Mon Apr 17 13:26:11 EDT 2006

Most radio clubs have someone in the membership who is known as an honest 
individual who handles estates. I have over 50 years of accumulation and 
list sale items often but for the rest, my will states that remaining ham 
gear will go to those children who have ham licenses. Since I made that 
known I now have two!!  The other guys get an item they would treasure and 
the rest is sold and the funds split amongst all. So far everyone is happy! 
Fred W7PRV
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Todd, KA1KAQ" <ka1kaq at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Monday, April 17, 2006 9:46 AM
Subject: Re: [BOATANCHORS-TEMPE] Stuff

On 4/16/06, Rinkie & Ron Pollack <rinkies at> wrote:
> Might as well add my 2 cents worth.
> First of all, in response to the original "what should I do?" question, 
> the
> (reluctant!) seller needs to prioritize:  Maximum return, or least effort,
> or somewhere in between.
> In defense of the prospective buyer who offered $1000:  It seems that what
> it was worth to him!  If he wanted it for more than that, he would have
> counter offered a higher bid.
> I do buy estates when I can, and there is an enormous amount of work
> involved in sorting, cleaning, transporting and shipping items. I don't
> approach SK families, but wait for them to approach me. Most people want 
> you
> to "take everything or nothing," and there is often expense involved in 
> even
> disposing of junk properly.

This is absolutely true, having been through it myself. The difference
in selling everything at once is that it's much easier to deal with an
less hassle overall. The references to 'rip offs' have been, in my
experiences, people who cherry-picked the good bits for next to
nothing, and left the seller to deal with the rest. One fellow who did
this was an old family friend of the family. He took several valuable
items like an AK breadboard, NIB BC-348 and some other rare stuff for
a couple hundred dollars. They figured since they knew him, it must be
an honest offer. Fortunately they still made $10K in the end, so it
worked out.

I've done buy-outs, helped others sell, even cataloged and worked an
auction. I've paid for items I was offered for free, taken gear
instead of pay, and so on. Every situation is different, and those who
immediately label it as a 'rip off' should do a little more research
or get some first hand experience.

The perceived 'good deal' requires a lot of work, even for those who
resell items. Hundreds of hours tied up at what hourly wage? What
about condition of the gear, is it all tested and functioning properly
and if not, what is required to make it saleable? Buying in bulk may
yield a lower initial cost, but it doesn't factor in 'the rest'. Ebay
represents the highest prices, not an average, and even those prices
have dropped overall. And when you factor in the time involved with
packing, shipping, and all of the online stuff, the bottom line looks
considerably different.

Having said this, by no means should Doc think that his gear is so
much old junk, worthless, or whatever. But he also has to decide how
much time he wants to invest himself. Anyone I've ever worked with is
told up front that they can likely get more by selling things
individually and being patient. Most want it gone yesterday, and will
heave it into the trash if they don't get action soon. The other
extreme is the one Greg points out. I compare it to a person who has
an old dime and thinks the $10 book price isn't fair even though it's
100 times the face value. It's old, so it must be
rare/valuable/priceless. Some folks have or are given expectations
that are unrealistic.

The HB gear will be the toughest to sell because Doc probably has much
more time and money into purchasing and assembling the pieces than
someone would want to pay. I have some nice HB gear and some that I
picked up only for the sum of its parts (pair of 250THs mounted on
black-painted wood paneling looking like it could electrocute you if
you just looked at it). It's worth putting some extra effort into
finding someone who really likes this stuff and will preserve it.

So, while I think *one* crook is too many, I also think there are more
good people out there than bad. My suggestion to Doc would be to take
his time figuring it out, and go from there. One thing I'd also add,
FWIW: if someone does indeed make an offer for everything, make sure
they take 'everything'. I've cleaned a lot of junk out of basements as
part of removing all of the 'radio stuff', including rusted chassis,
shorted transformers, old mercury tower light switches, monitors, TV
sets, and other crap that I had to spend time and money getting rid
of. It's not just part of the deal, it's the right thing to do.

A lot of good advice has been offered, but I think Bob, John, and
others have touched on the core issue: even if you must downsize Doc,
try to keep a few pieces so that you can stay active and involved in
the hobby aspect of amateur radio. To me, it's as therapeutic as a
daily walk, proper diet, or anything else. And I'm only 45.

de Todd/'Boomer'  KA1KAQ

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