Category Archives: Online Auction

Storage Unit Filled Estate Sale Or Auction

Storage unit filled, estate sale or auction. Questions to be answered. has received many calls and emails from prospective sellers concerning the liquidation of personal property they have stored in storage units.

Sellers want to know what venue to use.

First question is how much is stored? What is stored? Have they asked the storage unit company if they could sell from the unit?

Many estate sale companies will not sell from a storage unit. The estate sale company has to look at what is going to be for sale, how can they display, will the storage company allow it and is it financially equitable for them?

Simply unpacking boxes to examine what is in the storage unit(s) can present a challenge.

Many estate sale companies are not set up to remove property from a storage facility to another location. On site estate sales are easier to look at and stage. They usually provide space for parking and traffic.

There are some estate sale companies that will provide the service, but usually at a much higher commission because of the work and restrictions involved. Some liquidators may offer to sell via online auction. Other estate sale companies offer both on site estate sales and auctions.

Auction companies may choose to pick up the contents of a storage unit and move it to a facility to be included with other partial contents in an auction.

If you are moving, downsizing or liquidating a loved one’s stored belongings, all of the above needs to be considered and investigated to determine what liquidation process will work best for you and if anyone in your area can assist.

Do not hesitate to consult with your local estate sale companies. If they cannot assist you, they may provide leads as to who can.

Knowing your local estate sale companies can provide you with knowledge to make wise, informed decisions.

Joan Rivers Private Collections Selling At Christie’s Auctions

Joan Rivers private collections selling at Christie’s Auctions, currently online and at a live auction at Christie’s June 22nd.

Melissa Rivers talks about some of her Mom’s collections at auction and shares why the iconic comedian and Co-host of E’s Fashion Police had a passion for her collections.

Ms. River’s collections are available for view at Rockefeller Center. Her collections include Faberge, Chanel, Judith Lieber, Halston, Vera Wang, Faberge, Harry Winston, decorative arts, paintings, and fine French furniture.

Ms. Rivers decorative arts, paintings, and French furniture  will be sold on June 22nd at the live auction at Chrisitie’s.

The online auction taking place now until June 23rd includes personal jewelry, costume, haute courture, and handbags by Chanel, Judith Lieber, Bottega Veneta.

Here is a link to the Christie’s website for The Private Collections of Joan Rivers.

Estate Sales, Online Auctions, Auctions, What Works For You!

Estate sales, online auctions and auctions are now in the national spotlight in print and on the internet.

Liquidations have become big business and which way you choose to sell your contents is now presenting sellers with decisions as to what will best work for their needs.

Many sellers with entire house contents choose an estate sale. The contents to be sold remain on site, with sorting, staging, pricing and selling all done within the home. Items have specific prices at the start of the sale and you have the ability to personally examine the items. The dates of the estate sale are fixed and hours set. Estate Sale companies advertise the estate sales with photos and the description on national estate sale advertising websites. The sale takes place within a two to four day time frame. It is usually impossible to live in the property once the set-up of the estate sale has started. As sales are made the articles are removed from the home. At the conclusion of the sale the commission or fee charged by the estate sale company will be deducted from the gross proceeds and you will receive the net amount from the sales within one to two weeks usually. Each estate sale company has their own payout time frame.


An online auction is conducted via the internet. They don’t usually contain the entire contents of a home. Most online auctions are suited for a limited number of items. They are removed from the property, photographed, posted online and the auction is run for a specific number of days. A decision is made by the seller and the company conducting the auction if any items will have a reserve (a minimum sale price) before the item is put up for sale on the internet. Most companies will charge a commission on the gross sales and pay you the net proceeds when all the contents have either sold or at a specified time (weekly, monthly, etc). They may also charge the buyer a commission or buyers premium. An online auction provides an internet audience and the major estate sale listing websites provide for online auction advertising for the items to be sold. The one major difference from an estate sale is you cannot handle the item. You see photographs and descriptions only.

Cyber Monday – Buy From Many Estate Sales Online Too!

Stores like Best Buy, Apple, HH Gregg, Macy’s, JC Penny, etc are selling online with discounts starting late Sunday in what has become known as Cyber Monday.

Don’t feel like leaving the comfort of your home or competing with the crowds? Just like the big retailers you can view their items on line and buy them and have them shipped to you.

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 –, EstateSales.Net, and, 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.

Estate Sale Topics Past, Present, And Future on Estate Sales News

Estate Sales NewsApril 1, 2015 and with new additions and features. Estate Sales News offers topics we have written about in the past, present, and future. What you need to know. This list is for sellers, buyers, and estate sale companies. If you have a topic you would like us to report on just email us at

Advertising – From estate sale listing sites, SEO, social media, brochures, email lists, signs, & more

Animals – dealing with pet stains and odors etc.

Antiques – where to learn, how to know and understand (gesso for example)

Appraisals – It is more than USPAP, understand what it is, who they are, and the many associations

Art – A general discussion on where to learn more

Auctions – Online, on site, and the difference between an estate sale and how they can work together

Baby Boomers – companies that specialize in educating liquidators that work with those moving to assisted living, elderly parents, and downsizing

Bonding – what is it, the different types

Books – First additions to comics and where to find information

Buyers – Advertising for them, etiquette, number system, negotiating, working with them

Choosing an estate sale company it’s not so simple anymore (a printable list to assist you in the process)

Clients – Estate sellers, working with expectations and realities, a helping hand and more…

Clean outs – Who will and won’t, what to expect and fees

Clothing – Vintage or new

Conferences – 2013 and 2014 estate sale conferences

Consignments – what, why, and when they may be useful

Downsizing – decisions to be made including, don’t throw anything out until you talk to a liquidator

Education – Online eduction to apprenticing, society’s to belong to

Estate sales – Understanding what they are, and the process

Estate sale Contracts – What are the basics and what you should know.

Estate sale costs – commissions, fees, how and why what is charged

Estate sale listing websites – who, what they offer, where to find them on the internet

Ethics – Checking for reviews, doing your due diligence to choose an estate sale company

Growing your audience – so many sites that you can participate on to increase visibility on the internet

Insurance – Liability, why it is important, who needs it, where it can be found

Ivory – New United States rules and concerns in various states about the sale (will be updated as needed)

Jewelry – fine, vintage, costume, gold, silver, testing, weighing, and in general

Social Media – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, reddit, and Instagram, why it is important and how to use it effectively. This is a frequent topic on

Taxes – an on going topic about estate taxes and sales taxes in different states.

ThrowBack Thursdays – we look back at items of the past including photos

Videos – News worthy estate sales and video chats.

What’s selling at estate sales

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Estate Sale & Auction Working to Sell Houshold and Taxidermy in Portland, Michigan

Barbara Stevens Jersey, Wonder Women Estate Sales and Bob Howe, Epic Auctions & Estate Sales are teaming up to sell a home with much general household and approximately 150 taxidermy mounts. The estate belonged to a well known sportsman in Portland, Michigan the estate sale begins Friday. The auction will be simulcast as well as live and starts Saturday morning. The mounts that are being auctioned are legal to sell under law. Estate Sales News visited Barbara and Bog (a licensed auctioneer) at the property on Wednesday, September 24th. We are grateful to them for their time and inviting us to this unique event.

Barbara has been a speaker at both the 2013 and 2014 EstateSales.NET conference. Bob is also a contributor.

Here is a link to view the estate sale

Here is a link to view the auction

Estate Sale & Auction Companies Working Together – Video Interview with Barbara Stevens Jersey & Bob Howe

Estate Sales News visited with Barbara Stevens Jersey of Wonder Women Estate Sales and Bob Howe of Epic Auctions and Estate Sales in Portland, Michigan. They are teaming up to sell an estate of a well known sportsman with much taxidermy (170 or so mounts) that was a children’s museum and  general househould.

Estate Sales New also has a video that will be on the Front Page this Wednesday, October 1st of the upcoming  sale and auction scheduled for this Friday and Saturday.

The video of the household estate sale and mounts to be auction will be on the Front Page on Wednesday October 1st.

Here is a link to Barbara’s website Wonder Women Estate Sales

Here is a link to Bob’s website Epic Auctions & Estate Sales

Estate Sale Or Auction – What Works For You

gavelEstate Sale signTwenty plus years ago most rural areas in the United States used the auction method of selling off the contents of a deceased persons’ estate. It was held on site and would last one or two days. Most auctioneers back then did not charge a buyer premium (only the seller paid a commission to the auctioneer) and most had no reserve. Only the large exclusive auction houses like Sotheby’s, Christie’s, Bonham, and Skinner held high end and speciality auctions.

Today let’s look at the small auction companies and estate sale companies.

Many estate sale companies have branched out into the auction business as well. They have done this for several reasons, particularly when an onsite estate sale cannot be held, there is too little in the estate to sell at an estate sale, and they can combine multiple small estates into a one day or evening event. In many cases this also provides them the ability to charge not only the seller a commission, but a buyer premium as well (a set percentage of the gross sale of the item purchased). The opportunity to possibly attract a larger audience is another factor.

There are estate sale companies that have also branched out to conduct online auctions. They do not require a brick and mortar building to conduct the auction, merely the space to store the items for sale and eventual shipment. This has become an alternative when some items fail to sell at an estate sale for various reasons and they are looking for a broader audience.

There are still more estate sale companies than auction companies and online auctions. With the rise in unemployment several years ago and the internet presence of estate sale listing sites this has greatly increased the number of estate sale liquidators. Many estate sale listing sites started off listing only estate sales and now include auctions and online auctions as all these businesses increase.

With the estate sale process one of the prime differences is that almost all take place at the property and no commission is charged to the buyer. The estate sale company has a fiduciary relationship with the seller. They work solely for them. When hired they are given access to the property to stage and price the items to be sold, and conduct a two, three or four day sale. Pricing is done before the sale. Although bids may be excepted on some items the majority of what is at the estate sale is sold based on prices determined by the estate sale company. The seller and estate sale company will have a contract that details the work to be done by the liquidator and requirements of the seller including whether the estate sale liquidator will leave the property “broom cleaned” (all unsold items removed). In most cases the only items for sale are those of the “seller(s)”. Like an auction company they have staff to assist before and during the sale.

Some hold to the concept that expensive items cannot be sold at an estate sale, however, your editor knows of several estate sale companies from the east coast to the west coast that have had sales into 6 figures and sold items in 6 figures. Many factors are involved including the area and advertising. Both estate sale companies and auctions market extensively.

The choice becomes what will work best in your region. Both methods can provide successful financial results, however, it is important to review the auction or estate sale companies you are considering, do your due diligence and choose the company that you feel will work best “with” you.

A New Concept And Company – Lofty.Com – Can Assist Estate Liquidators

At the 2014 Estate Sale Conference in Memphis there was a room devoted to vendors that could assist estate liquidators and one of them was They offer a unique service that can be used by estate sale companies and others. Estate Sales News is featuring this guest article on this new concept and company as an item of interest.

The article below was written by John Maher an Evaluations Expert of a new online resource, provides a free virtual evaluation service and sales venue that can assist estate liquidators.

Founded in 2012 by Harvard Business School graduate Mark Lurie, Lofty is an expert-reviewed marketplace for Fine and Decorative Art, Antiques and Collectibles that provides free evaluations based on digital photos. Every item on the site has been identified and virtually evaluated by a member of Lofty’s Expert Network, which includes auction house specialists, qualified appraisers, and experienced dealers. 

Mark was inspired to develop Lofty when a friend asked for help selling a few prints and some 19th century silver she’d inherited, and he realized how difficult it was to sell potentially valuable items online with confidence and ease. eBay was the obvious option, but he didn’t know how to accurately describe the items or where to set prices. The pieces in question weren’t valuable enough to take to a large auction house, as the cost and effort involved in shipping and preparing them for sale likely would not have been worth the prices they would have realized. Prompted by this apparent gap in the art market, Mark set out to create a site which would allow anyone with access to the internet to confidently sell their art and antiques online.

Lofty does not sell the entire contents of an estate, but it can serve as a useful tool for estate liquidators looking to sell one or several objects that might perform better if exposed to a broader market. Chinese ceramics, for example, may only realize their full potential when offered to the Asian market, and paintings by well known artists may achieve much higher prices when offered on a global scale to eager collectors made aware of the sale online at

Estate liquidators have a highly complex job on their hands each time they sign a new client, but grossing the maximum possible profit is always one of the business owner’s primary responsibilities to the estate owner. While years of experience can give estate liquidators a good knowledge of an item’s worth, having a trusted expert provide additional insight and giving your item more extensive publicity may result in a higher price obtained and a better result for the seller

You can visit their website,