Category Archives: Professional Liquidators

Pricing Items At Estate Sales Isn’t As Easy As It Appears

Estate sale companies use many sources to find the information they need to price your contents, but it isn’t as simple as looking up a price on line or in a book.

There are a wide variety of sources to assist estate sale companies when help is needed for pricing the rare, unique, antique, or unknown items. A knowledgeable professional estate liquidator can evaluate the information from these websites applying their years of working with and education through hands on experience to determine how this affects the value of your items.

It can take hours of research to find comparables and make the necessary adjustments.

Thanksgiving Week – Estate Sales – Thank You

Estate Sales News is going to take time off this week to enjoy this favorite family holiday. Time to enjoy the smell of roasting turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, I can’t go on, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. A word of advice, however. Don’t stress yourself out. So many Americans do  and this holiday is about family and friends. Enjoy the moments and the ones you share them with.

If you have questions about estate sales this week check out these links.

Branding And Marketing And Its’ Effects On Estate Sales Companies

Every estate sale company should have a marketing strategy and a logo that differeniates them from their competitors.

Estate sale listing websites use marketing strategies to attract estate sale companies and the buyers that estate liquidators need to attend their sales.

Estate sale companies also need to brand and market their businesses.

It is important to be visible on an estate sale advertising website (EstateSale.com, EstateSales.org, EstateSales.Net are all in the business of advertising estate sales and companies).

Owners of estate liquidation businesses also need to have a strategy to attract buyers and sellers and a logo that is unique. Having a tag line makes a lasting and significant statement that defines you and your business.

For instance EstateSalesNews.com is branded, has a marketing strategy, and has a tag line.

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Our logo was created specifically for us along with the sale tag (reminding people of the news and sales) and the important tag line – Your estate sales resource,  (referencing the information and answers to your estate sales questions whether you are a seller, buyer, or estate sale company).

We market in several areas including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Google+. We use other marketing as well to boost our visibility.

So put together your marketing strategy, (take a look at what your competitors are doing) and brand your business.

Estate Sales And Auctions – Editorial By EstateSalesNews.com

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Estate Sale sign

 

 

 

 

 

Today with the internet connecting the world there are several ways to liquidate personal contents. There are of course estate sales, online auctions, and onsite auctions to name a few.

Here at EstateSalesNews.com we discuss the liquidation process by estate sales, but recognizing that in many instances an auction (either online or onsite) may be a better choice for some estates or some particular items. Whether it is an estate sale or auction each provides a needed service for a family, person, attorney, etc.

What we do not support is the inappropriate discussion by either auctioneers or estate sale companies that argue that only their way is correct in a public forum such as this on WorthPoint.  A private opinion should be kept that way.

For an article on WorthPoint, written by a licensed Virginia Auctioneer,  Wayne Jordan, called a Worthologist and writer for WorthPoint and blogger for Antique Trader Magazine, he wrote an article about the need for regulations for estate sales as the industry grows and he included information from EstateSalesNews.com along with link to our website. Estate Sales News has not written anything about the need for regulations and he took copyrighted material without permission and used it out of context.

This is unacceptable and we have contacted WorthPoint and await an answer and apology in writing from them and Mr. Jordan for copyright infringement. All the information we have presented here in this article is available to the public without requiring permission.

Virginia is one of the states that does regulate auctioneers by the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR).

However, there are many states that have no regulation in place for auctioneers or auctions. Click here to see a list of states and whether they do or do not regulate auctioneers.

We suggest he writes about the continuing need for auction regulations in states that don’t have any if he feels so strongly.  An area he is very familiar with, instead of an area that he is unfamiliar with since we cannot find where he has ever conducted an estate sale, although Mr. Jordan’s bio on WorthPoint includes him being a Certified Personal Property Appraiser and Accredited Business Broker along with Accredited Auctioneer of Real Estate, Certified Estate Specialist, Certified Auction Specialist, Residential Real Estate and Accredited Business Broker. He obtained his auction credentials from the Mendenhall School of Auctioneering. According to his LinkedIn bio prior to receiving his auction license in 2006 he was involved in a music company, a claims service, and antiques.  He has also authored several books ranging in topics from antique malls to real estate.

Mr. Jordan currently serves on the Virginia Auctioneer Board and the Cemetery Board. His auction license has reciprocity in several states including Florida, where your editor had her auctioneers license. I do not have it now.

Mr. Jordans’ article was derogatory about the estate sale industry. It was also disparaging about companies that provide education to estate liquidators because they are not accredited. Not an question for you Mr. Jordan to consider when so many auctions go unregulated without auction education in so many states.

To write a shock and awe piece about another industry is not in the best interest of any liquidation service or professional.

There are many estate sale companies that use online auctions in addition to estate sales to accomplish their goals and in September of 2014 we covered an estate sale company and an auction company working side by side to sell off the contents of an estate in Michigan.

Mr. Jordan you are not serving the auction industry well by your rhetoric about another industry. We are professionals and as such we need to respect one another and our chosen professions. We can agree to disagree, but not in the manner you chose. We also remind you about copyright laws. You may not use any part of EstateSalesNews.com in any future article.

Carol Madden, Editor, EstateSalesNews.com

Where To Find Estate Sale Companies & What They Require – Estate Fusion

Today we present the response from EstateFusion.com owned by Lisa Kroese who offers, coaching, education, and membership.

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What do you require for a company to do to become a liquidator?
Estate Fusion is a private membership website for estate sale companies. We offer contract and branding materials, worksheets, and webinars for all of our members. Some packages include private one on one coaching. We work with companies just starting out and with those who are established but seeking better results or more competitive and solid contracts, business plans and lead generation. Since we work with start ups as well as established companies, we have no requirements for membership. Anyone seeking improvement can become a member and secure consulting and coaching on best practices and profitability.

Do you allow a company to join your association or society without taking courses?
We don’t have an association or society, yes, anyone can join EstateFusion.com. Estate Fusion’s owner, Lisa Kroese, also has a LinkedIn group for estate sellers: Estate Sale Professionals. Anyone with an estate sale business may ask to join that group as well.

What type of background checks do you perform on a current estate sale company that joins your group? Do you or a staff member personally speak to past sellers?
We do not preform background checks. Estate Fusion members are not listed on a public website, it is a private group with several different levels of membership available to members. Estate Fusion focuses on providing professional materials and articles at the basic level. At the upper levels it is focused on meeting each company’s individual growth, lead development and targeted business goals through coaching packages.

Estate Sale Professionals is a news and discussion group, it does not aim to offer credentials or society status to its members. Its members may opt to use the Estate Sale Professionals logo on their LinkedIn profile or website. The public should know that the Estate Sale Professionals logo is just a designation indicating that members are part of a LinkedIn professional group, not that the members are screened privately or have taken coursework to earn use of the logo.
If a seller contacts you about an estate sale company that is associated with you what steps do you take?
No seller has ever been in communication with us regarding any company on Estate Sale Professionals or Estate Fusion. In the event that one did, we would review their concerns with the company and seek legal review for steps that we might follow to address the concerns through mediation between the parties.
What are you able to do with a company that is found unethical or allegedly committing illegally acts at an estate salle i.e. failure to pay or account etc. ?
We would do anything possible to help get a response and attempt to facilitate resolution. On Estate Sale Professionals, members would be removed instantly if it were deemed appropriate. We have no legal authority to take any other action besides alter the member’s status and communicate with them about the seller’s complaint. We could help direct anyone that contacted us to the appropriate agencies, such as their state’s attorney general and consumer protection bureau. We would not be able to provide legal advice to the complainant but would recommend that they seek legal assistance.
Do you charge for membership? We do “not” want to know the amount.
Estate Sale Professionals is a free LinkedIn group that anyone owning a professional liquidation business can request to join. Estate Fusion requires payment to join. Some content is free on the Estate Fusion blog and to email subscribers at EstateFusion.com

Where To Find Estate Sale Companies & What They Require – NAOEL , National Association Of Estate Liquidators

Here from Donna Davis, Director National Association Of Estate Liquidators, School and Association – NAOEL. The NAOEL is a new association launched in May 2015.

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

If you are a certified Graduate of NAOEL’s Estate Sale Course, you will be asked to provide the following to qualify as a Member:
• Date of your certification from NAOEL’s Estate Sale Course.
• Documentation verifying you have completed at least five estate sales in the past year.
• Letters of recommendation from four Clients you have completed sales for.
• The link to your website.
• Proof of licensures required by your city, county, and/or state.
• Completed Membership Application.
• Acceptance of NAOEL’s Code of Ethics.
• Agree to complete at least three hours of NAOEL-approved supplemental coursework every three years.
• As a Graduate, your membership is free for the first year.

Upon receipt of your Application Package and membership fee, and your acceptance as a Member of NAOEL, you will be issued a Certificate of Membership, and receive and be licensed to use NAOEL’s Member logo.

Membership must be renewed annually ($100 per year), and Members are required to complete three hours of NAOEL-approved supplemental coursework every three years to maintain their Membership.

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

Yes with the following provided – You will be asked to provide the following to qualify as an Associate Member:
• Documentation verifying you have completed at least fifty estate sales in the past five years.
• Letters of recommendation from six Clients you have completed sales for.
• Letters of recommendation from four professionals in the estate sale industry explaining why you qualify to become an Associate Member of NAOEL.
• The link to your website.
• Proof of licensures required by your city, county, and/or state.
• Completed Associate Membership Application.
• Acceptance of NAOEL’s Code of Ethics.
• Agree to complete at least three hours of NAOEL-approved supplemental coursework every three years.
• Payment of membership fee.

What type of background checks do you perform on a current estate sale company that joins your group? Do you or a staff member personally speak to past sellers?

Other than provide written proof of experience as provided in previous question, we do not perform a background check nor speak to past sellers. Applicants are required to provide seller recommendations.

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

If a seller has contacted us to complain about an estate sale company that is a member of our association, we will investigate and if found accusations are true, we will revoke membership and follow up that our logo is no longer being used in association with this company

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. ?

Immediately revoke membership and follow up that our logo is no longer being used in association with this company.

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

Yes we do charge for membership

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.

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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?

Yes

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.

Yes.

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

Today we feature the response from the estate sale listing website, EstateSales.org.

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

Email http://treasurelistings.com

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

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

estatesalesnet

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).

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!

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.