Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Next Stage Begins

Today is the final day for the sale of my father-by-marriage's remaining items. The auction closed on Sunday and pick-up day is today. DH will be at the house for the day along with Boyd, the auction coordinator, to facilitate the pickup. All items must be out by 6:00 p.m.

I wasn't happy, or unhappy, about the auction results, I'm just happy to have it over with. I know that many of the items remaining that may have had value were taken by various grandchildren, or my DH or his sister. I fully admit that I took five bows, two quivers, and some smaller artwork pieces, as well as a few vases and a slow cooker that I can use in my studio. I also know that the items remaining were not valuable. But there were things that came up that I will mention in case any of you end up in a similar situation in your lives.

I hate clowns, and this Emmett Kelly doll that my FIL bought
for my MIL was a real collector item that I was happy to
sell. My MIL never liked it - she wasn't a doll person. 

Having everything remaining in an estate sold by a third party is convenient and I think was a good decision. None of us wanted to put on a garage sale and we didn't want to list the items individually on eBay either. I arranged for Boyd to come by, photograph the items in groupings that he felt would work well for bidding groups, and list them for a week of auction bids. I had a few problems, however.

This complete set of dishes for eight along with service platters and
creamers sold for $2. Ridiculous! If it had been separated and sold differently
it might have brought a bit more. But, it's done now and at least it will be gone.
For this money, though, we probably would have done better by donating it
and taking the tax write-off. 

I think most of the problems would have been resolved early if I had insisted on reading through the text for each item BEFORE the auction text was posted live to catch typos, misinformation, and make sure that the descriptions actually did justice to the items. I also think that some items that had been grouped should have been split to get a higher bid and better auction action. There were typos and inaccurate information in the text that took most of the week to get clarified and corrected, and this was while the auction was live! Not good!

The copper kettle went for half of its value, but that's OK. It took more than
four days before the text was corrected to indicate that it was pure copper
(except for the handles) instead of "possible" copper or copper plate. Sheesh!

If I ever do something like this again, I think I could do better photographs and certainly better descriptions. Boyd's notes were sketchy and we were correcting information almost daily as we read through the text for each auction item. I think those descriptions were reflected in the slow bidding interest and flat final bids.

The dining room table - solid maple with six chairs in almost perfect condition, should
have brought it $200 but only brought $40. He took twelve pictures of it, but
had it listed incorrectly as a Montgomery Wards piece instead of a
Bassett piece for days. I'm quite sure that affected bidding interest. 

But - on the positive side - we have managed to sell most of what remained in the house, including almost all of the larger furniture items. We will get some money from all of this - not a great deal but some and that's a very good thing. And we'll be one step closer to getting the house onto the market and sold. I suspect we'll skip Renaissance Fest this weekend and go next weekend which will be the final weekend for the 2013 season. If we do skip, we'll spend a few hours at the house beginning the final cleaning and trash collection.

The guitar went for a reasonable amount, even though it had some small
damage at the base. I was happy with this one.

I'll be so happy to finally have this house on the market and sold!

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