'm going overseas. Renting out my house unfurnished. What's the best way to get maximum price for my furniture etc.?
  2. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Depends how much time you've got - I'd say consider eBay or similar for the tastier higher value items, and a local (not fine art posh) auction house for the rest. If it's not antique/vintage there's a reasonable chance the buyers will be end users rather than dealers, so you'd maybe see the bidding go higher. Also, with auction I'd advise selling during the school holidays when more casual buyers are around giving the auction a try. The rest of the time it's mainly dealers buying for resale. With eBay don't choose silly ending times like 2pm on a Wednesday or 3am in the morning - Sunday evening is popular, for obvious reasons.
  3. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    Having just sold house contents for an elderly relative it was very difficult. We got very little: the best was £90 for a dresser. Most items were £30 or less. Many wouldn’t sell at all. Even giving things away was difficult. Faced with it again I’d definitely talk to house clearance people first. Unfortunately, our loved and precious items are seldom worth much to others no matter what they cost in the first instance. Even genuine antiques are subject to trends and fashions.
  4. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    I agree with trying to sell things on ebay first, if you can be bothered. We cleared my parents house with an auction house. The best stuff went in the antiques auction, some went in the 2nd hand furniture auction and the rest was picked up and junked. We made a bit of money but the fees were high. it did the job though and getting good value was not our priority at that stage.
  5. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I agree that so often one can't get realistic prices for second-hand furniture. So if getting a good price is a priority you may not have that much luck unfortunately.

    Do you intend returning to the house at UK at some point? In which case might it be an idea to consider putting some items into storage. I think sometimes they offer reasonable rates for 'long-term' storage. Then you won't have to let things go for a song, which are precious to you and those you don't mind so much about to get in a house clearance firm for.
    agathamorse, ViolaClef and nomad like this.
  6. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Recently I had to clear houses for two relatives who died and really you'll be lucky to get anything for it unless you have some antiques that are sought after at the moment. You might make a bit if you are willing to spend a lot of time selling item by item on ebay, but otherwise a house clearance company will charge you.
    agathamorse likes this.
  7. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Exactly my experience when clearing out parents and in-laws houses. The few things we sold went for next to nothing really.

    We had an extension and new kitchen a few years ago, the fridge-freezer and washing machine, both old but in good condition and two year old cooker ended up at the skip as we couldn't give them away and had nowhere to store them.
    agathamorse likes this.
  8. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Another thing I've remembered is that second hand shops wouldn't take any soft furniture, sofas etc, unless they were still tagged with the original label confirming they met current standards of fire resistance. None of my relatives stuff was tagged, they'd pulled the labels off years ago.
    agathamorse, ViolaClef and nomad like this.
  9. towncryer

    towncryer Senior commenter

    Sell personal things and keep the big things. Rent part - furnished, That's what I have done in the past. That way if you do come back for a break or anything you have at least got a bed,sofa, washing machine etc.
  10. teandcake

    teandcake New commenter

    I moved and had to sell most of my property and I did it on facebook market, and posted on local selling groups on facebook. It was a mixture of successfully quick sales, and some people who organised a time to collect then never turned up. The whole process was a bit annoying, and I put in on there potentially cheaper than I should have, but I was more interested in getting rid of the items. I would use that method again for selling.
  11. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    One of my neighbours did it a few years ago. She put ads up in local shops and in the local Advertiser newspaper about a long weekend Open House. . She kept the furniture in the house and the other bits and pieces laid out in borrowed paste tables Tec in the garage. Someone manned the garage and someone supervised indoor viewings. She did Ok and then took some stuff to waste disposal donated it to charity.
    agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  12. grumbleweed

    grumbleweed Lead commenter

    I rented a house once where one room was locked off and a lot of their stuff was piled in there.
    When we went overseas we sold and got family to look after anything precious. We took advantage of those with lofts or garages. We let white goods go with the house. Funily enough some of those "valuables" are still boxed in our own loft!
    Storage if you can afford it.
    But as others have said, don't expect to make a lot unless you've got a hidden Picasso lurking about.

    Good luck with your venture
    agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  13. rouxx

    rouxx Lead commenter

    In my experience don’t do storage unless you are absolutely certain of the time frame. It adds up over the years and you keep saying oh just one more year. Everyone I know (I work overseas), myself included, regrets the outlay of paying for storage.

    Sell it privately...then give it to someone who needs it...then dump it. In that order.
  14. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I think you're right there if you're going to be away for a number of years, but if it's just a few, not having to buy the basics may help on your return. Mind you having said that with so many Charity Stores doing so much these days, you're probably right you could pick up what you need quite quickly and cheaply when you need it.

    Whilst I agree with you on this, as we're currently sorting the in-laws house (finally :)) with all this talk of 'dumping' being bad for the environment and how many people struggle to get things when 'starting out' perhaps after a split for example, one does tend to feel guilty throwing things away.
    But sorting and trying to sell/ dispose of things does eat up time.

    I find myself with a conscience 'getting rid', although I know realistically no-one would want most of it and 'breaking up furniture etc does take time and make me feel very guilty. :oops: :(
    agathamorse and towncryer like this.
  15. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    There are charitable or not-for-profit organisations that will recycle furniture and/or white goods and sell them on, often at a discount to those with the least money. They also provide work opportunities for those who normally struggle to find jobs for one reason or another. I've volunteered at such a place and they mean well. Before heading off to the tip or selling some of your stuff for mere peanuts, consider a donation to a place like that if you have one locally. Your local council's recycling service may already have links to them.
    Lara mfl 05 and rouxx like this.
  16. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    It was very hard to convince them to take our stuff, MSB. I was happy to donate items to help others but it was not easy.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  17. baitranger

    baitranger Established commenter

    A problem with selling large items on ebay is the collection by the buyer. I recently sold a gas cooker in nearly new condition but several people bid and "won" only to drop out and not pay when I confirmed that they had to collect it. Of course it was made clear in the listing that it was collection only and that a van would be needed but either they couldn't read or ignored what I wrote about collection. Eventually I sold it for a low price for someone to turn up with a car rather than a van. The only way he could get it in was to turn it on its side, which caused fittings on the top of the cooker to fall off, presumably causing some damage. It really wasn't worth the bother of selling it.
  18. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    We've got rid of some large bulky things on our local FB group, some sold, some given away to save the effort of taking them to the tip. People have turned up in a van to collect, in a car when passing the house or just walked down the street. A large office chair went to someone across the road and down a bit, I helped him carry it across to his house.

    Being local makes the process easier, though you still get no-shows or those who don't check their account for a few days and you wished you'd let the second person who responded have the item.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  19. Wotton

    Wotton Lead commenter

    When we moved I donated furniture to local charities including the LA one where they resell to those in need. I found that furniture was difficult to sell privately.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  20. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    It’s a bit of a lottery, I think. We sold a sofa on eBay, to a local person and got a very good price. Two others, in better condition, went for a song on eBay. It really depends on whether someone is looking for what you’re selling at just the right time for you.

    Like @Sundaytrekker, we have found it very difficult to give things to charity. It’s not surprising that they need to be sure that items are fire retardant p, but even with that, many weren’t interested. Some things went to the tip eventually, because we simply couldn’t give them away.

    You could be lucky and find someone who wants what you’re selling, or it could be a lengthy process.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.

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