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Whole house to clear - tips needed!

(17 Posts)
Justonemorecardi Mon 04-Nov-13 09:52:51

Unfortunately we have recently had a bereavement and are trying to deal with the estate. The house is on the market but we need to clear the contents in the best way possible. There's quite a bit of 60s retro stuff that seems to sell well on ebay like midwinter china and g-plan furniture and I think if we go down the house clearance firm route we will end up giving it away.

We're starting with the cupboards so we can still show the house but eventually everything will have to go - it doesn't help that we live a 3 hour drive from the house so each time we go we bring back more stuff which is now cluttering up our home.

So I'm wondering if anyone has done something like this and has any tips, for example:
- the best time to list of ebay
- can I write descriptions and save to list at best time
- logistics of selling furniture at a distance - I thought photo and give collection window
- easiest way to sell a lot of stuff
- anything else

I feel a bit overwhealmed by it all, but the boxes are building up here so I need to get started...

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 04-Nov-13 09:56:43

Where are you / the house?

I have a friend who lives in Stoke on Trent who has an eBay shop and sells for other people (for a small percentage of the selling cost). She's got a load of my things and things for other friends on her site atm.

She has a warehouse where everything is stored and sent from and could be a godsend for you if you're in the right area. If you are, let me know and I'll PM you her details.

Justonemorecardi Mon 04-Nov-13 10:13:28

Hi Iwish, unfortunately she's about halfway between us and the house, I hadn't thought of using an agent, but I'm going to keep that in mind if it all gets too much!

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 04-Nov-13 10:23:29

If any of it is postable she can do it that way for you.

I sent a huge parcel to her come South Wales that weighed 15kgs and it only cost £6.50 with parcels2go (used my Hermes).

Using an agent might cost a few £'s but could be worthwhile in the long run.

Justonemorecardi Mon 04-Nov-13 10:25:40

You could be right - do you know what % she charges?

YesterdayI Mon 04-Nov-13 10:37:51

What about trying an 'estate sale' open day. Advertise an open house with a desciption of some of the better items and try and flog as much as possible on the day. You may not get top notch prices but probably better than a house clearance firm.

Ebaying everything would take a lot of work - you have to be sure that its worth it for you.

nickstmoritz Mon 04-Nov-13 11:11:47

There are some specialist mid century furniture sellers on ebay that might buy the G plan etc and take it away. I think one is based in Gloucester but there are a few I think. I like that style and era so have just seen them when browsing but I could try and find and pm you. An alternative would be to use a storage place and move all the decent things there to sell when you have time then at least it would be near and not in your way at home. It would be a shame to get a house clearance to clear as I don't think they would pay the best price. A good idea would be to have a look on ebay for similar furniture to get an idea of the general price. Other possible solutions might be a local auction house or book to do a big collectibles fair weekend such as at Malvern or Newark and take a van load of things to sell. I have been to Malvern and there was a huge variety of things on offer and lots of dealers go to buy so you might do well. Good luck and sorry for your loss.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 04-Nov-13 12:10:50

She charges 30% plus the eBay fees.

She pictures everything well and the proceeds soon add up.

SandyDilbert Mon 04-Nov-13 13:51:53

list on free listing weekends and start at the lowest price you are willing to accept for an item in case there is only 1 bidder, if selling collection only ever accept cash, do not let a buyer arrange their own courier if paid via paypal, end items on a Mon or Tues evening at 8.30-9pm. Send items of any value with proof of delivery, MyHermes or Collect + best if under 2kg, no need to pay extra for signature btw.

Justonemorecardi Mon 04-Nov-13 13:56:44

Thanks for all your advice, I agree house clearance will probably give a low value, and as we have loads of work to do on our own house I'd like to raise as much cash from the sale of these items to put into our pot. I don't mind doing some work, our issue really is the distance the house is from us. The bereavement is on my husband's side of he family and I think he'd hate an open day so I don't think thats an option. I'll look into local auction houses, unfortunately Malvern is too far and some of the otems like wardrobes are so large..

nickstmoritz Mon 04-Nov-13 14:46:57

If you don't want to transport the furniture to store near you to sell at leisure then you could take all the photos on one day when you go to the house, list and arrange collection for all the items back at the property on the same day to save you having loads of driving but you would need to make that extremely clear in the listing otherwise you do get people bidding and asking to collect at any odd time.

Mid century furniture can be quite sought after these days. Try a local dealer. You might get less than on ebay but you would probably get rid of several items together and they would collect too. If you research the furniture you might be able to haggle up!

I like the open selling day idea, and I'd also second getting someone who isn't from a house clearer to value the items you think might be worth something. MIL has had to do similar with her DSM's house and once the valuable pieces that family didn't take the option on were sold, she got a house clearer in to do the rest. I'd be wary of selling on ebay if only because their fees seem quite high.

If you have loads of clothes to sell, you could try one of these companies who buy clothes by the kg. May not be much but maybe contributes to cost of petrol going backwards and forwards.

I went to one of these today and got £20 for 4 binbags. This was stuff I don't wear anymore (several sizes too big) and I had no wish to hang on to. (Sold the better stuff at boot sales.) They took shoes and handbags and belts and all sorts. Just no curtains and bedding.

Good luck.

LioninthecauldronFucker Mon 04-Nov-13 18:19:53

It might be worth getting an auctioneers in - they also take a percentage but with something specific they have the right target market. I auctioned a fair amount of things when I ended up with 8 wardrobes at once!

I didn't have much luck with the weight by bag selling (above, no idea what it is called!) and it took me over a week to arrange collection with the guy who was then 2 hours later than he said and I got £14 for 7 bags full to bursting with coats/shoes etc, so pretty heavy. If you do it, use one recommended to you by someone you know. I wasn't impressed.

I think for the larger items you might be better putting them online yourself, save the percentage. It's the bulk of smaller things that is off putting!

lljkk Mon 04-Nov-13 19:53:35

Bigger or lower value things I would send to local Auctioneers.
Selling on Ebay is pretty stressful right now, not for the faint hearted. & you have a lot on your plate already.

Justonemorecardi Tue 05-Nov-13 11:53:01

Why is selling on ebay so tough atm lljkk ?

lljkk Tue 05-Nov-13 18:20:36

Ebay have cracked down on what they deem bad buyer experiences.
so the demands on sellers are very high (harsh even).
Morale is bad.
Whether it will suit you partly depends how many items you want to sell & how quickly.
do it badly & you could easily be banned from selling forever.
there's a new search engine used to find listings. Lots of rumours about it which I don't entirely believe. but it seems that you can pay listing fees and your listing may be shown to nobody whatsoever. shock And not because you made any obvious mistakes.
I would do some research about successful selling tips since the introduction of Cassini, & only list on free weekends.

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