HELP!!! What do I do? Where do I begin?
Ok here are some first steps prior to setting up an appointment:
Don’t throw anything out!!! Anything, well except food items, personal care items, etc… Having done this over the years I cannot tell you how much money people have lost throwing things out because they deem them to be “junk.” Please let us decide that for you. A jar of rusty nails will sell…
Figure out what you wish to keep and what items will be distributed to family members. Perhaps store them in a separate room that can be locked.
Make the phone call, send an email or text us to make an appointment. We will travel anywhere in a hundred mile radius. 315-941-1795 or [email protected]
Please decide whether you want a “showing” or a “sale.” Some people say this is to blunt of a point that I make but again, I want you to know this upfront. Like all the other companies and people doing this – I can mark your items with an astronomical price, then cut them down the second day of the sale. That is what I refer to as a showing. People will come in say, oh what nice items and leave. When the sale is over your better items will be “cherry-picked” and you will be left with a mess of unsold stuff to still clean up. Or we can have a sale – which we are pretty good at selling between 80-95% of everything offered. My method will price items in the dealer price buy range; simply they pick it up, see the price and buy it. No multi-day haggling and no left-overs. People who say they will be back, never do. You have to be prepared for a one and done, they touch it, they buy it. Of course each sale is different, each estate has different items, different buyers, different demographics, etc… We factor all this in to come up with the best sales strategy for you.
So what happens when I schedule an appointment what will this cost me?
Nothing, a consultation is free.
A walkthrough of what needs to be sold is a must. I need to know exactly what you have and what you want to sell. I can’t factor in things I can’t see…
I can give you a rough estimate of what I think a sale can generate. Hopefully it is a lot more, sometimes even less, but usually we are pretty good at estimating.
The cost of a sale is a 30% Commission to me. The remaining 70% goes to you. While that may seem high, here is what comes out of the 30%. I will pay for all print and on-line advertising. It pays for supplies needed to set up a sale. It pays for gas and my traveling. It pays for credit card fees stemming from sales. And it also pays for my helpers. (Just as an example two small print ads alone cost over $100) Since I am paying for all this up-front, the entire burden is on us to make the sale successful. All you need to do is sit back and let us do our thing. Obviously the more we make you the happier we will be.
It can take anywhere from 2-3 weeks to prepare and host a sale, mostly because of the advertising cycle. Most sales are Friday from 8am-6pm and Saturday 8am-3pm.
I will leave you with a copy of our contract and all that mumbo-jumbo and also a folder containing the same information contained within this website. Hopefully you decide to go with us and we can schedule a time. Once a time and advertisements are posted no further items can be removed from the sale. In several cases I have paid people in cash at the end of the sale, or by check. Regardless you will receive certified funds within 7 days of the close of the sale.
With all the fish in the sea why should we pick you?
I know this sounds corny, but seriously I am here to help you. This is not something I have ever gotten rich off of. Sadly I knew it from both sides. I have lost my parents and many loved ones over the years and had the awesome responsibility of settling this portion of that person’s life.
I don’t want to say something as brash as I don’t care who you ultimately get, but whomever you decide to go with – ASK QUESTIONS! Get specific clarifications on fees, add-ons, and just silly things like food charges. Don’t dismiss us because our fee is 30% straight up and only, versus someone else at 10% with fees that will bring you over 50-60% when all is said and done. Some companies charge minimums like $750 to host a sale plus a percentage. Just please, please, make sure you ask about all of this upfront. I have had clients over the years choose different companies, then call me up and complain they were taken advantage of and in one case the person owed the estate sale company money.
The world is an unsavory place filled with people who are more than happy to help separate you from your money. When my dad passed away in 2003 I was determined to not do this ever again and in the process I contacted an auctioneer friend whom we had spent a lot of money with over the years. He said he would take care of us and boy did he! Two tractor trailer loads of stuff went to auction with a hammer price of we assume close to $18k, but he never paid us. Even legally we were never able to resolve the issue before his death and we never got paid. We found out scores of other people never saw there reimbursements either. That’s when I got back in to this, so when I say I’m here to help you I really am. No one should have to go through that anguish on top of the loss of a loved one.
If you do plan a sale, I highly recommend you not be there. Of course it is your house, and your merchandise. I am not trying to hide anything from you. In the nutshell, buyers do not care about the stories are sentimental value of items in the sale. At this point to them it is strictly business. They know what they want to pay and they know what they are going to sell it for. Literally, it is that simple. It can get harsh and heated between buyers and sellers. You as a spectator will probably become incredibly angered at watching this happen over your cherished family heirlooms. Speaking from experience, it’s best leaving this up to an intermediary like us to take care of that for you leaving the emotions out.
The reason you don’t get hung up on a single items price is simple and why we say don’t throw anything out. You need to look at the totality of the sale, never fixate on one item. Maybe you thought something will sell for $100 and we can only get $60, but we sell $100 worth of other items you would have thrown out as junk it all evens out in the end results. But in the end and most importantly for you, hopefully we can clean out a large portion of your estate with only minimal work left behind and most of all YOU WILL GET PAID!!!
I will just add a few more points…
No one knows everything, to me there is no such thing as an expert under that definition. I know what I know and what I don’t I will research. I can handle a common coin to a rare book or map and everything in between…
HOT ITEMS – Gold, Silver, Coins, Stamps, Military Items, Postcards, Pre-1960s sports stuff, automobile and motorcycle items, tools, Rare Books / Maps and stuff from the 1970-1980 periods.
I hope you like the re-designed website. Since others had copied my original site word for word, I am reminded of what dad used to say – “often imitated but never duplicated.”
To reference the “Showing” comment again. Many will host these sales with Retail or Boutique prices. Often I hear well the catalog says its worth this much… Here is the rule I follow. There is the market value of an item. Let’s say a comic book has a catalog value of $100. Retail would have this priced around $110. However if you look at the sale prices on-line, yes the sold for prices, this comic averages $35. A dealer is not going to pay you $35 for something he can only sell for $35. A realistic sale price at the estate sale would be between $12-17. Now you are thinking wait, I’m losing out almost $100. No the difference is you will be selling your item versus the store that will have that price tag waiting for years for either an inexperienced new collector, or someone who really, really wants it regardless of price. That is what I mean by “Dealer Pricing.” Ultimately the difference between showing and selling.
You have to understand the internet has destroyed most of the collectibles world. Many of these price guides are fantasy prices. Think about how many antique shops you visit and how often the same items are there for years… I have been in many fights over Hummel’s in the past decade. I genuinely feel bad that people have spent tens of thousands of dollars on collecting them to break the news to them they only sell between $5-$30 with little exception at sales and auctions. Back in the day mail was the only way to gather them up, now there are 50 of any given design on ebay all the time. Glassware, the staple item for dealers back in the 1990s – the market has bottomed out, literally. You can buy boxes filled with Depression Glass now for the same amount one piece would have cost in the 1990’s. Collectible Dolls, Beanie Babies and the like forget about it. While kids toys of the 1970s and 1980s have skyrocketed. Rare Books and Maps would be the exception to dealer pricing. If the title of ownership is free and clear and they are worthwhile titles (usually dated before 1820), they can command full price or more as a respectable investment. Coins are a pretty clear cut item – 30% of catalog value. Stamps even worse 5-10% of catalog value, again, unless there are true rarities. Furniture after 1880 is pretty much dependent on looks. Everyone’s grandmother had that cherry dining room table and chairs, the claw foot end tables, the cherry glass-fronted hutch, the cherry sideboard, the Waterfall Pattern bedroom set, etc… Sadly, nobody wants that design anymore.
An estate sale is more than just a sale, it is a social event. It is entertainment in an essence. We will set the correct ambiance, set the correct decorations, send out the right invitations, set the mood and for those who come we will help them feel a part of the experience. All will be welcome and treated fairly. For without the clientele there is no sale…