Candes Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in La Touraine.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Brocante or Garage Sale

Another fortnight to go before my mother moves into her service flat. The moving company is booked and we know what to take and what to leave behind ... although the list of things to move is getting longer every day. I intend to respect my mother's wishes, but already know that the flat is too small to squeeze in all the stuff she's is adding to the moving list.

Once she's settled in, we'll start emptying the house ... an even bigger challenge than the actual move. We know of some charity organizations which will be happy to collect most of the furniture. 

Last Sunday my cousin and her husband came over and gratefully accepted some of the more valuable items of which my mother wanted them to 'stay in the family'. My cousin's husband advised me to put the rest on the internet (eBay) or put it up for sale at a 'brocante' or garage sale. However, after my one and only eBay experience which turned into stalking-like affair in May 2012, I'm very weary about the whole thing. And I just don't have the time or the opportunity to attend 'brocantes' (vide-greniers) or to organize a garage sale.

I have found another possible 'outlet' for some of the more practical stuff though: our company's intranet. Last night I put several items for sale: two vintage (1950) seats, a bed, two Thonet chairs (19th century) and a pair of brand-new goat's wool socks. Using my 'marketing- copywriting experience' I gave the small ads an extra touch! And guess what? This morning I already had an offer on the two 1950-ties seats. It's less than I expected, yet better than giving hem away for nothing. I'll wait another day or two, and if nobody comes up with a better deal I'll sell them to the lady who was first to react.

I wonder if anybody will put in an offer for the socks! Do I detect a raise of hands there?


chm said...

In the States, some people use Graiglist for that kind of transactions. Maybe you can check to see if it's operative in Belgium.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I have never had a problem with eBay and I have bought and sold a lot, you must have been unfortunate. Sounds like you are doing OK. Those socks do look cosy :-) Hope you are ell Diane

The Broad said...

Oh, Martine, I do sympathize with you! When my parents downsized to move from their rambling 5-bedroomed house it was quite a job going through all the stuff they had accumulated over 60 years of married life! Living in New England home of myriad antique shops made the job easier. They didn't get the most money, but they did acquire a tidy sum that enabled them the funds to acquire new things more suitable to the new much snakker place.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

I find Ebay a bit of a problem , maybe because I haven't used it a lot . My brother buys and sells on Ebay . He does it all of the time. My daughter in law and niece you it also.

I like your idea, selling through work, but I wouldn't wait for another offer , I would take the first one .. rather it go for something than nother as you say .. Good luck . Anne

Jean said...

Ebay is a bit of a palaver but easy once you get the hang of it. When you're short of time I wonder if it's worth all the effort for just a few £ or €.
When we cleared out my mother in law's home, the family took any items they wanted and the rest all went to charity. They were very grateful for it.
Selling some of your mother's things at work is a great idea - and those socks look really soft and cosy !!

Travel said...

In the States, there are business that specialize in holding sales. Often the hold the sale in the house after the person has moved what they want out, if that is not possible, they will move the contents to another location for sale. They take a percentage and pay the family the balance. They do all of the work and deal with the buyers (the potential stalkers.)

Anonymous said...

My experiences of Ebay have not been good, especially the last time I used it. In England we have Gumtree, which is free to advertise on, I don't know if they have that where you are, also here in France there are 'Depot Ventes' which are like brocantes but they sell your things for you, take commission, but it's kept at their brocante till it sells. Ones near us have everything from furniture to cups, plates and small trinkets. If you have one of them it might be worth while, easier than trying to sell it yourself? Good luck with it all and I hope your mum is happy in her new flat.

VirginiaC said...

Wish I were there to organize the Garage Sale for you...I would have loved to do it, but it seems you have other options for selling your Mum's stuff...hope all goes well.

GaynorB said...

Hi Martine,
Just wondering how the preparations for the move are coming along. It must be both an emotionally and physically exhausting process for both you and your mother.
I shall be thinking about you both as moving day approaches and wish your mother well in her new home. I hope she will be very happy and comfortable there.
Hope to see you in the Loire Valley in 2015.

ladybird said...

Chm, I looked it up but couldn't find a contact in Belgium. There are a lot of similar sites though.

Diane, The socks have gone by now. I didn't find a buyer, but someone whom I appreciate a lot was interested.

Kathy, Thank you. Hope you are coping with the recent loss of your mother. Take care.

Anne, I accepted the offer and the chairs have now found a new home, where they will be very happy, I'm sure.

Jean, We will probably donated most to charity, but there are a few pieces that I want to give a lovely new home.

Hi Travel, Thanks for the tip. We have similar organizations and companies her too. But most of the time you end up paying (not a lot) instead of receiving.

Vicky, Over here the companies go by the name of 'Troc international'. I think I will put some of the better stuff up for sale there.

Virginia, We are slowly working our way down ... but I know a lot will have to go for free, being outdated. Wish you were here to help me :))

Hi Gaynor, Thank you for your kind words. The move is coming up in a few days and although it will be an emotional turmoil, my mother and I are focusing on the bright side ... a lovely, warm flat with all the modern commodities and a great view. So far, I have no definite travel plans for 2015... but I'll keep you informed.