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Dutchess_III's avatar

When you sell your personal stuff, do you usually make a profit?

Asked by Dutchess_III (42444points) April 17th, 2016

I do. The first time I re-sold something was in the early 80’s. My husband and I were newly weds. We rented a house that had a fireplace. We wanted a wood burning, stand alone stove to use in place of the fireplace, so we bought a brand new one from a stove dealer for $350. However, being the dumb asses we were we didn’t think to clear it with our landlord first.
Landlord said, “Hell no!” of course. So then I took out an ad to sell the stove. Got a hit pretty quick and he paid the $400 I was asking.

We paid $27,000 for our land and tractor, sold them together last year for $35,000.

The most recent example is a couch table I had purchased from Goodwill for $25. I just loved it, loved the idea of a table behind a couch to put pictures on, or whatever. However…our living room just isn’t big enough, and there was no other place to put it, so I put it up for sale on a buy/sell/trade page on FB for $40.

Got a hit immediately, and she’s on the way to pick it up.

Do you usually make a profit on things you sell?

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18 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Nope. The few times the ex and I had garage sales they were exhausting and I sure felt like we didn’t make that much for the work we put in. All my LPS sold for 50 cents each, the baby clothes sold for 10 cents on the dollar compared to what we paid.

I’d rather donate to the Salvation Army and get a good deduction.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yeah, participated in a garage sale once. Never again! Never never never!

Pachy's avatar

I did only once. I got double the price I had paid for a used computer purchased from the company I worked for. On the other hand, I’ve sold tons of items on Craigslist, many of them barely used, and lost countless dollars.

Jeruba's avatar

Not only do I seldom recover any part of my investment but I often pay for the privilege of giving something away.

I think I’m going to have to try to stop doing that.

jca's avatar

I’ve never sold anything of mine, other than a car. Clothes and objects I either give away or donate someplace.

dxs's avatar

Back when I was in a dorm in college, my roommates would throw so many clothes and other things away. I made so much off of those things.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Me too, @jca. Until Facebook. It is SO easy to sell stuff on there. It’s how I sold the land.

JLeslie's avatar

No, I don’t usually make a profit. The only exception is most of the houses and condos I’ve owned I made a profit, but I’ve lost money on a couple also.

I don’t think I can think of one trinket, car, piece of furniture, or appliance that I made a profit, usually it’s anywhere from a minor to a major financial loss.

The one exception is a car we own that we likely could sell for a good profit right now, maybe $40k+ profit, but my husband won’t sell it. I think he should. We have lost thousands and thousands on cars over the years. I think strike while the pan is hot. You can’t count the money until it’s in your hands. He believes it will continue to appreciate, and he loves the car.

ucme's avatar

We usually share proceeds between worthwhile charities like the butlers benevolent fund & the chauffeurs in need group

CWOTUS's avatar

I never sell my stuff. If I don’t use it until it’s worn out, broken or turned to dust, then it’s probably sitting in a corner of the house or garage somewhere accumulating enough dust to make the conversion that way.

Or I donate it to charity (per @ucme‘s response, but not the same charities), get my name and smiling photo in the local newspaper on a two-page spread, a kiss from a beauty queen, a tax deduction equal to more than all of the previous year’s taxes, and a new replacement in kind from a grateful manufacturer.

Selling one’s goods – like “offering it for sale”, then “having them come to the house” and “paw over it” and “remark on it” and “make an offer” (or not) is… oh, I don’t have the word for it, but whatever it is, the thought of it makes my skin crawl.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Hmm. Well, I find it quite convenient. I post a picture then wait for people to come to my house and give me money.
I’m about to sell a largish area rug that way for $20 or so. We’ve been making some changes in the decor. I won’t make a profit on it, though, because we bought it new about 6 years ago. I only make a profit when I find whatever for a really good deal, then turn around and sell it for a little more than what I paid for it.

When I owned the shop I had a mechanic and, for whatever reason, we were talking about how the finances operate. I said something, and he stared at me open mouthed and said, “You sell those mowers (brand new mowers from the dealers) for more than you pay for them??” I guess he thought that was just wrong! That’s why some people don’t own their own business.
If he really knew….!

jca's avatar

I wouldn’t bother to sell a rug for $20. To me, it wouldn’t be worth reorganizing my day around someone coming over to look at it, possibly not want it, or possibly not show up. The inconvenience would not be worth $20, to me.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, that will only happen if you let it happen. You’re in control, not them. And if you DO reorganize your whole day, or waste time waiting around for a $20 sale, then you are being ridiculous.

Except when I sold the land. I reorganized more than one day for that.

jca's avatar

@Dutchess_III: Someone wants to come over. How’s 3 o’clock for you? The only time I can come today is 3 o’clock, when my husband gets home from work and can watch the kids. Well, I was going to go to the store but now I guess I’ll have to stick around the house if I want this rug outta here.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Selling a $20 rug is not a life and death decision. It’s on them, @jca. If I have plans for a certain time, I tell them and if they can’t work around those times, too bad. I’ll sell it to someone who can.

It sounds like you’d choose to put it all on you. That’s your call.

jca's avatar

The time, the hassle, having a stranger come over for 20 bucks. Not worth 20 bucks, to me. Luckily I’m not that much in need of it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@jca, We got that you don’t “need” the money. You’ve mentioned it several times. However, that isn’t even what it’s about. It’s about someone paying YOU for the honor of having them doing all work! It’s not a hassle, unless you make it into one, or allow it to become one. I don’t. I’m in control of my own life.

Anyway, I don’t know what I was thinking. I’m going to hang on to the rug, and put it in the RV to use as our outdoor living area rug when we’re camping. High class camping, W00T W00T!

I’ll be putting this big, heavy, solid oak filing cabinet up for sale soon, probably for $50. I don’t need $50, but I bet it weighs 150 pounds and I dig the idea of someone paying me to do all that heavy lifting for me and taking it away.

jca's avatar

@Dutchess_III: I can see that logic. I’d probably have the Vietnam Vets pick it up off the deck (while I’m at work).

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