Category Archives: How Do Estate Sales Work

How To Buy With Success At An Estate Sale – Know Before You Go!

lining upEstate sales across the country begin again tomorrow. Becoming a successful consumer isn’t just about being able to purchase items. A successful buyer needs to understand the way an estate sale works.

When looking at the various websites that feature estate sales (Estatesale.com, EstateSales.Net, and EstateSales.org are the three major websites currently) read the terms and conditions of the sale and any driving or parking instructions carefully. It is important that you follow these.

Every estate sale company works differently, so see if they have anything in their information on the sale that addresses entrance procedures. Some may utilize a sign up list (it can be very specific and require you to stay on site on the property after signing up), some may use a number system where you either take a number that is given out at a specific time or left out in a holder of some kind, and some may just have you line up in order of arrival time. When parking and lining up early be respectful of the neighbors. Having the police called for noise or parking on lawns isn’t good for anyone.

While waiting to go in, be patient and remember that an estate sale company can decide if you will be given entrance to the sale if you cause problems in line (arguing, stomping feet, swearing, etc.).

If you have any questions concerning anything we have discussed so far contact the estate sale company you are going to for further information ahead of the sale and let them know you want to follow the rules.

When you enter it is to your advantage to be polite and courteous. Avoid making offers. Be sure you read any signs posted outside or inside the sale about payment, discounting, or safety information.

If you are interested in an item and it says they do not discount on the first day, ask the liquidator when they would be, let them know what you are interested in, and inquire if they accept written offers for future consideration (some refer to this as a bid, however, this is not an auction) or should you return on the day of the discounting to see if the item is still there and for sale.

Being mindful of estate sale buyer etiquette should create a good business relationship between you the consumer and the estate liquidator.

 

What Is A Good Review Or Bad Review Of An Estate Sale Company?

questions and answersAs the estate sale industry continues explosive expansion on a weekly basis consider reviews and why people write reviews.

In today’s estate liquidation world writing a review can be as simple as getting on the internet and going to Google (if you have a gmail account) or perhaps YP (Yellow Pages) or Yelp.

Reviews are important, but so are the reasons they are written. If you are writing a review be upfront about who you are (why wouldn’t you use your real name if the review is justified good or bad) and don’t bash an estate sale company just because your sale didn’t deliver the results you were hoping for. Last week in Los Angeles President Obama was in LA for two days and caused multiple backups and delays with the presidential motorcade. This resulted in many estate sales having lack luster results because buyers were unable to get there. Many buyers were also kept from going out because of the severe heat in many areas.

Estate sale companies cannot control traffic, weather, the stock market (and yes that really does affect your sale) or the economy in general.

If you are unhappy with the results of your sale wait until all buyers have left the property and discuss what has taken place or lack of sales. If you feel your sale wasn’t advertised sufficiently ask the liquidator to show you the advertisements or let you know what websites they were on. Discuss all the variables of the sale and remember that unless your estate sale company gave you a written guarantee of the money that would be brought in at the sale they too were disappointed because most companies work on commission so the more they sell and make the better the financial results for you both.

If you are happy with the results write a good review. Explain why you were satisfied and use your real name. Writing a bad review based out of disappointment does little and especially if you don’t use your actual name. Remember Google and Yelp will allow a company to respond to your review and present their case.

If you do encounter a serious problem with an estate sale company reporting it to a local consumer reporter who will investigate the claim is usually the procedure to follow, but keep in mind that if the claim is not valid the reporter may be interested in your motives.

Good reviews or bad reviews need to be honest, accurate, and responsibly written.

Yard Sale Or Estate Sale – What Will Work For You And Why?

Estate Sale signAs we enter the summer season the weekends are filled with signs posted everywhere about either a yard sale or estate sale.

When you are considering what you need take a look at what it is you want to sell, how much there is of it, why you are selling it (that affects price) etc.

If you don’t have that much, it’s just “stuff” or if it won’t sell for much do not call an estate liquidator. In today’s world most experienced liquidators are looking for contents that will be financially beneficial to you and to them. The cost of doing an estate sale for the liquidator has increased significantly over the past few years. See Judy Martin’s article published May 4th, 2015 here on Estate Sales News about the cost of an estate sale.

If you are in doubt contact an experienced professional liquidator and talk to them about what you have, your goal, and the size of your home and it’s contents. They will ask you questions that can help them determine what you should do and if they can be of service.

Yard sales are just that, but an estate sale is a professionally conducted sale of personal property, staged, advertised, researched and priced and involves staff as well as the liquidator.

It’s Wednesday and many estate sales begin tomorrow so get your estate sale kit and route ready and happy shopping.

What Estate Sale Customers And Clients Need – Informative, Fresh, Updated

SEstate Sales Newseveral weeks ago I read an article on the internet for small businesses that said that 97% of people research products and services. Today as I was thinking about what topic to write about and I recalled this article and thought it was appropriate to discuss what 97% of those individuals were concerned with.

In today’s liquidation world with 1000’s of estate sale companies (estimates now of well over 10,000 in the United States alone) there are so many liquidators to choose from. It reminded me of many years ago when I was in the real estate business and one of the seminar instructors’ said to stay on top you need to keep your clients informed, updated, and keep your brochures fresh. This rekindled the reference in my mind to that more recent article.

Well that was before the internet became such an integral part of our everyday life, but it is even more important today than it was 30 years ago.

When prospective clients search the internet for an estate sale company they want to look at websites that are kept up to date, fresh, and informative. Many prospective sellers spend a quite a bit of time looking and reviewing companies on the internet and if the websites they are looking at never seem to change or be modified, the questions start to enter their minds, are they too busy, don’t they care, are they still in business, etc. Many companies have websites built and then never change them after their launch.

Estate sale companies in general are extremely busy today, however, time needs to be allotted to work on the website or Facebook page to let clients know you are active, keeping up with the continually changing landscape of the estate industry and staying “on top of the game” so to speak.

Customers want to see what to look forward to at upcoming sales and if you are conducting sales in the future. They are interested in upcoming sales or events. Clients want to read about any changes that might affect their potential sales. They recognize when websites or pages are left unattended and do not change and if old information remains static that gives the appearance of lack of concern and importance.

It isn’t easy to do all of this, however, as in any business a set time or hours should be set aside weekly to keep your page updated and also provide simple navigation. If you have a staff member that is proficient with technology consider paying them to provide this valuable visible service.

Whether you are a client or a customer, if you are checking on websites, take notice of these three important components. It’s a good start to determining if this is the company for you.

Please “like” us on Facebook, “follow” us on Twitter, and let the estate sale companies you visit or speak with know that you read EstateSalesNews.com – Your free internet resource to learn about estate sales, information, and news. Thanks and happy Tuesday

What’s Selling At Estate Sales This Week? California Dreaming – Videos

Here are some interesting estate sales taking place this weekend. What are you shopping for?

Berverlywood, Los Angeles, CA

 

Huntington Beach, CA

 

LaCanada Flintridge, CA

What Makes The Best? – By Judy Martin, ISA, CAPP Estate Liquidator Knowledge

Judith Martin, ISA CAPPI have been thinking about the word, Best, lately. What makes a company the “Best”. What makes a sale the “Best”. What make a buyer the “Best”. It is an adjective defined as : of most excellent, effective or desirable type of quality. But how do we determine the “Best” when evaluating all of the items we evaluate week to week.

Is it the “Best” you have ever seen? But if you have only seen two of something, does that mean you know the difference. However, if you have seen hundreds of something and this particular one is the “Best” then does that interpret to a higher price? Maybe, maybe not. The real price indicator is will the collector who is buying the “Best” pay more for this item because it is the most excellent of it’s kind. All things being equal, the answer would be yes. So as a liquidator the price would be higher for the “Best”. One of the important parts of this discussion is that as the liquidator you need to know what the “Best” is in a particular group or property. A fair price cannot be made if the seller doesn’t know what the “Best” is. Everything that a liquidator deals with must be graded either by the seller or even perhaps sent away for an expert opinion.

So not only is the liquidator evaluating the items for sale he/she must be constantly educating themselves in the good, better, best in the world of personal property. It is a never ending process. But each time we see something new, learn something more, we become more secure in our knowledge which in turn helps to make each of us the BEST at what we do.

Estate Sales Are Creating New Businesses – ThrowBack Thursday To 2000

It seems that every week we receive press releases or Google Alerts about new businesses being formed around “estate sales”.

From franchises for liquidators, to new estate sale listing websites, to associations and societies for estate  liquidators, and other businesses such as clean out companies, relocation services, there is an endless generation of businesses, not to mention the daily growth of more and more estate sale companies. These services and many others are being created for the growing number of baby boomers retiring and the desire to become an entrepreneur.

What started in the early 2000’s with one estate sale listing company and one small association created by a veteran liquidator that had written a code of ethics and online courses for becoming an estate liquidator, we now have explosive growth in the estate sale company business.

So many websites offer you the opportunity to locate an estate sale company through their website having researched these liquidators and signed a code of ethics or agreed to a list of good business practices.

All of this brings to the forefront the absolute need for you – the perspective seller, to do your due diligence. We are unaware of any company or group that has any authority other than to chastise and remove a company from their website and list. We encourage sellers to read and research through these various companies for estate liquidators, but the final choice and what you need should be based on conversations with prior clients of the individual estate sale company.

What’s Selling At Estate Sales? California To New York 1000’s Of Sales

Many are starting today, but estate sales are everywhere. Let’s take a look at some of what’s out there. To see more of what’s in these estate sales click on the location and date. So many fascinating sales and interesting items. Truly something for everyone.

Staten Island, NY May 29

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Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA, May 28

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West Bloomfield, MI, May 28

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LakeBluff, IL, May 29

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What Is and Isn’t Important When Deciding On An Estate Sale Company

Even with thousands of estate sale companies, there are so many baby boomers on the move, many companies are already booked until August. Let’s do a brief review of what is truly important.

Be sure to ask about their experience. There is nothing wrong with new estate sale companies as long as they have previous experience working side by side with another experienced estate liquidator. An apprenticeship if you will. During the time that they work with someone with knowledge and experience they should learn about staging (or set-up) of the sale, recognizing what is being sold and pricing (general household) usually is priced by what prices are being reallized at other sales in your area, and of course knowing where to research unique, rare, unusual, or antique items. It is also important to have a certified appraiser that an estate sale company can use as well.

Ask about their education in the estate sale business, but it takes more than just reading and answering tests. Experience gained with a working estate liquidator is important.

It is beneficial to be able to speak with past clients. Written testimonials are helpful, but speaking with a client that they worked for within the last year is also a key component to deciding on whether or not you may want to hire them. Ask about their overall experience, but keep in mind financial results aren’t always the deciding factor. Were they on time, responsible, insured, and did they do what they agreed to. They may provide you with a brochure which is a great way to lay out their services. Keep that for future reference. Ask them if they have memberships with any associations or societies and if so what that means for you.

Do a complete review with them of their contract. If they don’t have a contract simply put – look at another company. If you are unsure of the contract ask to take it to your attorney so that all parties understand and begin the process with a good working relationship. Make certain that everyone understands what will and won’t be in the sale and if there is a penalty for removing something after the sale begins. If everyone is on the same page when the estate sale process starts it helps relieve stress and can forge a good working relationship between client and estate liquidator.

It is always important to look at any estate sales a company may be holding and if possible visit a company during a sale. Observation can be very informative.

Do not make the mistake of choosing an estate sale company by commission. That should be the “last” consideration.

This is just a quick review. For more information look at the orange tab on the top left side of our Front Page. How To Choose An Estate Sale Company.

No one can guarantee you that the estate sale company you choose will be perfect. All any company or group can do is remove them from the website and discontinue their membership. What matters is that you, the client, did your due diligence so that your final decision was yours. It is your financial bottom line and your responsibility. If you have questions contact us at carol@estatesalesnews.com We welcome your questions and comments. Please visit us on Facebook and Twitter and check out our Pinterest page.

Not All Estate Sales Are Created Equal And They Don’t Need To Be

Estate Sale signThousands of estate sales and thousands of estate sale companies, and everyone is different in some way.

Many estate sale companies do not want to handle the small sales (under $5,000, in some areas of the country that could be $10,000). Don’t feel insulted or hopeless. There are so many estate sale companies out there with some good researching you should be able to find a reputable company that can help you.

There are several reasons estate sale companies are carefully choosing which sales they will handle. Many estate sale companies have full time staff (a cost of $10/hour or more per employee), liability insurance, licensing (if required in your area) the cost of advertising (if the companies are listed on all three major estate sale listing websites – Estatesale.com, EstateSales.Net, and EstateSales.org), the monthly costs are significant. Many estate sale companies spend an average of $5,000/month just on maintaining advertising and visibility on the internet. This can also include Facebook boosts and Twitter.

There are estate sale companies that also handle online auctions as well, so you have to decide how you want your personal property disseminated. It is important to keep in mind that unless the items are rare, or unique, the value is similar to what happens at a used car lot. Once driven off the lot, the value decreases and for some, if they are moving or downsizing just eliminating their belongings is what really counts.

When you telephone estate liquidators ask them if they only take sales with minimum values. Don’t feel offended, remember this is business for them, and there is someone out there for you. It may require a little more investigation.

You may also want to look at the estate sale listing sites above to see what companies are showing for their current sales.