What is an estate sale?

It used to be the wording used for the liquidation of a deceased persons personal property was sold. Today it has become a generic term in most states for the liquidation of personal property whether the owners are alive or deceased. Read More »

Bonded and Insured: What it does

When an estate sales company advertises it is bonded and insured in means they have purchased Liability Insurance and a Surety Bond. Not all companies do this. It is not a requirement in every state and is often the choice of the individual company. Read More »

What is USPAP?

USPAP is an acronym for Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice; the mandatory guidelines that govern the performance of all licensed and certified appraisers. The goal of USPAP is to promote and maintain a high level of public trust in appraisal practice by establishing requirements for appraisers. Read More »

Estate Sales Costs

Every estate sales company operates differently. Here is an overview of what you might encounter depending on the company. Read More »

 

ThrowBack Thursday At Estate Sales News – Antique Doll Dresser

Slide1It’s ThrowBack Thursday here at Estate Sales News and what better time to share a treasured family heirloom. My Grandma’s doll dresser. She was born in August 1887 so this dresser dates to around 1893. My great grandparents came from Scotland in the early 1880’s so I’m not sure if this came with them. I do know that my Grandma, my Mom, myself, and my daughter played with this when we were very young before deciding it needed to be retired for visual enjoyment only.

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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

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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.

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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.

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So Many Estate Sales, So Many Estate Sale Companies – Why?

For those that are avid fans or shoppers at estate sales the extraordinary numbers of estate liquidations has created a utopia.

This demand has been created by the millions of baby boomers moving, downsizing, and going into retirement. Estate sale companies have formed across the country, encouraged by the concept of being their own boss and what they perceive as the money to be made. This encouragement comes from a variety of sources, many of which profit from the creation of estate sale companies and liquidators. Where there were once four or five estate sale companies now there may be 100 to 200 in metropolitan areas.

Many shoppers at estate sales are looking for items to resell on such websites as eBay or Etsy. They may repurpose or redesign them (a good example would be what happens on the HGTV program Flea Market Flip).

The rare, unique, and highly collectible still sell, but then there is “the rest of the stuff”, general household, furnishings, lawn equipment, used cars etc. Selling these items isn’t as easy as it once was. Estate liquidators have to be savvy marketers and know where their buying base is. For many it comes from publicizing the sale on estate sale listing websites, Estatesale.com, EstateSales.Net, or EstateSales.org. However, with so many estate sale companies and sales, that may not be enough depending on their location. Facebook, Twitter, and email lists have become a great resource for reaching buyers.

Estate sales are great places to find everything from fine jewelry to laundry detergent. Save dollars, go green, and support your local economy.

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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.

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Memorial Day Weekend From Estate Sales News – Let Us Remember

Memorial Day isn’t about sales of any kind. It’s about remembering those who have died in the service to the United States of America. Let us take 60 seconds on Monday to stand in silence and give thanks and remembrance to those who have been lost and the families and friends they left behind.

This photo was taken a week ago by Carol Madden at Arlington National Cemetery. 20 rows are casualties from Iraq, Afghanistan and Viet Nam, and behind are Korea, and World War II.  Men and women who sacrificed all.

Arlington National Cemetery

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Memorial Day Weekend – What’s Selling At Estate Sales?

Originally called Decoration Day and started at the end of the Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the war, this a day to remember all those who have died serving in our country’s armed forces.

Here’s a look at sales taking place this weekend.

Gilbert, AZ, May 21

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Knoxville, TN, May 22

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Doylestown, PA, May 21

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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.

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