My wife and I have been enjoying a couple of localized Facebook pages that serve as ongoing virtual yard sales. People know each other to some extent, people post pictures, people raise their hand if they want something, and people deliver the goods. We’ve gotten some neat things, and we’ve gotten rid of some of our stuff that had past its usefulness.
Overall, a good time is had by all.
It’s not fun to have an expensive item that you can’t sell
A little over a year ago I bought a parlor grand piano on Facebook from a local person. I regretted buying it even before as they were moving it off of the truck. (Two things that I learned from this experience: (1) trust your gut, and (2) if you’re buying a bulky item, don’t let the seller bring it over to show it to you before you’ve bought it, because that creates a sense of indebtedness that weakens your negotiation.)
So, I had this piano that really wasn’t what I wanted. It was taking up a lot of room. It was old, and the more I researched how much it would take to fix it so that it played even passably well, the more depressed I got about it. I truly had bought a dog, and I disliked looking at the thing, which was displayed prominently in our foyer. I couldn’t avoid looking at it every day.
So, I proceeded to try to sell it. First, I asked friends. A few looked at it, but everyone turned it down, even at a price far less than what I paid for it. I tried selling it to piano dealers, but they wanted nothing to do with something that old. I tried selling it on the Facebook bargain sites that my wife and I were frequenting. (The person who sold me the piano was on those sites. How’s that for eating crow?) Several people said that it was beautiful, but I was thinking: “I don’t care that you think it’s pretty, blah blah blah. Just buy it.” I tried Craigslist, but all I managed to do was attract a bunch of people trying to scam me with fake cashiers’ checks.
Giving something away is more than just the money
After the last person who was mildly interested in the piano didn’t bite, I decided to take getting rid of the thing seriously. I had slowly resigned myself to having to take a big loss on it, and now I just wanted it to be gone so I could get the space back. I had gotten I put the piano on Freecycle.org.
Free is a powerful word. It took only two days to be rid of that beast. No scammers, no window shopping, no anything. The new owner picked it up for me, brought some help, and it was gone.
If you give something away — especially something that you don’t really want anymore — it doesn’t matter that there’s no money exchanged. The fact that it’s gone is enough.