Saturday, July 19, 2014

Estate Sale – Final Thoughts

haggle.137185450_std In my last post I mentioned the word "hellish" to describe the Estate Sale. Even though it was successful and accomplished our goal of getting rid of lots of stuff, I still think of the whole process as a hellish experience. I mean that in the big picture sense, as in human nature. Estate sales are ugly.

I was as emotionally detached as possible going into this thing and I had no regrets, but of course I still cared. I had a history with each item being sold, so I think it was impossible to be completely detached. The shoppers, on the other hand, have zero emotions about stuff until they buy it. They only care about what interests them and the deal they might get, everything else might as well be garbage and that's exactly how they treated things. It was a bit unsettling as a statement on human nature, or maybe just human nature at estate sales. I haven't quite figured it out yet, but I'm still shaking my head.

There were a few items in the garage that were tagged "NFS", as in Not For Sale. They got sold anyway along with a few shelves that were installed in the garage. I mean, the guy took a screwdriver and uninstalled fixtures! More head shaking.

You know that saying: one man's trash is another man's treasure? I think that cliché originated at an estate sale. I had an old - very old - suede jacket with fringe that was given to me by a child actor I went to high school with. Over the years, as it lost its importance in my life, it stayed packed away in the bottom of a closet. It was wrinkled and it didn't smell that great. I intended to throw it away, but the sale team thought someone might take it off my hands.

Early on the second day of the sale, as Steven and I were leaving the house, a woman hopped out of her car and hollered at us, "Are you the people who are selling? Tell me the story of that fringe jacket! I was the third person in yesterday and I bought it, what a treasure!"

I found out later that this lady frequents a lot of estate sales and the more I thought about her, the more I felt kind of sad. There were lots of folks just like her and I have no doubt some of them are known hoarders.  I'm not saying the sale team has any responsibility to intervene, they don't, but it's still a sad thing to witness.  I would have been happier if I had just thrown that jacket away.

Given that our goal was met and we were satisfied with the results, I am surprised that my feelings about the sale still linger. Those words - hellish, unsettling, ugly - are still with me. I'm sure they will pass, but I do know one thing - I hope I never again have to have an estate sale. 

9 comments:

  1. you have convinced me to be far away on that day.

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  2. Glad to hear it is over!! Like ripping off a bandage, you did it quickly, and effectively!!

    I am sure a big part of the pit in your stomach was the invasion of your privacy!!

    We were shocked to see that people were taking your NFS stuff, and we really could not believe they would go so far to remove shelving.

    Now it is time to relax with the one you love, and a big bottle of wine...or a blue Chouter!!

    Best wishes ... TnT

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    1. A Blue Chouter - now you're talking! That will take away whatever ails you!

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  3. Sounds like the estate sales folks didn't keep an eye on things very well - it takes some time to unscrew shelves from a wall - and then pay for them..... Bill can barely stand to cover a yard sale long enough for me to make a bathroom run - he says he feels violated with strangers rummaging through his stuff. Like you, I get as detached as possible (but...) In every town I've done yard sales there are always a couple people who come to every one and buy a lot. It's good for the seller, but I think about the poor family on the other end dealing with all that stuff! Glad it's behind you now. I don't think you'll ever have to do another one - with everyone keeping an eye on your linens and gazpacho !!

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    1. We do have a few people keeping an eye on us, for sure. But mainly, those are the ones who we consider mentors. Except my sister, she just likes to push my buttons. :)

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  4. Glad it's over for you. I don't have any personal experience, but I'm given to understand that the motorhome estate sales go much quicker and smoother. :-)

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  5. We went the estate sale route. The woman who ran the estate sale told us in no uncertain terms NOT to be around for the sale. I'm sure it would be difficult to watch buyers judge your personal belongings - and even more annoying to see what they paid for items you like! Part of our deal was that everything was gone when we returned after three days. We got a check for items sold (less estate sale fees) and a huge stack of receipts from the Salvation Army for charitable donations. We paid a private party to do the post-sale cleaning. For us, it was a quick and easy way to eliminate the headache of disposal - and I am deeply appreciative that our "seller" advised us to stay away!

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  6. Like Laurie and Odel my estate sale people told me it would be better to stay away, and I did. I returned on one of the days to see what was happening, but pretty much stayed outside. I did go back to sleep, but found the mess didn't work for me, and the other two nights I spent in The Palms, my motorhome.

    I put anything I didn't want sold, and other personal things, in one of the bathrooms and told the estate sale people that was MY stuff, and no one was to go in there. They were supposed to put yellow tape across the door frame. When I arrived the first night to sleep, they had all their junk in there, too. I was not happy about that.

    So... two suggestions for anyone having an estate sale in the future: Stay away until it's OVER, and take everything out of the house that you don't want people going through. If you keep some things in a room that you want to KEEP, LOCK THE ROOM! Signs don't work - I've heard this story before, things sold that were tagged NOT FOR SALE. :)

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    1. Barb, I went back and read your posts about your experience. It was pretty much the same as ours. We did stay away during the day, but going back at night was a real eye-opener. You give great advice for anyone considering an estate sale to get rid of things. If I had to do it all over again, I would still do it. It's the only way that worked for us considering how much stuff we had. They couldn't even sell what we had, so there was no bringing in anyone else's stuff. :)

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