The way estate sales operate is very simple. Clients hire us to sell their personal items and automobiles for them. We are paid a percentage of what we sale, and we work as the middle-man to get the client the most amount of money we can-at the same time, offering it at a reasonable price so our customers will buy and and take it home. We have to please both client and customer and to accomplish this we have to be fair to both parties.
It is our job, as the estate liquidator, to come into the home, dig through every nook and cranny, and get everything as cleaned and displayed as the sale will permit. Then we research the items to establish a fair selling price based on our past sales history and current market trends. Once this is done, we photograph it and place ads on many websites and in local papers (if applicable). We hold our sales on weekdays and weekends to give everyone a chance to attend, all while trying to have fun with it along the way.
Estate sales are a great way to save money and have fun doing it. Over time we have built lasting relationships with many families, some of them have baked us cookies and brought us treats, and many of our customers get advanced notice from different members of our staff about collectibles of interest to them. We listen to their stories and truly know their hopes and dreams. Our company is not just a business, we are a family of workers and customers, we know most of our customers by name, what they shop for, what their children's furniture taste are.
We invite you to become part of our extended family and to spend part of your weekday or weekend with us. Our company is not just about selling used stuff, its about building everlasting friendships with our customers and helping them fulfill their dreams.
Common Mistakes to Avoid when Preparing for an Estate Sale:
These little tips will help improve your sale. We been have developing our formula for success, and have found avoiding these simple mistakes really do increase the success of your sale.
Throwing away things The number one rule for an estate sale is to never throw away anything. This does not mean, however, everything has value or some things are not trash, but it does mean there are many times clients do not know the difference. We are often faced with clients who “kept the good stuff and threw away the trash”, only to find out the stuff they kept is not as saleable as the trash they donated or tossed. Remember, you are hiring a professional company for their knowledge and expertise, and you should take advantage of that and let them throw away the trash for you.
Having a garage sale before the estate sale Never have a garage sale before the estate sale. Many customers will remember the address and this will reduce your attendance at the estate sale because they think they have already seen all you are selling the first time. Also many cities require up to a year between permits for sales held at the same address.
Telling the neighbors about the sale It may seem odd, but telling neighbors about the sale isn't always a good thing. Many times, word will spread and you will have neighbors putting on a garage sale next door or down the street. This can confuse shoppers and they may stop at the garage sale thinking it is the estate sale, and then leave and never make it to your sale.
Waiting until the last moment to book a sale We are often booked one to two months in advance. Waiting until your house sells or calling around last-minute can leave you without anyone to help you with the sale. You could end up having to donate your items instead of being able to make money from them. Or you could be left with an unqualified and unprofessional company hosting your sale.
Moving everything to a storage unit Many people a rush to get their house sold and move everything to a storage unit. Unfortunately, you cannot hold a sale out of a storage unit. You are then stuck with paying a storage fee every month, with nowhere to go for your items to be sold. The only other option is to rent a retail store front and pay to have the items moved to the store to have it sold, but this can lead to a very costly bill.
Packing up everything you are selling into boxes It’s amazing how often we go into a home where the owners have boxed up everything they are selling and moved those boxes into the garage. This ads time and cost to your sale (a cost you will have to pay) and, in some cases, makes your sale not able to be done. Always leave items where they are, if you are selling them, as its easier for you and for us.
Giving away things before the sale It is easy, after someone dies or you move, to let family members, friends, and neighbors come get things for free, unfortunately, those same people will normally take the most sellable things out of your home, leaving you with a house full of hard-to-sell items. It is not unusual for 80% of the value of household things to be in only 20% of the items.
Hiring the cheapest company Not all estate sales companies are the same. Hiring a company that is cheaper and skimps on the advertising or does not do a good job setting up a sale, could lead to an estate sale running dramatically less than hiring a company who does a better job and gets more things sold at a higher price. Always check with a company to know exactly what you are getting for your money.
Not taking professional advice You did the right move in hiring a professional company to conduct the sale for you, now its time to take their advice. We have the advantage of doing many estate sales, and all the experience that comes from this. The way we do things has evolved from successes and mistakes of those years to a very well-organized system that works for almost every sale, every time. Ideas that sound good to you have most likely been tried before, and there is a reason we follow our own successful system.
Getting too involved Once again, our company knows what we are doing, and we regularly do sales for heirs who live out of state. We are able to hold successful sales with no additional help from the family. If you try to help or supervise, you will eventually get in the way, slowing us down and actually hindering your sale, not helping it. The only way you can help us is to remove anything you are keeping from the home before we start setting up, if you have time you may clean anything you feel needs to be cleaned (this should also be done before we start setting up). After we start setting up your sale, we need you to step aside and let us do what you have hired us to do.
Leaving items in the house that are not being sold We will need every inch of space in your house to stage the sale. Every item not for sale but left in the house takes space away from items we are selling. Customers always focus on things they cannot buy, and this distracts them from buying what is for sale. Also, taking it home eliminates the chance that an item my be lost or broke during the sale.
Selling things off after you have hired a company This is a big mistake people often make. When we agree to do your sale, we know there is enough stuff to make a successful sale. If you sell things after we agree to do your sale, and there is not enough left for us to hold a sale, we will have no choice but to cancel your sale, leaving you stranded with a partial house full of things and no way to sell them.