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Forget the skip and sell online
You might not treasure your outdated fittings but someone else probably will, says Nicole Swengley

HAVE A HEART for that old kitchen or bathroom you are about to rip out. It may look dated and not up to the latest spec, but rather than throw it into a skip you could find someone who would cherish it — and pay you good money. One way would be to contact an online auction facilitator, who will arrange both the sale and purchase through eBay. Bulky furniture, household appliances or even entire kitchens and bathrooms can be sold online. Anyone who uses eBay will know that buying goods is easy. It is selling them that can be complex and time-consuming. You need to take digital photographs from all angles, write a juicy description, answer queries from potential bidders, negotiate insurance costs, arrange dispatch and finally make sure that you get paid. That is why more than 90 per cent of eBay users are buyers rather than sellers.

If all that sounds daunting, the solution is to ask an online auction facilitator to do all the hard work for you, as Lesley and Mike Campbell discovered. The Campbells installed a rustic farmhouse kitchen, hand-made from reclaimed pine by a local joiner, when they moved into their Surrey cottage ten years ago.

“I wanted to replace the kitchen with modern units,” says Lesley. “But I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away, because the kitchen was still in good condition.” Lesley contacted Darren Henderson, of SellStuffEasy, who visited the Campbells’ kitchen to measure and inspect the units. He took 20 photographs, wrote a detailed description and organised the online auction.

“We put a reserve of £600 on it, because we hadn’t got a clue what it would fetch,” says Lesley. “There were 22 bids and in the last four minutes it went from £1,200 to £3,600. We couldn’t believe it, although I think it helped that we were selling a complete lifestyle farmhouse kitchen — slate floor, lights, blind, freestanding units, big double porcelain sink, Bauchnekt fridge and Neff dishwasher.”

The Campbells dismantled the kitchen and the buyer drove from Loughborough to collect it. “He was thrilled with it, and it’s nice to feel it has gone to someone who really wanted it,” Lesley says. Both parties felt happy. The Campbells recouped nearly a third of their original £12,000 outlay, which they put towards a new kitchen with black granite worktops.

Nor are the Campbells alone in their triumph. SellStuffEasy has recently sold a Smallbone kitchen for £3,500, an Artichoke kitchen with Neff appliances for £6,980 and a Poggenpohl kitchen for £2,050. “Top-name appliances help sell kitchens, so it’s best if these are under five years old,” Henderson says. He offers a free initial visit to check if a kitchen is suitable for auction, then charges sellers 25 per cent of the first £500 and 20 per cent above that. He aims to offer potential buyers enough information to avoid viewings, but will arrange them if a buyer is insistent.

SellStuffEasy has also sold a sauna for £800, while a buyer from Germany came to dismantle and collect an entire bathroom from a North London home that sold for a similar amount.

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