Fandango’s Friday Flashback: July 3

Inspired by Fandango’s Friday Flashback: July 3

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year….Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year?

~~~

I wonder about young children today. What will they remember in the years to come? Just staying distant and wearing masks?

Apparently bicycle riding has become more popular since the pandemic began – among those with access – so perhaps kids forced to stay “distant” will be more apt to gravitate toward solitary outdoor play such as this. I hope so.

“Zooming,” however, takes on a whole new meaning.

The following post was originally published on July 3, 2018

******

Bicycles: Times Past

 

Irene Waters’ “Times Past” prompt challenge topic for this month is: Bicycles.

https://irenewaters19.com/2018/07/01/bicycles-times-past/

I am a baby boomer and grew up in the suburbs of New York and New Jersey, USA

I remember always having some type of 2 or 3 wheeled transportation to call my own when I was a kid.

 

tricycle A010
1956

I started off on a tricycle and stepped up to a “big girl” bike around the age of 5 or 6. Pink, with coaster brakes and a loud horn, this bike was my ticket to freedom – once I fully learned how to stop…. My most vivid bicycle memory is the day my father removed my training wheels. I started pedaling in front of our house – at first wobbly – but with my father’s hand steadying the back I managed to remain upright. I picked up speed as I – by myself!- headed toward the end of the street. After flying by 2 or 3 houses I realized I had absolutely no idea how to slow down and stop. Either nobody told me it was the same as with the training wheels or I simply forgot. Brain cramp. So what did I do? I clearly remember the heart thudding moment-of-panic as I made a split second decision (perhaps my first and that’s why I remember it so well). I steered into the curb and fell over onto the asphalt. Nothing broken. Just a few bumps, scrapes and bruises. Lesson learned.

Bike 1
circa 1959 – my new bike (sister not impressed…)

Despite my early braking mishap, I absolutely loved riding a bike and rode with no fear. When I outgrew (or wore out) the pink one, I got a bigger white bike in the 5th grade. Coaster brakes again. In those days, still no helmet. Despite the fact that my father kept accidentally bumping his car into my “new white bike” (as noted in my diary) it lasted quite a few years. The garage was small for a car plus multiple bikes. There were 4 kids by then.

When I was 10 and 11, I often rode to the small grocery store/strip mall that was 6+ blocks away. Errands for my mother or to get bubble gum and comics for myself. Or sometimes to sample all the perfume spray testers at the drug store with my girlfriend Kathleen. It was mostly downhill from my house. I’d start at our backyard (which bordered another backyard) and take off bumping over grass, tree roots, gravel and into the neighbor’s yard in back. I’d jump the bike over their curb and into the street, turning right. Zooming past about 4 houses, I turned left and then…the best part – a hill straight down bisecting at least 4 streets on the way to the main road and my destination…the Acme! The drug store! My hands flung out to the side. Feet off the pedals. The wind. Nothing like it before or since.  Sometimes I’d shut my eyes for a second or two. Riding back home…uphill…was another story altogether; but totally worth it.

Bike riding was crucial to my quest for exploring the vast suburban wilderness. The many blocks to the candy store, the woods at the end of the street, my friend Kathleen’s house two blocks away. My parents didn’t and couldn’t track me. “Be home by….” was all the direction I got. Priceless freedom.

When I neared the end of high school, I saved up and bought a “folding” bike which I brought to my summer job at a camp in NH. It saved space during travel and was fairly simple to store. I also brought it with me to college where I rode it from one end of campus to the other. Since my first car took center stage after college graduation, I sold my folding bike and moved on.

As an adult – in my late 30’s or early 40’s – I owned a bike again. I wore a helmet. I rode it around the rural neighborhood street where we were raising our kids. Around and around. Kind of boring. I was no longer as fearless. And what’s with the hand brakes??

Fandango’s Friday Flashback: April 10

Inspired by Fandango’s Friday Flashback: April 10

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year….Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year?

~~~

This post is from April 10, 2018. I had not yet gone “public” with my blog. This was obviously before I realized that a loooooong post is probably not such a good idea. 🙂

It’s also interesting to note how different the process of utilizing Craig’s List would be now – under the current conditions. If possible at all.

******

downsizing and stuff – part 3 – Craig’s List

 

IMG_0032 copy

SCHWINN Girl’s Bike – 18″$50

Lavender and white classic “coaster brake” style bicycle in excellent condition, few scuff marks. This is a Schwinn high quality bike, 18″ with adjustable seat and handlebars.

One July morning, I received an email:

I am interested in this bike and would like to check it out. I live in (town) so contact me if it is still available and when a good time would be.

The next day, a white box truck decorated with images of fruits and vegetables arrived and parked at the end of my driveway. It was from a local produce company which advertises “locally sourced produce…from farm to table!”
The driver – the man who sent the email – walked up towards me where I was waiting with the purple bike. We had saved it hanging on the garage wall for many years. To look at it was to remember our blonde 5 year old bound and determined to ride a big-girl bike all by herself. And she did.

I showed the man the original handbook I had saved. He looked the bike over, pleased it was in such good shape. He wanted to buy a “high quality brand,” even if used, rather than a cheap Walmart bike. He was planning to surprise his 6 year old daughter named Daisy. It would be her first big-girl bike too. I knew it was meant to be as I watched him wheel it down the driveway to the truck. I had to smile…my grown up daughter belongs to a CSA and is bound and determined to buy local whenever possible.

 ***

REDLINE 340 Boy’s Bike$60

Dark Blue 20″ REDLINE 340 “Motocross” bicycle in EXCELLENT CONDITION. Includes water bottle holder, adjustable seat and handlebars.

One July morning, 2 weeks later, I received this email:

I am very interested in this bike. I am a BMX collector. Not the type that “flips” bikes for money. I love older BMX bikes from the 80’s and 90’s and like to restore or refurbish them. However I prefer to have “survivors” like this. I feel your price is fair and would like to buy it from you but my wife has informed me that my bike fund is depleted right now. The soonest I’d have money to buy this would be next Monday or Tuesday. I understand money talks and BS walks but if you’ve still got it by next week I’d like to arrange something with you.
Thanks for your time.

I emailed him that it was still available and he got right back to me.

That is GREAT!
I get paid again on Monday afternoon and will be ready with cash in hand as soon as Monday night. I would love to have this all original survivor BMX in my collection. I love collecting and riding BMX bikes, I’ve included a picture of a few of the bikes in my collection. All the ones that are just frame and fork are ones that are currently being restored by me. The one that stands alone is my own personal survivor bike from when I was a kid, I bought it new and have held onto it ever since.
Not that most people selling a bike care about where it goes but I just wanted to let you know that if you decide to sell your bike to me it will be going to a good home. (Lol)

Three days later I emailed him that the bike was still available.

His response:

Thanks! I’ve been into BMX since I was a young boy. I’ve gotten really into collecting and restoring over the last five or so years. It’s cheaper than collecting and restoring old cars! Lol. I’ll have the money tomorrow but won’t realistically be able to get out to (you) until probably Tuesday or Wednesday if that’s ok with you.
Feel free to call or text me with any questions
Thanks again, George.

George, my favorite and most enthusiastic buyer ever – probably in his 40’s – lived 1-1/2 hours away and arrived with his pickup truck one hot July day. He told me the story of his BMX bicycle collection, adding more details to the email descriptions. After very carefully inspecting the bike and pronouncing it “a score,” he paid the asking price. I noticed a woman – probably his wife – sitting in the passenger seat, rolling her eyes, with a profound look of resignation on her face. George later emailed me and included photos of my son’s bike all cleaned up and shiny; looking almost like new.

I just wanted to send you a quick message to say thanks again for the Redline BMX bike you sold me. I have been working on it and getting it cleaned up. I was able to finally get it out for a ride the other night and I gotta tell you this bike rides awesome. It has now become my new favorite bike to ride!
Thanks again, George

Before George bought it, it had hung in a special place on the garage wall next to his sister’s. Our son was also an avid collector…of bottle caps, sports cards, pennies….  Selling his bike to such a dedicated collector also seemed meant to be.

 ***

Wurlitzer Piano$200

Wurlitzer spinnet style piano and bench. Manufactured in 1967.
Very good playing condition with some minor wood finish discoloration on top.

One morning in early June, I received this email:

May I look at the piano tomorrow on Sunday? I live in (town), so it will be a fast trip. I want to teach my three year old son how to play and this will fit into the house. Please call…

A young man from a few miles away arrived that sunny Sunday to check out our piano. It had been handed down to us from my mother-in-law, who took lessons on it in her 70’s.  He wanted a “real piano” and not an electric keyboard for his 3 year old son to learn on. The water stains on the top did not concern him.  The bench came with the music books – even ones I had learned on including Teaching Little Fingers To Play with the red cover. He handed me $200 in cash to hold it until the following weekend. I insisted on giving him a receipt. He did come back with a friend the next weekend as promised.  I wonder how that (now 6 year old) little boy likes his piano.

***

Vintage Hutch Credenza$25

condition: fair
Solid wood credenza with 2 doors and 2 drawers (one with felt areas for silverware).
This is a very old piece of furniture that is structurally very good.
It is very scratched, but could be easily painted.
Dimensions:
60″ W
20″ D
27″ H

This would be the final Craig’s List sale…
Three days before we closed on the sale of our house, the Salvation Army truck arrived to collect the leftover giveaway stuff which filled the 2 car garage. The one thing they would not take was this credenza because it was too scratched. Originally belonging to my husband’s grandmother, it was handed down to us and then used for storage.
Within an hour of posting this, a young man emailed me. Two days later he bought it and narrowly missed popping a hernia getting it into his car.
On to its next home. A narrow escape from the dumpster.

***

Downsizing from a 3 bedroom house with a full basement, garage and attic takes time. Lots of time. Well, it does if you want to save the earth and not add your unwanted stuff to the local landfill.

Many friends have asked  – how did you do it?

One major player? Craig’s List.

My friend Chris gave me very good advice about using Craig’s List…
Don’t be surprised if the person never shows up to buy your stuff.
Always get the cash before handing over what you are selling.

Here’s what I learned:

  • Timing is everything
    If you want to sell 22 year old working, but noisy, window air conditioners, post them on a humid 95 degree summer day. Boom! Gone in hours. As I recall a buyer wanted one to keep her cat cool when she was away. I hope the cat didn’t go deaf.
  • Use positive descriptions such as Vintage, Classic, Antique.
  • Avoid old unless it’s absolutely necessary (see “credenza” above)
  • Include the Owner’s Manual if you can find it.
  • Look up any serial numbers for describing old (i.e.: vintage) items.
  • Search eBay for pricing ideas
  • Measure anything that you can measure.
  • Take photos in natural light, outdoors if possible.
  • Dust/clean old (i.e.: vintage) furniture. Make simple repairs such as tightening screws or replacing a hinge. It can make the difference.
  • Set up a time during the day for buyers to look at your items – preferably outside or in a detached garage.
  • Never assume there isn’t a buyer for something you want to sell. You have no idea how many times I heard….Nobody will buy that!  – and then someone did (well most of the time)

A few success stories:

Classic writing desk, vintage bureau, vintage shelf, vintage Silver Streak sled, vintage Yankee Clipper sled, LP Record Cabinet.

What never sold:

Cassette tape storage racks, video cassette player, Mad Men – Season 3, very large vintage speakers that still worked (and why couldn’t someone see how great they still were?).

And, last but not least, when you use Craig’s List to off load your stuff, you may meet some really cool people in the process!

[NOTE TO SELF & READERS: definition of spam….
An earlier response to my son’s bike posting – after I emailed back to a short inquiry asking if the bike was still available…..
Thanks you for the response according to the description,am okay with
the price and the condition pasted on cl. I am ready to make instant
purchase.My mode of payment would be in CERTIFIED CHECK and i will
arrange for a local pick up as soon as you get the check, because that
is the only inconvenient means for me and due to my work frame i can
not be able to get there and i promise everything will go smoothly.I
really wish to be there to check out the item but i don’t have chance
cause am very busy person (US MARINE). Concerning the pick up, i will
arrange for it after you receive the payment and it clears… Pls get
back to me with below info so that i can proceed with the payment
immediately if you are selling to me.
Full Name:
Address: Not P.O.BOX
City:
State:Postal Code:
Total amount for the item
Phone Number: That i can send text
And as soon as this is provided, the payment will be overnight to you
and i will let you know when its mailed out. Thanks and i hope we
handle this in good faith while waiting to hear from you. i will add
an additional $50 so that you can hold it for me till the check reach
you. Best Regards]

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Bicycles…

Inspired by Cee’s B&W Photo Challenge: Bicycles, Tricycles, Motorcycles & Unicycles.

~~~

I do not have access to tricycles anymore – and my older photos are more about the cute kids proudly riding them. My one and only experience on a motorcycle was briefly in high school on the back of a friend’s bike. It was great fun as a passenger riding madly around the neighborhood. I never did figure out how to lean the right way going around corners. Apparently making it difficult for the poor guy to navigate. It was still a thrilling ride…for me at least.

Unicycle? I’ve never seen one except maybe in a parade on TV.

However, last summer I noticed a long line of bicycles alongside a Farmers’ Market in Washington DC.

Waiting to be rented. For 30 minute trips at a time.

What a good idea…

line of bikes

Get local fresh fruits and vegetables…and your exercise too!

 

Tales of Terror: Times Past

Irene Waters’ “Times Past” prompt challenge topic for February is: Tales of Terror

Can you remember any tales of fear that your parents used to stop you going out of bounds. Please join in giving your location at the time of your memory and your generation. 

~~~

 

jungle gym
on top of the world circa 1962

 

As a baby boomer growing up in the USA suburbs, I basically roamed the tree lined streets of my working class neighborhood. On foot. On my bike. On my skateboard. On roller skates. I specifically remember the house I lived in from the age of 4 to 11. There were woods to explore at one end of the street before it curved uphill to circle around to the next block. Houses lined up close together and near to the street.

 

My mother issued two clear directives to keep me safe:

 Don’t take candy from strangers.

This was in the context of a stranger driving around the block, who might stop, open the door and try to lure me into his car with a Nestle’s Crunch. I would then never be seen again. And terrible things would happen…which were never spelled out in any detail, but an implied tale of terror just the same.

I will admit I considered possibly grabbing the candy and making a run for it. However the opportunity never presented itself.

Being the immortal child that I was, I was unafraid to ride my bike for hours at a time…for long distances that perhaps would have been prohibited if I had advertised my adventures. Which I didn’t.

A favorite trip: to “the little store” on the other side of town…saved my allowance and bought my own candy. Smarties, Mary Janes, Mounds, tiny wax bottles (remember those? argh), button candy, Bazooka Bubble Gum. No strangers needed. Sometimes I let my younger sister tag along, swearing her to secrecy.

Interesting side note: when we first moved there, my sister was 3 years old. One day she packed a lunchbox with napkins, hopped on her tricycle and took off…without telling anyone. Her destination: where we used to live…a long car ride away. A dozen houses later – almost a quarter mile – she arrived at the far end of our road, about to pedal down the cross street. A dangerous intersection at the crest of a hill. The neighbor on the corner stopped her in time and called the police.

So my sister got a ride in a police car…which is where she was eventually spotted by my frantic mother. Who had grabbed me and my infant brother and probably went looking for strangers with candy. An actual tale of terror thankfully averted.

Don’t go near Tony M.

Tony was a mentally challenged teenager who lived a couple of blocks away. At least I think he was a teenager…to my young eyes he could have been in his twenties. He lived with his parents and sometimes wandered around looking somewhat disheveled.  It was never explained to me what he might do. Or say. But the look in my mother’s eyes spoke fear. My questions about why went unanswered. I rarely saw him, but when I did he mostly looked lonely and sad.  I wonder what happened to him.

 

554 calvin 1958030
Family gathered safely on the front porch – 1958

 

Bicycles: Times Past

Irene Waters’ “Times Past” prompt challenge topic for this month is: Bicycles.

https://irenewaters19.com/2018/07/01/bicycles-times-past/

I am a baby boomer and grew up in the suburbs of New York and New Jersey, USA

I remember always having some type of 2 or 3 wheeled transportation to call my own when I was a kid.

tricycle A010
1956

I started off on a tricycle and stepped up to a “big girl” bike around the age of 5 or 6. Pink, with coaster brakes and a loud horn, this bike was my ticket to freedom – once I fully learned how to stop…. My most vivid bicycle memory is the day my father removed my training wheels. I started pedaling in front of our house – at first wobbly – but with my father’s hand steadying the back I managed to remain upright. I picked up speed as I – by myself!- headed toward the end of the street. After flying by 2 or 3 houses I realized I had absolutely no idea how to slow down and stop. Either nobody told me it was the same as with the training wheels or I simply forgot. Brain cramp. So what did I do? I clearly remember the heart thudding moment-of-panic as I made a split second decision (perhaps my first and that’s why I remember it so well). I steered into the curb and fell over onto the asphalt. Nothing broken. Just a few bumps, scrapes and bruises. Lesson learned.

Bike 1
circa 1959 – my new bike (sister not impressed…)

Despite my early braking mishap, I absolutely loved riding a bike and rode with no fear. When I outgrew (or wore out) the pink one, I got a bigger white bike in the 5th grade. Coaster brakes again. In those days, still no helmet. Despite the fact that my father kept accidentally bumping his car into my “new white bike” (as noted in my diary) it lasted quite a few years. The garage was small for a car plus multiple bikes. There were 4 kids by then.

When I was 10 and 11, I often rode to the small grocery store/strip mall that was 6+ blocks away. Errands for my mother or to get bubble gum and comics for myself. Or sometimes to sample all the perfume spray testers at the drug store with my girlfriend Kathleen. It was mostly downhill from my house. I’d start at our backyard (which bordered another backyard) and take off bumping over grass, tree roots, gravel and into the neighbor’s yard in back. I’d jump the bike over their curb and into the street, turning right. Zooming past about 4 houses, I turned left and then…the best part – a hill straight down bisecting at least 4 streets on the way to the main road and my destination…the Acme! The drug store! My hands flung out to the side. Feet off the pedals. The wind. Nothing like it before or since.  Sometimes I’d shut my eyes for a second or two. Riding back home…uphill…was another story altogether; but totally worth it.

Bike riding was crucial to my quest for exploring the vast suburban wilderness. The many blocks to the candy store, the woods at the end of the street, my friend Kathleen’s house two blocks away. My parents didn’t and couldn’t track me. “Be home by….” was all the direction I got. Priceless freedom.

When I neared the end of high school, I saved up and bought a “folding” bike which I brought to my summer job at a camp in NH. It saved space during travel and was fairly simple to store. I also brought it with me to college where I rode it from one end of campus to the other. Since my first car took center stage after college graduation, I sold my folding bike and moved on.

As an adult – in my late 30’s or early 40’s – I owned a bike again. I wore a helmet. I rode it around the rural neighborhood street where we were raising our kids. Around and around. Kind of boring. I was no longer as fearless. And what’s with the hand brakes??

 

downsizing and stuff – part 3 – Craig’s List

IMG_0032 copy

SCHWINN Girl’s Bike – 18″$50

Lavender and white classic “coaster brake” style bicycle in excellent condition, few scuff marks. This is a Schwinn high quality bike, 18″ with adjustable seat and handlebars.

One July morning, I received an email:

I am interested in this bike and would like to check it out. I live in (town) so contact me if it is still available and when a good time would be.

The next day, a white box truck decorated with images of fruits and vegetables arrived and parked at the end of my driveway. It was from a local produce company which advertises “locally sourced produce…from farm to table!”
The driver – the man who sent the email – walked up towards me where I was waiting with the purple bike. We had saved it hanging on the garage wall for many years. To look at it was to remember our blonde 5 year old bound and determined to ride a big-girl bike all by herself. And she did.

I showed the man the original handbook I had saved. He looked the bike over, pleased it was in such good shape. He wanted to buy a “high quality brand,” even if used, rather than a cheap Walmart bike. He was planning to surprise his 6 year old daughter named Daisy. It would be her first big-girl bike too. I knew it was meant to be as I watched him wheel it down the driveway to the truck. I had to smile…my grown up daughter belongs to a CSA and is bound and determined to buy local whenever possible.

 ***

REDLINE 340 Boy’s Bike$60

Dark Blue 20″ REDLINE 340 “Motocross” bicycle in EXCELLENT CONDITION. Includes water bottle holder, adjustable seat and handlebars.

One July morning, 2 weeks later, I received this email:

I am very interested in this bike. I am a BMX collector. Not the type that “flips” bikes for money. I love older BMX bikes from the 80’s and 90’s and like to restore or refurbish them. However I prefer to have “survivors” like this. I feel your price is fair and would like to buy it from you but my wife has informed me that my bike fund is depleted right now. The soonest I’d have money to buy this would be next Monday or Tuesday. I understand money talks and BS walks but if you’ve still got it by next week I’d like to arrange something with you.
Thanks for your time.

I emailed him that it was still available and he got right back to me.

That is GREAT!
I get paid again on Monday afternoon and will be ready with cash in hand as soon as Monday night. I would love to have this all original survivor BMX in my collection. I love collecting and riding BMX bikes, I’ve included a picture of a few of the bikes in my collection. All the ones that are just frame and fork are ones that are currently being restored by me. The one that stands alone is my own personal survivor bike from when I was a kid, I bought it new and have held onto it ever since.
Not that most people selling a bike care about where it goes but I just wanted to let you know that if you decide to sell your bike to me it will be going to a good home. (Lol)

Three days later I emailed him that the bike was still available.

His response:

Thanks! I’ve been into BMX since I was a young boy. I’ve gotten really into collecting and restoring over the last five or so years. It’s cheaper than collecting and restoring old cars! Lol. I’ll have the money tomorrow but won’t realistically be able to get out to (you) until probably Tuesday or Wednesday if that’s ok with you.
Feel free to call or text me with any questions
Thanks again, George.

George, my favorite and most enthusiastic buyer ever – probably in his 40’s – lived 1-1/2 hours away and arrived with his pickup truck one hot July day. He told me the story of his BMX bicycle collection, adding more details to the email descriptions. After very carefully inspecting the bike and pronouncing it “a score,” he paid the asking price. I noticed a woman – probably his wife – sitting in the passenger seat, rolling her eyes, with a profound look of resignation on her face. George later emailed me and included photos of my son’s bike all cleaned up and shiny; looking almost like new.

I just wanted to send you a quick message to say thanks again for the Redline BMX bike you sold me. I have been working on it and getting it cleaned up. I was able to finally get it out for a ride the other night and I gotta tell you this bike rides awesome. It has now become my new favorite bike to ride!
Thanks again, George

Before George bought it,  it had hung in a special place on the garage wall next to his sister’s. Our son was also an avid collector…of bottle caps, sports cards, pennies….  Selling his bike to such a dedicated collector also seemed meant to be.

 ***

Wurlitzer Piano$200

Wurlitzer spinnet style piano and bench. Manufactured in 1967.
Very good playing condition with some minor wood finish discoloration on top.

One morning in early June, I received this email:

May I look at the piano tomorrow on Sunday? I live in (town), so it will be a fast trip. I want to teach my three year old son how to play and this will fit into the house. Please call…

A young man from a few miles away arrived that sunny Sunday to check out our piano. It had been handed down to us from my mother-in-law, who took lessons on it in her 70’s.  He wanted a “real piano” and not an electric keyboard for his 3 year old son to learn on. The water stains on the top did not concern him.  The bench came with the music books – even ones I had learned on including Teaching Little Fingers To Play with the red cover. He handed me $200 in cash to hold it until the following weekend. I insisted on giving him a receipt. He did come back with a friend the next weekend as promised.  I wonder how that (now 6 year old) little boy likes his piano.

***

Vintage Hutch Credenza$25

condition: fair
Solid wood credenza with 2 doors and 2 drawers (one with felt areas for silverware).
This is a very old piece of furniture that is structurally very good.
It is very scratched, but could be easily painted.
Dimensions:
60″ W
20″ D
27″ H

This would be the final Craig’s List sale…
Three days before we closed on the sale of our house, the Salvation Army truck arrived to collect the leftover giveaway stuff which filled the 2 car garage. The one thing they would not take was this credenza because it was too scratched. Originally belonging to my husband’s grandmother, it was handed down to us and then used for storage.
Within an hour of posting this, a young man emailed me. Two days later he bought it and narrowly missed popping a hernia getting it into his car.
On to its next home. A narrow escape from the dumpster.

***

Downsizing from a 3 bedroom house with a full basement, garage and attic takes time. Lots of time. Well, it does if you want to save the earth and not add your unwanted stuff to the local landfill.

Many friends have asked  – how did you do it?

One major player? Craig’s List.

My friend Chris gave me very good advice about using Craig’s List…
Don’t be surprised if the person never shows up to buy your stuff.                           Always get the cash before handing over what you are selling.

Here’s what I learned:

  • Timing is everything
    If you want to sell 22 year old working, but noisy, window air conditioners, post them on a humid 95 degree summer day. Boom! Gone in hours. As I recall a buyer wanted one to keep her cat cool when she was away. I hope the cat didn’t go deaf.
  • Use positive descriptions such as Vintage, Classic, Antique.
  • Avoid old unless it’s absolutely necessary (see “credenza” above)
  • Include the Owner’s Manual if you can find it.
  • Look up any serial numbers for describing old (i.e.: vintage) items.
  • Search eBay for pricing ideas
  • Measure anything that you can measure.
  • Take photos in natural light, outdoors if possible.
  • Dust/clean old (i.e.: vintage) furniture. Make simple repairs such as tightening screws or replacing a hinge. It can make the difference.
  • Set up a time during the day for buyers to look at your items – preferably outside or in a detached garage.
  • Never assume there isn’t a buyer for something you want to sell. You have no idea how many times I heard….Nobody will buy that!  – and then someone did (well most of the time)

A few success stories:

Classic writing desk, vintage bureau, vintage shelf, vintage Silver Streak sled, vintage Yankee Clipper sled, LP Record Cabinet.

What never sold:

Cassette tape storage racks, video cassette player, Mad Men – Season 3, very large vintage speakers that still worked (and why couldn’t someone see how great they still were?).

And, last but not least, when you use Craig’s List to off load your stuff, you may meet some really cool people in the process!

[NOTE TO SELF & READERS: definition of spam….
An earlier response to my son’s bike posting – after I emailed back to a short inquiry asking if the bike was still available…..
Thanks you for the response according to the description,am okay with
the price and the condition pasted on cl. I am ready to make instant
purchase.My mode of payment would be in CERTIFIED CHECK and i will
arrange for a local pick up as soon as you get the check, because that
is the only inconvenient means for me and due to my work frame i can
not be able to get there and i promise everything will go smoothly.I
really wish to be there to check out the item but i don’t have chance
cause am very busy person (US MARINE). Concerning the pick up, i will
arrange for it after you receive the payment and it clears… Pls get
back to me with below info so that i can proceed with the payment
immediately if you are selling to me.
Full Name:
Address: Not P.O.BOX
City:
State:Postal Code:
Total amount for the item
Phone Number: That i can send text
And as soon as this is provided, the payment will be overnight to you
and i will let you know when its mailed out. Thanks and i hope we
handle this in good faith while waiting to hear from you. i will add
an additional $50 so that you can hold it for me till the check reach
you. Best Regards]