Monday, September 13, 2010

3 Year Anniversary of the Auction of all our "Stuff" to go fulltime!

How do you get rid of 30 year's worth of "stuff" and still get some value for it? We pondered this issue in the early summer of 2007 as we made the decision to try the fulltime RV lifestyle. We considered the yard sale approach, but had never felt we received a fair return for the effort of putting it on. So, we decided to investigate an auction. We contacted a respected. local auction house (Bessman Auctions) and discussed the process. We decided to give it a try and set Sept. 14, 2007 as the big day. Of course, this meant that our summer would be spent preparing, and cleaning, items then moving them into the garage to be ready for the auction. This is what took the vast majority of time, but really paid off. As you can see, the garage was packed as the auction day approached!

We decided to offer everything -- from this pair of old ice skates to Rick's very nice wood-working machines. Of course, the auctioneer advertised all of these items (at our expense) for a few weeks in advance and we hoped for good weather for the auction.
Sept. 14 dawned clear, but cold! In fact, note the frost on the roof of the green house above (not too surprising in South Dakota where we lived in the fall)! Starting at 6:30am, the auction team showed up to start moving items onto the lawn in "lots" -- each of which was auctioned individually. We ended up with auction "lots" being staged everywhere on the lawn -- in fact, there were several hundred lots. Some consisted of a few glasses and plates in a cardboard box. Other lots might be a large TV or a dresser.

Here you can see a small part of the auction items. We started auctioning at 10:00am, and continued full speed (with two auctioneers) until about 3:00 pm. Wow -- what a day!
We were fortunate to have hundreds of bidders, due to the excellent advertising done by the auction house. This shows a small group of the folks as we were getting ready to auction our living room leather furniture (which sold very well!).

Cody was wondering what was going on, but Orinda assured him he was NOT on the auction list!

The auction house covered all the bases and all we did was watch. They registered all the bidders, collected the money and even would have handled any bad checks (there were none). We received a complete tally of items, lot prices and buyers at the end of the day. A couple days later, we received a check and we were done.

Here, one of the auctioneers is selling a small stool -- he is a real pro and completed this item in about a minute. The best part of the auction was that everyone took their purchase with them and at the end of the day -- all the stuff was gone!!

Here you can see some of Rick's wood working tools. These sold very well and made Rick feel much better about selling them. Some items sold for less than we expected, but others sold for much more. Overall, we cleared about 20% more than we hoped for and were very pleased with the results.

An interesting aside -- after 3 years, we have realized we have not missed our stuff at all. Amazing!


Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

I bet you are glad that is all behind you now!

Rick and Orinda said...

You are right sor sure about that! Plus, we simply have not missed the stuff -- amazing.