Selling your excess stuff: Play it Again Sports, a cautionary tale

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Earlier I posted about selling stuff on eBay, which was a positive (and profitable) experience. This story is not like that.

I’m reducing the possessions I own, trying to remove from my house the stuff I don’t use. My goal is a more frugal lifestyle with fewer possessions and more experiences. I actually love to give things away, but I would like to make at least a small percentage of cash back on the items, where I can. And all that stuff sitting in closets cost me money and still has some use in them. I’m targeting only items that are in good condition that I believe someone would like to have.

I wanted to run away and join the circus when I was a child

DSC_0398I have learned to juggle and seriously considered circus camp one summer. I admit it: I am not well. I had three items that were frankly …. a bit odd.

  • Unicycle: Oh how I wanted this when I bought it 5+ years ago from Schwinn for about $150. I worked very, very hard to learn to ride it. I failed miserably. I’m lucky I didn’t break a hip. The last time I tried to ride the unicycle I took such a bad spill that I wasn’t sure I’d be able to walk the next day. And I missed hitting my head by inches. I put the bike away out of fear. I’ve not used it since. I swear it’s taunting me.
  • Stilts: I had really good luck with these! I learned to walk on them. But now I’m bored with it. And these are beginner stilts. If I was going to move forward with this, I’d need another kind of stilt.
  • Trikke: Have you seen these three wheeled thingies? They are fun, but hard work. I’m only able to use one in a perfectly flat parking lot or slight downhill. Not practical for me. I paid $300 for this and used it one summer. Time to go.

I also have a treadmill and bicycle (which I’m still using) and will eventually need to sell these as well, so my investigation now should help me in the future.

Stilts
Stilts

Or so I hoped.

Play It Again Sports

I called the Play it Again Sports at North DeKalb Mall and talked to “Roland.” He was very positive. Yes, they sold items like this all the time. He claimed to be the day manager and would be there until 6pm. He said he thought the last unicycle had sold for about $100 and I could probably get $150 for the Trikke. No problem, we will take them. Bring ‘em in.

So I did. But when I got there, there was no Roland. No one had ever heard of him. I smelled a ruse. The man in his early 20’s who claimed to be the manager said he would take the stilts for free if I didn’t really want them, could give me $12 for the unicycle and he’d only take the Trikke on consignment. He expected to sell the Trikke at no more than $80. If it sold I’d get half the price but it would take 30-60 days from the sales date for me to get my money. And he hadn’t even looked at two of the three items yet, which were still in my car! I explained about Roland again. Stupidly. He explained that they were doing me a “favor” agreeing to take these (useless) items.

I thanked him for his trouble and said I didn’t want any favors.

Sure. That's me on the Trikke. Right? You believe me, don't you?
Sure. That’s me on the Trikke. Right? You believe me, don’t you?

He actually walked me out of the store saying that maybe they could do “a little better” on the price but that the items simply “weren’t that good.” I just kept walking. Fortunately, I kept my mouth shut. I fear some very unladylike phrases would have come from it otherwise.

I have no proof, but this sounds like a set up. I think they tell you what you want to hear on the phone (and give a false name) and then figure that since you’ve already brought the items in, you’ll agree to take next to nothing for them. Not me. I don’t do business with folks I can’t trust.

As I’ve said before….I’d rather give things away

And so I did. Goodwill has some odd items to sell now. I hope it’s a good deal for everyone. I’ve donated way too much to Goodwill this year and probably won’t take even half of the value of what I’ve donated come tax time because I’d hate to be audited over charity.

Future?

So, I made no money and lost some time and gas. But I don’t know what to say about Play It Again Sports. I felt duped and set up. I don’t believe this was an honest mistake. At best, if I choose to sell future items through them, I’ll avoid the North DeKalb Mall store. At worst, I’ll sell items another way or just donate them.

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Beth

I'm a professional vagabond. I quit my cubical job in January 2014. Since then, I've hiked the Appalachian Trail, The Camino, and taught English in Vietnam, Turkey, Russia, Spain, Mexico and Peru. I'm exploring the world and you can come too!

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