Category Archives: Learn About Estate Sales

Where To Find Estate Sale Companies & What They Require – American Society of Estate Liquidators -ASEL

Today we feature the response from ASEL – The American Society of Estate Liquidators with owner and director Julie Hall. Ms. Hall started her program which includes online education and membership in 2000.


What do you require for a company to do to become a liquidator?

They may take our comprehensive courses or if they already have estate sales experience they can apply for one of three levels of membership we offer.

Do you allow a company to join your association or society without taking courses?

Yes, provided they meet certain criteria. We have comprehensive applications for each one of three levels of membership.

What type of background checks do you perform on a current estate sale company that joins your group?

Applications are reviewed and references are checked.

Do you or a staff member personally speak to past sellers?


If a seller contacts you about an estate sale company that is associated with you what steps do you take?

Listen to the client and document, then contact the liquidator. Listen to the liquidator and document, then recommend a mutually beneficial resolution.

What are you able to do with a company that is found unethical or allegedly committing illegally acts at an estate sale i.e. failure to pay or account etc. ?

It is our policy to terminate the membership of any member that is found to have committed an unethical or illegal act in conjunction with a sale.

Do you charge for membership? We do “not” want to know the amount.


Remembering 9/11 On Estate Sales Friday


PatriotDayCMYK-2012Today we remember the horror of 14 years ago, the lives lost, the heroes who saved, and the cost to our freedom. All of us lost that day and yet we have gained as well. We put aside our differences and pulled together as Americans. It also launched a lot of entrepreneur businesses.

Estate Sales News was not far from New York that day and all that it brought still lingers, but as we go about our business today let’s reflect and honor those who were taken from us by doing what they would want us to do. Move forward, conducting business. Estate sale companies and their staffs are doing that as are most Americans. We will never forget, but we will persevere in your honor.

How Estate Sale Listing Websites Handle A Complaint –

Today we feature the response from the estate sale listing website,

logo_estatesales Thanks for reaching out. Happy to answer your question about our process.

We typically require an initial report with a link or attachment from the courts, showing that there has been a ruling against the company for breach of contract, fraud, or similar misconduct related to their estate sale business.

We also file all complaints against companies listed with us in a database, including the complaint, what company it was against, the date of the complaint and the contact info of the person reporting. If we notice a pattern of misconduct, we may remove the company without a legal judgement, however, this would only be in extreme circumstances. I will also say that there have been cases of “he said she said” which is what we do not want to get into as we are a software company first and foremost. We do not want to become a policing agency of estate sale companies, but we realize the need to balance this with consumer protection.

To contact us 800-314-9708


How Estate Sale Listing Websites Handle A Complaint – EstateSales.Net

Today we are publishing the response which we received from EstateSales.Net.


Thanks for reaching out to us. We put a process in place a few years back to help deal with this as it is an occasional problem. Whenever we are contacted by someone that has not been paid by a company, we point them to a page on our site:

*Estate Sales News has the instructions from the website provided for you to read directly from the EstateSales.Net website. You can also go directly to their site at

I’ve Not Been Paid. What Happens Now?

If you hired a company to conduct a liquidation sale for you and you have not been paid, please read through this page. It will answer questions on how we (EstateSales.NET) deal with people and companies in this situation.
Report the Situation

If you are in this situation, please send an e-mail to support@EstateSales.NET explaining your situation and include the following information:

The date(s) of your sale
The address of your sale
The company name and the contact person for the company
The date you were supposed to be paid (from the contract or verbally stated by the company)
Whether or not you have a contract
The amount you were supposed to be paid

You can certainly call us as well (888-653-8468), but we will definitely need an e-mail with the above information to get started. We may follow up with additional questions before contacting the company, but the above information is usually what we need to get started.
What We Do…

We do not want companies on our site that do not pay their clients. We will remove companies that do this. We do have to follow certain procedures when in this situation though. We reserve the right to alter the timelines detailed below, but these are the general guidelines that we follow.

A company will have 60 days after the sale to make things right with their client before we issue a “Notice of Pending Removal from EstateSales.NET.” That does not mean we won’t be involved prior to that 60 days. We will do our best to get communication going between the company and the client.
Once we determine that a company has not paid a client and the sale is 60 or more days in the past, they will have 10 days to correct the situation. If they do not resolve the situation within 10 days, they will be removed from the site along with ALL sales currently scheduled. A company can resolve the situation by sending us a cancelled check or some other proof of payment.
The one exception to the 60 day “rule” is a judgement. If a client has received a judgement against a company, we will issue a “Notice of Pending Removal from EstateSales.NET” and the company will have 10 days from that notice to either pay their client or come to an agreement with the client (payment plan, etc).

Our Goal

It is not in our best interest to have companies on our site that don’t pay their clients. There are thousands of sales listed on our site each month. This is definitely not a common occurrence, but it is one that has to be addressed from time-to-time. Our goal is to make sure the companies listed on our site are doing their job and paying their clients.

If you feel that we can do a better job in some way, PLEASE let us know. Our community of companies, shoppers, and clients are top-notch. Please help us keep it that way!

How Estate Sale Listing Websites Handle A Complaint –

As we start this multiple part series of articles about estate sale listing websites, associations, and societies there are over 14,000 estate sale companies in the United States today and the large majority are honest, ethical, hardworking people that perform an invaluable service to millions of Americans for numerous reasons. On rare occasions an estate sale company will not have the same ethical standards as the majority. To enable you to understand how estate sale listing websites deal with complaints about the few unethical companies we asked them to respond in writing to our question how do you handle this situation so that if you are a seller you can understand the process and what can be done.

We will feature one response from an estate sale listing website today, Wednesday, and Thursday. They will become part of our archives as a resource for you. Estate Sales News thanks each of the owners of the companies that responded; Amanda Smith, Micky McQuade, and Mike Judkins.

Our first response was from

If a consumer has a complaint about any company found on they are encouraged to reach out to us and tell us about it.

By phone: (814) 766-0067

By email:

We find that most of the complaints that we receive at are a result of poor communication and unrealistic expectations. Here are a few examples:

My couch was like new! I paid $4,000 and they gave it away for $300 (8 years old). They were rude when I took “just two little things” out of the sale (2 advertised items… the day before the sale).

While these types of complaints are not things that we act on, we find it important to take the time to listen to the sellers and do what we can to help them better understand the situation.

We do occasionally get a complaint of non-payment. When a seller has not been paid, we request that they send us the following information:

Information about your sale (Company, sale dates, full sale address). The date you were supposed to be paid (according to the contract or agreement). Previous efforts you have made to contact the company for payment.

We immediately follow up with the company to get their side of the story. In most cases, it is a misunderstanding or miscommunication and the issue is resolved quickly. If the company disputes the seller’s allegation of non-payment, or is unable to resolve the issue right away, here is how we proceed:

  1. If the company acknowledges the fact that payment was not made, they are given 15 days to make payment. If they make payment within the 15 days, no further action is taken. If the company does not make payment within the 15 days they will be removed from with no further notice. The company may be re-activated later if they prove payment was made and we have no other complaints of non-payment made against them.
  2. If the company denies the allegation of non-payment, we let the seller know that the company is disputing their allegation. At this point the seller will have to proceed by filing a legal complaint. If the seller proceeds in this manner, we request that they send us any judgements or rulings against the company. If we receive notice of a conviction or judgement related to non-payment, the company will be removed with no further notice.

Note from There are many reasons a seller and company could end up in court. We will not remove a company for a civil judgement related to a contract dispute, unless specifically related to non-payment or fraudulent activity. wrote to and we have not received a reply.

Disclaimer – does not endorse any company in this series of articles. This is presented for your information and as a resource.

Happy Labor Day – Enjoy, Be Safe, From Estate Sales News

As you celebrate Labor Day Weekend remember the American worker and celebrate. This includes the 14,000 plus estate sale companies and their staff. See on Tuesday, September 8th. Please use our archives for information and resources anytime.


Labor Day Weekend A Time To Rest, Recharge And Restart

Labor Day weekend for most, signals the end of the summer season. In the northeast it also signals the beginning of school in most communities. Other areas of the country have already started back. Please drive carefully to estate sales on Thursdays and Fridays. Take care not to get so involved in the estate sale hunt and endanger our children.

There are many estate sale companies that will be hosting estate sales over the long weekend, however, many liquidators are going to take this last stretch of time to give themselves and their staff some rest before the hectic fall season of estate sales begin.

This is a great time to look for bargains on patio furniture and garden accessories, summer clothing, and other summer related items.

Estate Sales News will also be enjoying a long weekend starting Friday, Sept. 4th and we will return to the Front Page on Tuesday, Sept. 8th.

Whatever your plans are, Estate Sales News archives are available to you free, 24/7. Whether you want to learn about estate sales, estate sale contracts, what to expect as a buyer or seller, staging, advertising, social media, how to choose an estate sale company, what’s selling, you’ll find it here on the #1 source for estate sale news and information.

*We have contacted approximately a dozen companies and estate liquidator learning and membership sites with a set of questions to enable you to understand what they need if you have a serious issue and what membership with them does for the liquidator and for your. Be sure to watch for our series of articles starting on Tuesday, September 8th.

Have a safe and great weekend.

Estate Sales News.

Unethical or Illegal Problems With Estate Sale Companies – What You Need To Know

Estate Sales NewsThe majority of 14,000 plus estate sale companies are honest, hardworking people that deserve kudos for the work they do, however, every once in a while as in all businesses an estate liquidation company will not operate the way they are expected to.

Estate Sales News is contacting all the estate sale listing websites, and the websites that offer to teach you to become an estate liquidator to find out what they can and cannot do with companies that inappropriately handle estates.

It should be clearly stated that we are not talking about sellers not achieving the financial results they had hoped for or frivolous complaints. As in most of life there are no guarantees, however, we are addressing serious issues of unethical behavior,  failure to pay sellers or failure to account.

Over the course of the next two weeks we will be writing about what each of these listing websites can or cannot do as well as the teaching associations and societies. Sellers should be aware of what to expect, what can be done, how to do it, and who to turn to.

This set of articles will be fair and unbiased. Estate Sales News is here to inform, enlighten and empower you as news media and information sources do.

We encourage you to reach out if you have a serious unethical problem or believe something illegal has been committed, but remember we are discussing serious issues not disappointments.

Look for our articles starting after Labor Day.

Getting Ready For An Estate Sale – Understanding The Process

News You Can Use words in torn newspaper headlines for articles, information or reporting that will help you with needed advice, tips or guidance

Sellers now that you have chosen your estate sale company with due diligence and care what happens next?

As we approach Labor Day Weekend next week let’s review what an estate sale company will be doing to get your sale event ready, somewhat abbreviated.

An estate liquidator may take a few “staged” photos of unique, rare, or unusual items in the sale for immediate advertising. They will probably do a walk thru to determine how many tables will be needed, any additional lighting, if extension cords will be required, where to set-up the check out counter, whether they will utilize one entrance and exit only or one of each, and check out any special requirement (port a john) etc. that may be needed depending on the size of your sale. They will also arrange when they plan to start preparing the sale and ask you for a key or code for access to the property. This is also the time they will decide on security measures including hiring off duty policemen if required.

Every liquidator works different hours. Some start very early and finish each day in mid to late afternoon and some start later in the morning and work well into the evening. They also have to decide what special jobs may need doing (polishing, cleaning, etc.) and if there are additional charges that should be included in your estate sale contract. Some estate sale companies have factored that into their commission, others charge an additional fee depending on the amount of work to be done to prepare the items for sale.

Once they start working at the sale most estate liquidators will assign staff to different rooms (some may not) and the sorting of items begins. Discovery of what may be of significant value will take place as well, and these items will be set aside for showcases or other secure locations. After the sorting, cleaning, polishing, etc, comes the room by room staging of the personal property. Next the liquidator will begin the pricing process, and if needed researching the value of items that may be of high value or unknown origins or provenance.

All of this can take anywhere from 3 days for a very small sale up to a month for a large sale. Hours and hours are spent not only working on the estate sale on site, but on the advertising of the sale which is usually done in the evening or early morning at the home of the liquidator. It is not unusual today to see 500 or more photos on an estate sale listing website along with a detailed list of most items in the sale. Many companies use more than one site so double the work and then there is the social media work to be done, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, and YouTube to name the major social media sites.

Usually the morning before the sale the estate sale company will post signs inside and on the exterior of the door to let buyers understand how they will be handling the sale including entrance (crowd control), sales (cash, cheques, or charge cards) and the rules of etiquette including if they will be considering discounting after day one of the sale or accepting written interest in items that have not sold on day one.

The morning of the sale signs (depending on the community) will be placed in appropriate or approved locations directing buyers to the sale. All of this work leads up to the opening of the door on day one of the sale. Announcements may be made prior to permitting entrance perchance there are any last minute changes or additions to the sale. The door opens and those words “welcome to our estate sale”. Day one begins.

The Stock Market In Chaos The Best Place To Buy Is An Estate Sale








As I sit and listen to CNBC’s the Closing Bell Wrap Up with Kelly Evans, and Bill Griffeth this Monday, discussing the upheavals of the stock market and the uncertainty associated with it, Ms. Evans commented that most people are not going into a Nordstrom (a high end retailer) right now looking for shoes. They are concerned with their portfolios. The graphic above is used with the permission of Microsoft.

Ms. Evans and Mr. Griffeth are absolutely right unless the wealth one has is infinite.

That is just another good reason to be shopping now more than ever at estate sales. Last week in Chicago Gucci, Coach, Judith Leiber, and other designer handbags were being sold at an estate sale well below full retail price. Jewelry, both gold and silver were also being sold. Designer clothing was featured at several sales across the country.

Whether your looking for designer apparel, kitchen dishes and glassware, lawn care equipment, linens, art, furnishings, and many other items you can find them for sale at an estate liquidation and right now with the market in flux this is a great time to save $$$ and help keep the planet green. It also still allows you the opportunity to buy those sought after items with out the guilt of paying retail while the stock market rides a roller coaster.

2-t_002Here is a sample starting “today” in Clinton Township MI. Gucci, Michael Kors, Louis Vitton, Prada, & Burberry hand bags and more. Click here for link.



1-t_051Starting August 27th in Sacramento, CA next to a modern washer and dryer. Click here





Starting tomorrow in Scottsdale AZ – Everything including the kitchen sink including Central Air Unit to Hot Water Heater Click here.