It is interesting how when you want to purchase something, whether it’s furniture, artwork, crystal,  decorative items or even jewelry, you are lucky if the store is running a promotion and you might save a small percentage of the retail price.

But once purchased and you decide it is time to sell, all bets are off for your getting anywhere close to what you paid for the items.   And there are numerous ways to resell items you no longer want or need.  Your options include an estate sale, a garage sale, a consignment store, an auction company and, in some cases, even an art gallery.

If you research how you plan to sell and who you plan to use, be careful you don’t listen to the sales pitch without reading the contract and all the pages of small type that could set off some red flags.  Many of the companies agree to a minimum price with an acceptable price range.  However, when you read the fine print you will find that the company has the right to sell at a much lower price than the minimum you believed was established.   

The next provision you need to be aware of is all the other hidden costs that include restocking fees, fees for returning unsold items, commissions to be paid even though the item did not sell, and so forth.  This is an unregulated business and unfortunately many people are severely taken advantage of, especially the elderly.

From my personal experience, I have had some good experiences and, unfortunately, too many bad ones.  Items not returned or retuned broken, items damaged, and items sold for far less than the agreed upon minimum.

I am also convinced that if the items have significant value, they can be sold to a family member or friend then resold by the original company you trusted to be honest and fair.  

One of the best things we have done is donate quality items to charities.   I would rather have someone in need use items that I have owned and cared about rather than having someone making money at my expense.   There are so many worthwhile charities that appreciate your donation to raise money.  There are companies that specialize in helping the poor, feeding the homeless, curing cancer, building homes, and so forth.  It is far better to consider donating items when it is time to sell.

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