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Selling a pool table without being robbed or killed?

The LandoStanderThe LandoStander Registered User regular
edited December 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
I just recently bought a house and the previous owner actually left me his pool table with all the fixin's. The trick is I have no use for the thing but the money it could potentially generate if I sold it could be useful. My problem is that I have never sold anything of this size or value before. It's an 8 foot slate pool table and I've got little to no experience with billiards or related things.

I've been able to figure out it's actually a nice pool table as such things go but I'm not really sure who buys and sells these things let alone how they get from one owner's house to the other. I'm assuming I can call a billiards specialty store for moving services but my main concern is that if I sell this thing people will ultimately want to show up at my house and potentially want to move it 'themselves' and I just have this vision of a bunch of dudes showing up to my house and robbing and or killing me. Has anyone dealt with a similar situation to this?

It's not really something that seems like a fit for Craigslist or Ebay and googling how to sell anything doesn't really turn up a lot of desirable links.

This is what I'm dealing with, just for reference.

Maybe someday, they'll see a hero's just a man. Who knows he's free.
The LandoStander on


  • matt has a problemmatt has a problem Points to 'off' Points to 'on'Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    It will have to be disassembled, as the slate is usually 3 slabs and can be damaged if the table is more than just moved around the room a little bit. Billiard stores when you buy one new will assemble it for you of course, but selling it used you're going to have to find someone who knows what they're doing to take it apart, or hope the purchasers do. You could always put a caveat in the ad that you'll only sell it to someone who's using professional movers, due to liability.

    :edit: Source: I have moved a 110 year old slate pool table.

    matt has a problem on
  • RuckusRuckus Registered User regular
    A billiards store might by it from you, come and disassemble it themselves, but you're not going to get as much because they're going to want to turn around and make a profit as well.

    Raneados wrote: »
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  • WassermeloneWassermelone Registered User regular
    Ask on some pool/billiards forum what its worth and then throw it up on craigslist.

    You are no more likely to get murdered selling it that (much easier) way than any other way I might imagine. Which is probably about the same chance that you are going to be murdered doing anything at all.

  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    Do you have other plans for the room? Pool tables are awesome, even if you don't know what you're doing.

  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    Murdered? Robbed?

    Just find out what it's worth, pop it on craigslist, and have them agree to handle the moving on their own AFTER you receive full payment.

    If you want, you could call around and find out what it would cost to have it moved professionally and mention in the ad that x dollars will be charged to have it taken apart, moved, and reassembled by professionals. You're going to get fewer interested buyers, though.

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  • astronautcowboy3astronautcowboy3 Registered User regular
    Since you are selling a pool table, your risk of being murdered if probably much less than other craigslist sales. Why? Well, if you sell something small, it's easy to take it off you and get away with it. To murder you and then remove a pool table from your residence without arousing suspicion? There would have to be a lot of people "in" on the whole thing.

    I'd be way more worried about selling an Xbox on craigslist.

    The greatest risk is that someone would use the pool table as a ruse to get in the door and murder you and/or rob you, but the risk is probably similar to that of inviting in a pool boy or electrician.

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  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    Go to a billiards store in the area. Find out where some pool leagues are. Go there with pictures on your phone.

  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    Go to a billiards store in the area. Find out where some pool leagues are. Go there with pictures on your phone.

    I think this is a good idea.

    Also @astronautcowboy3, I think the OPs fear is based on the fact that selling a pool table pretty much means they have to come to your home. With an xbox or other item you could simply meet them somewhere, like at a mall food court, and even bring a friend. The fear is coming from having to grant potentially a few people access to your home.

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  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    Let's break this down. You have two problems.

    (A) Paranoid fear that any stranger entering your home wants to murder you.

    (B) How to sell a huge ass specialist item.

    Lots of advice coming for B, but essentially you find somewhere to list it and you make it clear in the ad that getting the thing moved is the purchasers responsibility.

    As for A. Get over it. Make sure you have someone else over at the time if it makes you feel happier but essentially you are dipping your toe into crazy town and need to get a hold of yourself.

    Jam Warrior on
  • RadicalTurnipRadicalTurnip Registered User regular
    Just do one of the things people have mentioned for selling a pool table, and have a few of your beefier friends over to "hang out" that day. And/or have a friend of skype that said they want to "watch it being disassembled because it's so heavy". There are lots of ways to put your mind at ease that aren't all that involved.

    But yes, it sounds like you have a slight trust issue that you need to work through, but that's beyond the scope of this post :P

  • Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
    Is it actual slate? I think some newer tables use "slatron" or something, that is lighter and easier to deal with. At least, some of the tables we sold at Dick's Sporting Goods used it. I'd see if someone from a billiards store would come out and tell you exactly what you are dealing with.

    This is why i never want to own a pool table.

  • The LandoStanderThe LandoStander Registered User regular
    It's slate, three pieces though instead of just one. I know the model and everything and it's one of the nicer ones that Kasson makes. I think what I'm going to do is knock the price down a bit dependent on how much it would cost to have the thing professionally moved. That takes care of a lot of my worries about people backing out because they realize they can't do it themselves or having the buyer break the thing trying to get it out. Really its the moving and transport that make it difficult. Since the pool table was just left at the house it's not like I'm losing money on the thing, it's all profit.

    As to my trust issues I view it as a 1% problem. I'd imagine that most folks on Craigslist and such are probably just as worried I'm luring them to their death. If there's a way to avoid having a bunch of random internet people in my house I'd just as soon go that way, I think most people would. If one person wants to come over and look at the table that's not so bad.

    Maybe someday, they'll see a hero's just a man. Who knows he's free.
  • KorlashKorlash Registered User
    Actually I'm fairly certain most people on Craiglist aren't even remotely afraid that you will kill them. You realize that someone could easily enter your home at any time and kill you, if your door is unlocked? Yet you shouldn't really lose sleep over that.

    Honestly, there is really no reason for you to be worried. You probably put yourself in "riskier" situations all the time. I think your title had most people raise an eyebrow.

  • The LandoStanderThe LandoStander Registered User regular
    It was perhaps a bit less serious than it's being taken. Still I think there's a difference between having movers from an established company or business arrive at your house and four or five guys who're answering an internet ad. I really just want to sell the thing and get it done with as little hassle as possible. I don't often sell anything let alone a pool table!

    Maybe someday, they'll see a hero's just a man. Who knows he's free.
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Unfortunately pool tables are heavy as shit, and most of the people I know buy the pool table for cheap and then leave it at their house after they move, or get someone to take it away for 50 bucks or so.

  • HewnHewn Registered User regular
    zepherin wrote:
    Unfortunately pool tables are heavy as shit, and most of the people I know buy the pool table for cheap and then leave it at their house after they move, or get someone to take it away for 50 bucks or so.

    You've also described a lot of piano sales. When I was looking to buy a piano, you have no idea how many ads are listed as, "Free to anybody who can haul it away."

    So as you said, OP, it's a good idea to have the moving side of it planned out with a company. If you leave it up to the buyer, who knows how they'll try to remove it. And what if they damage your wall or something on the way out? Eh, what a hassle! So yeah, check the rates for a company to do this and wash your hands of this table and your concerns.

    Steam: hewn
  • galdongaldon Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    Oy, I remember moving a pool table before; it was not pretty. We didn't know how to properly disassemble it other than the legs. Hilarity ensued. and by hilarity I mean my dad hurting his shoulder because it slipped down the stairs and pinned him to a wall, and it took four of us to get it off of him. Luckily my family has a tendency to be built fairly large and sturdy. Took most of the day just to get the thing down to the truck, and most of the next day to get it from the truck to the inside of the house sliding it on sheets of cardboard.

    In short; get professionals. They know what they are doing; and if their actual job is moving things, they are not very likely to rob you, as that is terrible PR (just be sure to check with their previous customers for their reliability.)

    galdon on
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