Category Archives: Estate Sales Help & Tips

Concerns About The Sale of Ivory for Estate Sale Companies – NJ has Strict Laws

elephant ivoryLast week we discussed federal law with regard to ivory including California and New York. Following federal law each state can decide if they want to restrict the sale and purchase of ivory beyond the current federal restrictions. This information is provided from U.S. Fish and Wildlife. The article is lengthy, but well worth reading. The law in this article states that it will support the number of elephant sport-hunted trophies that an individual can import to two per hunter per year. Here is the link to federal law on ivory.

Estate Sales News continues researching the sale and/or purchase of ivory and we have learned that Gov. Christie of New Jersey signed into a law a ban on all ivory including antique. The link below will take you to this very important article.

North Carolina is currently considering how their laws should pertain to ivory. Here is a link. Connecticut also is concerned with the sale of ivory, however, we could not find any further restrictions other than federal. Here is the current link to law in Connecticut.

Here is a link to an LA Time article from September 2, 2014 concerning the sale of ivory.

Estate Sales News will continue to update you on ivory and rhino horn as more news and laws become available or or written.


Estate Sale Reviews – Why, Who, and When To Disregard

MC900433850Estate Sales News encourages perspective sellers to do their own due diligence on researching and reading reviews about estate sale companies, however, we want to include a caveat. If you find a unfavorable review that has a response from an estate sale company that you are considering using  you should try to speak directly with the owner/manager of the company for their personal response and explanation to any reviews that are questionable. Several websites offer reviews Yelp, YP, Google, BBB, and to name a few. You can also read any testimonials, video or written on estate sale company’s website.

As a buyer you are not running the sale and if you are a reseller you should not tell the estate liquidator they are over priced. They are not working for you. They have a contract as a fiduciary with the owner, heir(s), seller(s), attorney and it is their obligation to seek the highest and best possible price. If you attend a sale as a buyer you have choices:

  • Ask the estate sale liquidator if they are accepting bids.
  • Inquire if they will have a day when prices are reduced (you take your chances that the item(s) will still be there.
  • Leave the sale and move on.

As a buyer you are only representing yourself and it is poor estate sale etiquette to write bad reviews about estate sale companies  you felt overpriced personal property. It is up to the person who employed the estate liquidator to question pricing (if necessary).

As a reminder, estate sale companies can prevent you from shopping at their sales if you become confrontational and if you continually complain about their prices why are you attending? Use your good estate sale etiquette and do not post bad reviews because you disagree on their pricing.  Try other estate sales and companies to shop at. There are 1000’s of estate sales out there and choosing to buy from an estate sale company is your choice.

New United States Rules Restrict Domestic Trade In Ivory

On February 11, 2014 Bryan Christy wrote an article for National Geographic concerning the new Federal restrictions on the ivory trade. According to the article the new rules were written to create “a near complete ban” on the sale of African elephant ivory in in the United States as reported by Mr. Christy.

Two animals are at the forefront of this world wide problem with the poaching of elephants and rhinos and the illegal trade of wildlife and ivory.

The actions taken by the Federal government are in line with actions and laws taken by California and New York to name just a few states.

From Lydia Thompson who published an article on March 13, 2014 Old and New Rules for the Sale of Ivory we provide the California Law.

California Penal Laws 653o and 653p ban the sale, or possession with intent to sell of ivory, within the state or across state lines. The law reads as follows.

It is unlawful to import into this state for commercial purposes, to possess with intent to sell, or to sell within the state, the dead body, or any part or product thereof, of any polar bear, leopard, ocelot, tiger, cheetah, jaguar, sable antelope, wolf (Canius lupus) zebra, whale, cobra, python, sea turtle, colobus monkey, kangaroo, vicuna, sea otter, free-roaming feral horse, dolphin or porpoise (Delphinidae) Spanish lynx, or ELEPHANT.

The article then details the penalties for violating Penal Law 653o.

Please note that California Penal Law 653o has been on the books since 1970. but was unenforced until the early part of 2012. The article continues that the strict enforcement of this law prohibits the sale of all ivory objects whether antique or not. It recommends consulting with an attorney if you are contemplating the sale of some ivory objects (think of the keys on antique and old pianos, Steinway for instance). Click here for a link to the entire article by Lydia Thompson.

In an article published in the New York Times on June 20, 2014 by Tom Mashberg entitled Law to Impose Tough Limits on Sales of Ivory Art he discussed the new law by the New York Legislature and  passed. The article reports that the law bans almost all items containing elephant ivory, mammoth ivory, and rhinoceros horn.  Here is a link to the New York Times Article.

Here is a link to an article by The Associated Press also in the New York Times published less than a month ago about a Study Details Elephant Deaths. The article reports on the estimated  poaching of over 100,000 elephants between 2010 and 2012 from the increased demand for ivory by China and other Asian nations.

It is important when hiring an estate sale company or auction company that they are knowledgeable about the laws regarding the sale of a variety items to prevent all parties from being fined or otherwise penalized.

Although we have briefly discussed the federal law and the laws imposed in California and New York each state should be reviewed for their laws concerning the sale of ivory and wildlife.

Joan Rivers Gave Her Daughter Melissa Good Advice – Estate Sales & Auctions

To educateReading Sunday about the passing of Joan Rivers and her instructions Estate Sales News was interested in what Ms. Rivers had told the Daily Beast that she had told her daughter Melissa, “Sell anything and everything you don’t want. Don’t feel beholden to my possessions”. Although she didn’t suggest how to sell her possessions estate sales for many, auctions for others are the primary way to liquidate.

After reading this we used CRTS (Certified Relocation Specialists) and to research other opinions.

Whether you are downsizing or preparing your instructions for the end of life, it is a benefit to tell your family or friends (if no family) your feelings about the disposal of your possessions and how you feel and if you’re going to change your life style start by hiring a professional, be it an estate sale company or auction or in many instances today a combination depending on what is to be sold and their value.

In today’s ever changing world with costs rising many people are choosing to reduce their space and costs (including moving to less expensive areas). Many older individuals are moving to assisted living or moving in with family and have very limited space for their belongings.

Deciding what to keep or not to keep is important for peace of mind. It helps reduce stress and emotional discomfort for you and your family.

In some instances (this happened recently with a friend’s father moving to assisted living) the year before moving it is a good idea to invite family in to decide what items they would like to have.

This also makes it much easier when it comes time to bring in a liquidator.

Estate Sales News regrets the passing of Joan Rivers and extends our sympathy to her family and friends. We also thank her for making us laugh and leaving all of us with some good advice.

Looking For Answers – Estate Sale Companies Keeping Ahead

mahogany secretarymahogany dining rm setThe experienced estate sale company is always looking to increase their knowledge of products, marketing, and what’s selling.

One estate sale company we have visited in California sent us an article from the July Wall Street Journal about why “heirloom” furniture isn’t selling. It is true that what is termed “brown furniture” isn’t selling in many areas. The 1930’s, 1940’s mahogany, Victorian, and Victorian styled furniture is a hard sell. So are many upholstered pieces. as well. It certainly in most cases isn’t bringing in the dollars it did a few years ago, but the estate sale company that is proficient in marketing has a leg up on those that are not using all the marketing tools at their disposal.

In today’s estate sale boom just listing an estate sale, event, or tag sale on estate sale listing sites are not enough. Yes they showcase your photos and send out emails about your upcoming sale to thousands, but your sale isn’t the only one being distributed. There are only so many buyers and there is only so much money that can be spent. Along with the marketing these websites do for you, the estate sale company of today needs to be proactive and have a marketing plan working independently. Using their own Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest pages is crucial. Here they can standout and really address why and what can be done with items that are not in vogue.

The learned estate sale company isn’t just researching the internet for values, but keeping updated on trends and how to sell the items in their sales.

Show’s like Flea Market Flip can offer ways for the public to buy vintage or second hand items at estate sales and repurpose them. It isn’t  just something to be bought at Flea Markets. Many times their prices can be higher than an estate sale.

More and more estate sale companies have also opened consignment shops to work with furnishings having been at an estate sale that require more time to sell.

Staying informed about the ever changing estate sale market is part of the professional estate liquidators occupation.

Here is the link to the WSJ article.

Retirement Saving – Shopping At Estate Sales

Retirement When retirement time comes many people on fixed incomes look for ways to save.

One way of saving is to shop at estate sales. There they can find linens, good second hand clothing (sometimes even new clothes never worn), and at many sales things like partially used cleansers, laundry products, paint and paint supplies. You might even find your next car.

Gifts for special occasions and holidays can also be found at good savings. Even gift wrap, ribbons and bows. Supplies like pens, scotch tape, pads of paper, paper clips etc. can also be found at estate sales.

Many people retired or not also shop for books on a variety of topics. Even sun glasses and readers can be found. So can computers, tablets, televisions, radios, DVRs along with a host of other electronics like irons, toasters, blenders, mixers, etc.

It’s amazing how much can be saved by shopping at estate sales and for many individuals saving at an estate sale is a boost to their economic well being. Even if you aren’t retired it is still a great way to save $$$ and help our planet.

Is Your Estate Sale Staged, Organized And Marketed?

With the Labor Day holiday weekend approaching and the next season of estate sales is ready to begin.

A few considerations you to be concerned with after you have chosen your estate liquidator (using your due diligence to find a reputable and qualified estate sale company).

Is your estate sale company organizing and staging your sale? Organizing is different than staging. Getting organized is separating out the different items throughout the house such as towels, sheets, plates, glasses, stemware etc.

Staging is setting up the different groups to be appealing by creating depth, height, color, the way light is reflected etc.

Both of these require finesse and experience and many estate liquidators seek out specialized training for staging to maximize the appearance of items in your sale.

The other important consideration is marketing. Does your liquidator have their own website?Do they utilize social media marketing (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc.). Do they have an email list and you may want to ask them if it is theirs or an estate sale listing list. Do they use print media (not always necessary, it depends on the area)? Are they taking photos early to start generating interest? How many estate sale listing websites do they list your sale on and how soon will they list it?

With the autumn estate sale season about to burst forth, be sure you are prepared for hiring your estate liquidator. You can learn about estate sales and put your check list together right here at Please use our search for the information you need to be a well informed, knowledgeable consumer.


Who Is Shopping At Estate Sales?

shopping basketIt’s the Monday before the start of the Labor Day weekend and a good moment to talk about those buyers coming to estate sales.

If you have been looking on any social media websites or auction or sale sites there are a variety of shoppers.

The buyer who is looking for a particular item(s) to furnish their home or apartment (funiture, dishes, stemware, flatware, linens., etc.). Collectors are ever present at estate sales. Those that come looking for items for resale, and what a variety of markets there are. eBay, and Auctionzip  ar just a sampling of the multitude of auctions sites for some. New websites like Lofty for items valued at over $500.00 (see their March 14th, 2014 article here on, Etsy a market place for not only crafters, but for those that sell vintage (Etsy considers anything 20 years or older to be vintage). Others are antique dealers and show dealers that sell in antique malls and participate in a variety of antique shows. There are also those that have second hand shops and consignment shops as well. There are those that shop estate sales for gold or silver to sell for smelting (jewelry, flatware, holloware) etc.

You can look at to see many individuals who collect and like to share their collections through photos and also those that sell on Etsy.

The extreme growth that the estate sale industry has experienced in the last five years has opened the flood gates to a whole new audience and businesses.

As in any market place prices fluctuate with the economy, style demands, and location of the estate sale, but the following of buyers continues to grow.

Estate Sales – Some Friday Thoughts

This is the last weekend of estate sales before the Labor Day weekend and the “official” end of summer.

Estate sales represent a much needed answer for thousands of heirs, families, sellers, and attorneys.

When it is time to eliminate the contents of a home, estate sale companies answer the call. The majority of them are knowledgeable, hardworking individuals and staff.

They strive to make your sale as successful as possible while keeping the stress of the process to a minimum. Estate sale companies want your sale to be a success for several reasons including good financial results for you both, your recommendation of them to others, their reputation with the public and their peers.

Estate sales aren’t as easy as they appear, but when estate sale companies and seller(s) understand the process of working together, everyone can walk away in the end feeling satisfied and moving on to the next event in life.

Looking For Vintage Items To Use – Shop Estate Sales

We have been browsing estate sales and we found some very cool vintage items.

Many estate sales across the country start today. Here are some of the vintage items we found. When you buy a vintage appliance it may work, however, if you want them the item prepared, there are craftsmen out there today that specialize in repairing vintage mechanical items. The vintage wicker below is a great find, but some antique or vintage wicker and similar furnishings need some TLC and treated gently.

vintage wicker furniturevintage wicker chaisevintage TV





Vintage clothing of all types are also treasured finds. Even hats are back.

vintage hatsvintage clothesHead vase collection





Once again these wonderful vintage items will be for sale this weekend at an estate sale in Missouri and an estate sale in Michigan.

If you are planning to have an estate sale, “don’t throw those old items out”. There is someone out there who will find them a treasure, perhaps repurpose and continue their useful life.

Estate Sales News is currently looking at some more news worthy estate sales and has been contacted by several estate sale companies about their upcoming sales. We’ll keep you informed.

Shop estate sales. Special, unique, saving dollars, and fun.