Getting Rid of Our Stuff – Garage Sale or eBay?

They said…

He said…I know many people who like garage sales – my parents for example – and flea markets. Mariel and I are not those people.  We see no need to go buy someone else’s used stuff.

She said…Every Sunday we are regaled by Shannon’s mom with a show of the finds from the forays into garage sale bargain wonderland.  Most of the time we silently roll our eyes and chalk up one more piece of stuff we will have to deal with later.  Granted, all of it is a great bargain and they seem to enjoy it!

He said…Which seems to make us a set of hypocrites because we’re trying to get rid of all of OUR stuff by selling it to other people! Go figure. But how else are we supposed to empty out the house before we sell it?  We don’t want to store most of it (Mariel would say “any” of it). 

She said…except maybe a small box of refrigerator magnets marking our travels thus far and some family photos: hardly fodder for a storage locker.  That little box may even fit in the RV!

He said…We have found that some of our family wants some of our things. So we’re giving away many items which have sentimental value to people who will appreciate them.

She said…At least we’re not spending money on Christmas and birthdays for a while!  We have tried the online garage sale route on Facebook and really didn’t like it at all.

He said…But what about the rest it?

Guess we’ll need to do a regular garage sale or two anyway.  Unfortunately, we don’t expect decent prices on some of the collections we have.  Back in the day I was collecting the limited edition gaming tokens – I probably won’t get anything near what they’re worth.  And Mariel’s mom had a collection of Lenox birds, we likely won’t get much for those either…

We’ve decided to sell most of everything at two garage sales (our first will be in the Spring). Until then, we’re making a huge pile in the shop downstairs!

GarageSaleStuff
Pile of Stuff for the Garage Sale

She said…Right now the pile consists of bedding and towels, some kitchen stuff , and lots of books.  Feels like kind of a lopsided inventory, so we need to do an across the board purging this winter.

I’m still toying with the idea of advertising the event as a combo garage/estate sale.  people who are interested can come inside and look at art, rugs, pots and baskets.  This way we can get a feel for the market and see if we can get some decent money for our more valuable stuff, or if we have to go the estate sale route.  I’m wary of that 40-60% commission.

He said…The more precious items, we’re trying to sell on eBay. But we’re going slowly.  I used to sell lots of things on eBay more than a decade ago and had a pretty good feedback rating. But it was so long ago, we’ve decided to start up a new account.

She said…Much of the time it feels to me like we aren’t doing enough to get ready for our full-time RV launch.  We are getting along so nicely without that pile of stuff in the shop, and with the exception of the library in the loft, the house doesn’t feel any emptier.  With all of our outside activities, it has been easy to settle back into living in the present.

It’s time to double down and kick some purging butt!

Driveway Docking Opportunity

They said…

For those of you full timers on your way to or from the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, we have a driveway in a pile of sunflowers where you can dock on your way to your next adventure. We would love to meet you!  You are more than welcome to come join us for a visit.

We are up between Aztec, NM and Durango, CO (about 3 hours northwest of Albuquerque).  Let us know before you get here!

20150902_100712

Out our back door.
Out our back door.

Class A Epiphanies

They said…

A couple weeks back we stopped by La Mesa RV in Albuquerque on our way to Santa Fe (you can see Mariel’s blog about that trip).

He said…

Our previous salesman, Stacey, was working and we got our window shopping started off in a friendly manner. Thanks again Stacey.

She said…

Stacey greeted us with a big smile and hugs and took us out to the yard.  He spent a little time with us answering our questions, and then cut us loose among all of those big beautiful RVs and asked us to stop and see him before we left.

He said…

What’s interesting to note about this trip is that Mariel and I had an epiphany of sorts two to three weeks earlier.

A little background information might be in order… We are looking at buying our RV in a different way. We aren’t buying new. And we aren’t going to have a loan on the RV; once our house sells, the RV becomes paid for. For that reason, we have a fixed amount that we will spend – $100,000.  Since the diesel and gas motorhomes have a huge price difference we’re looking at how old the RV will be before we can buy it for that price.

From the beginning Mariel and I had been pretty adamant about getting a diesel pusher (Class A Motorhome with a diesel engine in back) for all the obvious reasons: they last longer, have more power, are quieter while driving, have the generator in front (farther from the bed), get better fuel mileage,

She said…

more storage too,

He continued…

etc.  We also recognized that this was going to come with a much higher cost – which, in our terms, meant buying an older RV.

Back to the epiphany… We figured out that we would be living in the RV much more than we’d be driving the RV.  For example, if we traveled 400 miles in a week (a travel time of about seven hours) only 4% of our time would be on the road (7 out of 168 hours). Do we want to spend all that extra money for that weekly seven hours? Wouldn’t it be better to buy a home that had an engine on it instead of buying an engine with a home attached?  In other words, do we get a newer top of the line gas motorhome or an older high end diesel motorhome?

On our way to Albuquerque I found out that Mariel and I had different reasons for the trip.  She wanted to check out a specific set of RV models (she even had a list of them) while I wanted to just compare the quality and age of a $100G diesel and $100G gas RV.

She said…

Since we have widened our search criteria to include gas engines, I wanted to check out the 2015-16 Tiffin Allegros and Winnebago Adventurer and Sightseer.  As well as anything Tiffin, I am particularly interested in the Adventurer 33C and the Sightseer 35G. Although I had checked ahead and knew they didn’t have either model in stock, I wanted to get a feel for the quality that you can’t get by doing anything else but standing in the RV, opening the cabinets, sliding doors and shower doors, and sitting on the furniture. Shannon likes to do this too.

He said…

Yeah, I do.

She said…

We seem to be getting better at this.  We can just bypass the makes and models we know aren’t on our list, and usually one look inside will tell us if the RV is even worth considering.  We know that certain things we may not like are easy enough to change out, but I don’t want to spend this much money on the coach only to have to immediately switch into remodel mode.

He said…

Yeah, no remodeling.

She said…

We really liked the Winnebago Adventurer, and the floorplan Shannon liked the best was the 37F with the televator coming up behind the dinette.  I thought the TV screen was huge…

Winnebago Adventurer 37F
Winnebago Adventurer 37F
He said…

It isn’t.

She continued…

and sort of took over the whole space, and the buffet where the TV is stored is so big that you lose the wide open feel of the double LR slides.  Plus, it is a little over our length goals.  If this is our biggest disagreement we are in good shape.  In the used section of the RV lot there was a 2014 Adventurer with the same floor plan that had a much smaller TV screen that I liked a little better.  A 60” screen viewed from across the width of an RV sort of takes all of the air out of the room!

Winnebago Sightseer 35G
Winnebago Sightseer 35G – this is Mariel’s current favorite
He said…

It turns out that we can buy a 2014 top of the line Winnebago Adventurer  or Tiffin Allegro for our price or we can get a 2008 Tiffin Phaeton diesel pusher. And, I didn’t see a huge difference in quality between any of these models.

So, depending on how well maintained the RV was, I could go with either one.  However, my only concerns are that an older RV is likely to be more “used” or run down with less of the technological advances/options which means I’m leaning more towards the newer gas model.

She said…

I think the main thing we discovered on this trip is that we are both looking at completely different things when shopping for our next home, but that’s a good thing.  This way we are more likely to cover all of the bases!

RV Sales Impressions

They Said…

Here’s our first “They Said” post and it covers something that I think matters to most people getting ready to start this journey of buying an RV.

Bessie and Pi
Bessie – she said – on left and Pi – he said – on right.

Since you can only do so much research on the Internet, we went RV window shopping in person.  And, since there are only a couple of mini RV sales places in our neck of the woods we drove to Albuquerque to check out some of the big boys.

We made it to three of the six stores that were on our list to check out.

He said…

I decided to let each of the salespeople know right away that we were looking to go full time RVing in a couple years. I did this to forgo any big sales push.

She said…

After we made it clear that we weren’t interested in buying anything today, only one of the three salespeople we talked to stuck around to answer our questions.

He said…

One was even so blunt as to tell us “Well, I have to go make a living” before he walked off.  He did let us walk around by ourselves to checkout the other models. This was a good thing because we’ve now scratched the Thor from our list of RVs – not very impressed with those anymore.

She said…

Another salesperson was okay – if a bit cold. And one of her associates came up later (after she left us alone to look at the stock) and seemed to be concerned that we were going to have a kegger in the Newmar.  Maybe we don’t dress well enough for the Newmars?

He said…

I also thought the lady at that place was watching to make sure we didn’t abscond with the furniture from the Tiffin.

She said…

But we accomplished our mission at that place since we were able to checkout the Tiffin Allegro Red 33AA which is high on our list. And we still like it.

He said…

Thankfully we did not go to these two places first otherwise our day would have started off poorly.  The first place we went to, La Mesa RV, was great. And they will be able to get us that Tiffin if we go with that RV.

She said…

We were greeted at the door by Stacey the salesman who was happy to show us the Class A inventory. He asked us intelligent questions about our parameters… about why we wanted what we wanted… and then shared his experiences (he spent the winter hanging out with full timers in Arizona).

He said…

He gave us some good things to think about our own ideas without being pushy in the slightest.  And he did all this knowing that we weren’t buying anytime soon!

She said…

He gave us encouraging information on driving a Class A. I’ve driven a full size truck and a 5th wheel horse trailer but was concerned about driving the bus. He made me feel like I was going to be just fine.

And we’ve now added the Winnebago Journey 36M to our watch list because of the driveability of the Freightliner Maxum chassis.

He said…

And he let us know that we could could contact him with questions during our research.

She said…

Full time RVing seems to be such a relational experience (including doing your laundry) that I’m happy to have found a salesperson and company that is focused on family and relationships.

He said…

So we’ve decided that this is the place that we’ll likely buy our RV from.

She said…

All of this, plus we took all the ladies in our family out for Mother’s Day lunch. A wonderful day!