The "White Elephants" In The Room

We all know what a "white elephant" is right?

It's that item that either too big, too heavy, or just to difficult to deal with.  Even if it's worth a decent amount of money, nobody really wants to deal with it.

Well, estate sales have their share of white elephants as well...items that, for most buyers, just aren't worth the trouble.

When some of our clients have such items, we try to be fair and honest with them and let them know that the item may be a hard sell.

But what kinds of items are typical estate sale "white elephants"?

Here are the biggest ones...

Console and floor model TV sets

Just about every home in the US had at least one of these in them.  But when flat screen TV's became the norm, they wound up in the basement, the shed, the garage or even the attic.

Sadly, they didn't end up where they really should have went:  the trash.

About 99% of these aren't cable-ready, and the analog signal they pick up are no longer broadcast.  They would make a better boat anchor than a television.

Or...perhaps an aquarium...or a dog house!

Pool tables

I don't know a lot of people who wouldn't play a game of pool if given the chance.  And so many people take the plunge and get a really nice pool table installed in their den, finished basement or rec room.

And that's where it will likely stay.  Forever.

Pool tables are notoriously expensive to purchase (with the cheapest decent table running $1200 and up).  And equally expensive to disassemble and move...especially if it's in your basement.  For the cost of purchasing your used pool table plus the moving costs, most people would likely end up getting a new one instead.

So unless your table is a particularly outstanding model or design, it's likely that your beautiful pool table will still be left when your estate sale is over.


Yes, I understand you paid $3000 or more for your piano.  Yes, I understand it's been in the family for generations.  Yes, I understand you just had it tuned.  Yes, I understand it's in pristine condition.

But you need to understand one small factor:  unless it's a quality high-end piano (translation: a Steinway, Bosendorfer, etc.) the market for your piano will be extremely limited.  And someone can easily find a piano just like yours on craigslist for maybe a hundred bucks.

Plus, it will cost the buyer about $300 just to move the thing.  And it will likely need re-tuning after the move, which is also hundreds of dollars.

So your potential piano buyer has already (mentally) spent about $500-$600 on your piano before they even bought the piano itself!