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Cash in on Your 'Hidden Treasure' When You Retire

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 8 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
Online Auctions Moving Sale Car Boot

Many people scale back a bit after retirement, choosing to live simpler lives. Oftentimes, retirees even decide to sell their homes and move to smaller houses or rental flats, requiring that they sort through their belongings and take only a portion of them to their new homes. What they may not realise is that all of those items that have been lurking up in the attic for years can sometimes be worth a small (or large!) fortune.

Sorting Out the Items of Value

While most of the things that we buy and save have some level of sentimental value, not all have substantial monetary value. Knowing the difference between the two is important, so it’s well worth the effort for retirees to educate themselves on the resale value of their possessions before deciding how to best dispose of them. There are a number of great books on the subject of placing a value on old toys, household goods, jewellery, clothing, art, and collectibles. Many publishers offer updated books annually as the market for such items fluctuates a great deal from year to year, and finding current information is essential.

One of the quickest, easiest, and cheapest ways to find out what items are selling for is to do a search for them on an online auction site and scroll through the results. In order to get the most accurate results, potential sellers should look over their items closely and make note of any manufacturer’s markings or other identifying information. Additionally, the condition of the items matters, as those that are in spectacular shape are bound to be more sought after than those that show a lot of wear and tear.

Deciding Where to Sell your Items

Some things, especially those with small monetary value, can be easily sold at a moving sale or car boot sale, but successfully selling in either of these ways does take a bit of advanced planning. Items should be sorted, cleaned, and clearly marked with an asking price. Sellers should be prepared for potential buyers to offer less than the asking price, and may have to be flexible if they hope to go home with an empty vehicle!

Pieces that have the potential to garner a higher price may be better sold in a larger venue, such as an online or in-person auction. By opening themselves up to a larger audience, sellers increase the chances that interested buyers will engage in a bidding battle in order to procure their desired rewards.

Participating in online auctions is a simple procedure, for both buyers and sellers, and by using a payment service, sellers can rest assured that they will receive payment in a safe, secure, and timely manner. Another benefit of utilising a payment service is that buyers are able to pay without disclosing personal financial information to strangers, making them more comfortable than they might otherwise be. Additionally, such services allow buyers several options for making payments; they can have the funds taken directly from their bank accounts or payment can be charged to their credit cards, perfect for those who may be buying things that they want, but can’t quite afford!

Selling Special Items

Every now and then, retirees come across an item or two that they suspect may be of substantial value. In such cases, it may be wise to have the pieces professionally appraised. Art, jewellery, antique weaponry, well-crafted furniture, and autographs often fall into this category, but virtually all items have the potential to gain in value over time, so when in doubt, check them out!

Disposing of What Doesn’t Sell

Unless good luck abounds, most sellers are left with a few things that just don’t find a willing buyer. There are a number of options for disposing of these leftover items, with tossing them in the bin being held only as a last resort. Usually, there is some way to place unwanted items so that someone else can benefit from them. Many churches or other organisations hold occasional sales, relying on the generosity of patrons for donations. By gathering all of the remaining items after their own sales have all been held and dropping them off for a jumble sale, nothing goes to waste. In these times of economic hardship, there is no better way to recycle!

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