Whether it is a vacuum, a set of dishes, a television, stereo, a set of golf clubs or a limited print – people often feel they are worth what they paid many years ago.
Reality is a great depreciation has taken place and many items are not selling well. In a week, we can get up to five used vacuums. Some cost a lot and some have been seldom used, yet many people do not want to purchase a used vacuum because they really don’t know how it has been used. Has it vacuumed up dog or cat hair and dander? Has it been used to clean up after construction? Could the dust it cleaned up affect someone’s dust allergy? Does it show signs of wear? If it takes vacuum bags are they easy to find and replace?
Let’s look at dishes: Do they have a metal rim ? Then they can’t go in a microwave. Are they “plain” like the younger generation would like? Can they handle the chemicals and hot water of dishwashers? Are they chipped or cracked? Do they have knife marks on the plates from sharp knives? Then the main question – How much does a modern set of dishes cost at Walmart?
Many seniors in apartment buildings have floor to ceiling drapes that have cost them thousands of dollars and they want to SELL them. The curtains were custom made and a person living or moving into a similar unit might pay something for them but no where near the money the senior feels they should get for them.
Another thing we often get is tools. Yes they did cost a lot but go to Home Depot, Lowes or Walmart and see what a new drill or set of screwdrivers, that were made in China, are selling for right now. They also have a year warranty.
Antique dressers and desks once brought hundreds of dollars and now only bring a fraction of that unless there is some providence or a well known desirable manufacturer. Bedroom sets and dining room sets are often difficult to sell. A client called to say he has been trying to sell one of each for a while with no success. Often consignment stores and auction houses will not take them. Even some charities refuse to accept them. Sad, but true.
Older automobiles: Recently I was with a car dealer who was in his 40s. I was talking about some of the cars we admired over the years and he didn’t know many of the vehicles – Austin Healey, Bug Eye Sprite, Morris Minor, Hilman …. There was no interest. I went to a car event with a 13 year old grandchild and asked what cars she liked. She liked the cars from the 70s and 80s and had no interest at all in cars from the 40s, 50s, or 60s. This is affecting the prices of some local collector cars. If few people are interested in something then the price is affected.
One of our workers said two charities would not accept any of his items. One of his clients insisted on driving with him to the charities and was surprised when two charities looked at all the items and took very few.
If you are working with a parent or a friend prepare them that their expectations may not be met.