ac services 7/27/2020 – gtg

Understanding Efficiency

What is S.E.E.R? This stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Basically this ratio is the efficiency rating of a particular A/C system. The higher the ratio the more efficient the system. A standard-efficiency system today is 10 SEER and can, in some cases, go as high as 16 SEER. The major difference between different systems is the condenser size. The condenser is the outside unit. The larger the condenser the more efficient the unit. The reason for this is very simple. Your compressor takes in gas and raises the temperature and pressure of the gas to the condensation point. The pressure on the compressor is tremendous. This compression stroke is where the most energy is used and in turn, where your electric cost to cool comes in. If the pressure in this area can be reduced, then the compressor draws less power to do its job. Large condenser coils accomplish this task. More area for the refrigerant to be compressed into reduces the pressure and reduces the power required to do this. There are many factors to consider when buying high efficiency. One is the size of your home, the bigger the home the more you will save on energy, Two, how much you really use your central A/C system, Three, the size and condition of the homes duct system, Four, the condition of the furnace or air handler. The reason to consider these factors is time for “payback”. If the additional cost for a super high-efficiency system as opposed to a standard system is $900.00 and you use the system for three months out of the year it may take as long as ten years to recoup the initial cost of the upgrade. Meaning if you save $100.00 per season, you are looking at nine years for payback. High-efficiency systems are a great thing, but not in every case or every home. If you have a small ranch-style house with say 1200 sq ft, I would not suggest such a system for you. Your payback time may well exceed the life span on the system itself. In short, consider all these factors when you are ready to purchase a new comfort system.

Your Thermostat
The thermostat is the main controller of your home heating system. It basically is a switch. Controlling when and how often that switch goes on affects the cost to heat your home dramatically. Using a set back type stat that sets the heating system back at night or when the house is not occupied is a great way to reduce heating costs. Using these types of stats is very simple, just remember don’t go overboard, reduce the temp by no more than 8 degrees, any more then that is counterproductive, causing the heating system to run too long to reach comfort levels. Also never use setback in the summer. Doing this will cause higher utility bills. Consider the temp swings in winter, 70 degrees indoor 30 degrees outdoor, 40-degree temp difference. Summer 95 outside temp, and 70-degree indoor temp, 25-degree difference. This means less need for a setback.

estate sale content 7/18/2020 – gtg

Why Should Our Estate Sale Company Choose To Have YOUR Sale? What Criteria Do We Use?

Choosing works both ways.

If you have an estate to liquidate, you go through a process to find an estate sale company that you are comfortable with and can meet your needs. But how do estate sale companies go about deciding which clients to accept? Of course, that process varies from company to company, but here are the guidelines we use.

The owners personally supervise each step of the estate liquidation from the set up to clean up. That means we do one sale at a time. (We haven’t mastered the art of being two places at once) Therefore, we choose our sales carefully and look for a “good match”.

What is a Good Match?

That depends upon your goals. Our goals are:

1. To accept estate liquidations in which there is a strong likelihood that both parties (the client and our company) will be highly satisfied with the outcome of the sale.

2. To accept estate liquidations in which the financial potential is adequate to meet the economic responsibilities that we incur.

Looking For A Good Match?
If we predict that a potential client is not going to be pleased with the outcome of the estate liquidation,
then there is no reason for us to take that sale.

Criteria that predicts a high potential for client dissatisfaction include:

1. Unrealistic expectations regarding item values and pricing. People often over-value many of their items. Sometimes they’ve been told that an item is worth a certain amount or they’ve seen a similar item in a shop or reference book. Often information is dated and less than accurate.

Correct pricing for estate sales is essential to having a successful sale. Experience and the selling prices of comparable items in an estate sale setting are extremely important. Asking prices mean very little. Anyone can ask any price for anything. What the item has actually sold for recently, and in your area is a more accurate indicator of value.

The reality is that you are in competition with “big-box” furniture stores, eBay, Craig’s List, Goodwill, Sam’s Club, Costco, IKEA, and all the other garage, yard, moving and estate sales out there. That IS the reality.

You can read more about Estate Sale Pricing here but the point is that unreasonable expectations are the most common reason for us to refuse an estate liquidation. We would much rather turn down the sale than make false promises to appease unrealistic expectations. Some companies tell you anything you want to hear just to get your sale and then you’re unhappy later. We won’t.

Of course, we want your sale to bring in every dime possible. We work on commission. But, we also know what is realistic pricing to clear a house in 3 days.

2. Difficulty turning over control and responsibility for the sale to the estate professionals. We always expect and understand a reluctance to turn over the liquidation of a lifetime of possessions to someone else.

A reluctance is normal but for some heirs or estate owners, it is impossible to relinquish control to someone else. And for estate sale companies this creates an environment that is not consistent with a successful sale.

Criteria that predicts a sale will not be financially feasible are:

1. The estimated value of the estate items will not offset the amount of labor anticipated to set up and run the sale.

2. The sale is out of the service area we normally work in, resulting in greatly increased travel and labor costs.

Additional factors that may influence a decision of whether or not we accept an estate liquidation request are:

The time frame necessary for the sale is not available.
Family dynamics may give us cause to anticipate difficulties.
The prospect of liquidating an estate is overwhelming for many. Most people have never done it before.

We understand and offer this insight to help you better understand what considerations we look at when deciding which sales to add to our calendar.

Our Estate Sales Company is happy to discuss your options with you during a free consultation. Our experience in the market can help you explore the options that will work for you.

Our team is highly experienced at working through a multitude of situations. We frequently handle negotiations over the phone for clients who are out of the area and are unable to travel in order to liquidate an estate, as well as attorneys, nursing homes, and other estate trustees. Contact us if you’d like to discuss possible options.




Estate Sale Questions

We get asked a lot of “estate sale-related” questions about both buying and selling. We decided to start collecting them here so everyone could benefit.

FAQs About Estate Sales or Tag Sales
What’s the difference in an estate sale, a tag sale, or an estate liquidation? Nothing! A true estate sale generally refers to a complete liquidation or “selling off” of a person’s belongings accumulated during a lifetime.
It would normally be inside the home and include everything from spices to furniture. The term “tag sale” is popular in the northeast and often used to describe an estate sale due to everything in the house being “tagged” with a price.

What’s the difference in an estate sale and a garage sale or yard sale? Everything! A garage sale or yard sale is usually a “decluttering” effort of a family or group of families. It’s often smaller and less comprehensive than an estate sale – taking place in a garage or yard rather than the entire house.
Don’t call your yard sale, garage sale, or moving sale an estate sale just to get more people to come to it! People will quickly become disgusted with the misrepresentation and grumble away. Honestly represent your sale.

Is the term Estate Sale used only for someone who has died? No. Estate sales are conducted for many reasons and death is only one reason. Often, a major downsizing will necessitate selling a large portion of an estate. Other reasons may be divorce, bankruptcy, or long-distance moves. An estate sale accurately refers to any sale with a purpose to rapidly liquidate a large portion of person/s belongings.
Moving sales should appropriately be referred to as “moving sales” because moving typically has a much different mix of items than an estate sale. Again, many novices like to use the term “estate sale” because they think it will bring a larger crowd – and it usually does. However, the crowd may not be happy when they quickly discover that it is indeed not an estate sale.

How do I price items? Pricing estate sale items is one of the most important and most difficult aspects of having an estate sale. A true estate sale will usually be over in 2 – 4 days and that’s not much time to liquidate a lifetime accumulation of items. If your prices are too high, you’ll be sitting there surrounded by unsold items when the sale is over. Prices marked too low make you lose money.
A professional liquidator will usually make you more money than what their commission costs because of their extensive experience with pricing. However, if your estate is too small for a professional, you may have no choice but to have a DIY estate sale.

How is an estate sale different from an estate buyout? Both situations result in a liquidation of part or all of an estate, but the method is different. A buyout happens quickly when an estate liquidator offers a price for estate items and if accepted; removes them. This is different from an estate sale that requires preparation, planning, sale time, and clean up time.


Competition Can Be Tough Between Estate Sale Buyers – Are you Buying or Selling?

Either way, we’ll help you get the most out of your estate sale experience.
Liquidating an estate or shopping for a treasure? Estate Sale Insider has tips you don’t want to miss no matter which side of the counter you’re on. Like nearly everything, there is a learning curve to estate sales or tag sales as they’re sometimes known.

If you’re an estate sale shopper, the first few estate sales you attended during the opening rush are probably a blur. Once you get into the house, which way do you turn? You try to scan so quickly that you can hardly see it at all! And by the time you see something you like, someone else has it in their hand. Now what? If only I’d been there a few seconds sooner!

Often it takes a few sales to see how they work and “get the hang of it”. What should you bring? Take a look at our estate sale shopper’s survival kit so you’ll have everything you need for a successful treasure hunt.

What items are hot and what’s not? What’s a “good price”? Can I negotiate or are the prices firm? And how do I find estate sales?

Estate Sale Lines Form Early!
If you’re having an estate sale or a tag sale, be prepared! Or, if there is likely an estate sale in your future, should you and your family/friends “do it yourself” or hire a professional company? Unless your estate is very modest, you may actually end up with more money in your pocket by letting an estate company do all the work for you!

Amateurs trying to liquidate an estate of any size in a short period of time surely have their work cut out for themselves. The organization, display, pricing, advertising, loss prevention, and crowd control are the major areas of downfall for estate sale rookies. You may want to take a look at the Estate Sale Seller’s Survival List.

If you decide to hire an estate liquidator, where do you start and what do you look for to get the greatest proceeds from your estate?

Regardless of whether you’re selling or shopping, how do you know what something is really worth? Just because an item is old, or is termed “collectible” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s truly valuable.

What used to be valuable is constantly changing in value – sometimes up and sometimes down. And equally as important is to know what items previously considered worthless are becoming more collectible as we speak! What matters is what an item is worth today in the area you’re in.

If you think you’ve found a treasure, the next question is: Is it “real” or is it a reproduction? Many items with value have reproductions fashioned after them. Fakes have been produced for hundreds of years – so long that now, some of the fakes are worth something as antiques.

Estate Sales Speak To The Hunter/Gatherer In Us
We all want to believe that something we’ve discovered is the real deal, but calm down for a minute and take an unbiased look. A few minutes spent beforehand can save you – or make you a lot of money later.

If you’ve got a SmartPhone or iPad with you, hold the item and step aside and look it up. We have great technology available to us – we just need to take the time to use it.

Buying or selling, estate sales bring out the primal hunter-gatherer instincts hiding in us.

Estate salers love the hunt, surviving the lines and the crowd, scouting out the treasure, and then displaying our trophy proudly.

All of us hunters, gatherers, and pickers love estate sales. They make people happy regardless of which side of the counter they’re on. So do your homework, keep a light heart and an open mind, and you’ll enjoy it more and more as time goes on.

So let’s get going – the line is building as we speak!


Hoarder Estate Sales

Overwhelmed? Where Do You Start?
How do you deal with a packed house or a hoarder situation?

To begin with, don’t be embarrassed. People collect items and store them over decades for many reasons. “I’m going to restore it, I may need it, I’ll give it to someone someday, etc.”.

Time goes by and energy and health may diminish. It just becomes too large to deal with and so it stays – and becomes larger.

If the time has come to clear it out, you may need professional help or at least some moral support. This can be tough to deal with on your own.

An Estate Sale or an Estate Clean Out?
An Estate Buyout can consist of the purchase of an Entire Estate or Only Some of the Estate Items; whatever is agreed upon by the buyer and seller.

An Estate Cleanout is normally a removal of all items in a household. This term usually refers to a more modest or low-value estate in which the items sold or removed are given in exchange for the labor of the cleanout. Depending upon the situation, a cleanout crew may require more reimbursement as well if the amount of labor is greater than the value of the items removed.

DON’T Throw Away, Donate or Sell ANYTHING.

Any professional will tell you horror stories of valuable items that have been rescued from the trash. We would much rather sort items from the house rather than from inside a 40-yard dumpster or by sorting through trash bags.

Just leave it until your estate sale company can assess it. Let us do what we do best!
What you remove will likely be just the items that will pay for professional help clearing your property.

Regardless of the situation, be sure the company gives you a contract spelling everything out to protect both the seller and the buyer.

Death is not the only reason for an estate sale, estate cleanout, or a buyout. Any life circumstance that creates a need to liquidate personal belongings in a quick and efficient manner may be served well by having an estate sale or a buyout.

This circumstance could be a death, but also may be a divorce, bankruptcy, a drastic downsizing, a move, a change in living situation, or many other factors.

The most attractive fact about an estate cleanout or buy out is that usually within a few days, an entire estate can be packed up and moved away. And sometimes, this is exactly what’s needed due to the situation at hand.

Like all solutions, Estate Buyouts and Cleanouts have Pros and Cons.
Quick Cash & An Empty House
An Estate Sale may be the best choice for a hoarding situation.

7 Reasons an Estate Cleanout or Buyout may be the best option for a client:

Needs to liquidate an estate quickly.
Wants to raise cash immediately.
Has only a brief amount of time to empty a house.
Lives in an association, a gated community, a facility, or an area that prohibits estate sales.
Is unable to find an estate sale company willing or able to do an onsite sale for them.
The estate is too modest to warrant an estate sale on its own or the client only has a few items they wish to sell.
The family, heirs, and/or executor does not wish to have a public estate sale.
What are the negatives to Estate Cleanouts or Buyouts?

Unless your estate falls into one 7 categories listed above, your estate will do better being sold “where it lives”.

Often estate liquidations are most successful when the items are sold in their original environment – pictures hanging on the wall and dishes in the kitchen. Why? Shoppers love the hunt. They enjoy going through the house, the closets, the garage, and looking for that special find.

When you remove all the items from a house and place them in a new “artificial environment” to market them, shoppers are just less interested. They feel like they’re shopping at a store. They are less apt to see more value in items when they’re not displayed in the former owner’s home.

Another downside to estate buyouts is that you often make less money for your estate items. A company has to come in and pack, load up, and move your items to another facility and then unpack, display, price and sell them. All that takes time and labor which creates much-added expense to liquidating your estate. More time (labor) = more money (costs).

The trade-off is that the house is cleared out quickly – usually within a day or two. If that’s your goal and you are willing to sacrifice financially to achieve it, then a buyout or cleanout may be for you. But please consider that …………….

Having an Onsite Estate Sale may NOT be as much trouble as you think, even a hoarder’s estate.
When our company conducts an onsite estate sale, we make the process as painless for you as possible. We ask that you remove the items you do not wish to sell and all personal paperwork and then leave the rest to us.

Within a week or so, we’ll have your home empty and broom clean.

Our company is happy to discuss your options with you during a free consultation. Our experience in the market can help you explore the options that will work within any restrictions that may need to be considered.

Our team is highly experienced at working through a multitude of situations. We frequently handle negotiations over the phone for clients who are out of the area and are unable to travel in order to liquidate an estate, as well as attorneys, nursing homes, and other estate trustees.

There is never a charge for our consultations.
Calling is the first step. We’ll ask a few questions about your situation and we’ll discuss what the options are.


Estate Sale Treasures

Estate sale treasures and those special finds are what make tag sales and estate sales so much fun. That really cool piece that has you walking out the door with a happy feeling is what we’re looking for.

Treasure Hunt
We’re all looking for that “Feel Good” piece. It’s hiding somewhere – find it!

But beware: once you attend a sale and get that feeling, you may be hooked for life. We are, in fact, hunter-gatherers, are we not? And that jolt of excitement hits you as you first walk in thinking you just might find that one great item!

Remember, what is something fabulous to one person may be totally undesirable to someone else. And thank heaven for that – if we all loved the same things there’d be more of a scramble than there already is!

If you’re “into western”, like many of us, you’ll like my estate sale treasures and none came from the same sale. To further disprove one of the estate sale myths and misconceptions, these were all purchased on the last day of an estate sale!

I purchased a John Wayne poster that is an original artwork that is just wonderful in person where you can see the detail. The entire piece is done with magic markers in squiggly back and forth lines and creates such a great likeness of The Duke.

It didn’t look quite this nice when I took it home. It was standing (well, actually nearly curled in half) in the dusty, dirty corner of a garage. It was so curled and dusty, you really couldn’t see what it was. I walked by it and didn’t pay any attention.

It was only when I was on the other side of the garage and stooping down to look at something on the floor, that I looked across and could see under the curled poster board The Duke himself grinning at me saying, “Well, are you going to get me out of here or what?” Well, I did and it cost me $5.

Yes, I then paid a couple hundred to have it cleaned, mounted, leather matted, and framed, but wow, what a piece. I LOVE it and that’s what’s important – and part of what I love is telling the story. A rough and tough story of survival – just like John Wayne himself.

The other pieces were “hidden” final day finds as well. When there’s not as much left to look at, you’ve got to look at everything. A colorful serape was rolled into a tight log and wrapped with about half a roll of duct tape.

Everyone was too lazy to unwrap it to see what it was. Luckily, being wrapped up protected the beautiful bright yellow and red colors. $5 was marked on the duct tape so I took a chance. (FYI estate sale liquidators: This should have been unwrapped and marked about $50 minimum).

The other items have a similar story – the cowboy hat, the pewter pitcher full of old horseshoes and locks, the trunk, and the cobbler’s bench. They were all estate sale treasures and last day finds, but you get the drift.

If you think there’s nothing left on the last day, look again.
Look up. Stoop down. Open, unwrap, and untape.
Clear those dead spiders off that box and open it.

Most people wander through a sale looking in the same visual fields. Look somewhere else and see what you find!

Antique Great Lakes Ice Cart or Ice Wagon
Antique Great Lakes Ice Sled? I found this item at a garage sale. The man said it was used long ago to harvest ice from Lake Michigan.

Antique Table Top Display Case Metal and Glass
This was a great find at a sale. It was so dirty that you could hardly see through the glass and it was stuffed with items.

Ship Wrecked Gun or Evidence Tossed Years Ago?
Antique gun from a shipwreck or evidence tossed in the lake from a crime long ago? I found this during a spring walk along a lake shoreline.

Enjoy the hunt!


Estate Sale Myths

Estate sale myths and misconceptions abound. Many people are unsure what a tag sale or estate sale really is unless they’ve personally been involved in one.

Fact or Fiction?
Don’t believe everything you hear about Estate Sales. Go see for yourself!

But beware: once you attend a sale, you may be hooked for life. We are, in fact, hunter-gatherers, are we not? And that jolt of excitement hits you as you first walk in thinking you just might find that one great item!

Relax and talk to the people next to you in line. For me, the comradery of the other shoppers is a high point. Don’t get too up-tight to have fun.

Common Estate Sale Myths and Misconceptions
“You have to be wealthy to have an estate sale.” Absolutely false. An estate sale is the selling of one’s possessions accumulated over a lifetime. That group of possessions can be very modest or extremely grandiose. Very “average” families may have rare and collectible items in their homes that may be due to nothing more than the passing of time.
Insignificant items from 40 years ago can be worth quite a sum in today’s market. Don’t under-estimate your estate. Have a professional take a look at it.

“You need to have antiques and collectibles to have an estate or tag sale.” Not true. Everyday items, furniture, kitchenware, outdoor furniture are all very sellable. People need and will buy functional items for their homes.
If your items are clean and in good working condition, they are sellable. Yes, some shoppers are just looking for collectibles but many are looking for something that they or someone they know needs.

“Estate sale items are priced too expensive.” They shouldn’t be! At some sales, yes they are too expensive. But an experienced estate liquidator knows that to empty a house in about 3 days, you must have very reasonable pricing. The number one reason for estate sale failure is pricing too high.
Collectors and dealers must have a profit margin on their purchases. They will not buy for prices they can get at an antique mall or on eBay. For the people looking for everyday items, outlet and thrift stores have good prices every day. To move items, estate sale pricing needs to be even lower.

“An estate sale company who has lots of credentials or certifications for appraising and pricing antiques makes the dealer more knowledgeable.”

Most certifications you see embossed on an appraisers’ card or listed on their website can be purchased with a credit card for the ability to use that organization’s seal or logo.

Prices and trends in popularity in the collectibles market changes like the wind. The truth is that it is impossible for any person to be an expert on all or even most collectibles or antiques. However, many persons do have their areas of expertise that they keep up with the fluctuating trends and prices.

But, it is possible to have an extensive association with experts in many fields that you can call upon for advice. The internet also provides in-depth information for those willing to research or that subscribe to sites with recently realized values in the art, antiques, and collectibles market.

You want an estate sale company that can readily separate what has common value from those items that are very collectible, desirable and need to be researched and priced accordingly.

“There’s nothing good left at an estate sale after the first day.” Never true and here’s why. Very often, additional items are brought out after the first day. Maybe there wasn’t time or the family found more boxes that need unpacking – or they decided to sell something that they were previously going to keep.

Maybe, there just wasn’t room to put everything out on the first day. Not enough time and not enough room are frequent problems with large or last-minute sales!

Besides that, there is usually plenty left after the first day and at even better prices. Many estate sales do not bargain or negotiate prices the first day so some great items may not sell.

The following day/s, those items may still be there and often are sharply discounted. And sometimes there are just pieces that no one takes the time to unwrap or unearth from their surroundings. Many of our great estate sale treasures were all discovered in the final hours!

“I need to tidy up or have a garage sale before having an estate sale.” Please do every estate liquidator a favor and leave the estate in its original condition! Don’t sort, clean, throw out, or sell. Take what has meaning to you and then call us.

Often, your idea of “cleaning” is an estate liquidator’s idea of stripping the chance of a virgin estate sale to the public. We are the professionals and can decide, sort, clean and merchandise the estate without burdening the family.

Be aware that friends and neighbors may come by to inquire about an item or two that they’ve “had always admired”. Refrain from selling items on your own because you’ll nearly always under-price them feeling a sense of obligation to friends. Pre-selling choice items also hurts your sale because “great items draw great crowds to a sale”. If all the “good stuff” is gone, the draw for customers is gone as well.


When It Comes To Pricing Estate Sales, Remember This: Pricing Is Everything

Let me say it again. With estate sales, pricing is everything. Pricing estate sale items too high or too low will kill you either way.

Hitting that “sweet-spot” of just-right pricing takes years of practice. With a perfect price, a customer will say, “Where could I use this – it’s such a great deal that I can hardly pass it up.”

A perfect price will cause customers to “talk themselves into buying something they don’t really need”, or it will give customers that are re-sellers or dealers enough margin that they can see a profit in purchasing the item. They will try to figure out how they can validate taking this item home. Surely someone could use it – it’s such a bargain!

If the item is too cheap, they’ll just grab it without a second thought. If it’s too expensive, you’ll hear a “whew” and they quickly set it back down. These are not the reactions we are looking for.

I can stand outside a sale that’s just opened and watch the first 30 people leave and tell you how the tag sale’s pricing is – and so could you with some practice. Is everyone leaving empty-handed? Then they either have nothing to sell or their prices are too high.

On the other hand, if every customer is loaded with bags full, then someone marked things way too cheap. Yes, some people are just window-shoppers or are there as a social event. But all are potential buyers if the prices are right enough to coax them into it.

Both of these pricing errors will cost you money and I don’t know which is worse – too high or too low. The problem is that amateurs generally have a mix of both and get very little in that sweet spot of great estate sale pricing!

If you’re considering doing your own estate sale, find someone who has some experience – even if it’s just going to sales themselves. Any experience is better than nothing. If family members are all putting in their “two-cents-worth”, you can imagine that pricing estate sale items can be a real ordeal.

PRICE is the main reason everyone is lined up outside your house on opening day. They are looking for a deal; something they need or want for a great price. There are no block-long lines of people outside furniture stores, antique malls, or Wal-Mart.

Why? Because these stores have market-value pricing. Items can sit in these stores for weeks, months, or even years before selling and that’s OK because they’re a store.

With an estate sale, we have 3 or 4 days, PERIOD to liquidate an entire estate. A new or “barely-used” Crock-Pot in the box cannot cost the same at an estate sale as it does at Wal-Mart.

Just because your parents “paid a fortune” for their dining room suite in 1940 does not mean it’s worth a fortune today. Is it in good, stable condition?

Is that styling still desirable today? What is the supply and demand for it? How much are dealers or shops selling similar sets for?

Check comparables (comps) for that item – just like real estate comps or Kelly Blue Book prices for cars. What are your items actually selling for in your area – today? That is your competition. Those are the prices you’re up against.

These are the factors that dictate what that item will sell for today in the city you’re selling it in. With estate sale pricing, now pricing is relevant much more than what was paid for the item.

The flip side of course is that some items can be worth many times what was originally paid for them “back in the day.” Example: At a recent sale, a 3 ft. wide bar of wooden doorway beads from the 60’s sold for $75. They were purchased in 1968 for $6.99 (sticker was still on them). You’ve got to know what you’re doing when it comes to pricing.

We need to coax customers into buying everything in an estate in 2 to 4 days. How? By making it too good to refuse. If you let those first 400 or so people come and go that first morning without making an impression (good impression, that is) on them, then you’ve shot yourself in the foot. You can’t get those people back when you’re sitting there at 2 pm with very little sold. Get it right the first time.

Prices will make or break your estate sale or tag sale. Pricing is the number one downfall of DIY or do-it-yourself estate sales.

Quite often, hiring a professional estate sale company will increase your sales more than enough to pay the commission they charge – and they do all the work for you.

Estate Sale Rules and Policies

Estate sale rules, policies, and procedures vary widely from company to company. Solid guidelines put in place set the groundwork for a much more enjoyable experience for both the sellers and the buyers.

House Rules
A more enjoyable buyer and seller experience results from solid rules and policies.

Estate sale companies without formal policies are doing both their clients and their buyers a disservice. These sales often turn into “free for alls” with grumbling and complaining, theft and breakage, and an experience far less optimal (and far less profitable) than it should be.

It’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the rules and policies of the company whose sale you are attending. You don’t want to scout out an armful of treasures and find out they don’t accept whatever form of payment you intend to use or get any other last-minute surprises.

The following example details the “House Rules” comprising the current operating policies and procedures for our Estate Sale Company.

We have a strong commitment to our clients as well as to our shoppers. Without the people who hire us to liquidate their estates and our faithful buyers who follow us from sale to sale, we have nothing. So to us, this is very serious business and the terms Fair and Reasonable are king.

Our #1 obligation is always to our client: To protect the property they have entrusted to us and to obtain a fair estate sale price for their items. We’re working for them and we never forget that.

To achieve that goal,
The “House Rules” for our company are as follows:

Enter the sale at your own risk.

We have made every attempt to identify any physical hazards. However, shoppers have to be aware that during the excitement, crowds, and distractions that are inevitable; you may be injured. You enter this situation at your own risk. Please be aware of your surroundings and other shoppers.

Please always respect the residence, the grounds, the items for sale, and the person whose estate is being sold. Please do not make negative or derogatory remarks. Often, there has been a recent loss so all due respect is warranted.


Unpaid items may be “held” for a maximum of 1 hr. We always try to have a designated area for items/piles “on hold” while you continue to shop. Place a sticker on your area/item showing your name and time. Do not shop from the hold areas, as these are someone else’s things.

We have a person checking hold piles and after 1 hour they will be replaced back in the sale area. Do not place things in the hold area that you do not intend to buy (this is referred to as hoarding and can get you banned from future sales)!

All items are sold As-Is and Only Once. Please believe this and make sure you want what you are buying. We do not offer refunds or exchanges. This is not a department store. We normally have about 22 hours of sale time to empty an entire house. Don’t expect us to sell something twice.

There are outlets and extension cords – plug it in and try it. We have a tape measure – measure it. Look it over and under. Above all, be sure you want it, then buy it and enjoy it.

All items are sold where is. Please make sure you are able to dismantle, move, load, etc. whatever you are buying. We have a dolly and a rolling furniture mover you are welcome to use on-site. We normally have basic tools such as screwdrivers, etc. that you can borrow to take things apart. But, you need to provide your own helpers to load and move your items.

Removal of purchases: Payment is expected prior to the removal of any item from the premises. Items are expected to be removed shortly after being paid for unless prior arrangements have been made with the management.

We can often hold paid items for you until the end of the sale if necessary. Please make sure you can remove your purchases by that time. *Any items left after the final date will be forfeited unless prior arrangements have been made.

We have a list of movers that we can supply for you to consider. We do not endorse these movers, nor do we receive anything from them. We offer the list only as a convenience to our buyers in case they need a “spur of the moment” person to move something for them. Use the list at your own risk. If you have a negative experience with someone on the list, please let us know and we will consider removing their name from the list.

Payment Forms We Accept: 

Cash is always king. It doesn’t cost us anything to take (like credit cards), and it does not bear any risk to our client. Any experienced shopper knows that the best deals always come to those paying cash.

We accept credit or debit cards for purchases over $20 (we do not charge you or our client extra to use a credit or debit card).

We do not accept checks. Why? 1. We will not put our clients at risk by receiving a bad check. 2. If someone can write a valid check, then they could also use a debit card to pay for their purchase directly out of their checking account. A debit card is essentially a plastic check instead of a paper check and it carries no risk to us. 3. Additionally, if someone can write a valid check, then they can withdraw cash from an ATM which is rarely more than a mile or so from any sale. We will put a timed (1 hr. max) hold sticker on an item for you while you go to an ATM.

Certified checks (cashier’s checks) from your bank are accepted for larger purchases such as cars, golf carts, furniture, etc., as these do not put our clients at risk.

Sales Tax:

We collect and pay sales tax. If you have questions or comments regarding this, please direct them to the state Division of Taxation. If you are a dealer and are buying for resale, we require a copy of your valid sales tax certificate that we will keep on file with a record of tax-exempt sales. 
Pricing Policies:

On the first day of a sale, we don’t negotiate prices much unless it happens to be a small “1 day only sale” or you are purchasing a large number of items. We always try to make negotiating a pleasant experience and do what we can based on what you’re buying and when.

Any day after the first day, we ALWAYS are open to negotiation. “Percentage off” offers and box lots or bag sales will be clearly posted and vary from sale to sale.

Disputes between customers over possession of an item will be decided by auctioning the item to the highest bidder.

Prices are subject to change at any time and an offer to sell may be revoked at any time.

We Take Bids or Offers Every Day:

Look for our bid box and put a bid or offer on your item/items of interest. If you love something and don’t feel comfortable with the posted price, leave a bid or offer for that item. We will call you as the sale winds down if we are able to accept your bid. We never review bids until the first day of the sale has closed.

Admittance to Our Estate Sales:

Entering one of our Estate Sales implies consent to and an agreement to comply with all stated policies and procedures. The management reserves all rights.

From time to time, we have VIP sales events for a client’s family, friends, and/or people signed up for our email sale notification list. If you’d like to sign up, you can do it online or at any of our sales. We also offer occasional discounts and offers to our Facebook and Twitter followers.

Our regular sale starting times and dates are well advertised and vary. Line up outside the residence. We do not hand out numbers. We feel that adults are able to maintain an orderly line without a number in their hands.

A body in line represents one spot. Don’t come to drop your bag in line at 6 am and expect it to hold a place for you. Don’t get in line and let 10 or so of your “closest friends” join you later as this is not fair or reasonable to all the others who have been waiting behind you.

We let as many people enter the premises as is reasonable and that number (usually between 20 – 40) is dependent upon many factors. We don’t like to keep you waiting and would much rather have you shopping inside. But sometimes a huge crowd compromises our goals and obligation to our client.

We reserve the right to refuse entrance to anyone to any of our sales for any reason – period. You are a guest invited into the home and can be just as easily uninvited if for any reason we feel our Number 1 Obligation: Our Client is compromised. We do not have to give you a reason.

No pets or animals of any kind will be allowed into our Estate Sales. We won’t bring our pet and we don’t want you to bring yours.

No strollers allowed inside the home. If you bring a child with you, keep them with you at all times, and be responsible for any damage they may cause or injuries they may sustain.

Please handle items carefully. If you damage an item, we will expect you to pay the posted price for it.

We take shoplifting seriously. Security and loss prevention are priorities for us and we have multiple measures in place to address this.

Our policies and procedures are subject to change at any time.


We Buy and Sell Estate Vehicles

Many estates have vehicles that need to be liquidated along with the household contents. Often folks hang onto their vehicles in hopes of the possibility that they may someday be able to use them again. Vehicles represent independence and a happier time of life. It’s understandable that no one is eager to give that up.

Selling an estate vehicle has a few challenges but they’re not difficult to deal with in most cases if someone is experienced and willing to devote a little time and effort.

This page offers a few tips from our professionals. We buy and sell all types of estate vehicles.

Our team sells nearly any vehicle you could think of when liquidating an estate. Many, many cars, trucks, and golf carts; motorcycles, scooters, campers and RVs, boats, trailers, personal watercraft, snowmobiles, and yes – we have sold a plane (actually, 2 planes). So, whatever you’ve got to sell, we can sell it quickly and at a fair price.

Two of the biggest challenges when it comes to selling estate vehicles are:
Time constraints: Often there is an urgency surrounding the sale. This situation takes aggressive marketing on multiple venues, accurate pricing, and getting the item into the best condition possible for a quick sale and optimal return.
Condition of estate vehicles: Many have been in a state of nonuse for months or even years. Sometimes a good clean up is all that’s needed but often there’s a little more to it.
The summer heat can very hard on rubber seals and belts. Batteries are often drained and dust gets into everything. Unfortunately, a vehicle may become the home of a rodent (or worse) looking for a safe place to build a nest.

The title and paperwork are also very important when it comes to selling estate vehicles. The appropriate person must be available to sign over the title to the purchaser.

This can often be done remotely, electronically, or via express mail, etc., but is an important process to have in place before you have a buyer. Nothing kills a sale quicker than a snag with documentation.

Any supporting documents regarding the vehicle such as maintenance records, service manuals, and upgrades or replacement parts is a bonus and can help your item bring the best price.

Having professionals come in and conduct an onsite sale is often the best way to lighten your workload and maximize your proceeds.

But, how do you choose a company to handle your estate sale?

We go “above and beyond” to bring each estate vehicle up to its maximum potential.

He knows vehicles, prices, and marketing and will find the right buyer for anything with wheels.

There is never a charge for our consultations and never any “up-front” fees.

If you see an estate sale in your future, Contact our Team, and let’s talk about it.


Estate Sale Sellers List

If you’re a novice and considering doing an estate sale on your own, you’ll need all the help you can get. Here’s an “Estate Sale Sellers List” to give you some helpful ideas.

Seller’s Survival
You get 1 chance to have a great sale. Don’t blow it!

There’s a lot of planning that goes into pulling off a successful estate sale. But how do you give the sale your best shot and make the most out of it?

Here are a few tips from our team of professional estate liquidators:

Estate Sale Sellers’ Survival List
Here’s What You Need:
Lots of Help. Recruit friends, neighbors, relatives, and anyone else you can find. There is a huge amount of prep work to pulling everything out, cleaning it up, displaying it, pricing it, selling it, getting rid of the leftovers, and the cleanup. Here’s where you find out who your real friends are!

A pricing expert. Pricing is everything with an estate sale. We say that over and over again. If you don’t do anything else, research your prices. Too high or too low will kill your bottom line.
A novice pricing team will let a lot of money walk out the door on under-priced items and be stuck with a ton of overpriced items they were in love with. Read more about estate sale pricing and what things are worth. An investment of time spent researching the current market value of your items will make a much more successful sale.

Pricing Equipment. Make sure everything is marked with a price. If you’re forced to give a buyer a price in a hurry, you’ll usually price it too low – therefore, make sure it’s already priced. Avoid masking tape and other unsightly pricing methods. An ugly price tag will diminish the perceived value of your item.
It’s a good idea to have price tags that are difficult to remove because some shoppers will switch tags to “name their own price”. It’s also a good practice to have the people who have priced the items present at the checkout station, as they know what the correct price should be.

Lots and lots of tables and displays. Some nice cloths to go on the tables will give your displays a more polished look and also gives you an area under the table to stash boxes and/or more merchandise.
Good lighting. Most sales start in the early hours so you’ll need light. People won’t buy it if they can’t see it. Don’t depend on the lamps you have for sale because you and your customers will be left in the dark. I’ve seen this time and time again – the lamps sell right off and the scramble begins to find lighting replacements.
Turn everything on that can be (not kitchen appliances), items such as TVs, radios, lamps – yes, all of them. They will sell in a fraction of the time and for more if it is obvious that they work.
Make sure there are electrical outlets available for people to try items out – particularly in the kitchen and garage. If people can’t get to the outlet, plug an extension cord in where people can get to that. Be sure to mark your cords NFS (Not For Sale) or you will surely see them at the checkout station.

You need to have everything pulled out of closets, cabinets, boxes, drawers, etc so people can see them and so they can buy the furniture the stuff was stashed in. Put it on the floor in neat piles if you have to but get it out, priced and organized.
Don’t fill tables, cabinets, or bookcases that are for sale full of other small items because the furniture itself can’t be seen and is not perceived as an item that is actually for sale. Also, it can be a big hassle if the furniture piece does sell because you’re trying to move all the small stuff displayed on it. That’s when breakage occurs and also when shoplifters take advantage of your attention being diverted. Our rule is “no more than 1 or 2 complimentary items on any piece of furniture that is for sale”!
Put up some clear signs, sale hours and times, payment policies, and legal disclaimers such as “Not Responsible for Accidents”, “Cash Only”, or whatever you need to say. People are not mind readers. Most people aren’t sign readers either but at least you can refer to the fact that your information IS posted.

Secure off-limits areas with signage, physical barriers, tarps, or yellow CAUTION tape. Clearly mark items that are NOT for sale.
Extensive advertising with great signs and directions. No amount of preparation is fruitful unless shoppers know about your sale AND can find it. Advertising is expensive but all is wasted if nobody comes to your sale.

Estate sale companies have vast email lists of “regulars” that you won’t have the benefit of. So, make sure you use every venue out there.

Appropriate newspapers, Craig’s List, flyers, word of mouth, and social networking such as Facebook and Twitter are advertising possibilities. Clearly state the address and give directions. Including a Google map is an added benefit for many shoppers.

Signage is one of your best advertisers! People who never see your printed or internet ads may see your signs. Be sure to know the signage regulations in your area.

Start out in an area of heavy traffic and route people down the side streets to your sale with great signs. Spending money on these will make you more than it costs!

You may want to schedule a Goodwill (or other charity) pickup for leftover items. You need to do this well in advance if you want them to pick it up. Otherwise, you’ll be left packing it up and delivering it to them yourself.


If you’re looking for an estate sale company, call our office and let us show you how our team can make your sale the best it can be.

If you have an estate to liquidate located in the area, we can give your sale the local attention it deserves.

We partner with the estate owners, estate executors such as nursing homes, lawyers, trustees, and of course family and heirs of area estates.

We understand that time is often a primary concern and strive to work within your deadlines.

However, the sooner we can get you on our calendar, the greater the chance of an available opening for your sale.

Call for a Free Consultation to discuss your needs.

What Happens When You Call?
When you call, we’ll want to know the general location of the home and a brief description of the estate. We’ll also need to know when you need the sale to take place to see if the time frame is possible for us.

Need To Hear A Friendly Voice?
From that information, we can both decide if your estate may be a good match for our services. If so, we’ll need to come out and meet you or your representative at the residence and further review your estate liquidation needs.

It’s necessary that we see the items you need to sell, the logistics of the setting, and what will be involved in organizing, displaying, and marketing your estate items. At that time, we will share our pricing, policies, and procedures with you, as these are all clearly explained in our contract.

Our company operates on a commission basis assessed on an “estate value/labor investment ratio” and the home visit will tell us what that percentage will be. There is absolutely no obligation or charge for this estate review and we never ask for any money upfront.

Please understand that we are unable to accept all estate liquidations that we are called for.

We are “hands-on” owners and are responsible for your sale. Therefore, we are always present during the setup and during the sale. This level of monitoring and responsibility drastically limits the number of sales we can accept.

If you interview a company that takes 2 or more sales per week, a valid question to ask is, “Who’s really tending the sale and who is ultimately responsible for your possessions?”

If it appears that your estate is a good match for our team and you decide to utilize our services, we’ll provide you with a written contract, we’ll get you on our calendar, and we’ll get busy marketing your items.

Call us today!


estate sales 6/29/2020 – gtg

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 Liquidation

A full-service estate liquidation company with an emphasis on real property. Finding the right solution for your Estate Services or transactions 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!

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 sells 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 the 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.


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 into cash.

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 our company comes in.

Why use our services?

We give you more…

Expert Authentication. Wondering how much that “old desk” is really worth? You might be pleasantly surprised – even shocked. Uniquely, we are appraisers. Our 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. We have professional work histories. We have translated this experience into the way we run our 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 worldwide 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 money for 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 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, 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 are 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 using our services is a simple process. After 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.


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 differently 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 a 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.


The biggest wave of our century is the “baby boom”! Are you diversifying your estate sales skills set to include consignment to take advantage of trading assistant/consignment sales opportunities? Trading assistance is BOOMING, and it’s 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?

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 the federal government, a military post thrift store was operated by officer’s wives who sold the majority of its inventory on consignment, with a well-worded contract. A lesson in point: If the consignor (me) forgot to inquire whether the item had sold within 30 days from the 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 privilege 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 incorporate 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,, 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 being 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 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 marketplace 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 the 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.


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 a 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 client’s 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 misidentified 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, 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 a 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.

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 armchair 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 undersold at an estate sale.

Doing estate sales is truly challenging — I cannot lie. 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!


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 indifference 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 a 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 sales 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: and 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+.


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.



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 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 the 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 ensure 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 the 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 or 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 to your question, “What am I going to do with all this stuff?”.




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? What about things of no value like old magazines, or all 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 our company! 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.