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Thread: Selling quilting mdse

  1. #1
    Super Member sustraley's Avatar
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    Selling quilting mdse

    I talked with a man who unfortunately lost his wife after a 3 year illness. He has a BUNCH of quilting stuff of hers that he wants to sell. Batting, bolts of fabric, squares already cut out, quilt tops, janome machine, thread, and lots of other stuff. My dilema is, I have never had the opportunity to purchase this type of stuff from anyone like this. What kind of prices do I offer? I know there are probably a lot of variables depending on condition, size of quilt tops, etc. But I would really appreciate any advice on this. She was only in her 40's or 50's when she passed. So sad.

  2. #2
    Senior Member lindy-2's Avatar
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    thats a hard one i think you would have to look at it first. if you posted pictures we might be able to advise you better

  3. #3
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    With the exception of the sewing machine, typically quilting stuff like this does not sell for much on Craigslist and other places. I've clicked on quite a few posts here on the board where someone has run into a situation like this and come home with everything (except the machine) for $100 or $150 or so (which I think would be more reasonable if there are quilt tops). Doesn't sound like much for a quilter's stash, does it? But most people don't know what to do with a stash.

  4. #4
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    In order to be prepared, have in your own mind what you are looking for and what you would be comfortable paying. Also, understanding where the seller is coming from will help you -- Does he need money? Is he ready to just clear things out and wants her items to be used? Is he actually ready to part with her things?

    In a situation like this it is helpful to find out early in your shopping/negotiating process what price the seller has in mind. It is very awkward to be in someone's home looking at things for sale and find out either that the price is much higher than you had in mind and/or the quality or selection of the items is not what you want. I usually ask at the beginning how they are selling the fabric -- by the yard, bolt, box, etc. and than ask them to give you an idea of approximately how much they want per yard, etc. If it is within reason to you, then you can start making selections and settle on specific pricing as you go.

    If you find there are a large number of items that you want, then try to agree on a "lot" price for all of it.

    Above all, all keep forefront in your mind that this is a sensitive situation where a man is selling things that were dear to someone he loved. You will have many opportunities to acknowledge to him your understanding of his feelings and your appreciation of him allowing you to be there going through the things and purchasing them. You can easily make positive statements about the woman's taste, quality of materials, colors, etc.

    This is an opportunity to be a win/win situation. You are in a position to help this man in his grief journey.

    Dayle

  5. #5
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    I've told my kids that there is value in my stuff - IF they are willing to put some time and effort into selling it.

    On the other hand, if they just want to get it gone - well, that's up to them when the time comes.

    I have asked them, though, to please, please, please, not dump it in the trash.

    A lot of people have 'scored' - did they pay a 'fair price'?

    If the seller is happy with what he/she received, I guess that's good enough.

  6. #6
    Super Member sustraley's Avatar
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    Thank you all very much for the great advice. I now have an idea. Can't wait to go check it out.

  7. #7
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    Let this be a reminder to all of us! Let our loved ones know how we want our "stuff" disposed of once we're gone to our reward.

    I'm sure most of us would turn over in our graves if it was tossed in the trash!

    Agree with the advice to ask how this man wants to sell the quilting stuff. Poor fellow probably has no idea of it's worth, so be as fair as you can.

  8. #8
    Super Member Havplenty's Avatar
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    sustraley i have been to few sales like this. at one the husband and new wife were offering yardage at $.50/yd. after so much measruing i started offering lump sum pricing for stuff which she glady accepted. the next sale the woman offered brown bags at $10.00 each with whatever you could fill it up with. and at still another sale the fabrics were priced from $.50/yd to $5/yd all top quality stuff.

    i prefer lujmp sum pricing or bulk pricing when i go to a sale like that instead of piecemeal pricing. good luck with your shopping trip.

    here is a picture of the last fabric sale i was at. this was a family uniform business and they were clearing out extra bolts of fabric $.50/-$5/yd, everything from cottons to velvets to brocades to ultrasuedes. at the end of the day of selling they had a wholesaler come pick all the rest of it up. i ended up paying for 20 yards ($20) but got much more than that plus about 3 yrds of brocades for $1.50. btw this was only half of the fabric in the garage. i couldnt photo it all.


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  9. #9
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    If you are going to use the fabric for charity quilts, let him know. It may make him feel better about where his late wife's stuff is going.

  10. #10
    Super Member ljptexas's Avatar
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    Just quote him a reasonable price. He has no clue of its worth but whatever you feel comfortable giving him. I purchased a lot of stuff from a widow of my church. Got a sewing machine, a serger, a u shaped desk, a chair with lift up seat, lots of notions, sewing cabinet with contents, fabrics, & I won't have to buy thread for a very, very long time (on the big spools), rulers & templates. Later sold the desk (didn't fit, not enough room at edge of sewing machine) & the serger (which I have never used).
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  11. #11
    Super Member barri1's Avatar
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    I loved reading the kindness that Dayle was expressing.. I agree with her.. It's a sensitive situation..

  12. #12
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    I had an oportunity to purchase fabric from a widower. He would not quote me a price - so I made him an offer and he accepted. When I got home and sorted the items, I found a quilt top with various names hand embroidered on it. I contacted him and returned the top to him. He was grateful and said several members of the family were wondering what ever happened to that quilt top. It's now where it belongs!

  13. #13
    Senior Member SUZAG's Avatar
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    If she has been sick for 3 years, she may have started getting rid of stuff while she was alive...this could be the leftovers...

  14. #14
    Senior Member Ccorazone's Avatar
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    If she was like my sister... A fighter to the end. She would not of started clearing out things. Until my sister lapsed into coma she would say," When I get to feeling better, I'll work on this or I'll finish that".

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  15. #15
    Super Member Latrinka's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Daylesewblessed;52105



    Above all, all keep forefront in your mind that this is a sensitive situation where a man is selling things that were dear to

    This is an opportunity to be a win/win situation. You are in a position to help this man in his grief journey.

    Dayle[/QUOTE]

    And it is indeed a journey! Lost my DH 9 months ago to cancer.
    If a woman's work is never done....why start?

  16. #16
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    Latrinka - hugs to you on your journey.

    This thread reminds that I really need to tell someone WHERE to take my sewing stuff - the local quilt guild comes to my mind, or my favorite quilt store. They will have the contacts of people who will appreciate my stuff. My brother (logical choice for executor of my mess) doesn't live in town and has zero clue who my friends are. At this point, my nephews are all school age and they don't care about Aunt Becca's stuff either!
    my name is becca and i'm a quilt-a-holic :-)

  17. #17
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    Last summer I saw an ad on Craigs List for "lots of fabric". I called immediately and was invited to come look at it. It was a quilters cache. Ten large garbage bags of top quality quilter's cotton and all for $100. I paid him and only got a few miles before I had to pull over and investigate what was in the bags. Oh boy, with the exception of some glitsy stuff, everything was my taste and some of the flannels were identical to ones I had purchased at my local quilt store. I've talked to others in our guild who have also bought a quilters stash and $100-$150 seems to be the going rate. The young man I bought it from told me that his Mom wanted it to go to a quilter and asked that I show him some quilts to prove it. I was happy to oblige and he was thrilled to get rid of it.

  18. #18
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    after reading this, my family has been instructed to BURN everything in my sewing room and the studio!

    I would never expect them to take $100 for my inventory of nearly $80K worth of stuff! YIKES.....what if the poor guy is paying off her medical bills, or trying to save their home after the bills nearly wiped them out!....

    A bargain is always nice, but to steal some one blind because "he does not have a clue of it's value"...really....MY dh knows the value..and so do my kids....I make sure they know...

  19. #19
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    I thought that was kind of cheap to. My oldest granddaughter turned 30 & all of a sudden she wants to quilt. She doesn't even know how to sew I don't think. This will be a lot of fun I think.

  20. #20
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    Dayle, this is amazing insight and I wanted to thank you for posting.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Judi in Ohio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaciqltznok View Post
    after reading this, my family has been instructed to BURN everything in my sewing room and the studio!

    I would never expect them to take $100 for my inventory of nearly $80K worth of stuff! YIKES.....what if the poor guy is paying off her medical bills, or trying to save their home after the bills nearly wiped them out!....

    A bargain is always nice, but to steal some one blind because "he does not have a clue of it's value"...really....MY dh knows the value..and so do my kids....I make sure they know...
    Think about this - your $80,000 worth of stuff may not be my $80,000 worth of stuff. I don't think this is taking advantage of anyone. Most don't want to go thru the hassel of selling each piece. It happens every day and I think most would love that you would do something with it. Fabric or otherwise. Burning it is not an option in my book. If I ran across a deal like this I would make a quilt and donate it in the persons memory - maybe that's just my karma wanting to come out. I've read where some families have held yard sales and had this organized and that's fine, but some just don't want to be bothered.
    Judi in Ohio

  22. #22
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    I know that my husband and if I survive him, my son, have absolutely no idea of the worth of my stash, tools, etc. (I have a home-based LAQ business) and have given a couple of my younger quilting buddies permission to come in and deal with it when I pass. They will shed tears, but will make sure everything gets a good home. We didn't discuss them paying anything, but I know they will do the right thing.

  23. #23
    Super Member misseva's Avatar
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    I've instructed my daughter who is a quilter to take anything of mine, then give rest to quilting friends.
    TwandasMom

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