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Posted on Sat, May 8, 2010 : 11:09 p.m.

Everything Elderly - The Betty Brigade and iSold It on eBay: downsizing housing and disposing of stuff

By Alan Caldwell

Everything Elderly is a weekly half-hour radio program, sponsored by Senior Helpers. It’s informative entertainment all about seniors. The show is on 1290 am WLBY, every Saturday morning at 8:30. On this weekend’s program, for the first time we used the whole 30 minutes for one topic - seniors downsizing their housing and getting rid of excess possessions.

Thumbnail image for Sharon-McRill-with-The-Betty-Brigade

Sharon McRill with The Betty Brigade


Carol Kamm with iSold It on eBay

We had two great expert guests for this subject. Sharon McRill is the owner of The Betty Brigade, and Carol Kamm is the owner of iSold It on eBay. We had a wonderful conversation and we all had fun and learned a lot!

Highlights of the discussion included:

  • Sharon’s The Betty Brigade is a personal assistance and concierge service - helping busy people with their active lives. That can include getting the contents of a house organized and moved out. It also can be party planning, pet care, etc.
  • Carol’s iSold It on eBay is a consignment selling service that “finds new homes” for people’s things, selling them through a bid process on the online eBay auction.
  • Both companies are doing very well. Sharon just added her 8th employee, and Carol’s company is the top producer within the national group of iSold It businesses.
  • When organizing a house, Sharon and her crew starts with the hardest room first. Once the hardest is done, it just gets easier from there.
  • Carol talked about not assuming that old means valuable, it may or may not. Carol’s business provides free research to determine approximate values.
  • iSold It sells an enormous variety of goods - musical instruments, electronics, sewing machines, tires, you name it!
  • Seniors tend to want to keep stuff, while their children want to throw stuff out -- and Sharon helps mediate!
  • The Betty Brigade offers free consultations, and then fees are by the hour. Typical costs are $5000 to $8000 to handle a three-bedroom house, but the families normally recover a huge amount of the expense through sale proceeds and tax deductions.
  • Garage sales are not recommended. They are “huge time-suckers” and generate little money for the effort required.
  • iSold It on eBay is commission based, generally a 40% charge and that covers all the selling expenses and fees. Goods that are cleaned up and in good condition bring in higher prices.
  • Sharon and Carol talked about “the stuff chain” - first consider what should be sold on eBay, and what should be sold at a local consignment business (maybe larger items), then what should be donated to charitable groups, and then what goes to the landfill.
  • Both companies are members of Waste Knot of Washtenaw - reducing waste, recycling as much as possible. To contact Sharon and The Betty Brigade call 734-994-1000, and you can visit their website at You can reach Carol and iSold It on eBay at 734-761-6187, or visit their website at You may listen to the full 24-minute discussion. Click on this link for the first half 05-08-10 Everything Elderly First Half.mp3, and this link for the second 05-08-10 Everything Elderly Second Half.mp3.

    Alan Caldwell is the owner of Senior Helpers, providing in-home care services, primarily to the elderly. He can be contacted at, or at 734-927-3111.