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<< If you can have Chametz in your cupboard and pretend that you've sold it all to a goy>>

No pretending is involved. It's a legally binding sale, and furthermore, I also rent the cabinets to that goy, so it's his chometz in his cabinets.

It certainly is not pretending, and I have a real-life anecdote that happened to me and my family about 25 or 30 years ago. At the time we lived in Staten Island, NY, and were members of a small synagogue a few streets away. The Rabbi would arrange the sale of the chametz to a very nice neighbor of ours, Mr. Lista. He was a character, living in the oldest house on the street (a really nice house with beautiful woodwork inside), he even made small batches of wine at home from grapes and various berries that he grew on his property. Every year on the night that Pesach ended, he would go back to the Rabbi and sell him the Chametz that he purchased 8 days earlier. Sometimes he would even joke around about requiring a higher price, etc.

One year, in the late 70's or early 80's, this did not occur. Unfortunately Mrs. Lista passed away on the last day of Pesach and one of their children took Mr. Lista to their house that afternoon. Immediately after Chag, the Rabbi called us and some others, and asked us to call a bunch of people to inform them that we cannot use our chametz stuff until further notice from him. Mr. Lista, being the delightful gentleman that he always was, called the Rabbi shortly after nightfall, and told him that he was worrying about the resale of the chametz. Of all things for him to "worry about" on that day, that was one of the things he was thinking about, I always found that to be amazing. Finally at about 10:30 that night, he arrived home and completed the transaction with the Rabbi, after which a second set of phone calls were made to tell everyone that they now owned their chametz and could use it as they see fit.

Till today, every member of that small synagogue remembers the yahrzeit of Mrs. Lista. In my family, we mention it every year.
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