This WSJ article describes what we face everyday when we try to inform our clients about the value of the furniture in an estate or when downsizing.
Fortunately, we are able to overcome some of these obstacles because we can
- Store items and post on Craigslist
- Sell to the local college community (Northwestern, Loyola, etc.)
- Use a number of auction houses that accept lower end furniture
- Recycle, repurpose and reuse where applicable.
But, there are still a lot of items that really are worthless even though they were high end and expensive when purchased. These include CRT TV sets, upholstered sofas and chairs where the upholstery is worn, stained or just plain out of date, and Formica entertainment centers/display cases/case goods, and press board furniture. The later two categories almost never survive a move in tact without chips, cracks or broken joints.
As the WSJ article states, the people that are in the market for used furniture can just as easily go to Ikea, Value City, Ashley Furniture and other discounters and buy brand new items for very low prices. Yes, the quality isn’t there, but a lot of the time they are buying to fill a space, use temporarily until their next move or know that their young children will damage anything anyway.