Category Archives: Estate Sales News
Estate Sales News will be reviewing estate sale regulations by states over the next several weeks. This is with regard to state regulations or not. This will not be coverage of any possible county or municipal regulations.
California – Does not have state regulations for estate sales. Does require collection of sales tax.
Georgia – Does not have state regulations for estate sales. Does require collection of sales tax.
New Jersey – Does not have state regulations for estate sales and does not collect sales tax for estate sales.
Texas – Does not have state regulations for estate sales. Does require collection of sales tax.
Washington – Requires the collection of sales tax and the estate sales businesses have to pay a tax (Business & Occupation) under the retail sales category.
We will be continuing our review of the 50 states and when completed we will have a page dedicated to this information. In most states if the purchaser has a resale certificate, they usually don’t have to pay sales tax, however, in some states such as Maryland, the purchase must be over $200 or they have to pay the sales tax and then apply to the state for the reimbursement of the tax.
With so many states not having any regulations pertaining to estate sale companies, this is another excellent reason for having a written contract with the estate liquidator. Protection for all parties.
EstateSales.Net offered another sneak peak at their upcoming website release yesterday. Katie Britt who we interviewed two weeks ago shared on their blog the Search Improvements and Treasure Tracker.
Following up on our visit with EstateSales.Net we would like to share the latest news and information from Katie Britt, the Operations Manager for EstateSales.Net. A sneak peak of a better way to view estate sales.
Here is our interview from last week with Katie.
ESN – Who calls more at EstateSales.Net? Estate sale companies or visitors to your site?
Katie – It’s about 60/40 – more companies. They usually call about how to use the site or what packages we offer as well as any technical issues they many encounter. The other 40% are probably private sellers and subscribers and users of the site who just want to obtain information.
ESN – How many customer service people do you have answering calls and emails?
Katie – We have a staff of seven some of whom are full time and some are part-time, but we generally try to have two people on a shift from 8am – 10pm central standard time.
ESN – What tips can you provide so that companies get the most out of listing on EstateSales.Net?
Katie – To be very thorough with the sale description as well as pictures. It is very important to provide clear pictures that showcase the items that you have for sale as well as a very good detailed description, not just listing furniture or a bedroom set, but what kind of furniture is it. Is it a complete set, is it antique, vintage, or new, does it have a name, what color is it. Provide very specific details so that people searching on the site for particular items or using our Treasure Tracker will find those items.
Pictures is a big, big one to get uploaded to their sale.
ESN – When someone calls the toll free 888 number do they reach you or who do they reach?
Katie – Typically they will reach one of the seven staff members out there. Probably BJ, Matt or Brittany. It’s not until it gets so busy up front that the calls rollover to either myself or Micky and then Dot or Dan.
A must interview for estate sale companies and subscribers to EstateSales.Net.
ESN – How many programmers are on staff Steve at EstateSales.Net?
Steve – There are 6 programmers, 7 if you count Micky, however, the business has grown so much lately that he’s moved away from day to day programming and is handling other issues of the business. I over see 5 other programmers. We work Monday – Friday.
ESN – How do you get the ideas for implementing new features on your website?
Steve – A lot come from our users. Our phone number is all over our site. One thing that sets us apart is you can call in and talk to a live person 7 days a week. We receive suggestions including calling and speaking to our customer support staff or emailing us on our contact page. These suggestions can come from calls or emails from estate sale companies or subscribers who receive email notifications about sales. A lot of times when they call in they give our customer support staff suggestions and when the staff hears the same idea more than once or twice they’ll let us know about it. We also have a feed back page on the website and what is entered there is automatically put into our electronic system for keeping track of different feature requests.
When we get done with our features we’ll look back through our feature tracking system and see what are the most popular requests. We may not get to everyone right away, but we keep a list through time of suggestions and rarely is one discarded completely.
ESN – How long does it take to make a new feature for the website?
Steve – It depends a lot on what the feature is. There are some features that are cool and do a lot of new things and need just a little bit of programming work and some features that might not look that involved but because of the technical issues, the feature requires a large effort.
Technology is getting better so we are able to do a lot more newer and powerful things that we couldn’t do before, but because there are so many new devices out it may take longer now to do than a few years ago. Just a few years ago our users were at home using a laptop or desktop . Now we’ve got iPhones , tablets, Android IOS and all sorts of different devices so a feature now needs more time so we can handle all the different devices that are coming to us.
ESN – When working on a new idea, does one programmer take it from start to finish or is it more a team effort?
Steve – It’s a team effort. Even if 1 programmer is doing a lot of the work, the whole team is involved in the process. We get together and talk about it and design it up as a team and if it isn’t the whole team it is at least 2 or 3 of us.
ESN – Do your programmers have specialties in their field?
Steve – Our programmers do have specialties, i.e. user experience and data base design programming. With that said even with their specializations, everyone helps out where needed. They multi-task.
ESN – Speaking of devices do you have an iPhone App coming?
The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) is published by The Appraisal Foundation located in Washington DC. This document is re-issued every two years and is the guidelines for Appraisers and the users of Appraisals. USPAP involves real estate, personal property and business valuation.
The document is broken into nine parts. The first seven sections (Definitions, Preamble, Ethics Rule, Record Keeping, Competency, Scope of Work, and Jurisdictional Exception ) pertain to all those who use USPAP in their professional lives. The following sections are The Standards which pertain to the development of an appraisal and the reporting of the findings. The final section is the Statements which clarify, interpret, explain and elaborate the Standards.
All the parts of USPAP are important in an appraisers work. However, USPAP does not state how reports are to be written. The Standards only indicate what needs to be included in the report to be a USPAP compliant report.
One of the guest speakers at the Estate Sales Conference in St. Louis last week conducted by EstateSales.net was nationally known Appraiser Judith Martin ISA CAPP (International Society of Appraisers, Certified Appraiser Personal Property). Her lecture addressed appraising for estate sales and why an estate sales company might need an appraiser.
Ms. Martin has written a very informative and important article for Estate Sales News on USPAP and appraising that will be published here on Monday, April 8th, 2013. We are most appreciative for her time and expertise on a subject of major importance in the estate sales business.
To provide you with some background on Ms. Martin here is some of her information taken from the ISA website.