One part of my business is helping my clients to sell their belongings.
I have thought long and hard about this.
When I look at the belongings in any home, they all have meaning; a story to tell. Let's take this carved gourd in my own house, for example.
I did this myself about eight years ago. Not only did I grow the gourd, but I cured it, salvaged the seeds, took the time to carve, dye, and seal it. I love the design and the colors, and I am proud of the work I did. But here's the thing...not EVERYONE would.
If I were to sell this, I might ask $20, and even that would be high. Only someone who likes gourds, appreciates the craftsmanship, or perhaps likes Celtic knots would buy it. Likely, it would get an offer for $8.
This stings. Why? Because it has meaning. To ME.
When I work with a client, I have to carefully navigate how to price and sell items they no longer want. The truth is, our items are rarely worth a fraction of what we believe them to be. Some people feel ripped off.
How do I proceed?
Well, first I have to determine how important the item is to my client. If it is truly valuable, emotionally or financially, I often encourage my client to keep the item. If my client is ready to let it go, I try to emphasize the gift of giving, and the importance of letting go. There is a cost associated with hanging onto an item...in space, emotional toll, and "weight." I encourage my client to be grateful; actively and loudly grateful, for having an object, and then wishing that it brings joy to the next owner. When taking this perspective, many clients are willing to get rid of a) emotionally-laden objects that no longer bring joy, b) objects gifted to them that they have no use for, and, c) items that are superfluous.
I'm always curious when people list very expensive, used items, 10% off retail. If you're willing to spend $200 for a baby swing, or framed picture, why would you buy a used one, for $180? I understand the desire to re-coup some of your cost, but being reasonable when reselling doesn't come easy, for some. That is because we VALUE our items more than others, and value does not necessarily equal cost.
Part of what I enjoy most about helping clients to sell their items is the joy it brings both the seller AND the buyer. THAT is where the cost is recovered. In sharing. In giving. In providing for someone, at a small cost, something they want or need.
Those who'd like to sell their items for more, I encourage them to seek out a different venue, and I have a list of resources, but I am NOT that person. Our family has been blessed by so many, of so much, that I'd much rather be rich in blessings and giving than in money and receiving, and I share this with my clients. Some agree. Some do not. I am okay with either.
Coming this Friday and Saturday is a FLASH sale I'm doing for a client. It will be from 8am-2pm each day at 801 Greenwood in Holmen, WI. There will be many books, household items, and miscellaneous items for sale. I hope to see you there.