Estate Sale: PART 1 – Avoid our costly pricing error

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Now we are faced with the biggest downsizing of all, an Estate Sale... 3 months to prep...
Estate Sale PART 1 How to avoid a costly pricing error

We faced with the most significant downsizing of all, an Estate Sale!  From January to mid-March we had to sell everything since we were leaving the ‘sticks and bricks’ behind. By everything I mean: bedroom sets, living room sets, a car, right down to a butter dish. For your convenience, we have broken the Estate Sale into P1, P2, P3, and P4.

Through the 3-month Estate Sale process, we learned a lot and have TIPS to help you with yours. But first, below are the Estate Sale steps after the Downsizing Prep we performed for RV life.

Living Estate Sale Decision

Selling off everything we own, to enable us to full-time RV was not an easy decision. Of course, we have explained why Melissa and why Don each wanted this lifestyle in our blogs. The Estate Sale decision took a long time to make. We talked at length with no fear unsaid and performed countless hours of research.

The thought of a Storage Unitcrossed our minds. That would allow us to have our ‘stuff’ in the future, if and when we decided to stop the RV lifestyle. The numbers were run, and the Estate Sale was our best option.  Now, if the Estate Sale was not our best decision, it is way too late now!

Sorting – The 4 Categories

The four categories an item could be assigned to are: Keep, Sell, Donate and Toss.  When an item became a ‘maybe keep,’ it was set aside to be re-examined later. If too many were going into the ‘maybe’ area, it was time for a break. We found that labeling boxes for each category was the best organizational plan. See our TIPS for more help.

To help us decide on what to keep, we asked the following questions:
  • How often is the item used?
  • Does the item add value to my life?
  • Do I feel joy for the item?
  • What purpose does the item have?
The following questions aided us for RV living:
  • Do we have room for the item in the RV?
  • Can another item serve the same function?
  • How much does the item weigh (if too much, we can’t keep it)
  • Will the item break in transit?  If yes, can it be replaced?
Estate Sale PART 1 How To Avoid A Costly Pricing Error

Research For Pricing

In our Downsizing Prep blog, we talked about making a list of items per room.  On that list, we wrote down what we considered our big ticket items and price guesstimates. That step allowed us to focus our time and energy on what to research.

With a model number in hand, we hit the internet to search for the item. Some items without identifying marks, an estimated date is helpful. Other times you can use the ‘search images’ with a detailed description. Throughout the process, you will find some treasures that will be easy to research and others will not. This is when you decide how much time to invest in pricing for the Estate Sale.

Search Example

For example, I typed in the search: “white and gold egg platter.” This item was highly produced, so instant results came up with an overwhelming amount of them for sale. The prices populated from multiple selling platforms were all in the same general range.  Having this information allowed us to price our Egg Platter at a reasonable rate for the Estate Sale.

Avoid A Big Financial Loss

Researching each item to price it appropriately is tedious.  But can save you from our potential error that would have resulted in a considerable loss. I put a $20 price on a dried orchid in a display case that I did not research. A few hours into the Estate Sale, I had a customer comment that a similar display with a different color orchid sold for $5,000.  Say what?! She did not leave with the item, so I quickly pulled it from the Estate Sale. After a little research, I found that the one we have, in similar color and condition would net between $100 – $500. We have a new love for this orchid and chose not to sell it.

Click HERE for Part 2 where we will help you spread awareness of the Estate Sale through a website and the option to sell everything.


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Melissa McElfresh

Melissa McElfresh

In 2012 I was diagnosed with Gastroparesis (stomach paralysis), which made me realize life is too short and not to take simple things for granted. As an avid indoor-girl with allergies, I did not go on hikes of any sort. But, one day my Marine husband, Don, asked if I would go on a 'nature walk' with him. It was on the paved Going To The Sun Road in Glacier National Park. I went and was hooked, eager for our next adventure! The desire to see new places, meet new people, experience new cultures, has aided me to share with you my new adventure.

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About Us

We are sharing our adventures to not only document our full-time living in a 5th wheel but to provide others with information.  Our extensive research involved searching for answers to these questions: how to begin this lifestyle, what RV is best to live in full-time and what jobs could we do to support our dream.  However, we did not find a lot of answers out there that pertained to our quest.  Quickly we realized people choose this lifestyle and their RV for many different reasons.  There is no right or wrong answer.  We are here to provide you with another perspective.

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