estate sales 6/29/2020

Estate Sales

A full-service estate liquidation company with an emphasis on real property. At life’s most challenging and sensitive times, we treat you and your family as we would our own. Concierge level service allows you to focus attention on family members, loved ones and the human side of your own healing and closure. Our pre-negotiated rates with carefully screened, specialty service providers deliver solid value.

Estate Sales Sacramento

Estate Sales Roseville

Estate Sales Folsom

Estate Sales Gold River

Estate Sales Elk Grove

Estate Sales Rocklin

Estate Sales El Dorado Hills

Estate Sales Auburn

Estate Sales Wilton

Estate Sales West Sacramento

Estate Sales Lodi

Estate Sales Jackson

Estate Liquidation

A full-service estate liquidation company with an emphasis on real property. Finding the right solution for your Estate Services or transaction can be confusing and overwhelming. It’s important for you to know that facts about Assets or Mortgages, Assisted Living, Relocation and your Legal responsibilities to your loved ones. Making sure that you are comfortable with the process and that you get the best possible results is our JOB! Read the “Articles” on this site to learn more. Make sure you click on “Legal Services” and take the first step in placing your loved one in an environment where they are happy and comfortable.

Estate Property Sales

We understand the difficulties associated with the disposition of personal property.
It is typically a highly emotional process for family and loved ones.
We assist the Executor, Trustee(s) and/or legally authorized individual(s) to:

find, identify and distribute valuable monetary or sentimental items directly to proper destinations.
inventory and safeguard remaining property until our estate sale liquidation team sell and transfers all items.
Our associates understand each estate settlement is unique. We take great pride in treating survivors, heirs and family friends with dignified respect. We expertly promote and conduct estate sales. To maximize financial return to the estate we can arrange consignment of unique personal property items to specialty market outlets. We happily list-worthy items for sale on E-Bay, Craigslist and niche’ on-line outlets. With direction from the authorized estate representative, we will remove any/all non-saleable items. Serviceable items will be donated to charities of your choice. Non-serviceable items will be disposed of properly. The property will be professionally cleaned and prepared for occupancy or sale.

California Assisted Living

We specialize in helping you get through this sometimes difficult and stressful time. When trying to place a loved one, the challenge can be very overwhelming. We will coordinate with doctors, to assist with optimum care. Review your loved one’s insurance coverage and budget. Escort you and your loved one with tours, that match both your needs and budget. Arrange for complimentary dining and resident interviews. Coordinate with SES for personel property transfer. Provide follow up visits during orientation and adjustment. Put our experience and knowledge to work for you.

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estate liquidations

from picasso’s to porch swings – we sell everything but the critters

Need to liquidate an estate?

We’ll do that for you.

Whether your needs are closing out a large family estate or simply downsizing – we make it easy to convert your possessions intocash.

types of sales

Every sale has a slightly different personality. Most people assume estate sales are just about converting household contents from an inheritance into currency. That’s not so. Many sales are necessitated by changes in a person’s “life” estate.

For instance – customers have contracted our services for:

Home redesign issues
They simply have too many items
They’re planning a bit of rearranging – after the kids go off to college
They decided to totally redecorate.
Some sellers request we just sell the bulky items before a cross country move necessitated by a need to downsize, job relocation, or retirement. Sometimes a divorce dictates the sale of household contents.

Whatever the reason…the key to success – is getting maximum dollars for the items sold – with minimal headaches.

That’s where “Great Finds” comes in.

why use “great finds”?

We give you more…

Expert Authentication. Wondering how much that “old desk” is really worth? You might be pleasantly surprised – even shocked. Uniquely, Don and Ann Genovese are both appraisers. Their skill in evaluating, authenticating, and selling collectibles is a big key to getting maximum value for your belongings.

Complete Service. We don’t “cherry pick” amongst your most prized possessions – and leave you to deal with the rest. We take care of liquidating all the contents of an estate – from the grand piano to the forks and knives in the kitchen drawers.

Professionalism. Both Don and Ann have professional work histories. They’ve translated this experience into the way they run their business. All key items are researched prior to the sale, furniture is polished, broken treasures are repaired, and everything is set up to maximize buyer appeal. Also, we carefully word & place the classified ads promoting the sale – we know the lingo – that’s best suited to promote your goods. Additionally, we position our army of street signs all over the nearby area – to attract “drive-by traffic” & and assist lost treasure hunters – in finding their way to your estate.

A Strong Following.From the world-wide reach of our commercial web pages to personal calls to well heeled clients – we attract a consistent mixture of profitable buyers to your sale. Our reputation – earns more moneyfor you!

Accountability. Unlike most firms, you don’t wait on a check in the mail to get your money. At the end of the sale, we count out the sale proceeds in front of the client and offer a financial statement.

Professional Credentials. Competing estate liquidators are most often headed by people with a degree from the “school of hard knocks” in estate liquidations. Undoubtedly, there’s a lot of secrets that only seasoned-sellers knows. However, there’s a very good reason Atlanta’s premier liquidators are trained appraisers as well. Namely, to protect the value of your estate – from becoming someone else’s “hard knock”. The bottom line? We’re trained experts in every facet of fine furnishings & collectibles.

Experience. We know how to position your sale to prospective buyers. In a large metro area (like Atlanta), it’s important to be aware of buying trends within the various communities – and take advantage of these characteristics.

…and less

Estate sales are a big hassle to the inexperienced. We take these headaches away.

Sale preparation is time consuming. The groundwork alone takes at least thirty hours and sometimes over a hundred – and that’s assuming you already know what you’re doing.

The actual sale usually consumes an entire weekend – and the fun has only just begun. There’s heavyweight-buyers to woo, thieves to guard against, negotiations to handle, and constant rearranging of displayed merchandise to enhance a complete liquidation.

It’s also emotional to part with family heirlooms…particularly in the face of buyers trying to beat-down prices.

We take care of all these headaches – and get you the most for your possessions.

steps to success

Selling your estate through Great Finds is a simple process. After a making a cursory mental inventory of the items you plan to include in the sale, a phone call initiates the process.

We’ll be happy to meet with you, provide a free estimate, discuss a summary of our services, and include a host of references from satisfied clients.

If the size or manner of the estate you are selling is not an ideal match for our services, we’ll refer you to a more suitable firm to handle your needs. At the very least? We’ll give you some good advice.

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Estate liquidation has been on the scene for quite a long time and there are lots of individuals who have managed to achieve quite a bit of success with it.

On the other hand, lots of people have been trying really hard to make estate liquidation (estate sales) work for them and haven’t found any success.

The primary difference between these two types of people is in the habits and qualities that they each have developed and let guide them. Successful estate liquidation professionals have more positive qualities that you can watch and in the next few paragraphs we will talk about a few of them.

If you are a successful estate liquidator then it is obvious that you will have overcome a variety of hurdles and times when estate sales were slow. This just proves that even successful estate liquidators have to work through periods of feast-or-famine (downtime) now and then and there isn’t anything wrong with that. So what do they do different when handling these profit famines?

They surround themselves with other people who have found success in their industries so that they will know how to face any situation that arises. They build their own support groups and systems and this is just one reason that it is easier for them to work through the hurdles that are put in their paths.

Estate liquidators who are successful have open minds and are always looking for new chances to grow their businesses.

They understand which opportunities are best for them and which ideas will do well when they are implemented. This is one quality that helps them get the most out of their online business and gives them the freedom to experiment with new ideas and try different opportunities—while they’re waiting.

They aren’t closed minded, which makes it easier for them to play the estate sale game according to the rules they decide for themselves.

Failures will happen but they are simply stepping-stones to success for estate professionals. It’s important, then, that you keep your mind open as well, so that you will be able to see all of the opportunities that are present for you and see all of the chances you have to succeed in the estate liquidation industry.

The estate liquidators at the top of this field have high levels of perseverance and patience. Not only do they never give up or get impatient; they never stop moving forward or finding ways to overcome obstacles. Being patient is the most important virtue to possess because if they are ever hasty, things won’t work out for them the way they want them to. What matters most is how well you can tap into your own patience and use it as well as you can to keep your approach as consistent as possible.

If your main goal is to become an estate liquidator who earns a five to six-figure income, these are the qualities you need to have.

It will take some time before you see any real results but working to develop these particular qualities will set you apart and get you ahead of all of the other less important estate sellers. Even more importantly, as you keep moving ahead, you will see first hand how working on these qualities helps you build and sustain your estate liquidation business.

Thanks for reading! Post a Comment to ask me anything about estate sales!

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The biggest wave of our century is the “baby boom”! Are you diversifying your estate sale skills set to include consignment to take advantage of trading assistant/consignment sales opportunity? Trading assistance is BOOMING, and its common on eBay, but they don’t have a corner on this market.

Estate sellers are in the perfect position to expand your services by offering to sell some of your client’s items on consignment.

How can we do this Tonza?

eBay trading assistants must go through a rigorous qualification process and adhere to a set of rules and regulations to maintain the professional integrity of this valuable service.

Estate sellers who already have an eBay (estate sale) store or those who are thinking about opening an online store can start offering your clients this “NEW” consignment service.

Start by consigning nostalgic (vintage) things that are easy to ship. Items can remain with the client or they can entrust them to you. Either way, your contract/agreement needs to annotate this preference.

Consignment service could become a relatively passive income source for both the client and you. If you have never sold on consignment, the learning curve is very short and simple, but not effortless. Estate sale trading and consignment sales is a process that runs better as a system.

Before I get to how to start this service, heed this: Many years ago, when I worked in federal government, a military post thrift store was operated by officer’s wives who sold the majority of its inventory on consignement, with a well-worded contract. Lesson in point: If the consignor (me) forgot to inquire whether the item had sold within 30 days from date of consignment, the sale proceeds were forfeited. Ouch! I lost $50 from the sale of the dinette set and the furniture. I failed to read the contract so I didn’t have a leg to stand on. However, I do not recommend this stance on consignment sales.

Estate sale consignment agreements should be explained to prospects before signatures. After all, the items are the consignors’ property and you have been offered a priviledge to consign it.

If an item doesn’t sell after the consignment period, the client may decide to give it to you. This also needs to be included in the contract. If it isn’t in the contract, it isn’t legally enforceable and you shouldn’t do it.

Here is how you can prepare your estate sale business to ride the tidal wave of estate sale trading and consignment sales:

Again, estate sale consignment is a great income opportunity, so start thinking about how you will incorportate and implement it to earn extra money.

I have sold some items (not hundreds) on eBay, so I know their rules and regulations for selling. There are other avenues to position your consignments such as, GoAntiques.com, Amazon.com, EstateSalesClassifiedAds.com and other online marketplaces.

I believe that with your estate sale or online sales experience, you can take advantage of the economic tidal wave of the following estate stuff that’s coming your way to be sold on consignment:

Antiques and Collectibles: Paintings/Prints, Clocks, Tiffany Lamps, Bronze, Grundig Stereos, Stamps, Coins, Military, Autographs, African American Memorabilia, Native American Memorabilia, International Memorabilia
China, Glass and Pottery: Occupied Japan, Royal Doulton, Lladro, Hummel
Clothing, Hats, Shoes and Accessories: Vintage and Designer Labels
Dolls, Bears, Action Figures and Toys: Lionel Trains, Matchbox Cars, Transistor Radios
Large Home and Garden Items
Cameras and Video Equipment
Musical Instruments
Sports Equipment: Fishing, Golf, Surf, Ski, Bike, Baseball, Football, Tennis…
Business Equipment: Scientific Calculators for Architecture…
Professional Audio Equipment
Home Audio
Consumer Electronics
Cell Phones, iPads, iPhones and iPods
Game Consoles
Car and Motorcycle Parts (especially vintage)
Finally, if your clients have any of the these items that they want to consign, or leftover items from an estate sale, offer to consign it. Do not waste your time evaluating items for information only. Reserve your knowledge and expertise until the contract has been signed and you’re hired!

Then, go to work to advertise the item(s) on as many online marketplaces as you can manage. Price it for what you believe the market will bear, but price it to sell! Consignors may become upset with you if it doesn’t sell!

Present your client’s items in the best possible way in your ads/descriptions/listings. Here are a few tips:

Provide information about written appraisals, provenance (history), original packaging, manuals, instructions, accessories, etc.
Authentication of designer brands (beware of FAKES).
Condition, flaws and defects, historical significance. Second hand items are not “new” even if never used. State that to avoid returns.
A little cleaning goes a long way, unless it is an antique or vintage item, which has a “patina” (signs of use and age) that collectors want. Cleaning example, wash crystal, but don’t chip it! If clothes are musty and mothy smelling, pass!
Check with the online markeplace to find out what is legal to sell. Start educating your “fine eye” for things of value by reading this article.
Don’t overprice or you will price yourself out of the consignment and trading assistant market.
Incorporate shipping into prices without it being obvious and offer more “free” shipping.
Consign from prospects who are in your business area, which makes it easier to collect and/or return unsold items.
Consigning bulky items can be costly for a small company so think about it.
Build and post professional sale listings. For example, “We are online marketplace experts (list the sites…eBay, etc.). We professionally photograph and write effective ads for your items, send you a preview link, and keep you updated (via email) after first 30 days, 60s days or SOLD status. Some clients will be anxious to follow the progress of their consignment.
Be honest, insure the item for its declared value, ship the product that is advertised, and do your best with customer service all around.
Be an absolute model of discretion. Do not disclose any information about your consignor.
Be careful when writing your Return Policy. It can make or break sales as well as cause items to be misappropriated (shall we say).
Remember, you do not own these items. Treat them like your estate sale items.
Thanks for reading. Post a Comment to ask me anything about estate sales!
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Most of us have learned about people buying original works of fine art and antiques at estate sales for pennies, and brag about it on Antiques Roadshow. As professional estate sellers, we need to step up our game or suffer the same consequence.

That consequence results in financial loss by improper identification and research of important items, and loss in sales to estate auctions that are in direct competition with estate sale companies.

You don’t have to be an expert to spot things of value, which is what you need to focus on to stop letting the pickers rob your estate sales and brag about it!

We all love to find things of value, but when we are representing our clients best interest, and our own bottom line, we need to become more vigilant in how to spot things of value. I cannot stress this enough!

We are the “sellers,” therefore, it is our responsibility to document (inventory) all of the estate contents for sale, especially things that could easily be mis-identified and sold as a “mistake.”

In addition to knowing how to recognize things of value, you need the right estate sale supplies to make your job easier — and help your client achieve their goal.

We are living in the “baby boomer” era, which not only means there is enough stuff for anybody to sell around the world; our children stand to inherit fine works of art, antiques, collectibles and large sums of money.

So while we’re on the subject of: Is your estate sale waiting to make someone’s day, could some of those valuables your children stand to inherit end up in the wrong hands?

More to the point, when your client doesn’t know the value of certain items in the house, and hires you to “just sell it all because they don’t have time to deal with it,” does not mean they do not want their personal property sold for higher return.

Another way to solve this problem is to hire an appraiser to learn about the value of fine works of art, period jewelry, etc., but this is extremely costly.

However, it will benefit the client and you in the long term if it becomes necessary. Is the client willing to pay for this service? Are you?

What is a formal or certified appraisal?

A certified appraisal is a professional estimate of the value of something. People usually have items appraised for insurance purposes, tax strategies, estate planning and settlement, etc.

For legal and court purposes, there are specific things that need to be in a certified appraisal report.

I discuss the difference between an informal appraisal, and a written certified appraisal report in my book: Secret Of Estate Sales Marketing Success.

An informal appraisal of estate sale items is important, which is why all estate sellers must do an inventory, which lists the assigned price, how much it sold for, etc.

Estate inventory should not be sold until it is formally or informally appraised or an opinion of value (price) is assigned to each item.

If an item is going to make someone’s day, yet cause a negative impact on the sale, it is done by under appraising (under pricing) items.

Appraising and pricing are not exact methods of assigning value to items, which is why clients don’t always agree about the overall pricing. Moreover, sale items are negotiated and sold, which further reduces prices and “perceived” value.

In some pre-estate sale consultation scenarios, clients want a written appraisal or informal estimate of inventory return; and based on that information, they may decide not to sell.

Nevertheless, an estate sale is still the best alternative to a garage sale or buyout, which are more likely to result in making a buyer’s day.

A professional estate seller should be able to educate clients on identifying valuable items, and what options are available for selling them.

In this business, you will eventually work with a client who has many things of value that they are prepared to sell.

If clients have valuables that should not be sold at an estate sale, they need a certified appraisal report that will stand up to an insurance claim and in court. For example, if a client has a Louis XV arm chair that they insured for $7,000, then they will have to prove the value of that chair if it is lost to theft, fire, etc.

Personal property values fluctuate over time and insurance companies know it. Clients need to know it too if they want to protect their investment from being under sold at an estate sale.

Doing estate sales is truly challenging — I cannot lie. But, the challenge also faces the client, which is why they need estate sale professionals to help them dispose of all that stuff!

Finally, there are responsibilities of disposing of your clients’ personal property wisely, and for their benefit. The word “personal” in personal property means these items belonged to someone; so there are sentiments, emotions and perceived high value attached to it as well.

Being able to address the value of your clients’ personal belongings will lessen their pain and more importantly: You will not be embarrassed by selling something of high net worth for pennies. Remember, an estate sale is not a garage sale. Learn how to identify valuable things, and get the best estate sale supplies to help you do it!

Thanks for reading. Post a Comment to ask me anything about estate sales!

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Every estate sale mover, shaker and tenderfoot can grow and engage with Google+ and your business should be all over it for FREE.

Google+ is growing and wants you to grow your estate sale company using its many tools and benefits.

The top 3 Google+ strategies you must activate now for your advertisement and promotion to be local and everywhere are Local, Pages and Events.

These are the specific tools that can help you advertise, promote, and save a lot of money.

Get Your Estate Sale Business on Google+ Local

I recommend “getting in where you fit in” on Google+ before they start charging for these valuable tools.

Google+ Helps You Be Local and Everywhere

Social media has changed the way we do business, and that’s why Google jumped on the social bandwagon. As entrepreneurs, we should follow this giant and lead others to find our business with the following digital trackbacks:

Google+ Local is by far the best way to advertise and promote your estate sale company locally. It puts your business in the spotlight where people are looking for estate sale services, liquidation, estate auction, and consignment. On Google+ Local, you can tell your unique business story with a description, photo and video, map, service radius, business hours and directions.

When you create a Google+ business page, your Local listing becomes a digital advertisement on steroids! Try it, and see for yourself.

No indifferance to Facebook pages, but Google is THE search engine. That’s why listing your business page on Local makes it more valuable and searchable.

Google+ Pages for your estate sale company is like owning Real Estate in a wealthy part of town – location, location, location. Google+ helps you get your estate sale company positioned across the web fast and easy, but time is of the essence.

What’s the rush? Your business page puts you in scoring position with potential clients and customers.

Google+ Events aim is to make sharing on the web more like sharing in real life. This tool rounds off what estate sale companies need to advertise and promote your services and active estate sales.

Google+ Events aka Google Calendar is a valuable benefit. Overall, you can use photos, descriptions, etc. to enhance your live events, share with your followers, and post on your blog, which will be broadcasted across the web to help drive buyers to your sale.

However, do not forego using the regular estate sale promotion sites: EstateSales.net and EstateSales.org to promote your active estate sales. These are the industry leaders and nothing can take their place, in my opinion.

Can you see how valuable these Google+ strategies are? Now is the time to take advantage of them because I have noticed that Google is starting to monetize some of its tools that were FREE.

Maybe by the time they start charging for these valuable tools, your business is growing, engaging, and prosperous with the help of Google+.

Thank you for reading and please comment or ask questions.

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eBay is one of the oldest and still the most popular online auction site, with millions of transactions being conducted daily. It’s hard to beat the wide selection of products and the potential to get them at low prices.

The whole auctioning process on eBay has been refined over the past few years and has gone through many changes, which in a way has made it complicated. But at the same time, it is robust enough to help you get a higher response for your eBay estate sale auctions with the added features. Many eBay marketers make thousands of dollars each month. The key to this kind of success lies in consistency and knowing how to optimize your estate sale auctions properly.

Many times an eBay seller will be sure about the success of the item he/she is selling; this is the time when you should try and set the auctions low to attract more bidders. When you let people bid low for a hot product, it will attract more buyers and the selling price will often end up being very high.

However, don’t go about starting the bids at below $1 because the buyers may think that your product is not genuine or is of low quality. Another advantage to starting your item at a low price is that your listing will then appear when people do searches for the lowest price auctions.

The layout of your estate sale auctions can contribute a great deal to your results, which is why knowing the basics of HTML can go a long way on eBay. This way you wouldn’t need to look for any outside help when working on your auction listings. When you know how to change the font color by using HTML code, you can easily make it any color you want. HTML codes for color aren’t hard to find, and you can find them by doing a Google search. Many eBay sellers ignore this and don’t realize how much it limits their success. It’s a good idea, therefore, to familiarize yourself with HTML as soon as possible.

Buyers rely a great deal on photos when they study estate sale auction listings, so make sure you use clear and natural looking ones for the items you list. If you can take your own photographs of the product rather than relying on the manufacturers, this is preferable because it conveys to buyers that you’re an individual rather than just a company. Anyone buying your product would want to get the “feel” of it before investing any money, and having the right kind of photograph can bring in a world of difference to your auction and help you get more bids. So when you run estate sale auctions on eBay, it’s important to pay attention to the rules we’ve covered here.

Your main goal in estate sale auction optimization is making it simple for buyers to find the products you’re selling so your estate sale auctions get more action. When you set up your auctions, remember that every detail counts, and every factor that you optimize can mean more bidders for your items.

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CLOSING A HOME MADE EASY

M. Lyn Livingston

I believe that our homes are a reflection of our personality. We don’t often think about it, but over the years we amass a collection of personal property that range from new to antique, heirloom to junk, useful to dilapidated. After just a few years in a home the drawers are full, the closets are bulging, and the garage and attic are packed. Tucked into corners of the china cabinet are grandmother’s old china, Aunt Ellen’s glass, stray pieces of silver and odds and ends of childhood memories. Every few years, we clean out the things that we don’t have the heart to throw away or you can’t get the kids to take with them and pack them away making room for the new inheritances, gifts, collections and good intentions.

You may be thinking of moving into a smaller home or retirement center; or perhaps you are acting as a personal representative for a loved one’s estate. For whatever the reason, when closing a home this question will cross your mind. “What am I going to do with all this stuff?”

Questions to consider whenever you are closing a home are:

Ø What can I take with me?

Ø What items are considered heirlooms?

Ø What items do children and family want?

Ø Does personal property need to be sold to raise funds for health care, living expenses, or to meet finical obligations of the estate?

Ø What has value and what needs to be thrown away?

Ø Do I have the time, energy and knowledge necessary to close this home in the most efficient manner?

When downsizing, the first question is “What can I take with me?” Additional questions to consider are centered on why you are moving and the location. Will you be doing any cooking or plan on doing entertaining? What hobby and other diversion items will you need? Is health care equipment a consideration? One of the most important questions is what will fit and where will it go. Often the services of an interior decorator or professional organizer will make this job easier. Space permitting, plan your décor around easy living and allow for room to navigate.

The next question is one of the most important. What items are considered heirlooms? Many homes may be full of antiques, collectibles and old stuff but few are heirlooms. Heirlooms are the link between our past, our present and the future. Knowing who, what, when, where, and why behind a cherished object is often more important than the monetary value alone. Take the time to identify what pieces are true heirlooms, their provenance and any traditions associated with the item. It is important to honor traditions associated with an heirloom before a request for the item.

Once you have identified the heirlooms it is easier to identify what children and family members want. Most often children are hesitant to openly state what they want and parents are reluctant to ask or assume they don’t have room. Downsizing is a perfect opportunity to ask and plan. The key is in the asking and then determining when a request will be granted. Now is the time to insure that your family honors your intentions and that you are not burdening them by making lists and formalizing plans with your estate planner or legal counsel.

Now that you have laid the groundwork the value questions are easier to answer. First, do you need to know the value of items in order to equitably distribute the estate? Simple market value appraisals can be utilized. Often the appraiser can provide a verbal approximation of value or a simple written appraisal to provide the information you require.

Does personal property need to be sold to raise funds for health care, living expenses, or to meet finical obligations of the estate? Often when items must be sold, a professional estate liquidator or appraisal services are required. Whenever family heirlooms must be sold it is important to consider family first. Planning ahead enables you to prepare for the need to liquidate personal assets and also protects your family’s interest.

The benefits of knowing what can be thrown away and the value of items are the principal advantages to utilize professional services in addition to saving you time and energy while you focus on other important things. Frequently we hear of items purchased for a song in a garage sale of given to charity because the value is not recognized. This occurs most frequently when the family conducts the sale themselves.

Closing a home can be one of the most difficult tasks you are required to do. Using professional services to your benefit can find the answer your question, “What am I going to do with all this stuff?”.
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Thinking about having an Estate Sale?
Do you find yourself now dealing with all the stress of moving an aging parent or relative?
Or perhaps you’re facing the huge task of downsizing or liquidating a property due to the passing of a loved one?
We understand this can be overwhelming. Where do you start? When will you find the time?

Here at Morning Star, we’re here to help you with all of that, from beginning to end!

We’ll begin by talking with you on the phone and answering any questions or concerns you may have. Then you may schedule a time where we’ll come to the property for you to show us exactly what you’d like to include in your sale. This will give us a good idea on how much you have and what ‘type’ of sale is best suited for you : estate, moving, downsizing, etc.

Please request a Free In-Home Consultation by calling us or filling in the box below.

Please be certain to include the daytime phone number that’s best to reach you.
Contact us about our Downsizing and Estate Sale services.

No upfront fees and we think you’ll find we have the most reasonable rates! †

412-260-5344 call or text.

JUST SOME OF THE SERVICES WE PROVIDE;
Organization. We will organize, arrange and display all items to be sold.

Pricing. We will appraise all of your items, large and small. We have great relationships with experts in all different fields, freely sharing each other’s knowledge assuring you’ll get the the market value on your items. If we believe there are certain items of value that are not within our area of expertise, we may choose to engage an outside appraiser who has that necessary expertise — at our expense.

Advertising. We will arrange and are responsible for appropriate advertisements and all costs for the sale to appear in media concerning your sale.
This will include both print ads, an email blast reaching several hundred as well as powerful Online ads.
Most sales will take place from 8:00 AM until 3:00 PM. on a Saturday. Depending on the quantity, we may choose to hold a two-day sale. We can also hold you sale open for an extra week in order to maximize your gross amount by selling certain items online.

Conduct of Sale. To assist with the sale, we will hire individuals as needed from a pool of honest, experienced and reliable individuals familiar to us and with the integrity we demand for our services.

Unless you instruct us otherwise, we will conduct your sale with two objectives:

A. To sell every available item; and

B. To maximize the proceeds from the sale.

Disposal of Unsold Items. There will always be some unsold items at the conclusion of a sale. We can gladly suggest names of charities that can pick these up, or, for a nominal service fee, we will make arrangements for removal of said items.
NOTE: We are happy to tell you, unlike some companies, we DO NOT have it in our contract that WE own everything after the sale. Your ‘stuff’ is your ‘stuff’. Period.

Cleaning. We strive to make your sale appealing to customers. ‘Light’ cleaning, dusting and gathering of garbage (able to fit in large trash bags) to make the sale more desirable to customers is included. In some situations, a fair fee for heavier cleaning can be negotiated.

Misc. As a courtesy, we will provide professional ‘moving straps’ and ‘moving men’ sliders to assist customers with the removal of heavy items and furniture.

It’s our experience that some customers will purchase more if they are able to use their credit cards. To accommodate them and make for a more successful sale for all, we accept MasterCard, Visa, Discover and Paypal for your sale.

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FAQs
1) Should we get a start on things and throw out the junk… things of no value?

A~ Oh my No! Please do not. This is probably the most common mistake people make when having a sale. Allow us to determine what is salable. Please throw nothing away before your consultation.

2) Well, can I at least give the old clothes, shoes and linens to Goodwill? and what about things of no value like old magazines, or all those those cleaning supplies under the sink?

A~ While we think charitable organizations are great, we ask that you wait for us to take a look before doing so. You may be surprised at the items folks want to buy.

3) My family members and I want some of the items. Should we determine that now?

A~ If possible, yes. In order for us to make an accurate assessment of your sale, it’s best to have the family take those items out of the house prior to us coming for your complimentary consultation.
If certain items need to remain in the home, but are deemed not for sale, we will move them into one area or room and rope it off, marking all the items accordingly as ‘not for sale’.

4) Will I need to borrow folding tables?

A~ Not necessary. We have a lot of tables, but of course are happy to use any display pieces you already have on hand. Staging your items is a big part of what we do and makes for a great sale.

5) I live out of state. Have you ever done a sale like that?

A~ Yes. No problem! If you have a realtor we can also work with them.
We use the FedEx overnight service or can simply Fax or email any necessary paperwork to you.
We keep you informed the whole way through.

6) We want to sell the house. Will this hurt the sale of the house?

A~ Not only will it not hurt … it will greatly help! Having droves of people come through for the sale is a wonderful way to expose them to your house…. this is a very effective way to show it. Real estate companies love when we put their card on our check out table along with info on the house.

7) How long does all of this take you to get ready?

A~ That would depend on the quantity of what you have. Generally speaking, one week or so is the bare minimum, two weeks or so is average. Keep in mind we are going to advertise your sale and like to do that well in advance.

8) How much will all of this cost me?

A~ Nothing up front! We take care of the cost of all materials needed, hiring workers prior to and for the day of the sale, all advertising in print and online and all signage. Our agreed upon percentage of will come out of the ‘Gross sales’.

9) Will there be anything left or do you sell it all?

A~ There will always be ‘some’ items leftover from any sale.
We can help with that as well! Another option is to give you a list of charities in your area. Your decision.
We do not have it in our contract that the leftovers become the property of Morning Star! Some companies do…please read all contracts carefully.

10) Okay, sounds good so far, What is the first step/thing we should do?

A~ Give us a call. We’ll ask a few questions to get a gist on your particular needs.
The next step would be to see the estate/items for sale ‘in person’. At that time, we can quickly determine what type of sale you have; a true estate sale, a moving or downsizing sale or perhaps a large yard sale.

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auction content – gtg

Some things have no value at auction, some things have no value anywhere.

Auctioneers deal with a lot of normal everyday stuff. We run an auction company and for every $100,000 plus vintage comic book I have ever sold, I have sold 100,000 almost worthless things. OK, some of them wound up having worth (but not much) because for one reason or another someone paid me for them. I may have had to put them into boxes, and grouped up a bunch of the boxes to sell them. At some point, someone wants you to move on and will pay you $2.50 for the group-O-boxes so you will quit yammering, get on with it, and go sell what they came for.

We conducted an auction a few years ago. We had a good crowd and the sale went fine, and we had a treadmill in the basement. A big, heavy almost worthless treadmill. I sold it for waaaaay more than I normally get for a treadmill and thought we did great. In fact, whenever I tell another auctioneer that I once sold a used treadmill for $375 they don’t believe me, it’s like some sort of treadmill world record I think. The owner thought otherwise. It started me thinking about a TV show that needs to be produced “The Common Crap Road Show.” It might look like this…..

In a large room, people wait patiently in line clutching their “treasures”, things like Wheaties boxes from the ’90s, new baseball cards, comic books from 2010, etc. The walls behind them are draped with banners saying things like National Geographic/Readers Digest, Avon, and Bennie Babies! Under the banner marked Exercise Equipment, the expert is just starting to talk to Bob. Let’s listen in.

Expert: “Well Bob, why don’t you tell us about your item?” Bob: “I have a great treadmill. It’s like brand new, I got it right after Christmas and only used it once.”

Expert: “Yes you and 2 million other people purchased one of these, it is the Jogger 2010 the best selling treadmill of all time. It is as common as a treadmill gets! In fact, it may be the most common piece of exercise equipment ever. So, what do you think it is worth?” Bob: “I was hoping at least $1,500 because that is what I paid for it last December.”

Expert: “Well Bob, I have a copy of your receipt and it appears you only paid $1,400 for it and that included their “free” delivery. Bob, you realize of course that 1) you paid only $1,400 for this treadmill, not $1,500, and 2) that included an industry-standard $200 delivery fee, right?” Bob: “But that was a year ago, it should be worth more now. The new ones cost more, shouldn’t mine be worth more not too?

Expert: “It doesn’t work that way, Bob. Do you own a car?” Bob: “Sure, I think almost everyone owns a car.” Expert: “When you bought your new car, did it go up in price or down.” Bob: “Well, down, but this is different, this is a treadmill, not a car!”

Expert: “Right you are Bob, people need cars. A treadmill provides its user with the same thing that they have without a treadmill. They can walk and run, only now the can do it on a thing that takes up a lot of space, is incredibly heavy and loses value faster than fireworks.” Bob: “You mean my treadmill is no longer worth $1,600?”

Expert: “No, Bob I’m afraid that in its current location (here in a large hall full of silly people who buy wrong, but with easy access to overhead doors) and its current condition I’d say your treadmill is worth $300, but if you take it home and put it in your garage it might be worth $50 to $75 but back in your basement it is worth perhaps $5 on a good day. Remember most people who want a treadmill need exercise and are out of shape so they can’t get one of these monsters up the steps.” Host, well that’s all the time we have today, join us next time when we will showcase a collection of used sleeper sofas!

By the way, the store that posted the picture of the worthless Avon bottle on Pinterest to try and drive traffic to their online store is now out of business. Not to worry, a quick check turned up another optimist over at Etsy with the same car (only this one has its cap!) and it’s only $7, but you better hurry before they go out of business too.

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Our Auction Company agrees to make a professional effort to describe, photograph, and list a seller’s item in the most appropriate fashion. We cannot guarantee the sale or a certain price for any item. Any estimated values or market viability comments are strictly for reference and do not imply a guaranteed outcome. Daily market conditions can affect the outcome of any sale and are beyond our control.

Our Auction Company is acting as an independent party for the sole purpose of listing the sellers’ item(s) for online auction. We do not take the title of the item and are not a party to its ownership.

Our Auction Company will take temporary possession of an item to describe, photograph, and list. If an item does not sell, it will be returned in like condition as received or will be held as collateral if any non-refundable fees are due and not paid. The return of items is at actual shipping costs and is charged to the seller. Any items not picked-up/shipped or fees paid on within 15 days of auction end or notice, will become the property of our Auction Company and donated to charity.

At the end of a successful sale, our Auction Company will carefully package and ship the item and collect the monies from the buyer and deduct our fees and disburse the proceeds to the seller. These monies will only be disbursed once the buyer receives the item and acknowledges its merchantability and representation, at that time the proceeds will be disbursed. We allow buyers 10 days to make a claim for a refund based upon not as described, dead on arrival, or hidden damage.

Our Auction Company may require a minimum non-refundable listing or sales fee depending on the item. The selling fee will be based upon the actual final sales transaction price. Please see the fee schedule or your agreement for details.

All terms are subject to change and agreements are binding within the State law. Or any other court system our Auction Company deems necessary. Any disputes arising should be taken to an independent arbitrator first with all costs paid by the seller throughout the process. Any court and legal fees will be reimbursed to us without prejudice.

We reserve the right to refuse the sale of certain items for cause.

Proceeds are paid via company check, cashiers check, or bank wire transfer depending on the amount, seller, and situation.

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Fee Schedule

Our company fee schedule is as follows. Please keep in mind some situations will vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the item(s). You will be aware of any and all fees prior to doing business with our Auction Company as outlined on the term agreement for each sale. We strive to sell your item for the most money possible as to minimize the effect of the fees on your proceeds. Remember we are paying the auctions listing, sale, and photo fees. Auctions are not free and they charge us even when an item does not sell.

Our general item fees are calculated upon a sliding scale, based upon the final sale price of the item.

General Items up to $25,000

30% of the first $500
25% of the next $500
20% of the next $4000
15% of the next $20,000

The above fees include the basic auction listing fee, up to 6 photos/scans, and auction final sales fee.

We accept returns on items for 10 days after receipt of the item if it did not meet the listing description, had hidden damage, or was dead on arrival. After this time period, we will then disburse the money less fees to the seller.

If your item doesn’t sell in the first auction, we’ll relist it for FREE.

For a special quote on items estimated to sell at more than $25,000, please contact us.

A $10 minimum is charged on any single item to cover our costs. Therefore, we prefer to sell single items valued at $50 or more. Remember, we do sell many items valued below $50, specifically when there are multiples or are easy to store and ship, please inquire.

Reserve auctions require a $10 non-refundable deposit to insure against a no sale. However, when the item sells, the regular fees will apply to the sale, and the deposit credited towards the fees.

Shipping or delivery cost to our location is not covered and is the responsibility of the seller unless we provide the pickup of the item as part of our service.

Any special requests or auction options will be charged at the actual market rates as they are charged to us.

Examples
A seller requests a premium upgraded listing or highlighted position, this charge is above and beyond what we can cover by our fee, so we will pre-charge the upgrade fees to the seller. This premium position may or may not affect the outcome of an auction.

A seller requests an escrow service or professional photographer. We will pass the costs to the seller.

A seller requires an item to be repaired before a sale to get maximum return. We will pass the repair costs onto the seller.

Vehicle Fees

Vehicles fees range from 5% to 20% depending on the type and value of the vehicle. Many times we need to pay for title history (Car Fax report) and have independent 3rd party inspections made prior to or during the sale. In addition, vehicles require a $100 non-refundable listing fee, which will be applied to the fees when the vehicle sells. Please inquire with your specific vehicle information.

Real Estate Fees

Real Estate fees range from 5% to 20% depending on the type and value of the property. Many times we need to pay for title history, appraisals and have independent 3rd party inspections made prior to or during the sale. In addition, real estate requires a $250 non-refundable listing fee, which will be applied to the fees when the real estate sells. Please inquire with your specific real estate information.

Charitable Organization Fees

Charitable organizations contact us with your needs and we will quote a reduced fee.

Business Fees

Businesses contact us with your needs and we will quote a special fee.

Consulting Fees

Individual consulting fee-based upon requirements, contact us with your requirements.

Please inquire about any situation that is not covered here. We are in business to help solve your problems and sell items. “We turn your unwanted and unused items into cash!”

Rates and fees are subject to change.

Please contact us for details!

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The Origin of the Public Auction

The Auction, like law, literature, and art, had its beginnings in the misty centuries of the long ago; and like them, its evolution may be traced through our parent European civilization of Rome and Greece —– yes, back even to ancient Babylon with almost forgotten splendor.

The history of the Auction may, for convenience, be divided into three divisions; its origin, its growth in Western Europe, more especially in England, and its development in the United States.

Auctions from Latin
The word Auction itself is derived from the Latin word auction, which means a gradual increase. An Auction sale, therefore, is a sale however conducted, by which a person obligates himself to transfer land or other goods to the highest bidder, within the conditions of sale.

Very shortly after man emerged from the barter age, and a stable medium of exchange was employed, the auction method of selling, virtually as we have it today, came into use. How long before the close of the barter age, this method of exchange was used, no one knows; but the very nature of this method of sale pointed to the fact that it must have been employed almost from the beginning of the time man first began to trade with each other. For example, one man was the proud possessor of an elegant stone hatchet, and two or three other men possessed strings of shells, teeth, and bundles of arrows, and each of the three men were desirous of exchanging part of their wares for the stone hatchet. The very nature of their desires and possessions gave rise to the very same conditions that are found present at every auction or competitive bidding sale today, and the primitive owner of the stone hatchet, in seeking to drive a good bargain, appealed to the very same human instincts, to which the auctioneer and all other classes of salesmen appeal today.

Roman Origin?
Although it is held by some that the Auction is wholly of Roman origin, and although the very word from which the name itself is derived, it appears to present evidence of the fact, yet the fact remains that the Greek traveler, Herodotus, during his travels, some 450 B.C., tells us of having seen Babylonian villages, disposing of young woman in marriage by delivering them to the highest bidder, in an assembly annually held for that purpose. So also, among the Romans the questor, or public treasurer, sold military booty and prisoners of war at public auction to the highest bidder. In Roman times anything sold at auction was said to have been sold sub hasta, meaning under the spear, the spear being the symbol of legal ownership. On such occasions, a spear was stuck in the ground either in the open field or in front of the tent of the prisoner, or other goods to be sold, to indicate the place where the sale was to be held. To the handle of the spear was attached a red streamer, which is probably the origin of the present custom of indicating places of sales by displaying red flags.

The perfect familiarity of the Auction among the Romans is further shown by the fact that, in 192 A.D., after the assassination of the Emperor Pertinax, when the Roman Empire fell into the hands of the Praetorian Guard. The soldiers knowing the superiority of the auction over the private sale proclaimed from the ramparts that the Roman world would be disposed of at public auction to the highest bidder. There were but two bidders, the one was Sulpicanus, the father-in-law of the assassinated emperor and the other was Didius Julianus, a wealthy senator who, regardless of public calamities, thirsted for honor and power.

Persuaded by his wife and daughter this vain old man went to the soldiers’ camp, and began bidding, standing at the foot of the rampart. The bid of his opponent, Sulpicanus was what in our money would be equal to seven hundred and seventy-five dollars to each soldier, in the entire army. Didius Julianus ran the bid up to what in our money would be equal to nine hundred seventy-five dollars to each soldier, and for that amount, under the spear, he bought the Roman world and was proclaimed by the praetors, Emperor of Rome.

Auction in England
In England, the manner of conducting auctions was greatly varied. In some places, the custom was to set up a lighted candle an inch in height when the bidding started, and the last person to make a bid before the wick fell, was proclaimed the purchaser. Such bidding was known as “candlestick bidding.” Another method was for the owner of the property to place the lowest price he would accept under the candle, with the stipulation that, no bidding should avail if not equal to it. This was called “dumb bidding.” In what was known as “Dutch auction.” The property was offered at a certain price, and then the prices successfully reduced until someone accepted it.

The most unusual custom followed in England was to duly advertise the proposed auction in a printed catalog, in the case of chattels, or particulars of the sale in case of land, together with conditions of sale. Sometimes the conditions of sale were merely placed in conspicuous places on the day of sale. At the appointed time the auctioneer, standing in a rostrum, “put up” the several articles listed, by inviting bids by the tap of a hammer, and so “knocked down” the article to the person making the bid. A bid in itself was only an offer and could be retracted any time before the fall of the hammer. In Scotland, an Auction was called “Roup.” “Puffing,” or by-biding, was unlawful unless the owner of the property made such fact known before the sale started, and even then only one “puffer” was allowed to bid. It was unlawful for an auctioneer to make a pretense of having received a bid which, in fact, was not made.

Sometimes a combination of persons at an auction, in order to prevent competition among themselves agree that only one of their number shall bid, and anything obtained by them shall afterward be disposed of privately among themselves. This practice is called “knock-out.” A “Mock Auction” is a proceeding in which a combination of persons interested in the sale, conspire to make it appear that a bona fide sale is being conducted, when in fact the real purpose is to cause articles to sell for more than their real value. Those who invite others to the place where the proposed auctions are to be held are called “barkers.”

General Laws
The general laws regulating auctions in the United States are very similar to those in England: but as to the bidding of the owner himself, the laws are very much less stringent. “Puffing,” or by bidding, as it is called under bother systems alike renders the auction void, at the option of the purchaser when it amounts to fraud. The weight of authority in the United States, however, is in favor of the view that the owner may without notice, employ a person to bid for him if he does so with no other purpose than to prevent a sacrifice of property under a given price.

In England and in many of the states of the United States, no one is allowed to conduct an auction unless licensed. In states where a license is required, protection to the public seems to be the only end sought. Many states, in addition to a license, require an auctioneer to give bond with one or more securities, for the faithful performance of his duty.

Clearing House
To the small community, the Auction acts as a sort of clearinghouse. A farmer decides to discontinue farming and wishes to dispose of his farming implements quickly. If he had to depend on private sale to dispose of them, the task would be an almost endless one, and the absence of competitive bidding would be an enormous loss, as a private buyer for each and every article would not be forthcoming. With the advantages offered by the present-day auction, aided by the modern methods of advertising, every man, woman, and child, in and even beyond borders of the immediate community, are made acquainted with the fact of the various articles to be sold. So, when the day of the sale arrives, there are on the ground, several prospective buyers for almost every article. The very fact that there is more than one buyer for each article insures a price far above what the owner could have hoped to get at private sale. In this case, the Auction benefits both buyer and seller. The seller is enabled to convert his property into cash, or its equivalent, without loss of time, and many a buyer has been enabled to purchase articles he needed, at a great monetary saving thus making their service mutual. What is true of the small community is equally true of the larger one whether the larger one is a county, state, or nation, or even a continent. This fact, coupled with the fact that the art of selling at an auction like all other lines of salesmanship is striving for the utmost efficiency and ability to serve, makes the auction business of the future, one of the most alluring vocations for young men and women of character and ability.

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Auctioneers & Appraisers

Our company combines certified appraisals, technical innovation, and attention to organizational detail, with the personal service you’ll find only in a family-owned business. Each client’s needs are unique; we take time to learn about your circumstances and expectations. Each lot requires one of our certified appraiser’s inspection to determine its true value. And that’s what we’ll report to you. You know from the beginning how far the auction may go toward meeting your financial requirements.

We are well-versed in the sales and evaluation of machinery and equipment, personal property, and basic industry throughout the United States, Canada, and Alaska. As a company with prime concentration in auctions and appraising, our facility includes a full time certified auctioneer and appraiser, management staff, and computer input personnel. Our services include a general appraisal, pre-lease residual forecast, post-lease inspections and evaluations, desktop valuations, and market studies.

Watch an expert auctioneer at work, and you’ll be pulled right into the action along with the bidders. An excited audience shouting bids spiraling ever higher is an auctioneer’s job… and their client’s dream. Before the frenzied sale can occur, however, a lot of hard work and planning is necessary. Without it, the auction falls flat — low turnout, tepid bidders, and worst of all, a poor return for the customer. Liquidating assets at the highest value possible is what auctions are for. Hiring an experienced, trustworthy auction company is the only way to ensure such results.

Publicizing your auction is just as important as sounding the gavel. Our website lists all approaching sales, so your bidder base includes everyone on-line; our 24-hour Auction Hot Line puts your lot information just a call away. Our design staff will produce and position print advertising to suit your budget. Newspaper and brochure exposure are coordinated with Hot Line information to intrigue wisely-targeted and well-informed bidders.

On auction day, you’ll see our peerless skills in full swing. We study each lot item with an eye toward set-up and display, so previews inspire bidders to go the distance for what they want. Our self-sufficient portable office is set up at your auction site, complete with generators, cell phones, and support equipment. Our computer tracking system generates on-location running reports for your sales figures — your finger is right on the auction’s pulse. Quick return on your money — usually within 7 to 10 days — is a final important detail.

Our client list includes government agencies such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Transportation, Department of Airports, Multiple Banks, Attorneys, School Districts, and the U.S. Small Business Administration. We also serve private businesses, individuals, and estates. This broad, intensive experience makes us experts at executing the paperwork required by government agencies prior to and following an auction. Our company is accredited by the Certified Auctioneers Institute, the International Society of Appraisers, and other professional associations. We are fully licensed and insured.

We are proud of our close attention to each customer, and of the loyal clientele, we’ve built over the years. Please ask us for references. Talk to the people we’ve worked for. Regardless of your requirements, we’re certain you will be extremely pleased with our style and results.

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Estate Sales – gtg

We offer several types of estate sale services. No job is too large or small for our professional staff to handle.

Estate Sales

Our team has personal experience in dealing with and pricing everything from household products to antiques. We handle every facet of the sale, from beginning to end, including sorting, pricing, merchandising, advertising, and conducting the sale. For accountability, after the sale we provide our clients with a detailed, computer generated inventory of every item sold and the sales price. Our fee for this service is a small percentage of the total sale.

Professional Downsizing

Many people acquire items and store them in their home & garage. Over the years, the house starts busting at the seams. What do you do? Down-size! Our service can be conducted in the home or in the yard/garage. We do all the hard work like advertising, set-up, pricing and inventory control of all items sold. Our fee for this service is a small percentage of the total sale.

Partial Liquidation / Buy Outs

We recognize that some families do not need the full services involved in an actual estate sale. These individuals typically want to down-size or sell certain pieces without a total liquidation of property or public sale. We can meet with these clients, look at the items they wish to sell, provide value estimates, as well as make a fair offer to purchase the item(s) outright or refer the client to another vendor.

Make Ready, Cleaning & Debris Removal Services

If your trying to sell a home or trying to clear out some of the clutter, we can help. We offer Make Ready services that can improve your chances of selling a home. We also offer full-maintenance cleaning as well as Debris Removal.

Contact us today for a FREE Consultation

Join Our Email List To Receive Notifications of our upcoming Estate Sales

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WHAT IS AN ESTATE SALE?

An Estate Sale is the liquidation of the assets and property contained in the personal residence or building of the owner or his heirs. It is usually conducted on the premises of the home or property over a relatively brief span of time, usually an extended weekend. It is not necessary for the owners to have died to host an Estate Sale, although that is most often the case. In some circumstances, the owners may be downsizing, moving, or liquidating for financial reasons.

If the owner or a representative has decided to have an Estate Sale conducted by me and my company, a contract is drawn up which specifies the details of the sale: when, where, payment details, specifications, and conditions. Both parties sign the contract; each keeps a copy. For the owners, the next order of business is to remove from the property any possessions that the family wants to keep. We will need a key to the property, and then the staging begins. Arranging and re-arranging are often done to facilitate the overall decorative appeal and to assist buyers in finding items more easily. For example, when a family resides in a home, the decorative accents are generally placed throughout the house. For an estate sale, these items are all gathered together so that the buyers may see all the same items at once. Let’s say that the owners collected Lladro figurines which are placed all over the house. I will assemble all the figurines, clean them, make any repairs, and display them all together in a single cabinet or location. Buyers can see all the Lladro figurines in the house all at once.

Staging a home can take time. Depending on the size of the dwelling, staging can take two weeks or more. The idea is to arrange the contents most attractively and, in essence, to turn the home into a store. Then the pricing begins. This is where I make some of the most crucial appraisals; consequently, a thorough knowledge of antiques, collectibles, furniture styles, vintage clothing, art, and specialty items is my best and strongest asset. It does the client no good to have a collection of Sabino glass, for example, if I do not know what it is or its value. I do great amounts of research in pricing some items. If I don’t know the value of something myself, I will consult an expert in the field. Pricing must also take into account the fact that the second day of an Estate Sale offers the remaining unsold items at a discount, sometimes even up to 50 percent. I must walk a fine line between pricing too high on Day One and selling too low on Day Two. My goal is to maximize the bottom line for my clients as much as I can while at the same time keeping my large and loyal customer base satisfied with fair prices for their purchases.

After the sale is over, the owner and I will decide what to do with any items that are left. Options can include the owner keeping the items, donating them to a church, giving them to the Salvation Army or any other charitable organization, consigning the items, or reselling on a third day at a garage sale. Then the house will be cleaned and readied for sale. After all sales are concluded, I will remit to the owner the percentage of the gross proceeds that have been agreed upon. The owner may wish to keep the price tags as a type of inventory of the sale, and he may wish to have a set of photos I took of every room. An estate sale generally takes me one month to do, start to finish.

WHAT ARE CONSIGNMENTS?

Let’s say that after the Estate Sale is over that a large Victorian marble-topped dresser is still unsold. If both parties agree, I can take the dresser on Consignment, which means that I will transport the item to the next Estate Sale where it is hoped that it will be sold. Consignments are useful alternatives for both the owner and me because they prevent the item from being sold at a price well below its value. The type of and number of consignments can vary after each sale; the owner and I can decide what items, if any, will be taken on consignment.

WHAT COSTS ARE INVOLVED?

Each Estate Sale is unique. Unless there are extremely difficult circumstances, my fee is 35% of the gross proceeds of the Estate Sale. This means that if the Estate Sale generates $10,000, the owner will receive $6.500, and I will receive $3,500. Out of my 35% come ALL the expenses related to the sale: advertising, labor, materials, photos, security, credit card fees, taxes, delivery, transportation of consignments, cleaning, and so on. I generally keep a staff of 7 employees on the payroll for each sale; I pay them between $10 and $15 dollars an hour (Security is $35 an hour), I provide meals, transportation reimbursement, and uniforms. After all expenses are paid, I generally realize between 10 and 12 percent of the gross proceeds. These proceeds are reported to the government, and I pay income taxes on these earnings.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT AS A CLIENT?

From me, you can expect unquestioned honesty and integrity, a timely and well-advertised sale, a large and very loyal customer base (over 2,000 email contacts), a friendly and efficient staff, professional and thorough attention to details, a long list of satisfied clients (references available on request), a stellar reputation, expertise garnered over a lifetime of working with antiques, collectibles, jewelry and art, and a reverence for the delicate nature of the job at hand. You are giving me the key to your home; I regard this as a sacred trust, much like the attorney who handles your will, and I am very cognizant of and appreciative of the trust placed in me. Another aspect that I regard very seriously is Identity Theft. I go through every single item in the house and look through every page of every book to retrieve any piece of paper that might contain references to the owner’s identity. Nothing leaves the house that has any information that could be used in identity theft.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN “ANTIQUE” AND A “COLLECTIBLE”?

The generally accepted rule of thumb, by antique dealers, authors, experts in the field, and even the United States government, is that an item must be at least 100 years old or older to be classified as an Antique. “Vintage” is a term seen frequently to describe something that is old but not necessarily an antique. Vintage clothing is an example. Hats worn by ladies of the 1920s and 1930s could be considered “vintage.” Purses made of Bakelite from that same time period would be considered either as Vintage or “Collectibles,” a useful and generic term to date items that are not antique yet and perhaps too new to be vintage. Collectibles are often regarded as dating from the second half of the 20th century. Coke collections and Elvis records and Barbie dolls are examples of items that are considered “Collectibles.” VALUE is not necessarily tied to age, however. Just because an item IS an antique does not mean that it is more valuable than an item that is a collectible. A Collectible first-issue Barbie (1959-60) could be worth thousands, whereas a genuinely Antique doll could be priced only in the hundreds. Maker and condition are VERY important in determining value. Additionally, today’s collectible is often tomorrow’s garage sale discard. Remember Cabbage Patch dolls? Collector’s Plates? Further, the advent of the internet has made everyone’s collections worth much less because we can access so many of them. At one time, a handmade quilt was valued in the upper hundreds. Because so many proliferate online, the prices have dropped to around $50. The same diminished value can also be applied to Hummel figurines and all those Topps Baseball cards produced in the 1980s. Finally, appraisers must be able to distinguish between a genuine antique chair and a reproduction of an antique chair, and value is ultimately based on provenance, rarity, quality, and condition.

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