Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 years of living with severe disabilities due to a stroke. I survived the first year after Don’s death doing what most widows do---trying to make sense of my world turned upside down. The pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties are well documented in this blog.

Now that I’m a "seasoned widow" the focus of my writing has changed. I’m still a widow looking through that lens but I’m also a woman searching for contentment, friends and a voice in my restless world. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. I say I just write about whatever passes through my days---the good, bad and the ugly. Comments welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Marketplace, Old Donkeys and Young Men

I’m quickly falling in love with selling stuff on Facebook Marketplace although I’m still struggling a bit with learning the ropes so that I’m not getting overrun with messages of offers. One thing I’ve learned is I need to be up and presentable for pickups before listing something because the serious Marketplace buyers want to come over right away, presumably to nudge the competition out of the running. But unfortunately it took me two weekends to figure out not to list two things within a few minutes of one another because all the action comes within the first two hours and having multiple messenger boxes open up across my screen stresses me out. One time I sent a reply meant for a person asking a question about a small showcase I had listed to a guy asking about a leather donkey footstool. (This was the second showcase I've sold on Facebook and it's the one that held my collection of spaghetti poodles.) This showcase went to the owner of an antique store who offered me twice what I had it listed for. Before she came out to pick it up I quickly staged my work table in the garage with some things I’d hoped she’d be interested taking.

But the thrill of the weekend was selling my prized donkey. I really didn’t want to sell him for peanuts or send him off to Goodwill and the high cost of shipping would have killed his sale on e-Bay not to mention he’s a little rough looking due to Levi having pulled his tail and ears off several times when he was a young. I got them back on but the tail was significantly shorter and thinner. The ad I wrote described my donkey this way: “This vintage leather, donkey footstool will add a sense of whimsy to any room. He measures 27” from butt to nose and is approximately 9” wide. His leather shows some stains and he has some age-related issues with his ears and butt but who doesn’t when you’re over 80 years old. (See photos #7, 8 & 9 of those flaws in his character.) Help me find a home for this much loved guy. He can't go to independent living with me.” I asked the young man who bought him if he collects or owns a donkey. Nope. He said he and his wife are slowly furnishing their home with Mid-Century, unique things. Bless those Mid-Century collectors! I see myself in them when I was hot and heavy over Early American primitives. I wanted to kiss him goodbye---the donkey, not the buyer---but I resisted the temptation. 

By the way, a collection of 6-7 of those primitives are going with me when I move...whale oil and other small lamps from so many centuries ago. But did I mention that I also sold a dozen cobalt blue wine bottles that were on my bottle tree in the back yard? The girl who bought them is using them with lights inside for her wedding this summer. That appealed to the old florist buried in my distant past. And, no, I didn't get those bottles from drinking that much wine. Some I fished out of the recycling dumpster and some I bought off e-Bay. Cobalt blue is a much sought-after color in the world of weddings according to my hairdresser.

For those of you who are concerned with strangers coming to the house. They don't actually come inside. I have a large overhead garage door that I open and I have pickup items just inside that door. One time I counted how many windows in the neighborhood have a direct view inside my garage and it's a LOT. I'm on a slight hill and my garage is a regular fishbowl. I also make sure I leave a note on my day planner and one other place about who is coming and why for the CSI team that might have to solve my murder. No one is completely anonymous on Facebook or e-Bay if someone has a crime to solve. Pickups are really no different than having a garage sale, except you're only sharing your address with the buyer and not the general population. 

On the art/e-Bay front, I sold a sculpture for a HUGE chunk of change and I have two similar pieces to list as soon. The buyer turned out to live in Michigan, too, and she has memories of going to the artist's studio as a kid to watch him work...she lived nearby his place and is eager to see my remaining two sculptures. Fingers crossed she's got good credit or a disposal income to buy them. This gal and the donkey guy gave me hope that the world isn't getting run over with minimalists and fan of Marie Kondo.

Next week I'm signed up to take a virtual tour of my future home---the buildings inside and out and the campus. And in April I'm signed up to do an in person tour and the son-I-wish-I-had and my niece both want to come with me. They are in full marketing mode to fill up the unsold units. There media ads are everywhere and every week starting in April they will be doing small group tours and will have a sample unit finished and furnished to view.  It's getting real, people. © 

The former home of my poodle collection.

The day Levi removed the donkey's tail and they still weren't speaking.

44 comments:

  1. Wasn't even aware of the FB marketplace. It seems the perfect way for you to dispose of your many collectables. I'm glad you are leaving a trail for the CSI guys though:)
    I hope you kept visiting privileges rights to the donkey. He was rather of cute.

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    1. I wish I had asked for visiting rights. LOL But seriously, FB MarketPlace is probably a better place to sell regular household goods than collectibles, even clothing...anything you'd put in a garage sale. Are is a ton of stuff listed there but no way to research what sold and didn't like you can on e-Bay. The big advantage aside from not having to ship is that no one gets a cut of your sale. This disadvantage is making the appointments at the buyer's convenience.

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  2. Levi is so cute in that photo:) He and the donkey are about the same size. You sound like you're doing a great job in finding new homes for all your collectibles. I bet you like knowing that the things you are selling and that hold memories for you are going to people who will really appreciate them.

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    1. It really does make a difference knowing who ends up with what. Sometimes you find that out on e-Bay but that's not the general rule. With FB Marketplace you can talk directly to the buyers and ask questions if they don't volunteer it.

      I love that photo of Levi and Mr. Donkey Breath.

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  3. That donkey is cute. I'm glad it went to a good home. Love the photo of Levi with his nemesis.

    Your transition is picking up speed! Your heart will be feeling lighter and lighter as your pockets get heavier and heavier (LOL).

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    1. The transition is getting scarier. The decisions are getting all too real with selling and not really knowing a for sure move in date. Should know more soon though.

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  4. Awww, that photo of Levi and the donkey is precious. Glad the donkey found just the right new home.

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    1. Levi was so cute acting about the donkey. Most of the time he left him alone but one day we were gone an exceptionally long day and that was when Levi pulled out his tail. It was real horse hair and it was all over the carpeting and Levi had been rolling in it. Took me forever to pick up that hair one strand at a time before taping it in a bunch.

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  5. You had a good eye for quality when you were collecting! That is why you are having good luck with your sales. Good for you!
    Hope you can take some photos to share with us when you get to take your in-person tour. So exciting!

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    1. I just found out I royally screwed up selling my donkey. While researching a mission oak footstool to sell I found two more animal stools like him (same company and era) that were listed for $2,399 and $1,199 and I let mine go for under $100. I have no one else to blame but me. I know better than to sell old stuff without checking current values. But I did. Oh, well. He went to a good home.

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    2. One young couple is so happy right now with their "score," though, and they'll cherish the donkey even more, unless you suspect it was actually a reseller and not someone furnishing his own home. When I was putting my husband through law school and the only "meat" we could afford was the Tuesday special of seven hotdogs for $1.00 from a Chinese place that used to be a A&W root beer place, we bought a Larkin library table for $25.00 at a flea market, complete with the original tag. He used it as a desk, as it was missing its bottom shelf. Although that missing shelf and the fact that my husband refinished it--beautifully--have diminished its value, we sure have enjoyed owning it and have loved knowing that values for those in better shape have climbed, too.

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    3. No, I'm sure he wasn't a picker or reseller. I've been around them all my life. This guy just liked the uniqueness of my donkey and if he ever looks him up he's going to get a shock. The son-I-wish-I-had said he couldn't believe I sold something without researching it first. But I'm still happy he's rehomed.

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  6. Love that photo of Levi and the donkey. It sounds like the Facebook selling's going well for you. You'll be glad of all the work you've done when it's time to pack up!

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    1. The first day I spend in my new place I'm going to sleep until noon. This is starting to get stressful with all I stuff to do with listing and selling the house.

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  7. Good golly you have the most unique items!!! Thanks for sharing Levi/Donkey story. So cute.

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    1. I'm old. We all have good stories to tell...just in different areas of life like you doing all your traveling and living in Maui. And now living with three generations under one roof.

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  8. It's so encouraging to read how things are falling into place for you. I've never done Facebook Marketplace, but my kids buy and sell on it all the time, with great results. My husband and I are in the process of paring down for our move and it always helps me to read your posts to see how you're coming along. We can all do this!!!

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    1. I'm pretty sure I'm the last one in my family and my husband's family to do FaceBook Marketplace.

      Downsizing wears you out emotionally and physically but I'm getting there. Now, I'm actually searching for things to sell, taking a second look at stuff I thought I'd keep too.

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  9. How cool you are selling stuff, I would sell stuff but I have no stuff

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  10. You are going strong on the downsize! Wow. And it will be so much fun to get your virtual and real world tours. It helps to leave a place when there is excitement about what you are going to.

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    1. The virtual tour was disappointing. I thought they'd walk around with a camera and show us stuff but it was mainly about how a continuum care complex works and the costs for different units, what you get for the money, etc.

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  11. I'm in love with that picture of Levi and the donkey. ❤️

    I'm glad you found another place to sell your stuff, and that your new home is starting to get real.

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    1. That's one of my favorite Levi photos.

      The ups and downs of this whole thing have been stressful.

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  12. I'm so glad the method you're using is working out so well for you! It's always nice when a Beloved Object finds just the right Buyer, isn't it? I don't think everyone understands that about people who Collect, it's not all about the profits for us, tho' that is Sweet, it's that whatever it is finds the appreciative Buyer too. There are certain Treasures, that even if the Buyer offered me what I couldn't refuse, if I knew they would set it on Fire or something, I'd hesitate or refuse to close the Deal.

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    1. When my great-niece was here last summer I offered her whatever she might want from my garage and she zeroes in on a Sandcat turn-of-century taxidermy. I was happy for about two seconds until she said she could use it in her classroom for a mascot for her teenager students. I turned Indian Giver really fast, visualizing the abuse that guy would take. LOL

      Collectors are an interesting group of people. This past year of selling stuff has really made me realize how much I've missed being part of a mall setting like you are in.

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    2. We are indeed an Interesting Breed. *LOL* Perhaps on a small scale you could dip your foot in the water of resale, it would be a nice stream of discretionary income since you have that wealth of knowledge from all the years you and your husband Collected good quality items with value. So long as you moderate what is brought in and what goes out, it is very enjoyable and I consider it a worthy Hobby I'll not let go of easily, if at all. Part of it for me is meeting Kindred Spirits in the Industry, it does bond, it is a Tribe... and we are 'Interesting'... winks.

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    3. There is a vintage mall down close to where I'll be living that I suspect I'll be visiting often to feel that Kindred Spirits thing. Even my youngest niece shocked me when she told me recently she was in there and both a mid-century milk glass vase. She's never been interested in antiques or collectibles in the past and now she has milk glass collection!

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  13. What a cute photo and Levi and the donkey!

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    1. Thanks. It's one of my top five of Levi, really shows his personality.

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  14. I like your last photo. It's a perfectly lovely reminder of both your friends, now gone. I hope the donkey's new family appreciates his demeanor.

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    1. He's got a great demeanor that can change depending on how you position his ears.

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  15. Rick sells a great many things on FB marketplace. He leaves the item on the porch and then pay via paypal or venmo so no need to see people. It has worked out great.
    I love the photo of Levi and the Donkey!

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    1. I have a Pay Pal account and use it all the time with e-Bay but I don't know how to do that at Marketplace. I really should learn.

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    2. For our less expensive items, we have used our local FB buy/sell page and done "honor system" front porch pickup. It works out well. People paying in cash often leave "more" than the amount I'd listed as the price for the item, even when I leave change in the box for payment: say $4.00 if the item is $16.00. We spent one too many times waiting and waiting for someone who didn't show up, and our house is more isolated than yours. We park in the garage, so people can't tell if we're home or not, but we have security cameras.

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    3. I don't have a front porch so that wouldn't work for me on bad weather day unless I put out a box which I could do. I do think the majority of people are honest.

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  16. You do have such interesting possessions! That donkey is adorable. And such a cute picture of Levi and the donkey!

    I've had great luck with the FB Marketplace whenever I've used it. And pretty much everyone who has come to the door (or garage door where we have the same drill as you describe) has been polite and friendly. We have some wing nuts around here, but for the most part, people are polite and friendly to deal with.

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    1. We had fun buying and selling stuff. Knock on wood, my FB Marketplace buyers have been all polite and friendly people, too.

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  17. This post is fascinating to me. I should try the FB Marketplace. I can't get into eBay but this, maybe.

    I ADORE that photo of Levi and the Donkey. Donkey looks so sad. I can see they're not speaking to each other. That one is a gem.

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    1. It's so much easier than e-Bay. You take pictures, write up the descriptions, post it with no fees or cut to pay to anyone. I have someone coming soon to pick up 62 pieces of orange carnival glass today. Didn't think it would sell---it's so out of fashion---had it on FB for 10 days.

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  18. Love the photo of Levi and the donkey (of presumably a name, but not mentioned in your post] FB marketplace is popular here in NZ as well, a person I used to know "bought and sold cars through it"

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    1. He's always just been Mr. Donkey.

      It's a small world, isn't it when ideas like Facebook Marketplace crossing oceans and boarders.

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  19. Jean, I so admire the energy and know-how that you bring to selling all your collections. I wouldn't know where to begin -- and, even if I did, I would feel exhausted just thinking about it. In cleaning out my friend's house and getting it ready for the market, I happily paid someone with your kind of know-how to take care of everything.

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    1. Paying someone else to do it was my Plan C, me doing it was Plan B. I would have preferred to keep feeding stuff to the auction house that closed down. The pandemic really caused me a lot of extra work and stress.

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