Porch furniture part deux – or it’s hard to learn new tricks!

for-sale-sign-imgkid

Source: imgkid

Last week I blogged about our impromptu porch furniture purchase. (If you missed it, click here.) Now we have six weeks to decide what to do with the old furniture.

It’s nice and in good condition. (The cats never puked on it!) It has always been under cover and the only negative thing I could say is that the cushions are just a little faded. (Of course it could be a layer of cat fur you never know.)

We discussed trying to sell it. It would be a good buy if you are looking for patio furniture.

The trick is finding a buyer. Back in the old days (about 15 to 20 years ago) you put an ad in our local newspaper’s Bargain Box (free) and wham, you got a call the same day. I sold a lot of stuff that way. Big stuff like washers and dryers. People like a bargain. I sold my old home like that although I had to buy an ad because to get a free ad, it had to be under $200.

No one reads the paper today especially the classified ads. There is eBay and Craig’s List. Ever since that older couple was murdered by someone selling an antique car on Craig’s List, I’ve been nervous about it.

I don’t do well with axe murderers. Who would feed the cats? How would I part my hair?

Our local police department advises using their parking lot as the exchange point for safety.

That’s fine when your object fits in a box or a car trunk. Not so fine when it’s a sofa and loveseat.

If we were more fearless we would try it. I worked with a guy who had a thriving side business selling old CD’s on eBay. He made enough to pay for a vacation every year. He didn’t have the delivery exchange problem though. He mailed the stuff out. It would be hard to mail a sofa and loveseat.

When did the world get so full of crazies and who is breeding them? Are there crazy mills that are set up like puppy mills? Can we get legislature to stop them?

We may dump the furniture on some unsuspecting relative when they are not home.

If anyone has ideas, I’m all ears. (And if you are a relative, beware!)

50 thoughts on “Porch furniture part deux – or it’s hard to learn new tricks!

  1. I have a piece of furniture that’s too big to easily get rid of, even for free. So I’ve just been putting it off. It’s so much easier (though more expensive) to buy things than to get rid of them.

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    • I know. Before I buy these days, I always try to figure out if I’ll tire of it and what will I do with it. I try not to buy impulsively (you can tell by this post how that works out) because unless you have someone who would take it, it’s hard to get rid of. My stepkids live too far away to get things from us and most of our family is already established and doesn’t need furniture.

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  2. Five thoughts (at least) on this one:
    1) say NO to craigslist, if you can’t meet at a police station
    2) try selling on facebook, if you actually know the people
    3) donate to Paralyzed Veterans (or whoever does pick-ups)
    4) put it on the curb with a “FREE” sign, and it will magically disappear
    5) advertise the item as free on craigslist, and place it on the curb

    To advertise for free on craigslist, you go to your community on CL, then click on the “free” category under the “for sale” heading, and place your ad. I usually give a brief description of the item, and include at least one (or more) photos. The advantage of doing it this way is that you can move the furniture to the curb, and in your ad, you can say “do not ring bell” etc. You’d be surprised how quickly stuff disappears when you put it on the curb, if you post online that it’s sitting out there, waiting for someone to come claim it. My stuff usually disappears within a couple hours, and sometimes, within only minutes of posting. People that own second-hand stores often pay someone with a truck to watch the free ads and scoop up anything good right away.

    By the way, NEVER put your phone number or email address on CL postings (unless you don’t mind a constant barrage of junk calls and emails). Use their filtered mail box instead. Obviously, I’ve learned this one the hard way. 🙂

    Good luck, no matter what you eventually decide. It really is sad that our world has become a place where you can’t even contemplate inviting strangers to your home because of safety concerns. Since no one else has said it yet, I’ll go ahead and say it … I miss the good old days. It’s like there are no boundaries anymore, and you always have to be cautious. *sad face*

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    • What you say makes sense. I miss the old days too. I can’t believe the people I let in my house to look at things I was selling. None of them were weird and most of them bought whatever it was. The word axe murderer never even came into my head.

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  3. St. Vincent de Paul has scheduled pick-ups for our area, so I give all our large items to them. I’m too old to fuss around with selling used stuff to strangers. My suggestion. Plain & simple. [Just remember to get a receipt for your taxes.]

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  4. I’m not good with this stuff. I’m terrified of Craig’s List. My parents were using it last summer. I don’t know why they had more guts than I have. But ugh. It’s just not worth it.

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    • CL has been getting some bad press. When I was selling through the newspaper ads I never once worried about people. They were local (not that we don’t have local crazies). About 10 or 12 years ago a female real estate agent was killed while showing a show. They never found her killer and I have never been as trusting again. Funny how some events affect you.

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  5. I haven’t had a garage sale in years and just take stuff to Goodwill. Here we have large trash pick-up once a month and can put things out the night before. Someone suggested a one-day neighborhood garage sale. Maybe you can enlist neighbors. Good luck!

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  6. Relatives of friends usually really need and want our discards. If not, Good Will will come and pick up big pieces. Of course it would be grand to sell it all, but I’m never good at that and I never win anything either. Maybe that’s why we haven’t met any axe murderers. There is no incentive for the bad guys.

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  7. Here police call Craigslist “Robbery/murder by appointment.” Sad – and scary. People do use the police dept areas for handoffs. Out of safety concerns, people seem to be donating stuff more now. There’s a big Furniture Bank here which collects stuff then those who have homes destroyed by fire/ disasters get vouchers to pick out furnitures there . We call Salvation Army who always seems grateful.
    Is there anyone in the neighborhood with grown kids just starting out in a new home? Might check with a senior citizen center or a church that could adopt it? A library needs an outdoor reading place?
    All spring it looks like people just put stuff on the curb Sunday afternoon for Monday’s trash pick-up and there’s an elderly couple in a truck that goes around and picks stuff up. They may sell it in a flea market or something.
    Hoping you find it a nice home

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  8. The last time (several years ago) I tried to sell furniture on Craigslist was the last time. So many flaky people who begged me to save something for them and then never showed up. Also a lot of lookie loos (scouting to see what they could come back and steal later on?). I have friends who do well on Craigslist but too many stories about being robbed or murdered have scared me off. Now I donate everything. The truck came and picked up all my mother’s furniture and clothes when she passed and I felt good that everything was going to a good cause… an organization that works with homeless women. Smaller items of mine, I save up, put a box in the trunk of my car and drop it off when I’m running other errands. The money I might make selling on Craig’s List or a yard sale is not worth all the time, frustration and effort. And all the stuff in the back of my closet is being used and no longer collecting dust. Also, a lot of people in my neighborhood put stuff curbside and it all disappears. I did that with an old bike some years ago… within five minutes it was in the back of the pickup truck of the gardeners working next door! Good luck with whatever you decide.

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  9. We do more donating and giving away of “stuff” than selling these days.

    Habitat for Humanity has picked up some big items for sale in their resale store (a sleeper sofa, a TV, a TV cabinet, a large cupboard). Smaller stuff that fits in the car gets dropped off at Goodwill. We gave our niece a sofa and loveseat when she was setting up her first apartment.

    In our neighborhood, there is a yard sale every year or so ~ the only buyers are other people in the community or their invited guests. We put out a few things one year. Since then, we’ve just ridden bikes around to see the junk, I mean stuff, that others are selling.

    We also have a bulletin board in the clubhouse. People post photos and descriptions of the furniture they want to sell.

    If there is a flea market nearby, you could try to sell the furniture there. And some other things too. But I find that donating is the easiest, fastest, and best way to get rid of stuff AND it makes me feel good. It’s a WIN for me, the non-profit, and the ultimate purchaser.

    If you attend church or other gatherings, you could ask folks you know whether they know anyone who needs some nice patio furniture.

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  10. When downsizing, we got rid of a lot of the smaller stuff at car boot sales (made over £500).
    OK, a bit difficult for a sofa and a love seat as you say.
    How about a sign outside your gate? We got rid of a fair few bits of furniture like that (and our caravan come to think of it).
    If that fails and the relatives lock up their driveways and garages, give a charity shop a call. They collect, and went away from our house with a three piece suite, 2 beds and mattresses, 2 wardrobes, a bookcase, 2 mismatched kitchen chairs, and a TV table!

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  11. Unfortunately (fortunately, depending who you are and how you look at it), a lot of selling and buying are done via the internet. A co-worker sold furniture on Craig’s list and didn’t have any problems; they also bought a treadmill on Craig’s list. I have had a dream tenant for 3 years and guess what? Found her on Craig’s list. At the time I had a couple of people contact me who sounded suspicious. I just ignored their requests. It can be scary though! Good luck!

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  12. I’ve sold stuff on Craig’s list, but I have a dog big enough to make axe murderers think twice. Probably wouldn’t phase a guy with a semi-automatic, though. (What a world.)

    The more annoying thing about Craig’s list is the number of people who say they are going to show up and don’t.

    Have you considered a yard sale? Then you can control the timing. And maybe you can borrow a scary dog and stake him out in the yard for an hour. 🙂 (I need to stop suggesting dogs to you. Morgan is giving me the side-eye, I know it.)

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  13. We have the same concerns. Unless we can take it outside, we don’t sell online. With furniture we either donate to charity and have them come fetch, or take a picture for a used store and see if they might come pick-up.

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  14. You make some great points Kate, and with some good laughs. No one uses the papers for this sort of thing anymore. The police location works, but like you said, it’s not practical for larger items. Thank goodness I’m not a relative, unless your giving away money than I’m your long lost cousin! And I think the post office would close all the doors and windows when they saw you coming. That leaves the axe murderer, and I prefer to do just that, fast!

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  15. We have a swap group on Facebook and there’s so much sold on there it’s amazing. It’s only within our three town area which is a pretty safe area. Usually folks know the people that contact them. Usually a photo is posted and a description and price. Then if a person is interested the final contact is made thru a PM (private message).

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      • Precisely! Often I notice on our swap page that someone who sees something and thinks a friend might be interested will simply type in their friend’s name so that they are alerted to the possibility.

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  16. I like seeing a neighbor’s garage sell and just adding to it. :). I have just placed items at the end of the drive for someone to come along and pick it up. Too bad there is so much stranger danger around! Good luck. 8)

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    • When our neighbor moved many years ago, I gave him a bunch of stuff and he sold it for me without even taking a cut (which I encouraged). He had a huge 3 day event because they were moving into assisted living 5 states away. Some neighborhoods have a garage sale weekend. Sadly it doesn’t happen here. Before my husband moved we tapped onto one of those weekends and it was great. We set up tables and moved a lot of stuff.

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  17. I can understand your concerns about Craigslist, Kate. We recently sold an oriental rug on Craigslist and we’re still alive. We screened people who called. The first person, a young girl, who came and looked at it bought it. We took precautions, but I was actually surprised she came by herself. Good luck!

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