December 15, 2009

The Broke Socialite Television: A Lovely Reader Needs YOUR Advice!

Last weekend, I attended a delightful baby shower for my dear friend, Aaronica.  One of the shower hostesses, Ori, recognized me and we began to chat about some of the projects that she and her husband are working on, including renovating an older home.

Ori told me about a Broke Socialite-ish problem that she is currently facing. I invited her to share with us via video in hopes that you, The Broke Socialite's readers, might be able to offer a bit of advice. After all, I don't have all of the answers.

Won't you give Ori your feedback after watching the clip?

Good luck to you and your husband, Ori!


  1. Hi Ori - I don't think that the original owner had any idea of the value of the item when they gave it to you. My suggestion is, if you choose to sell the dresser, that you split the money with the person who gave the item to you. Just as the person was gracious in giving to you, you in-turn should be gracious towards them. Peace and blessings.

  2. Hi Ori -- I agree with the above post. Have you mentioned the value to the original owner? As a friend, I think you have an obligation to do so.

  3. This is missmajestic

    I would start by just finding out what its worth. You mentioned more than once that you liked the dresser, so I would look at my budget for renovation and consider the cost of a new (or used) dresser that you like just as much before deciding to sell the dresser. Then see how much a professional says you can get for it. If it would really help financially with the renovations, maybe you should sell it because the investment in your house could bring bigger returns in the future. I disagree that you should sell it and split the money with the friend who gave it to that if you want to do something nice for your friend...but I don't think you are obligated. When you give something away, its gone, there are no strings attached.

  4. My biggest question would be, what was the nature of this gift. Did she give it away, because she had no use for it ? Or was it intended to be more of a gift gift ? Would she be hurt if she came over and it wasn't in your home ? I would keep it and enjoy it if that was the case. If it's just a castoff, take several good pictures including the underside and sides of drawers to at least 2 appraisers/dealers to get a general value ( be careful, some dealers will tell you a lower value and then offer to buy it for resale ). I don't think you should feel obligated to share in the profit. Well, that's just my 2 cents. Good luck to you !!


  5. I would keep it. Imagaine how much more valuable it will be in years to come. You can pass it on as an heirloom. I'm not sure if I would tell the friend the value as she might want it back and then there's a friendship losts. But for me, knowing that it's so valuable would really make me appreciate it and find the right spot for it and continue to thank her for it. Let it be an heirloom.

  6. I really could go either way on this one.

    Ok, here are my thoughts on deciding to sell the piece: 1. What will your friend say? think? do? want? 2. How much will you really get for it? Will it cover your renovation costs? If not, is it worth it?

    Here are my thoughts on deciding to keep the piece: 1. You can always sell it later. 2. Your friend will not have her feelings hurt. 3. You will not have to worry about owing your friend any money. 4. It still looks great in your house.

    Honestly, I think keeping the piece has the most advantages. I think when you no longer like it or need it, then you can sell-sell-sell!

  7. I was torn listening to Ori's dilemma about the dresser. My first thought was "did Ori's friend know it was worth something when she gave it to her? If she didnt, I'd feel guilty selling a gift from a friend that she had no idea was worth serious $$$. So I'd share any proceeds from selling the dresser with the original owner if that's what I decided to do.

    On the other hand, I'm very sentimental and would have a very hard time selling a gift that someone gave me. I still have cards, t-shirts, gag gifts, etc that childhood friends gave me decades ago. I can only imagine how upset I'd be if someone sold a gift I gave them, so if it's in good shape and fits with my decor, I'd keep it. I'd much rather have an heirloom in my house (or even another home eventually) to cherish than just some cash.

  8. You have to consider a few things:
    1. Will your friend be offended by you getting rid of it or profiting off of it?
    2. Does it hold any sentimental value?
    3. Will your quality of life change drastically with or without it?

    Based on how you answer these questions, I think you have your answer. Good luck!

  9. OOOH, I am a lover of all things old and wonderful. I suggest the first thing you do is find out the market value of the piece. This will help you decide what to do next. If it is much more valuable than a new replacement and can help you renovate, sell it if you need the money. But remember, there are costs to selling, even if you do it yourself. An auction house or a consignor take their cut from the top. Even an online self-auction site (like Ebay) takes time and money. Factor that in.

    Also, consider timing. In this recession, you may not get as much for it as you might in better times. So if you don't need the money, the value only goes up with time and right now is not a great time to sell. People just are not paying as much for high end items, if that is what this piece is.

    And yes, if you make a windfall, throw a little back to the giver. There's no obligation, only friendship and karma!!

  10. Hey everyone! Thanks for the advice. The guy who gave us the dresser was moving to another state--lifestyle upgrade--and basically told us that anything he'd left in his house was free to us. We just bought our house and had NO furniture. Anything we didn't take was going to Goodwill. So it wasn't a formal gift, but really his attempt to help furnish our empty house.

    As for the dresser, I really love it and with the photos I found in it, which I posted at my personal blog: , I'm tempted to hold on to it a bit longer. But the house needs SO much work! Hope this answers some of the questions you all have posed!

  11. I would at least contact the friend and ask if he was aware of the age of the dresser and whether or not it was passed on to him from a family member. His response will be an indicator of his concern, or lack thereof, about the piece. You can then act, in good conscience, based on what he says.


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