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Thread: I need some advice please on making an offer on an estate Stash...

  1. #1
    Super Member WTxRed's Avatar
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    I need some advice please on making an offer on an estate Stash...

    I went over today to look at the stash that a friend's mom has acquired over the past 15 years or so. There is a LOT of fabric. There are appx 47 of the big plastic drawers (roughly 17X20x5)and then another probably 10 big bags that have anywhere from 10-20 yards each in them. Plus a banquet table stacked 10 high by 5 or 6 rows of pizza boxes that are scraps, orphan blocks, and waiting to be assembled blocks.. I didn't have the time to look thru many of the bins, nor thru the big bags., much less determine what was actually in them. There were a few kits, Fq's, 1 yd cuts, etc. A lot of good quality, name brand fabrics. Some of it was in great shape, some of it had gotten a little dirty.

    I know if they sell the drawers individually, they are going to ask $25/drawer. I'm not sure that's a 'great' price since I didn't have the chance to really determine what's in them. On today's markets, that could be 2-3 yards per drawer. I know a lot of this fabric was bought 10 years or so ago. Does the price still ring true for something that's 10 years old? I understand them wanting to get the most they absolutely can - they asked me if they were going to sell it in lots, what would be the best way to do that. They are not interested in eBay. We live in a small, rural area and not a lot of 'options'. I don't know what to tell them.

    I am toying with the idea of making them an offer on the whole thing, without either of us going thru it in any more detail than we have today. I'd possibly keep about 1/2 of the fabrics. My offer would be considerably less than the $25/drawer but they'd be 'done' with it.

    They do know what fabric sells for today and I 'think' that may be what they've based their pricing on.
    I don't know what fabrics sells for in thrift stores or garage sales.

    So if you were in my shoes, 1) how would you come up with an offer and 2) if I decide I really don't want this volume of fabric - how would you sell it?

    Sorry to have run on with this... Thanks in advance for your comments!

  2. #2
    Super Member patchsamkim's Avatar
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    When I sold fabric at my garage sale, and at our guild rummage sale, I sold the fabric at $4.00 a yard...most of it was $8.00 or less at the time I purchased it, so basically half of retail. A rummage sale probably won't get anywhere close to what fabric sells for now. I guess you could come up with your offer based on something like the $4 or even less as you woulds be buying it all and helping them out. If you don't want it all, you could resell what you don't want to keep either here on quilt board, posting an ad in your local newspaper, etc.

  3. #3
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    I would ask them what their price is then negotiate. They can either negotiate the price with you, put an ad in Craigslist and possibly sit on it for awhile. How recent is the newest piece? If some of that fabric is 10-15 years old I wouldn't give any more than a $1.00 a yard. If some of that is that old it is definitely going to need laundering and checked for mold and mildew. In that case you're going to have to figure that cost in also.

  4. #4
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    Do you have a huge stash yourself? I have a modest stash and I really don't need much more. I do buy backs so you might be interested if there are larger pieces. I would want to look and see what I wanted rather than buy it all myself.
    As for offering for it all, that's a hard call. You don't want to insult your friends with a low price and you don't want to have too much money tied up in fabric. I also wouldn't want you have to spend weeks washing it all.

  5. #5
    Senior Member IAmCatOwned's Avatar
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    I would make them an offer. Unless you live close enough to a city where the stuff could be advertised and sold at auction, they are only going to get peanuts. As mentioned, unless the stuff ws kept in a retail condition, a buyer is going to have to rewash, etc.

  6. #6
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    I would think it through before making an offer. Do you have space for that much fabric? Are the colors and prints to your liking and style of quilts. You do have to think about age, even stored in the best of conditions some of the fabric is old and may have issues (fading or even weakened). I use a lot of vintage fabrics and I will tell you they can be hard to match. Even if the colors are current, the tone or hue can be different. I usually pay $1.00 a yard at yard sales and I have lucked up on a quarter a piece and some of the pieces were several yards each. I use coupons at Hobby Lobby and Hancocks so I usually pay less than $5 a yard new. I think the biggest question is, "Would you actually use the fabric?". Could you look around on CL and see what fabric in your area is going for?

  7. #7
    Super Member LynnVT's Avatar
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    Another thought has to do with the woman's taste. Some ten year old fabric is really dated, others might be more universal. If she had batiks or classic designs, they would be of interest to many. If she liked some of the trendier stuff, it gets dated really fast. I have some old pieces that might be usable for scrappy stuff, but not really of interest now. I agree that giving them an allover price would save them a lot of trouble, but consider where you are going to put it all while dealing with it, and how you will go about selling it. Of course putting it up here on the board would make a lot more sense than ebay, I think. JMHO

  8. #8
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    $25 for 2 to 3 yards of fabric is way too high. My guess is that estate sale yardage probably goes for around 2$/yd.

  9. #9
    Super Member HillCountryGal's Avatar
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    The most I've paid for fabric at a thrift store or yard sale was $2 per yard. And that was for newer fabric.

    Guess if I had the opportunity to purchase such a large stash of fabric... I would give them a "if I buy it all" quote. Yes, they can piece it out so to speak, however it will take time and energy and they will still be dealing with whatever doesn't sell. It's to their advantage to sell it all in one lot and be done with it.

    A friend shared some of her Mother's fabric with me. Spent days washing it to see what was salvagable. Then, after deciding what I could and would use... I gave the rest away.

    Let us know what happens.

  10. #10
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    I wouldn't pay too much. Yardsale and estate stuff goes very cheap around here. Usually for $1-5 a plastic grocery bag, and you can stuff a lot of fabric in one of those if you try. Sellers who try to get more money are usually left with it. No one is going to pay anything close to retail for all that, when you have to wash/dry/iron it all, and sometimes find out after you get it home that it smells musty. I think most people would rather buy new fabric for close to new fabric prices, than someone else's stash.

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