Selling/Abandoning "Stuff"

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PlicketyCat
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Selling/Abandoning "Stuff"

A while back there was a discussion about how people were just abandoning seemingly valuable stuff when they were being foreclosed on or were abandoning their homes (i.e. walking away). No one could really understand why someone in this situation would leave behind so much stuff that they could sell to make some money. Well, I've got a new perspective on this situation.

As we're downsizing to move, I've been posting a lot of almost-new stuff on CraigsList & eBay that I think is a little too pricey or specialized to be successful at a yard sale.  So far, only a few things have sold. We're not talking about flogging off junk here either... this is all quality, top-of-the-line merchandise in excellent condition that we're letting go at over half-off simply because we're downsizing and moving. But, there just doesn't seem to be much money going around these days. We've got a couple of offers for trade, but since we're downsizing we don't need more stuff and no one is offering goods that would be practical/useful in the new digs.

I can fully understand why families in financial straits might just abandon their stuff... because they can't sell it and they can't afford to dispose of it or take it with them!  Schedule and finances are so crazy that they can't have a garage sale (yes, throwing a yard sale costs money and is a major time-suck!). They can't afford to list or wait for classifieds, and no one is buying their stuff anyway.  You'd be awfully amazed at the stuff that charity will NOT accept as donation, so you have to sort all the stuff and schedule for pickup or delivery. Even trying to take things to dump is getting ridiculously difficult and expensive in some areas. If it's recyclable, "hazardous" or e-waste you have to take it to a different place which is only open certain days, and only accepts certain things on each of those days, and you get charged a fee for some things. If you have a lot of stuff to take to the dump, you might have to rent a truck to remove it, and then you get charged by weight for disposal. If you have something extra-large (like the sectional sofa that charity wouldn't accept) you get charged extra for it at the dump.

I think between all the classifieds, auction listings, yard sale costs, dump fees and sundries it's going to cost us around $300 just to get rid of the stuff. IF we can sell the high-ticket stuff online and most of the stuff at the yard sale, then our dump fees will be less, and we might recoup our other costs with some left in our pockets.  But if someone was being foreclosed/evicted or walking away they probably don't have the time or money (or patience!) to go through all this. Not to mention that it is extremely depressing and humiliating to have someone offer you $10 on something you're asking $100 for, that lists for over $1000 new... all the while knowing that you're losing your home. It's a hard thing to accept that $10 to just get rid of the thing, when you really need the other $90 for the deposit on your apartment or to feed the kids or to rent a U-Haul!

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Re: Selling/Abandoning "Stuff"

PC,

In our area the local used furniture store is begging for high quality "Stuff".  Most of these types of stores take more then just furniture (lamps, throw pillows, curios, etc.)  It seems people are in need of quality things at discount prices, to my surprise, it's big business right now. You take a big hit on the sale (usually 50%) but it's more then yard sale profits anyway and it's out of your house, pronto.

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Help?

Hi Pickety-

Tell us more - what exactly is your situation? . . only if you don't mind sharing ..  EGP

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Re: Selling/Abandoning "Stuff"

Thanks for the tip RocketGirl - I'll check around and see if 1) there are any consignment stores nearby, 2) they want to take some of my larger stuff, and 3) if they'll send any proceeds up to AK (or deposit on PayPal!) rather than needing me to come in person.

EGP - we are voluntarily downsizing from a typical suburban 2-story on the grid to a self-built cabin in woods off the grid.  So, almost everything electrical is going - from coffee makers to our massive home theater system. We also need to get rid of a lot of furniture because there won't be space for it, it's too expensive and stupid to ship up to AK, and it's all wrong for the new place anyway. A lot of our home office stuff has to go as well... multiple computers (we're only keeping the energy efficient laptops), accessories, desks, etc.

Now, only the foreclosure front - we are walking away and allowing the bank to take the house back. I know, it's controversial, but I'm disabled and my benefits aren't nearly enough to cover the mortgage; and my husband's health is starting to suffer working his super-high-stress corporate job. We can't afford for him to take a different job with lesser pay if we stay in this house. His company has been laying off people quarterly, so he's resigning before he gets booted (at least we're in control that way). We ran the numbers and it actually costs us more to keep working and stay in this house in the burbs than it does for us to go live in the woods and not work a job (we'll be working for survival, not a boss). We are fast depleting our savings, so we'd still be leaving, even if the house wasn't underwater.

We can't sell the house because the market in our neighborhood is crap. There are several homes for sale (some in foreclosure already), including a whole block of new construction. They've been on the market since last summer. According to our Realtor, unless the house is in pristine condition or in a truly prime location, it's almost impossible to sell. Since I've been unable to work, we haven't had the money to keep the house pristine... she needs some TLC, so the comps are bad. We have a second mortgage, so a short-sale is also pretty impossible. The market value on the house is down about 25%, which puts us underwater enough that we'd barely get enough to pay off the first lender, much less anything for the second lender.

This wasn't an investment home, we weren't trying to flip it and weren't using it as an ATM. It wasn't more home than we could afford while I was still working. The only reason we got that second (HELOC) was because we had to do major renovations on the house (new plumbing, electrical & roof) to keep the house livable/safe. Every penny we ever took out on the house went right back into it. We would have had more money to fix up or pay off the house if I hadn't had to cash out my savings to pay for medical care not covered by insurance (don't even get me started on THAT). One day we just realized that the house was putting us in the poorhouse (we have no other debts), and our urban/corporate lifestyle was making us sick and miserable; so we decided it was time to escape before it was too late and we were completely out of money.

We're not quite in as desparate a situtation as families that are being forcibly foreclosed on, and we still have some time and money to work with... but we are under a bit of a time crunch. Luckily, we're not emotionally invested in the house, so it doesn' feel like the bank is stealing our home from us. Also a bonus that I have moved a lot in my life so I'm good at purging, sorting and packing.  Now if the bank would just stop calling me EVERY HOUR ALL DAY EVERY DAY, I might be able to get more work done! Geez, it's really harassment... one call a week would suffice, you know?!?

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Re: Selling/Abandoning "Stuff"

Plickety,

You are absolutely right about money not going around.  Last weekend I hosted a garage sale for my sister who is packing as little as possible and moving to PA, (I am in SoCal).  She had a computer work station, antique dresser, antique coffee table, rocking chair, patio furniture, glassware, and assorted household items.  Want to know what sold the most?  All of her paperback books!  Mysteries, crime stories, romance, all the popular pulp writers, GONE out the door at .50 each. 

What did she do with all the big stuff?  Some she hauled to a thrift store, some she left with me (I'm going to try sell it for her), the rest went to the dump.  You are absolutely right; if folks have no time to unload their things, we will see all sorts of usable items going straight to the landfill.  I wonder what George Carlin's take on our "stuff" would be now?

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Re: Selling/Abandoning "Stuff"

I have had a bunch of stuff for sale for months on Craigslist, various other for-sale lists around town, even ebay. No nibbles. Nada! A lot of this stuff was barely used and half-priced. Computer equipment, musical instruments, video game systems, weights, etc. But something happened the last few weeks. Almost all of my extra junk has sold.  All the offers came in a 2 week period, early June. Weird. Maybe it was the media harping on about "green shoots" that boosted buyer's confidence. Amazing to have no offers for months and then multiple decent offers for each and every item within a 2 week period.

I only moved across town though, not to Alaska! I was able to store some of our stuff. I used to wonder why people said moving was expensive. We haven't moved out of town before. All we ever did was rent a uhaul. But when you have to move out of town or out of state, or halfway across the country - yeah, damn right it gets expensive. Hope everything works out for you. Try posting on Craigslist one more time. I almost gave up, decided to post once more, and then that flurry of multiple decent offers came in.

 

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Re: Selling/Abandoning "Stuff"

In the UK we have Freecycle : http://www.uk.freecycle.org/

Which is a great site for giving away things that you think are too good to dump but just want to get rid of.

I'm sure you could set up some US branches pretty easily - it's based on Yahoo groups.

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Re: Selling/Abandoning "Stuff"

Another option, if you want to be sure to get rid of virtually everything you want to sell is to hire an estate auction company (or auction it all off yourself if you have the inclination, the expertise and local laws don't preclude it). A house at the corner of our street and the contents were sold at auction about three months ago (this was truly an estate sale). What was interesting is that everything sold! Some stuff went dirt cheap (several boxes of usable kitchen utensils and dishes for $5 or $10) but a lot of the furniture went for respectable prices and, as an "estate sale", dealers and collectors came and caused some stuff like a few old cameras and watches) to go for WAY MORE than they would have at a garage sale.

This made me realize that if we ever need to sell out a lot of stuff (and can ignore the emotional connection to anything) then this is clearly the way to go to get rid of it and raise some decent cash.

Even the house went for what I think was a decent bit. Our neighborhood is one of the older more established and desirable neighborhoods (90% of the houses built between 1915 and 1935). The house sold at auction was a two story brick house with a basement that needed major renovation (basically everything inside and out) and still went for $210K when it probably would not have brought more than $275 if fixed up and in a better market.

Heck, even two old cars from the late 1970s and mid 1980s in good shape went for $1500 to $2300! One was a bigger Chrysler, I think and the other was a Cadillac.

 

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Re: Selling/Abandoning "Stuff"

I have to chime in and agree with Jon Brooke- freecycle always made sense, but now more than ever.  It is fast and efficient.  It originated out of the U.S. so indeed you should have many chapters right in your area.  I know that you would have preferred to sell your things at a fair value, but when all options have been exhausted, it is better to give it away than to abandon it.  Conversely, when you are settling in to your new place, you can seriously offset your expenses just by keeping an eye out for postings in your area.  Over 3 years, we have given away/received what would have amounts to several thousand dollars worth of tools/merchandise/furniture/appliances.

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Re: Selling/Abandoning "Stuff"

Ya know... A "market" forum on here might not be a terrible idea.

I'm certain a CM Exchange would be a pretty friendly place to offload things of use to good folks in need.
If you had something of value that you wanted to give away, you could "pay it forward", or sell goods that you may no longer have use for...

Is this something anyone's considered?

Just thinkin' out loud...

Aaron

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Re: Selling/Abandoning "Stuff"

I have listed some of the stuff on FreeCycle type sites -- basically, you pick up and it's yours -- so far, the only thing that went was 6 boxes of laminate flooring I had left over.  I will definitely keep posting again & again until we leave, both on eBay, FC or CL.  I've already talked with some of the local charities and know what items I can donate if they don't sell at the yard sale. Now I just have to figure out what to do with what they won't take - mainly the two sofas & chairs, and the mattress set for the guest bed (used all of two times!).  If the computer stuff doesn't sell, there are two PC recycle places (that don't pay but don't charge either) and a local shelter who will take them for their job-training program.

I think the big problem with "soft furniture" is that we have cats, so there are a few stains and fur on everything (nothing gross or unclean, just needs a slip cover to be pretty again). Maybe I can donate it directly to a dorm or shelter... when I find some time to call around, that is!!

Funny you should mention that all the books sold -- that's the only thing that flew out the door when I posted author sets on eBay. We're not talking first editions either... just plain paperbacks in good condition. Heck, one somewhat rare set had a major bidding war going on the last 4 hours that was getting pretty ugly when the clock ran out.  I felt so bad that the winning bid was way over retail that I didn't charge them for shipping!  (See? I'm not exactly cold-blooded or profit-oriented LOL!)   But then we have a professional-grade home theater system for $3k that retails well over $25k and it's not moving anywhere :(

Aaron -- I think the market idea would be great. In fact, that's what I thought the Trader's thread was at first   I'm sure a lot of stuff would be too big/heavy to ship reasonably, but local pickup and smaller items could easily be traded here on CM.

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Re: Selling/Abandoning "Stuff"

My wife and I have also been in the process of selling much of our stuff, mostly furniture but some other household stuff as well (I guess I should say SHE has been selling it since she's the one still in Colorado for a couple more months, but anyway...).  Like Plickety we're also relocating to AK (though we're taking the sissy route and living in town ), and it's prohibitively expensive to bring your own furniture up without already owning a large truck and trailer.  The price quote for a Uhaul truck going from Colorado to Alaska is obscene, and of course the amount they quote doesn't even include the copious amounts of gas one would be buying along the way for those gas hogs.  Anyway we've been using Craigslist exclusively, and actually have had great success and have sold most of the stuff.  It was mostly medium-end good condition furniture and has been selling for about 50-65% of the original cost.  Perhaps our success had to do with the timing of our sale (very recent) or maybe the Denver area is not suffering as much, who knows.  But I also should add that between the two of us we didn't have much stuff to begin with.  I've always liked that line "the more stuff you own, the more stuff owns you" and try to keep my material possessions to a minimum and relatively portable, and thankfully I happened to marry someone who feels the same way!  All the stuff that's really important to us would all fit in both our vehicles, and that's the way we're trying to keep it. 

If it turned out that most of our stuff didn't sell though, I think we just would have given it away to friends, coworkers, and charity.  We don't have any special attachment to those things, and it wouldn't represent a huge monetary loss.  Though I can imagine I would feel raw if people were only making insultingly low offers for stuff that's already a steal.  If the money wasn't absolutely vital, I would rather just give it away to someone in need who can't afford it than give it to some greedy tool (I wish I could say it would be purely altruistic but I know me, I would take some pleasure telling that person "No, I'm going to give it away free to someone that's not YOU" ). 

When I finish settling the family in AK, we are going to go the used route for most of our furniture. That's right, Craigslist baby.  Which is a nice segue to this new musical treat from Weird Al...

- Nickbert

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Re: Selling/Abandoning "Stuff"

Hi Everyone,

We also have been streamlining our furniture, although not moving. Another option is to give the furniture to a used/antique furniture store. We have one here in the Orlando FL area that also refinishes furniture. When I give them my old furniture, I always receive a nice discount on anything I need refinished as well as future purchases that I may make.

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Re: Selling/Abandoning "Stuff"
Aaron Moyer wrote:

Ya know... A "market" forum on here might not be a terrible idea.

I'm certain a CM Exchange would be a pretty friendly place to offload things of use to good folks in need.
If you had something of value that you wanted to give away, you could "pay it forward", or sell goods that you may no longer have use for...

Is this something anyone's considered?

Just thinkin' out loud...

Aaron

This is a very good idea. 

 

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Stuff-

I for one need stuff and need to get rid of stuff.

We have an eco-friendly 4 season cottage on a lake for sale but if I furnish it I could rent it. We just moved from there an spent 10 years making it energy efficient with passive solar heat/cooling and put in gardens, fruit trees and permacultured most of the property. We had a wind generator that ran a waterless toilet system. There was a tornado in '06 and we were the only people who could manage without electricity indefinitely.  I don't think it will sell  - even at 1/2 the price we listed for last year - so I might as well furnish it and rent it. So it needs everything: Bunk beds, sleeper sofas, rugs, dishes, refrig (though there is a spot for a "ice house"), electronics (energy efficient), pillows, sheets, blankets, and on. . . 

So, what do you have? and how far are you from southern MN?

Oh, and why is everyone going to AK?

EGP

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Re: Stuff-

EGP, we're in Western Washington,

We have some of the stuff you're looking for, but it's a long haul to Southern Montana. I'll let Plickety fill you in on the details, since she's got a better Idea of our inventory and what's going/staying than me

As to why we're all going to AK, it's in case of the Zombie apocalypse, Zombies will freeze in the cold, and we'll be safe. Actually we're off there for the isolation, and because the locals are all self-sufficient types. Nothing like -40F winters and being cut-off to stimulate your sense of self-reliance.

 

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Re: Selling/Abandoning "Stuff"

We're in the Seattle-Metro area -- halfway across the country from Minnesota (forgive Gungnir, he's a new US citizen LOL).

On the furniture front, we have:

  • Queensized bed (with pillows & linens), a dresser, & a night stand
  • LaZBoy sectional sofa with chaise corner & a matching club chair
  • A custom black velvet sofa & matching club chair
  • A large dining room table with 4 chairs
  • A smaller breakfast table with 2 chairs
  • A back-of-sofa table with built in wine rack
  • 2 coffee tables with several side tables
  • Two large wraparound home office desk units (table surface, vertical filing cabinets, hutches, utility drawers, etc)

On the kitchen front, we have:

  • Multiple drip coffee makers
  • 2 toasters
  • crockpot slow cooker
  • juicer
  • dehydrator
  • water filter
  • blender/food processor
  • hand mixer
  • meat grinder
  • George Foreman grill
  • miscellaneous tableware, flatware, drinking glasses & stemware, mixing bowls, and bakeware

On the electronics front, we have

  • 13" color TV
  • 29" color TV
  • bookshelf stereo (can be wall mounted)
  • VCR
  • DVD Player
  • at least 2 PCs (a few years old, but were pro-grade so they're ample for casual user), a laptop, and a scanner
  • professional quality home theater system (receiver + 7 speakers)

There's other random houshold flotsam in there, too.  None of this stuff is particularly energy efficient though, and most of it is big/heavy.

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Re: Selling/Abandoning "Stuff"

As far as I know only we and Nickbert are heading to Alaska.  It's a wonderful state if you can tolerate 6 months of below-freezing temps (at least 3 that are sub-zero), limited growing season with cold soil, 3 months of darkness in the winter and 3 months of light in the summer, limited product availability or premium-pricing due to shipping costs, minimal employment opportunities, limited transportation if you don't own a plane/boat/ATV/snowmachine, lots of large wild animals (even in the "cities"), and general isolation (unless you live in one of the few cities or larger towns).

But on the positive side... The extreme cold temps drastically reduce insect issues (mosquitos are the only big problem, but they aren't the kind that carry malaria or west nile). Cold temps and remoteness limit spread of disease. Cold temps and limited road system makes hostile land invasion difficult. The state is so huge, and largely unpopulated, that there are entire areas that are unencumbered with government bureaucracy. There is no state tax, and in many areas, no property tax or sales tax either (even the city sales tax is lower than many states & cities in L-48). Castle Doctrine reigns supreme, and gun laws are sensible. Most of the state is still uncontaminated with corporate, suburban American nonsense and you can drive for hours without seeing a billboard, a box store, a fast food joint, or even another house. Cold temps, limited building season, and limited product availability/premium-pricing makes McMansions cost prohibitive for the most part.  And, yeah, the Zombies will freeze most of the year... so we're only at risk during the summer if they can cross the rivers and mountains and don't get eaten by bears and wolves first 

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Re: Selling/Abandoning "Stuff"

Ok PicketyCat -

I live in MN and we only have sub-zero 1 month Max and that's tough to get through. If you are heading to the wilderness, then you will have needed your wood for cooking and Heat cut by now or it would be too wet to burn. We cut all our own wood so I know what I'm talking about - if you actually can get a fire going with wet wood - your in for a chimney fire (up to 5,000 degrees is what they say). 

I read about a couple who wanted to do the wilderness thing and bought a cabin in Montana last fall. They died sometime in the winter. Only 1 of thier dogs made it. Very sad.

Stay Safe - EGP

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Re: Stuff-
Gungnir wrote:

As to why we're all going to AK, it's in case of the Zombie apocalypse, Zombies will freeze in the cold, and we'll be safe. <snip>

Yes, must not forget about the zombies.  I've got my .22 rifle and pistol and 3000+ rounds, steel crowbar, some Kevlar bodysuits, and I should be getting my zombie-killing "Lobo" Standard Infantry Entrenchment Tool in the mail any day now .

Ok well, the real reasons my family is relocating to AK were threefold.  The first was that a lucrative job opportunity popped up here (lucrative because the location is relatively remote), and that helps fulfill my goal to pay off all remaining debt and build a (more) substantial savings in under a year.  I'm planning under the assumption that there's no guarantee I'll have a job more than a year from now, and I want to be in as good a financial situation as possible and stock up on more essentials before that happens.  The second is that I missed living in Alaska and still have family and friends here, and here we have more of a support structure.  The third is hard to define... the best I can say is that my gut or intuition is telling me it's the right move given what I expect the near future to be like.  There are plenty logical arguments for living up here like abundant natural resources to supplement food and shelter needs, low taxes, fossil fuel and mineral resources... but I think my gut instinct is telling me there's another really good reason to be here.  I don't know precisely what that might be (else it wouldn't be intuition!), but I'm going to follow that intuitive pull and see where it leads.

- Nickbert

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Re: Selling/Abandoning "Stuff"

EGP - we cut a bunch of wood while we were there last year, and stacked wood that was cut a few years ago during the survey, and there is plenty of dry standing... I think we'll have enough good, dry firewood for the winter. I'd say that we had at least 10 full cords ready to go, it's just going to take a week+ to get it all cut to stove length, split and stacked up pretty around our tent platform.

Nickbert - I think our guts are related! My instinct told me to get the hell out of Dodge and un-ass the AO long before I justitifed it with all those logical reasons ;)

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Re: Selling/Abandoning "Stuff"
PlicketyCat wrote:

EGP - we cut a bunch of wood while we were there last year, and stacked wood that was cut a few years ago during the survey, and there is plenty of dry standing... I think we'll have enough good, dry firewood for the winter. I'd say that we had at least 10 full cords ready to go, it's just going to take a week+ to get it all cut to stove length, split and stacked up pretty around our tent platform.

Assuming you have a efficient woodstove and reasonably insulated tent structure, I think that'd be plenty for the winter.  And failing that it's usually easy to find someone selling cords of firewood just about anywhere in AK.  I don't know if I envy you two all the cutting and splitting you have ahead though... the most I'd ever split was one cord, and I thought that took FOREVER

Quote:

Nickbert - I think our guts are related! My instinct told me to get the hell out of Dodge and un-ass the AO long before I justitifed it with all those logical reasons ;)

Yes, between that, the double-jointedness, and self-professed nerdy traits, I'm starting to wonder if we're half-siblings or something (if I find we have a physical resemblance, I'll have some serious questions for my parents )

I suppose my instincts on this are telling me something about how Alaska will fare in the future as well as how me and my family will fare here.  I keep having some persistent gut feeling or instinct that tells me some 'wild card' event (beyond peak oil or collapsing markets) is going to impact many of us in the near future and it will be rough.  Maybe something on the level of a war or massive natural disaster, I don't know (I hope I'm wrong about that because heaven knows life will be difficult enough just with peak oil and the huge economic transition ahead).  What I do know is that the minute we made the decision to move here I found that nagging feeling wasn't bothering me near so much.  It's possible all this is due to all the rapid changes I've been seeing and it's making me overly edgy, but even if that's the case I'm still happy with the decision to move back here...

- Nickbert

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Re: Selling/Abandoning "Stuff"

Chainsaws & hydraulic splitters baybeee -- it's the only way to fly

nickbert wrote:

Yes, between that, the double-jointedness, and self-professed nerdy traits, I'm starting to wonder if we're half-siblings or something (if I find we have a physical resemblance, I'll have some serious questions for my parents)

Ummm... well Dad was in the Army, and my Gramps came up to AK hunting quite a bit. We could be cousins, if not siblings.

nickbert wrote:

I suppose my instincts on this are telling me something about how Alaska will fare in the future as well as how me and my family will fare here.  I keep having some persistent gut feeling or instinct that tells me some 'wild card' event (beyond peak oil or collapsing markets) is going to impact many of us in the near future and it will be rough.  Maybe something on the level of a war or massive natural disaster, I don't know (I hope I'm wrong about that because heaven knows life will be difficult enough just with peak oil and the huge economic transition ahead).  What I do know is that the minute we made the decision to move here I found that nagging feeling wasn't bothering me near so much.  It's possible all this is due to all the rapid changes I've been seeing and it's making me overly edgy, but even if that's the case I'm still happy with the decision to move back here...

- Nickbert

My gut is leaning toward pandemic/contagion and civil unrest/martial law.... maybe I've watched too many Zombie movies! I'm sure we'll feel much better once we're successfully through Canada and safely on Alaskan soil. I know you'll be happy when the wifey gets up there with you!  The border crossing is the thing that's freaking me out the most right now... Lord, please don't let me get stuck in Canada or the L-48!  I'll be good, I swear

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nickbert
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Re: Selling/Abandoning "Stuff"
PlicketyCat wrote:

My gut is leaning toward pandemic/contagion and civil unrest/martial law.... maybe I've watched too many Zombie movies! I'm sure we'll feel much better once we're successfully through Canada and safely on Alaskan soil. I know you'll be happy when the wifey gets up there with you!  The border crossing is the thing that's freaking me out the most right now... Lord, please don't let me get stuck in Canada or the L-48!  I'll be good, I swear

I'm probably just being paranoid with regards to that gut feeling (or maybe on the other hand I'm trying to rationalize it?), but even if I'm wrong I'll still get a little peace of mind in addition to increased financial security and close proximity to friends and family.  As for the border crossing, that is cake.  Getting into Canada is usually pretty hassle-free; I've only had one Canadian Border official that acted like a jerk, but even he didn't keep me longer than 5 minutes.  Getting back into the US can take longer as they've almost always run some sort of check on my id or passport, but as long as you have your passports you won't have a problem (I assume you two already have your passports since as of this month they're now required for crossing the border).  And a few of these times were when I had my car packed full of my stuff and they still didn't give me a hard time or search my car.  The worst they might put you through is randomly choosing your vehicle for a search... it would suck and take some hours out of your day but that'd be it.  I admit that when I drive my family up in August (yes I'm literally counting the days!) I have some small concern they'll hassle me about the approx. 4000 rounds of ammo I'm bringing through.  I've confirmed they allow up to 5000 rounds if you're just bringing it through to Alaska and none of this ammo I'm bringing through is on Canada's prohibited list ("armor piercing", tracers, etc), but I'm a little concerned that the border agent will just get a bug up his butt about it and give us grief.  Again, realistically the worst they'll put us through is a long tedious search but I'd rather not sit for hours in a border station with a potentially fussy baby .

Getting back to the original topic, one of my coworkers here near Delta Junction is in the process of moving his stuff and selling his house.  It's not a foreclosure or hardship situation (he got a promotion to a better job in Florida) but he still decided to sell most of his furniture and larger possessions.  He's apparently had no problem selling his stuff, even the luxury toys, which could be taken as an indicator that the local economy here is doing quite well.  One special thing about this area is that there's an Army post right next door, with a lot of Army families, contractors, and local hires to pump money into the local economy.  Such communities with large military or government presence nearby may end up being exceptions to the rule in an otherwise worsening national economy, though it might prove more accurate to say that such communities may merely have several years of reprieve until the government can no longer afford to keep spending as it does.  But until that happens there are people with money in such places, and if you have something to sell you can take advantage of that...

- Nickbert

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PlicketyCat
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Re: Selling/Abandoning "Stuff"

We have a few things that might cause a grumpy border agent to be a pain: ammo, reloading equipment, a ton of food, the cats etc.  We already know that half our guns have to FFL shipped, so we're not even gonna try with the funky border crossing rules & permits. I've only had a few issues crossing the borders in the past, mostly because the male persons were driving and talking   Never had a problem when I was the one doing the driving and talking... I must just have an honest face or something. I have my passport and Gungnir's is on the way... he had to get his citizenship first, so that delayed us a bit for being able to apply for his US passport. We paid an obscene amount of money to have the application expedited to get here before we leave... let's see if they can manage to get it here in the next 20 days!

I think there will always be a decent trade economy around the military bases because there is such a high turnover and the community is pretty tight-knit and supportive. One of the reasons I'm not stressing having to replace household goods and purchase some equipment is that I know I can just pop up to Fairbanks and buy it off a GI who's being transferred or deployed. I grew up Army and that method of moving is old-hat. Seattle is kinda sucky that way because the military bases aren't near town at all, so we don't have quite the same opportunities. I've got friends up there who are more than willing to take me on base to the PX or commissary if things get desperate... I'm sure the military netwrok will hold together for a while after the civilian system starts to unravel.

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Gungnir
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Re: Selling/Abandoning "Stuff"

Gungnir's passport arrived today, as you already know

You can drive, I'll just appear passed out in the passenger seat, least said soonest mended.

No I will not say "yes" when asked my citizenship as you have previously experienced. My lips will be sealed. Anyway I still have mt British Passport and the Canadians still recognize the queen as the head of state

 

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nickbert
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Re: Selling/Abandoning "Stuff"

On the topic of freecycling, it looks like it's making some inroads all the way up here in Alaska as well.  Gungnir and Plickety, you two might be interested in this as it's in Fairbanks...

Freecycling concept comes to University of Alaska Fairbanks

http://www.newsminer.com/news/2009/jun/28/freecycling-concept-comes-univ...

- Nickbert

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Gungnir
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 2 2009
Posts: 643
Re: Selling/Abandoning "Stuff"

Thanks for the Link Nickbert.

When there's another one scheduled we'll be sure to check it out, if we're in Fairbanks at that time.

 

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