Welcome  to the FOR CLIENTS ONLY page of The Serene Home

Exclusively for the past and current clients of The Serene Home,
this is your place for news, updates, resources and support.

Serene Thought of the Day

“If you are confident that something brings you joy, keep it, regardless of what anyone else might say. Even if it isn’t perfect, no matter how mundane it might be, when you use it with care and respect, you transform it into something priceless”
― Marie Kondo


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Resources to Donate, Sell or Consign Your Clutter and Manage Your Online Life

These are the best known and most reputable sources to donate, consign or sell your items. I have experience with all  and can recommend these as the best options available; although each one has it's own quirks and caveats. This list is designed to give you as much information as possible and your continued feedback is very welcome. 

Always check the website and call the shop first if possible. Policies and guidelines change frequently. Keep in mind that all consignment and resale options will keep a large percentage of the sale price or pay out a much smaller amount than what the item is worth, that’s how they make money, so consider whether selling or cosigning is more cost effective than donating after computing your time.

If you are donating goods, you may be entitled to a tax credit. Be sure to get a receipt for your donations and check with your accountant to see what is eligible. A US government publication outlines how to compute the deduction for just about anything from art to jewelry to clothes. It can be found here.

The TurboTax company has a great app called It’s Deductible Online that allows you to enter in every donation you make, both monetary and in-kind, and tracks it for you through out the year. It will even help you compute the allowed value per item for things you donate using the IRS approved listing. It’s free and will interact with TurboTax if you are using that for your taxes.

 

 

Consigning Your Clothing and Accessories

These are shops that will take your near-perfect clothing and accessories in order to sell them for you. There is usually a 50/50 split of the profits. Each shop has different requirements, so it is best to review the website carefully.

  • Michael’s Consignment is located on the Upper East Side and has been in operation for over 60 years.
  • A Second Chance is primarily interested in handbags. Two locations: Upper East Side and SoHo.
  • Encore Resale : Encore consigns high-end, high-quality designer clothing for the Upper East Side market. They have been in business for over 60 years. Call to make an appointment.
  • 2nd TimeAround: Two locations - East side and West side.
  • Gentleman’s Resale: Men’s clothing and accessories only
  • Ina: Ina has 4 locations in Manhattan and will also consign your excellent condition, designer clothing. The website has a list of accepted designers. You can bring your items in with an appointment or even mail them in, but first you are asked to send them a list of what you have. It’s a good resource if you want the best price for high-end designers.
  • Toykio7: Toyko7 is in the East Village and only accepts high-end consignments. They are very large and popular, so this could be a good resource, as interested buyers here will see your items. They do have strict guidelines of what they will accept, so it’s best to always call before you go. Many people have stated that the staff can be extremely rude. So be forewarned!
 

Resources That Will Buy Your Clothing

These resources are the most particular regarding what they will accept. They usually accept only current season items that are two years old or less and, of course, in near-perfect condition.

  • Buffalo Exchange prefers casual hip clothing. They have several locations in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens.
  • Crossroads has locations in The Flatiron District and in Brooklyn. Tends to be very particular regarding what they will buy.
  • The Dressing Room This is a resale shop and a bar! It’s located on Orchard Street and will buy current season near-perfect clothing and also vintage. This is a good option if you have vintage designer clothing to sell. They offer only 30% cash back or 50% store credit, which is on the low end of return for your items.
 

Resources That Will Cosign or Buy Your Furniture

  • Apt Deco will help you list your furniture online. You keep the items until they sell and then Apt Deco will pick up and deliver them for you. In short, this is a site where you remain the seller until someone buys it. You can list just about any furniture, but there is no guarantee it will sell. Browsing the site to see what is selling will help you determine what is most likely to sell.
  • Chairish  Chairish is another local listing site. They manage the money exchange but pick up and deliver for a fee. They only keep 20% of the sell price, so it’s a good option if you are able to deliver.
  • Every Thing Goes Thrift Shop.This is a collective of four shops on Staten Island that will come and offer you a price on an entire household of goods. If you are getting rid of an entire apartment full of furniture during downsizing or a move, this might be a good option. They will accept clothing and furniture and will arrange pick up.
 

Online Resources to Sell or Consign Just About Anything

These are online options for listing all types of items, but clothing and collectables primarily.

The main drawback is that most of these sites will cause you a good deal of work in creating listings, managing the sale, shipping out items and so on.

However, these are definitely options that attract buyers looking for rare items or great bargains.

  • Bonanza  If you're selling an unusual item or collectable, Bonanza is a place to try. This is a great place to sell because the ratio of shoppers to sellers is very high, although this will likely change over time.
  • TheRealReal  Luxury consignment. One client reports that they were able to get a RealReal representative to come to their Brooklyn home to evaluate the potential of their clothing sales. I think this is an unusual occurrence, but TheRealReal is very helpful and will work with you in selling your high-end items.
  • ThredUp  Mainstream consignment. They will take items from Zara, J.Crew and other similar retail as long as they are in perfect or new condition.

Both TheRealReal and ThredUp will take your merchandise and then pay you a percentage of the sale price when it sells.

  • Poshmark  allows you to post your items and set the prices yourself. You can then interface with the seller and pay the site a fee of $2.95 if it's under $15, or 20 percent if it's over $15.
  • Tradesy began as a site for wedding dresses and related items. It has now expanded to all other categories of clothing and accessories, although wedding is the categories for which they are best known
 

Resources To Sell All Sorts of Household Items

Before you sell, it is important to have an idea of what your items are worth, it’s not a good idea to rely on the appraisal of someone you are selling to, for obvious reasons. Pay for a qualified appraisal if you are not sure of the value of furniture, art, antiques and collectables if you believe they may be of significant value. Please see the section on Appraisals following this section.

  • eBay I am very familiar with eBay and can recommend eBay as a great way to sell your goods of high quality if you have the time to do your research, list your item properly and manage the sale. It can be very challenging and eBay has changed in the last many years. It is much more competitive that it once was. Take a look at the end of this resource for information on my eBay selling solution.

Records and other media

  • Academy Records will buy your CDs, LPs, blu-rays and DVDs . They are particular about what they accept, so call first. They will buy large collections

Electronics

  • Sell Electronic NYC  This resource is located in the Diamond District. They accept newer electronics of all types and will consider rare vintage electronics as well.
  • Gazelle This online company will buy smartphones and tablets, even if they are damaged.
  • Amazon also has a trade in program. They accept many types of media, even books, for Amazon gift cards.

Batteries, cables, old electronic miscellaneous

  • If you have old items to recycle, Best Buy has a program to take them for you and make sure they are disposed of properly. They will take a large number of items that shouldn’t end up in a landfill.

Video Games

  • Video Games NewYork is located on 6th Street and will buy in-demand video games. They do not buy PC games.

Jewelry

There are many pawnshop type places for jewelry, art and antiques. There are also several places online and in the city to sell or consign valuable items. I am not familiar enough with these services to make a safe recommendation.

The best advice is to check out the reviews and credentials before you go in order to get the best price and to stay safe. It’s not a good idea to rely on the appraisal of someone you are selling to, for obvious reasons. Pay for a qualified appraisal if you are not sure of the value.

Furs

  • Henry Cowit is the largest fur buyer in the city. It’s recommended that you call first with the information about your fur before you haul it to their shop. If they are not interested in buying it outright, they have a consignment option as well.

Musical Instruments and Recording Equipment

  • Rouge Music is located near Penn Station and they give the option to buy, consign or take your items for trade.

Books

  • The Strand is the best-known book buyer New York .Their website gives lots of detail about what they will accept. They also take unopened CDs, blu-ray, DVDs and audiobooks.
 

Selling Your Comic Book Collection

There are several buyers of comic book collections in New York City. I would recommend an independent appraisal before you sell. Some of the buyers also do appraisals, but of course, they would have an interest in undervaluing your collection!

Online Comic Book Appraisals

Unless you are somewhat sure you have a valuable collection, you probably won’t want to spend a lot of money on an in person appraisal. However, it is important to have an idea of the value of your comics before you take them in to sell.

There are several online options that will give you a general value of your comics by entering the information about your comics

  • Comics Price Guide This seems to be a very easy to use site. You enter a little information about the comic and it will give you a range of values depending on the condition.
  • Comic Book Realm This also seems to be an easy to use price guide that requires you to type in the publisher and the title.
 

Resources for the Appraisal of Household Goods: Antique furniture, Jewelry, Fine art and collectables

In appraisal language, the “household goods” category consists of art, furniture and small antiques (glass, silver, pottery, toys, china) within an estate. This does not include large quantities of art or antiques accumulated as a function of serious collecting by a established collector.

Household goods are usually heirlooms and the occasional, decorative purchase of art and antiques.

There are two red-flag factors to consider when looking for an appraiser:

  1. Be cautious about using an appraiser who also sells art and antiques. Even if they will not be selling your items, this type of appraiser does have an interest in the state of the art and antiques market that could influence their appraisal techniques.
  2. Be cautious about using an appraiser who charges a percentage of the value of the items. Sometimes, this fee schedule is used when you plan to sell an item and sometimes it is not, but the fee you pay will be determined by the value set by the appraiser. Obviously, the appraiser then has an interest in the stated value of your items.

Both of these business practices, acting as an appraiser who also sells and/or who charges based on a percentage of the appraised value, are discouraged or prohibited by the American Association of Appraisers and the American Society of Certified Appraisers.

The following appraisers are members of the American Association of Appraisers.They each hold the USPAP compliancy: Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) can be considered the quality control standards applicable for real property, personal property, intangible assets, and business valuation appraisal analysis and reports in the United States and its territories.

Ms. Alice McAdams
New York, NY  10028 US
(212) 472-6163 tel
alice@alicemcadams.com 

www.alicemcadams.com

Specialization(s):   Ceramics: Chinese export porcelain, Continental Decorations & Early European Works of Art, English Furniture and Decorative Arts, Household Contents 

Appraiser's Statement: Alice R. McAdams, has been working with the finest antiques and decorative arts since she began working for Stair and Company in 1977. As the director of Stair and Company Alice oversaw the acquisition and sale of the company’s world-renowned English paintings and antiques collection until the gallery shut its doors in 1998. Then, with the Alexander Gallery, specialists in 19th Century American Paintings, Alice continues working with art and antiques from all parts of the globe. Her 30 years of experience in the Antiques trade has given her the wealth of information and knowledge only attained through "; being in the business.” 

From the appraiser on pricing: "My services and prices vary depending on what is needed. If it’s just a look at some photos to get an idea --there is no charge. These can be sent via email for initial comments. This may help you make a decision about whether to proceed with a more complete appraisal. If you need a full, written report it can go several ways. A full report includes a fully typed report with photographs---and includes comps etc. The report will document either fair market value or retail replacement depending what is needed--i.e. Estate or charitable donation."

Fees: A Full Report on one or two items would be $500 each. Full day--which is around 50-100 items, is $3200 Half day-$1600By the hour-$350

Ms. Linda E. Cheney
Cheney Appraisal Services, Inc. 
New York, NY  10016 US
(212)696-0641 tel
linda@cheneyappraisal.com 

www.cheneyappraisal.com

Specialization(s):   American Paintings, Drawings & Sculpture, Household Contents, and Prints 

Appraiser's Statement: "Experienced in banking, information technology, sales and marketing, Linda Cheney brings business acumen to the appraisal practice. With an undergraduate degree from Bucknell University in Economics and Fine Arts (painting and printmaking) and an MBA in Marketing, Ms. Cheney has combined her extensive business background and passion for art. Over the years she has appraised personal property: general household contents such as fine art (paintings, prints and sculpture), furniture, silver, porcelain, Oriental carpets, antiques and other collectibles."

Ms. J. Lee Drexler AAA
Esquire Appraisals, Inc. 
New York, NY  10016 US
(914) 234-0656 tel
leedrexler@esquireappraisals.com 

www.esquireappraisals.com

Specialization(s):   Fine Art GeneralistFurniture and Decorative Arts Generalist, Gems and Jewelry Generalist, Rugs, Carpets and Tapestries: General, Silver: General

Appraiser's Statement: "I have been an appraiser for over 40 years of Fine Arts, Furniture ,Antiques, and Jewelry. I do appraisals for estate, donation ,insurance and matrimonial purposes. Please visit my web site www.esquireappraisals.com that gives a good description of my qualifications, background and services. AAA Certified Appraiser in Furniture, Paintings and Antiques, Decorative Arts, Silver, Residential Contents & Collectibles. ASA Senior Member, GIA Diamond & Pearl Certified, USPAP Compliant/ "

Fee format for Esquire Appraisals from their website: Fees are charged on an hourly basis and are not based on a percentage of the appraisal. Fees are charged on the following basis, $1,500 for one half day, $3,000 for a full day. In addition $500 per hour is charged if extensive research on Paintings or Sculpture is needed. Flexible fee structure for photos or office visits. For appraisals done from photos – $300. Appraisals done in office – $500.

On Line Appraisals

There are companies that will provide an appraisal via photographs and information you provide online. For a nominal fee, you will send to the company experts, which usually consists of certified appraisers who practice as traditional appraisers on a part time basis for the digital appraisal service.  I have used the services of an online appraisal service and was happy with the results.

The company that I recommend is: Stuff Savvy

They can turn around your appraisal in 24 hours for less than $5.  Here are some of the caveats expressed by the Stuff Savvy regarding their appraisals:

“This service consists of giving an electronic estimate of the value of the object submitted (high and low estimate) which in the Company's opinion could be achieved if the object were to be sold without reserve on the open market at an international auction with a reputable auctioneer after appropriate marketing.”

Of course, there are no guarantees regarding the realized value of your item, but this is certainly a good resource for more common collectables, jewelry and items with identifying markings and documentation. It may be worth giving them a try with one item and an investment of $5!

 

Donations

Drop Off Points for Clothing

  • Most Goodwill stores are drop off points for clothing, working electronics and small household items. Their site lists what is accepted and not accepted.
  • HousingWorks will accept drop off donations at their shops or the HousingWorks Café. They have many locations all over the City.
  • New York City Opera accepts a variety of items, but furniture must be picked up. They will even reimburse you taxi fare up to $12.00! They are located on East 23rd street.
  • The Thrifty Hog This is a fabulous thrift shop managed by the Heart of Gold organization. Your donations will benefit homeless mothers and their children. In addition to clothing for men, women and children, they accept home décor, toys and small furnishing. You can drop things off at their Chelsea location.

Service That Will Accept your Donations By Mail

  • Give Back Box: This is a great new service that will allow you to pack up clothing, shoes and jewelry, print out a label and just take it to the mailbox or leave it in your building’s package room. It benefits many various charities and they will send you a receipt for a tax deduction once they have received your donation. 

Organizations That Will Pick Up Your Clothing and Furniture for Donation

  • Vietnam Vets of AmericaThey will pickup all types of items except large furniture and appliances.
  • Housing Works Picks up 2+ pieces of furniture and household goods Must be in good, salable condition.
  • Habitat for Humanity Furniture pick up only.Will pick up appliances, tools and building materials.
  • New York City Opera will pick up your clothing and furniture as long as you have a large quantity of good quality items. They do not accept appliances.

Donations-Compiled Resources in Long Island

  • Organizers for Charity This website is a compiled listing of donation resources in Long Island. Professional Organizers who are familiar with the area manage this site. Most of them will pick up.

Hauling

  • Junk Luggers Benefits a variety of charities. They charge to haul away your things, the minimum charge is about $200, but will pick up and haul anything. They can also pick up with little notice, within a day or two. A good option if you have items that are less than perfect condition, old appliances or old building supplies.

Book Donations

  • There are more places to donate books than you might imagine!This list is maintained by the CUNY Library system and included resources for drop off and even organizations that will pick up your books. Definitely check this out as books are usually a large part of any household donation.  CUNY Book Donation Listing

Golf Equipment Donations

  • The First Tee This is a great organization that accepts golf equipment of all sorts. This supports their programs for children and teens teaching them golf fundamentals while helping to instill the values of discipline, practice and teamwork. 

Art Supplies

  • Materials for The Arts  is an organization operated by New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Part of their mission is to get unused, or gently used, art supplies, craft supplies, related equipment and all types of office equipment to support their program to bring supplies to non-profit orgs with art programs such as schools. 

 

Brooklyn Resources

Consignment

  • Crossroads has a branch on 7th Street in Brooklyn. In addition to drop offs, they will also send you a bag with a prepaid label to mail in donations, which might be a real help if you have little time to take things in.
  • Consignment Connection  is a popular shop in Fort Hamilton. It is restrictive in their acceptance of items and will only see items on Thursday and Friday. Plus they do have some specific rules around managing your consignment account. They also only pay out at 40% of the sale price. Other than that, this is a well-trafficked shop and, if accepted, it’s likely that shoppers will see your items.

Brooklyn Resources That Will Buy Your Clothing

  • Beacon’s Closet is located in Park Slope. It is well known for trading modern clothing and also sells clothing on line. It has a bit of a bad rep for having erratic acceptance guidelines and offering very low prices to sellers.
  • This is the Brooklyn branch of Buffalo Exchange in Williamsburg. They suggest you call first and all items should be freshly washed.

Brooklyn Donation Resources

  • The Brooklyn drop off center for Goodwill is on Livingston Street. Goodwill will generally take most any clothing articles as well as small appliances and housewares. This is a very large shop and often quite busy.

Brooklyn Resources That Will Pick Up Your Furniture

  • Out of the Closet benefits the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. They will accept clothing and small household items as a drop off or will pick up at least two pieces of furniture. They do ask for photos of the item before they commit to picking up.
  • This is the Brooklyn branch of Housing Works on Montague Street. They will pick up furniture once it is accepted via their online form.
 

Westchester Resources

Consignment

  • Trilogy is a consignment shop in Westchester. Their payout is not great, only 40% of sale price, but they do seem to be rather liberal in what they will accept.
  • Wolfs Lane Designer Consignment is a high-end consignment shop and will accept luxury and designer goods including shoes and bags. They don’t appear to have a website, only a FaceBook page. Definitely call first.

Donations

  • This is the Westchester branch of Junk Luggers. They accept, and will pick up, furniture and other “junk”. They do charge for their pickup service, but might be worth it if you have things that can’t be otherwise donated or sold.
  • Furniture Share House will pick up furniture and large items for donation. They have an easy to navigate website.
  • The Veterans of Westchester They will pick up clothing, toys, small furniture and appliances for donation.
  • Family Services of Westchester has free home pickup of clothing, housewares, small appliances, furniture and toys through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program for donation.
 

Paper management

Shredding Services

If you have a large amount of paper or don’t want to deal with the time commitment required to shred a large amount of paper with a home shredder,  there are many services that will come to you or will accept drop offs. Many of these services will also digitize or store your documents, but of course, you are encouraged to reduce your paper storage as much as possible!

  • The most accessible shredding service in NYC  is Staples. They have a listing of the Staples business centers that will take your shredding here.

Below are the FAQs for Staples shredding:

  1. Bring documents in “as is” — no need to remove paper clips or staples
  2. Weigh documents at the counter and drop them into a secure bin
  3. Shred papers, envelopes, file folders and spiral-bound notebooks
  4. Destroyed and recycled at a secure Iron Mountain® shredding facility

  • Time Shred will come to your home to shred your papers right in front of you to ensure safety. They have next day service and recycle all paper.
  • ProShred will come to you for large amounts of paper, but you can also drop off at one of their locations.
  • Nexcut will come to your location or you can take your paper to them in Elizabeth, NJ. They can give you a quote online.
 

Apps For Bills and Receipts: File Management

There are many apps that will store your documents. They allow you to take a photo or scan of bills, receipts, or any type of paper document and then store them on the cloud in files that you create and maintain. Look for ones that are simple and not costly. Most people won’t need anything complicated. Some recommendations are below:

  • Dropbox is a desktop app that allows you to store photos, files, pdfs and just about anything to the cloud by simply dragging the item into a DropBox folder. You can also share some or all of your DropBox files with others, which is great if you are planning a family event or business project.It allows you to access your files from your phone or another computer by just logging into your account. It is completely free unless you need a lot of space, then it charges on a scale. I have used DropBox for years, both personally and professionally and have never filled the available free space. DropBox works on all computers and phones as long as you have an Internet connection.
  • Box for iPhone and IPad Box is considered one of the best, most recommended apps for viewing, editing and sharing your files securely in the cloud. It’s also free and probably all you will ever need to digitize your documents.
  • The Vault is another highly recommended app. The Vault will also store your passwords, which is a great benefit. This are apps for iOS and android.
  • File Manager is a free app that also allows you to save audio and video files if that is needed. For Apple and android.

 

Scanning Applications

  • Genius Scan This is a great scanning app that is excellent for high quality images. Very important for artwork or very detailed documents.  It has a lot of functionality and allows scanned documents to be sent to Dropbox, Google Drive or other applications.  It’s free, but a one-time fee of $7.99 gives you many additional options.
  • MyScan is a basic scanning app using your camera as a scanner. You will need a steadier hand to get a clear image, but it works well. This is the app I recommend clients begin with as it is so straightforward. It will save your document in DropBox., so you will also need to open a DropBox account. It costs $1.99. MyScan for Android  and  Apple 

 

The Serene Home eBay Selling Services

At one time, I owned an antiques shop in Philadelphia and conducted a lot of business on eBay. I am very highly rated as a seller, which helps in obtaining a great price for items that I list.

For my clients, I offer an eBay selling service for your valuable items including clothing, shoes, collectables and antiques.

As part of this service, I will:

  1. Help you decide what items would sell well on eBay. This is the most important part!
  2. Help you decide on the price based on my experience and the selling prices of similar items
  3. Take photos and create the listing
  4. Manage the listing including buyer questions
  5. Collect the payment
  6. Package and mail out the item to the buyer

My cost for this service is 50% of the selling price. You only pay me if the item sells.