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.
Today 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.
Today we feature the response from the estate sale listing website, EstateSales.org.
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
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 http://www.estatesales.net/help/nonPayment.aspx
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).
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!
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 EstateSale.com.
If a consumer has a complaint about any company found on EstateSale.com they are encouraged to reach out to us and tell us about it.
By phone: (814) 766-0067
By email: email@example.com
We find that most of the complaints that we receive at EstateSale.com 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:
- 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 EstateSale.com 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.
- 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 EstateSale.com: 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.
EstateSalesNews.com wrote to MegaEstateSales.com and we have not received a reply.
Disclaimer – EstateSalesNews.com does not endorse any company in this series of articles. This is presented for your information and as a resource.
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.
The 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.