LETTER: Titling a sale

We experience much change in our lives parting with, or acquiring possessions, with or without moving our residence.

We experience much change in our lives parting with, or acquiring possessions, with or without moving our residence. With increasing awareness of reuse, recycle, re-purpose and other “re” words that encourage keeping stuff in circulation and out of the landfill, the following might be useful as you plan a sale.

This tip is from a friend whose family handles estate sales in big cities: pay attention to naming your sale. Garage sale usually indicates a variety of items being offered before a trip to thrift stores, the dumpster or landfill. Many people cruise garage sales as an affordable shopping experience, a chance to chat, or for the thrill of finding a real bargain. They come with coin purses jingling and wallets at the ready.

Estate sale draws a similar audience, but also brings antique dealers — sometimes arriving even before the scheduled starting time. Such sales also draw folks seeking old-fashioned items that bring fond memories. Estate sales will also interest those seeking the junk drawer for 25 cents. These sales attract coin purses, wallets, and chequebooks.

If you’re making a major shift to a smaller residence or a distant location and doing significant downsizing and taking the hard line on tackling the emotional connection to even cherished items, titling your effort a moving sale will bring an entirely different clientele. Folks seeking an entire room full of matching furniture along with quality items with a discounted, but still substantial, price tag will be the big buyers. These folks will arrive with more money or leave a deposit and schedule a time to return with more cash, if necessary.

When I came to the South Okanagan several years ago, I hosted a successful moving sale and netting twice the money my friend estimated I would receive. There were also memorable moments such as discounting some items of original art to young people captivated but in short supply of substantial cash.

After the sale, I’d arranged for one friend to bring his truck for remaining books going to the university library’s annual sale and another friend brought a truck to collect items for the local resale store. Some items were left curbside for a day with a sign containing the world’s most powerful marketing word: FREE. Very little was actually junked. All in all, it was a satisfying and at times heart-warming experience with ample proceeds for the efforts of all involved.

Merle Kindred, Penticton


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