Sell out

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

I’ve had people ask me about my estate sale since I wrote about my decision to have one (“I can’t believe it’s not clutter,” feature story, Jan. 14). Well, after a couple of delays, we finally had the sale last weekend, and it was a terrible experience.

Don’t get me wrong. Debbie Cox, the professional estate sale organizer we hired, did a great job. And my girlfriend, Margot, and I did well enough on the two goals of the sale: getting rid of stuff and making some money. The mistake we made was that we volunteered to help during the sale. Cox usually discourages owners and family members to visit the property during an estate sale, and now I really understand why.

If Cox had just come to me after the sale and said, “We made this amount and got rid of all of these things,” I think I would’ve been happy, but being there during the sale was very stressful. It was disheartening to see strangers rummaging through my house, haggling down items I thought were already priced too low. Every time I heard the individual sale price of any given item, I was disappointed, though happy with the overall take.

Plus, some of these strangers were indeed strange. There was a variety of oddity, but, for me, the most obnoxious people were the wild-eyed old-timers who would ask, “Got any rifles?” “Nope.” “What about handguns?” “No, sir.” “Bullets?” “No.” “OK, what about hunting knives?” Those interactions got me wondering how often guns are sold at garage sales and estate sales. It also occurred to me that there are two kinds of people in the world: those who fantasize about who they want to fuck, and those who fantasize about who they want to kill. And I have a hard time relating to the latter.

Anyway, if other people are considering doing something similar, I’d say go for it. And I’d reiterate that we had a good experience working with Cox. (Her website is But I’d also suggest that you just trust her when she tells you that you don’t want to be there during the estate sale.