Category Archives: Estate Sales Help & Tips

Video Discussion On The Face To Face Estate Sale Company Interview

Conducting a face to face interview with estate sale companies. Important questions & details.

  • Be sure you have paper and pen on the table to take notes during the interview.
  • When you arrange for the face to face interview with estate sale companies leave plenty of room between the interviews so that one company doesn’t bump into another. Better for them and for you.
  • After introductions show the liquidator through your home and explain what your reason for the sale is. Be sure to let them know if there are items that will not be for sale. An estate sale company has to know if the sale is viable for them as well.
  • After completing the walk thru sit down at a table for the face to face discussion.
  • Start by asking the estate liquidator how they got started in the liquidation business, how long they have been in business, where they gained their experience and do they have any certifications.  If you are not speaking with the owner of the estate sale company, let them know you will want to do this face to face before making a decision. You should know who you are dealing with.
  • Ask them about their staff, i.e. training (did they train them or someone else), experience,  number of them, can they increase staff for larger sales, and do they allow their staff to buy before the sale starts.
  • Be sure to inquire in depth about their advertising. Do they use print media, have their own website, where do they list their sales, do they utilize social media and how, and do they have an email list of followers to send out news of sales every week or time they hold one. Advertising directly effects your financial bottom line.
  • It’s time to review the estate sale contract that the company uses. Be sure you review line by line with the estate sale company and ask about any concerns or questions you have.
  • The estate sale company should bring copies from the internet of prior sales (easily printed off most listing sites or their website) to showcase their work. It helps to see their photos and the prior sales they have run. If they don’t bring anything along ask them to come back with some examples of their sale. A brochure is great, but it is an advertising tool.
  • Ask them for telephone numbers of some of their previous clients so that you can speak with them.
  • And when it is time for the interview to end, review in your mind how you felt about the person you just spoke with. You can continue with these thoughts after you’ve said your goodbyes. Did you have a good rapport, did you feel trusting, did they seem reliable and knowledgeable, and did they demonstrate experience.

All of this information is help you be an informed, educated, and well savvy consumer.

Choose An Estate Sale Company By Knowledge Not By Commission

% courtesy of IStock 2014 starts with more estate sale companies now than at any time in modern history. One of the negative effects of this is the competition it has caused between companies with commissions or fees. The results are sellers simply put trying to pit one estate sale company against another.

Perspective sellers should be aware that some companies will offer to charge any commission that will make them the estate sale company choice, but this is not the wise way to hire a company.

Knowledge, experience, marketing expertise, staff experience, reputation, and past client referrals should have far more weight in choosing an estate sale company then the commission or fee charged. If a company is not up to the task at hand paying a lower rate can result in overall poor results from the sale and that can cost you, the seller a lot of money. Probably more much more than you saved on the commission.

Be an informed and empowered seller and choose an estate sale company for all the right reasons, the last of them being what they charge. Your financial results depend on it.

Don’t Sell Or Donate Anything Until You Talk A Professional Liquidator

Estate Sales NewsEstate Sales News has heard from sellers and estate sale companies about the unhappy results of selling items or making donations prior to speaking with a professional liquidator.

Many times families or individuals will not know the true value of items that can be achieved at an estate sale and they will decide they can “save some money” by not paying a commission and selling items on their own. Recently we heard a seller state with great regret that they sold a car prior to having an estate liquidator come in and the amount they received was greatly under value. They then hired an estate sale company to sell the rest of the estate.  The liquidator researched the information provided by the owner about the car and told them the value it should have brought at an estate sale. Even with paying the liquidator a commission the sellers would have received more.

One of the ways that an estate sale can generate greater financial results is the creation of a buying competition. Another very important difference is that the public feels more inclined to try hard negotiating with sellers as compared to negotiating with estate sale professionals who deal with the public weekly.

Another concern is donations. Donating to charity is always worthy, however, knowing the value of what you are donating can help you with your charitable contribution for tax purposes or prevent you from donating something of considerable value that you may wish to sell. Again working with a professional liquidator can answer many questions and concerns.

Leaving Reviews For An Estate Sale – Good For Sellers and Buyers

writing a reviewEstate Sales News recently made a purchase at an estate sale and we posted a positive review on the purchase shortly thereafter. When a purchase is made by your Editor the feedback comes from me personally.

In today’s fast paced Internet world providing information whether it is about a sale (you were the seller or acted on their behalf) or a buyer it is very important to leave your review on the transaction. It helps the public and the estate sale company.

Your remarks should not, however, be in the form of a rant. If you feel you had good service say so, if you feel you didn’t state your case clearly and concisely and remember that most sites will or should allow the the estate sale company to respond. Sometimes misunderstandings or hurt feelings can lead to negative remarks that may not be the entire story. When you like an estate liquidator it is beneficial to sellers and buyers to know that and why you liked them i.e. customer service, prices, staff, sale layout etc.

Some of the sites where you can leave feedback include Google, Yahoo, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Merchant Circle and there are others. Wherever you choose to leave your review it will be on public display so keep that in mind.

Good feedback is the best form of advertising. Negative feedback can prevent future problems. The choice is yours, but let your voice be heard.


Now Is The Time To Look, Interview And Book Your 2014 Estate Sale

2013 is drawing to a close and now is an excellent time to start looking, interviewing, and booking an estate sale for 2014.

Most estate liquidators see a slow down in business over the holiday season and although some take vacation others do not. This should present you with an opportunity to speak to a selection of estate liquidators. Do not hesitate to reach outside your immediate area if you do not have an estate sale company in your community or only one.

With business easing back from the approach of Christmas estate sale companies will usually be happy to take time to speak with you for a phone interview and if you choose a face to face interview.

Although most of the listing sites for estate sales are currently showing some sales as far out as February and even into March, this gives you the opportunity to have a better choice of when you would like to have your estate sale. January can present challenges depending on where you live, however, if you need a sale press on. Many states that experience winter weather have road crews that are out in front of winter weather events and that is important. You should ask any estate sale company you interview how they work with winter weather. Do they salt and sand the side walks (or is that your responsibility which it well could be)? How do they protect the interior floors ( brown paper, plastic, etc.) and if the weather is really bad will they extend the sale and how will they let the public know about the extension.

Whatever you decide, the more advance time you have to find your estate sale company and afford them maximum marketing time for your sale, the more you improve the opportunity excellent financial success for you and the estate sale company.


Questions To Ask Estate Sale Companies During Phone Interview

The first thing you need to do is locate some estate sale companies you might be interested in. This can be done through the referrals of friends and relatives, an attorney, a Realtor or you can look on estate sale listing sites and read about them.

The next step is the all important phone interview. This is the time to start and “size up” those that you have chosen and perhaps eliminate a company or two based on the phone interview you have.

We suggest the following questions you should ask. A note if they don’t answer, how quickly do they call you back? If the call isn’t returned the same day, move on. Most estate liquidators have their cell phone with them at all times.

  • Introduce yourself and ask if they are the owner of the company or an employee.
  • It is always preferable to speak with an owner, but there can be extenuating circumstances.
  • Do they work in your area and are they familiar with it? (Prices can vary from place to place)
  • How long have the been in the estate sale business?
  • How did they get started?
  • How many sales do they conduct on a weekend?
  • If more than one who oversees the staff and the money collected?
  • How many staff do they have and are their staff trained in estate liquidation?
  • What kind of security do they provide?
  • Will the owner of the company actually be on site or staffing the sale out?
  • How do they research and do they use appraisers when necessary for help?
  • Do they have a written contract? (No contract, Stop right there and thank them and go)
  • If you are selling gold or sterling do they weigh the items on site?
  • Lastly, ask them what they charge, i.e. commission, flat fee, both, sliding scale etc.

Once these questions have been answered to your satisfaction, it is time to use your intuition to decide whether you want to have a face to face interview. If you felt comfortable with the person you spoke with and they were courteous and seemed comfortable with you probably time to pursue further.

There are more questions to be asked at the face to face. After all this is business because it involves money.

You can print this out if it helps or keep this page up while you’re on the phone with a pad of paper to jot notes as you interview potential estate sale companies.


Why Choose Estate Sales News For Your Estate Sale Information?

information iconEstate Sales have become prolific across the United States. Just look at the number of estate sale listing sites. Over 5,000 estate sale companies are now listed with over 6 websites for estate sale companies to list on.

Estate Sales News is the online estate sale news magazine covering the estate liquidation business, providing estate liquidation information and reporting on newsworthy estate sales. . We are not affiliated with an estate sale company. We aren’t looking to list your estate sale. We provide free, unbiased information to help you become an informed consumer either as a seller or buyer. Knowledge is empowerment and helps you make successful decisions.

Our articles are also geared at assisting estate sale companies as well. With such growth in what was once a very small industry estate sale companies need help to be the number one choice in their area.

Estate Sales News goal is to help an industry that has little to no regulation.  A business where some may take advantage of those who are not knowledgeable and new upcoming estate sale companies and even those who have experience may not utilize all the current marketing tools available. We want to help you be a successful company and provide successful results for your client and achieve good reviews from sellers and buyers for you.

We do not conduct estate sales so our agenda is about helping you.  With 25 plus years experience as an estate liquidator we are here to assist with advice in picking an estate sale company, buying at an estate sale with knowledge and etiquette and providing useful information to estate sale companies about how to get their sales the most public attention possible through various marketing methods.

Here on Estate Sales News you’ll learn about the ethics an estate sale company should have, how the process works, interviewing and choosing an estate sale company, what should be in an estate sale contract, staging a liquidation sale, how the sale can be advertised, handling crowds before and during the estate sale and the list goes on.

Please email your questions or comments to

Carol Madden,


Estate Sale Contract Printable Check List

Estate Sales News knows that having a contract between you and the estate sales company is paramount. As we go into the weekend we have posted this on our front page if you wish to print out the printer-friendly version to assist you with choosing an estate sale company. The Editor of Estate Sales News will be speaking and moderating a session at the 2014 Estate Sales Conference in Memphis, TN sponsored by EstateSales.Net.

The contract should lay out the following in clear language.

  • Name of the estate sales company
  • Your name (you’re hiring the liquidator)
  • Date of the contract
  • Address where the sale is to take place
  • Dates the sale is to be held and time
  • Party responsible for advertising costs
  • Who is responsible and paying for permits (i.e. sign, sale etc.)
  • Cost of the sale – commission, fee or both, make sure it is explicit
  • How the net proceeds of the sale will be paid out, i.e cash or check.
  • Payout for sale is end of each day or end of sale
  • Any items to be excluded from sale
  • Will you be charged if an item is removed from sale after contract signed
  • Who is responsible for the clean out after the sale is concluded
  • Does the liquidator provide a written account of items sold
  • Any additional costs for specialists i.e. appraisers
  • Is the company bonded and insured

All of these items should be covered in the contract for your protection and the estate sales company and to prevent misunderstandings during the liquidation process.

Estate Sale Contracts – What do you want to know?

Estate Sales News monitors the categories and questions everyday on our magazine and the number one request is estate sale contracts.

To our readers, please let us know what questions you have? You can email your questions to Once we have heard from perspective sellers and estate sale companies we will be updating a list to assist all.

An estate sale contract should protect all parties and lay out what is expected from sellers, and esate sale companies. It should also be easy to read and understand. 

Estate Sales News will be keeping you informed on our responses so please take the time to email us and let us know your thoughts and/or concerns with regard to estate sale contracts.

Lots of estate sales today. Check out EstateSales.Net,, and 


Estate Sales When Times Get Tough – Government Sequestration, Shut Down

esate sales Estate Sales have weathered a lot in the last several years during a time of recession followed by sequestration and now federal government shut down. Through it all most professional estate liquidators have come through and buyers have saved thousands of dollars. Buyers, sellers, and estate sale companies are all effected.

When buyers are not cash fluent purchasing at estate sales becomes a viable alternative for things needed. It can even prove to be a mental or emotional boost for just a small impulse purchase.

At many estate sales you can find everything from sheets, towels, blankets, clothing and shoes to cleaning supplies (partial or in full) appliances (small and large i.e. blenders, mixers, washers, dryers) to sewing kits, patterns, materials, hobby supplies, office supplies, something as simple as pads of paper and pens.

When money is tight an estate sale can be the perfect place for shopping. Sometimes you will even find canned goods (expiration dates still good) and dry food stuffs (pastas, rice, etc.).

Estate Sales can be a one stop shop in good and not so good times. Just remember to use estate sale etiquette with the liquidator and chances are you’ll be pleasantly surprised and save many $$$$.

Many areas have estate sales starting tomorrow through the weekend. Check out EstateSales.Net,, or for sales in your area.

Breast Cancer Awareness