Got Junk? Yes.
September 20, 2010 7:01 AM   Subscribe

How does one go about selling a bunch (and I mean, a LOT) of fitness equipment (good, bad, and unknown quality), and also try to get a return on months and months of storage of this stuff?

I have inherited a problem which I've been sitting on for far too long. Have been paying for storage in a warehouse with many, many pallets (over 1,000 items) of mixed junked and some good fitness equipment. I was going to go through them, until I realized I had bitten off WAY more than I could chew with the time I have to devote to this. I just want to get rid of this stuff now. My goal was to make some money off of this stuff, though I honestly wouldn't mind just being able to have dinner at Applebee's with the entirety of the "profit" by this point.

The items are some home gym type fitness equipment (retail $150), and have wood and plastic parts attached to the steel and are in original shipping packaging from the manufacturer. These are customer returns, and reason for return is unknown (buyer remorse, cracked/missing parts, etc, but no sure way to tell which is which).

Not all of the items are bad, in my evaluation of a several pallets, it would appear that between 15 and 25% of the items are perfectly fine (parts not even taken out of inner plastic packaging, shipping bands not even cut, etc.) and many more are simply missing some hardware or have cracked plastic parts which can easily be taken from another unit, and put on the former. Some of those may be totally broken, but I can't tell which is which just by looking in the box.

I know they have recyclers who will pay for these items, but it takes about 7-10 minutes per unit to remove 95% of the attached non-metal parts, and there really is no way to completely strip the items of all non-metals. Has anyone sold stuff to a scrap yard leaving non-metals on? Is there a charge or deduction, and if so, is it by weight or difficulty?

As far as scrapping them, I am also aware of the possibility of having someone come in and haul the stuff away for "free" (their payment being bringing the stuff to a scrap metal yard), but as this has cost a ton of money over time, I would really like to at least break even on this now, though if not possible, I am willing (as a grudging, last option) to merely stop wasting money on this.

I also have been told that I may be able to sell these pallets as a lot, for a small fraction of their worth. Can anyone recommend an organization around Dallas that does this, or a company that may do this via web auction or something?

I just wanted some informed information from people who may have done something similar, or are maybe just familiar with this industry or situations of this type before I begin making phone calls, and open myself up to being taken advantage of through my ignorance.

I hope that I included enough info, but any help would be greatly appreciated.
posted by Debaser626 to Work & Money (5 answers total)
You might consider talking to people at Play It Again Sams, they specialize in used fitness equipment.
posted by Argyle at 7:06 AM on September 20, 2010

There used to be a used fitness equipment warehouse on 183 east of TX stadium, but the highway expansion project caused them to move. I'm not sure if they are the guys who have a signboard out front with their new address (or if that's the air conditioning store next door) but it made me go looking for places like that. Just googling around, here's a fitness warehouse in Farmers Branch that sells used equipment. Maybe you can call them and see if they are interested in buying pallets of equipment for a price that meets both your needs?

Another idea is to post a gig on Craigslist. Maybe there is someone out there who would spend the time to go through the stuff and try to sell it individually for a percentage of the price? This could end up taking a lot of time and trouble and you'd have to keep your storage rental until it was done.
posted by CathyG at 7:28 AM on September 20, 2010

Here's another one. Website says they're in Arlington, but I found them on googlemaps on 11200 N Stemmons in Dallas. They have a web form to fill out for selling your equipment.
posted by CathyG at 7:36 AM on September 20, 2010

How does one... try to get a return on months and months of storage...?

but as this has cost a ton of money over time

First, you need to let go of this thinking. The money you've spent is gone, and the fact that you spent it has no bearing on what it makes sense to do now.

If you're at all careful, the amount you'll get for it as a wholesale lot will not be "a small fraction of their worth," but exactly what it's worth in its current state. It sounds like you don't have the time to do anything except have somebody else haul it away. The best way to avoid losing money unnecessarily is to get offers from multiple potential buyers.
posted by jon1270 at 9:19 AM on September 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Contact an auctioneer.
posted by Muirwylde at 12:35 AM on September 22, 2010

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