Each and every day I find myself having a conversation with a friend, family member or client about what to do with things they no longer want. Most start out with telling me they’d like to sell whatever it is. Of course, in a perfect world, we’d all like to make money from selling items that we no longer want that we either inherited or bought at some point. Unfortunately, that’s just not always the case.
In order to sell something, whether it be clothing, furniture (antique or otherwise), tech gadgets/computers/cell phones) or china, THERE MUST BE VALUE and that term means different things to different people.
Sentimental value and fair market value are different. Sentimental value is something that you really can’t put a price on while fair market value can be determined. Fair market value is what other people are willing to pay for something. We do our best to figure out fair market value by researching various sites on the internet, asking trusted advisors, looking up information in books and, in some cases, simply asking a potential seller and/or buyer what they think is reasonable based on their knowledge of a particular item. So, as you can see, there’s no set value for used items, sentimental or otherwise.
So, how do you know if something that you have should be donated or might be worth selling? Here are some loose guidelines:
1. If you know that something doesn’t have much value ($50 or under for example), then donations would probably be your best option. The value for this type of situation would be a donation receipt that you can later use for your taxes.
NOTE: If you decide to donate something please make sure that it is not: broken, missing a piece, stained, soiled, ripped or tattered. In other words if someone else has to fix it before using it do NOT donate it.
2. If you have something that has sentimental value, ie., something that has been passed down from a loved on, try to find a receipt or document that contains information about that item so that a current value can be found.
NOTE: If you are thinking about selling an item that has sentimental value, be realistic. That item will not have the same value to someone else.
3. Unfortunately not everything can be donated and, likewise, not everything can be sold. Sometimes you just have to let it go.
NOTE: Seriously, it’s okay to get rid of things that you no longer need or want. Not everything has value.
4. If you want to try selling something on your own to avoid paying fees to a third part, there are many companies out there that you can try. To name a few of the top on-line companies: Craig’s List, Ebay, Amazon. Of course there are also local consignment stores and auction houses that you can try.
NOTE: If you want to contact a local consignment store or auction house, make sure that you have as much information as possible, including photographs of the item(s), so that they can determine whether or not there is any interest. They will ask you for this information so please be prepared so as not to waste their time or yours.
5. If you’d like to sell something and you’re not sure if it has value or what the value is and/or don’t have the time to figure it out, I WOULD LOVE TO BE OF SERVICE!
NOTE: You can call, text or email anytime.