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July 16, 2018

Selling big items before moving

  • Tips and tricks
Selling off certain large items before your move can make the process easier and give you an influx of cash.

A move is a great chance to transform a new space into your home, and that can mean doing some serious redecorating. You may also simply not want to bring heavy furniture, appliances and other objects you're not particularly attached to along on your move.

No matter why you decide to let go of some of your big-ticket items, you can use this advice to better your odds of getting something - be it cash or a tax deduction - out of the process.

The traditional channels

A moving sale

"Big-ticket items can be sold in person, online or even donated."

Moving sales are a great way to get rid of a variety of possessions large and small. Although bargains are the order of the day at many such events, there's definitely room to sell more expensive pieces as well. To maximize your chances of successfully selling these big items:

  • Keep them in a safe location: Don't put a 50-inch TV or antique armoire near the curb or next to the low-priced items you plan to sell. Keep them in your garage or in another area protected from the elements and rough handling.
  • Publicize them: When you make posts on your neighborhood social media site or put up flyers on telephone poles, emphasize the big items that will be for sale. Someone who doesn't regularly go to yard sales may be enticed by premium electronics or period furniture.
  • Know your negotiating limits: Many potential customers see the prices at moving sales as suggestions. If you refuse to budge at all from your sticker price, you might miss out on a good value that's still roughly in line with what you expect in return for the sale. Take a little time to look up the value of similar used items, if possible, and determine how low you're comfortable going before the sale starts.


Donating an expensive item to a qualified nonprofit is a great way to get it off your hands and receive an eventual tax deduction in return. Just remember that standard deductions have increased for the next tax year, as Forbes pointed out, so be sure the donation, and subsequent addition to your list of itemized deductions, is worth it to you.

Auctions, estate sales, online and other avenues

High-value items can be sold in a variety of ways that a stack of DVDs or a set of kitchenware can't. Although dependent on whether such companies operate in your area and if they accept the specific pieces you have to sell, you can seek out local and regional auction houses and organizations that host estate sales. Just make sure you're comfortable with the terms they offer, like the percentage of the sale price they keep.

You can also go online to sites and apps such as LetGo, Craigslist and eBay to sell your belongings to a broader audience. These approaches may require you to ship your items or meet a buyer, so keep that in mind as you weigh your options.

Getting rid of high-value items isn't always easy, but these tips can help you reach a successful resolution - and provide some extra cash to help pay for your movers and packers, too.