Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Estate Sale Pro

For many people who are in the position to host an estate sale, trusting in the professionals to run their estate sale may be the best decision they can make when it comes to getting rid of items in the most lucrative and speedy way possible. If you’re searching for an estate sale professional to hire to carry out your sale, be sure to ask the following questions before you make the hiring decision official.

Question 1: What are your fees?

There’s quite a bit of discrepancy in how estate sale companies structure their fees, meaning that not every company is the same. That’s why it’s so important to ask what a company’s charges are and how they assess those charges. For example, companies typically charge:

  • A flat rate
  • A flat rate, plus a percentage of the sales
  • A percentage of gross sales
  • A balance minimum or percentage of the sales, whichever happens to be greater

These different fee assessments might not seem like a big deal, but if you have a home with many valuable items, choosing a professional company that takes a percentage of your sales may cause you to lose out on more money than you anticipated.

Moreover, some companies don’t offer all-inclusive fees. If you end up needing a permit to host an estate sale or needing to have professionals come in to clear out the house after the sale is over, or the company requires you to pitch in for credit card processing fees or advertising costs, you’ll be out more money than you originally planned. Knowing what a company charges and what their fees include is a crucial component to find out before you make a decision on what professional to go with for your estate sale.

Question 2: How do you plan to keep the property secure?

In the case of an estate sale, you’re entrusting a third-party service with personal belongings to sell to total strangers. Some of these items could hold a high monetary or sentimental value. Finding out upfront how a company plans to keep your personal items and property secure throughout the duration of the sale is essential.

Question 3: How do you price the items for sale?

Finding out how a professional company plans to price your items for sale is key in setting expectations for how much money you’ll be able to make from the sale. An honest company will be able to give you a straight answer—don’t settle for one that seems shady.

Question 4: Are you insured?

Even when you employ professionals to carry out a service, accidents do happen. The responsible estate sale agents will have taken the proper steps to become insured in the event that a sale is robbed, a shopper becomes injured or a staff suffers an injury during the sale. Don’t choose a company that can’t provide you with proper proof of insurance.

Question 5: What do you require of me?

You’ll want to know exactly what you’re required to do prior to the sale so you know if you can work with a company or not. You’ll want to find out how they schedule the sale, when payment is made and if there are any prohibitions for who is and isn’t allowed for participating in the sale.

Summary

Taking the time to find out the answers to these essential questions before hiring an estate sale agent or professional will ensure that your estate sale is successful as it possibly can be.

How to Host a Successful Community Garage Sale?

Hosting a garage sale is a tried and true method for getting rid of clutter you no longer want and making a few extra bucks. However, your garage sale will only be successful if you can drive enough traffic to your sale to sell your items. One way to increase the odds of a successful sale is to host a community garage sale, where members of your neighborhood, church or school come together to sell your unwanted items for profit. By the sheer structure of having more people and more items at your sale, you’ll be sure to garner more potential buyers at your event. But, you may be wondering how you can get started with organizing a community garage sale. Don’t worry, here are just a few simple steps to take to get the ball rolling.

Create Your Community

In order to host a community garage sale, you need to create your community. This could include your neighborhood, your church, your school or even your family and friends. Regardless of who you decide to host a sale with, you need to find a community who’s willing to gather up items to sell. You can do this by distributing flyers, calling people, posting on social media or even just walking door to door. HoardNot App helps you in this regard, to connect with communities around you, which are bound to your local area. The communities consist of like-minded people, who promote sale and purchase of niche items in the area. Decide When and Where You Want to Have the Sale

Decide When and Where You Want to Have the Sale

Once you’ve found the community members with whom you’ll hold your sale, you need to agree on a date, time and location to hold your sale. Typically, weekends are the most profitable times to hold garage sales. For optimal results, consider having a multi-day sale, either Friday and Saturday, Saturday and Sunday or all weekend. This will give plenty of buyers the opportunity to make it out to your sale. Consider implementing a tagging system where a specific color sticker correlates to a specific seller so that you can track how much money a household earns at the register. This way, even if someone can’t be there at the sale the whole time, they’ll still be able to earn their deserved money.

Depending on the size of your sale and who you’re holding a garage sale with, location may become tricky. Try to have one person volunteer their front yard or garage for the sale to make it easy and simple. If that’s not possible, try to find a legal and public place where you can set up shop for the sale.

Organize Your Items

To make things as easy as possible, it’s in your best interest to collectively come up with a pricing and tagging system to ensure that the rightful seller of an item gets credit for the sale. This could be as easy as having every seller create an itemized list of what they’re selling, and assigning a specific color tag to them and their items. Then, have one checkout spot where the cashier is working off each seller’s itemized lists, marking down the price paid for each item. At the end of the sale, this makes it easy to divvy up the cash or credit sales received.

Summary

With a little organization and teamwork, hosting a community garage sale can be a fun way to get rid of your unwanted household items and make some money!

Estate Sales: DIY or Hire a Professional?

If you find yourself in the position of needing to have an estate sale, the thought, “Should I hire a professional company to host my estate sale?” has probably crossed your mind. All things considered, holding an estate sale is more involved than hosting your run-of-the-mill garage sale. You’ll have to generate a list, put a price tag on your items and, in some cases, take pictures or post your estate sale online. If you’ve got plenty of time on your hands or you’re an organized individual, you may be able to get away with not turning to the pros when it comes time to hold your estate sale. For many others, though, trusting in the professionals to run your estate sale may be the best decision you can make when it comes to getting rid of your items in the most lucrative and speedy way possible. Read on to learn more.

The Expert Touch

Estate sale companies are experts when it comes to hosting and running an estate sale. After all, it is their area of expertise. Because they know the industry’s ins and outs, you can be sure that you’ll have a successful sale with their help. Moreover, these experts are familiar with local and state legislation surrounding estate sales, so you can trust your sale will be in compliance with any applicable legislation. And, the vast majority of estate sale companies can accept credit cards, further increasing your potential for hefty profits at your estate sale.

Reputation and Connections

Many estate sale companies have been in the business for years, and have developed a sense of trust within the estate sale buyer community. Chances are, if you choose a well-known third-party company, their top buyers will be notified of your sale and will likely show up to see what you’re selling. Unlike when you host a sale yourself, you’ll for sure have customers shopping your items.

The Pros Take Care of the Items That Don’t Sell

Regardless of the reason why you’re looking to hold an estate sale, we know you probably have no need for the items that don’t sell. If you host a sale on your own, you’ll be stuck dealing with what doesn’t sell, sometimes being rushed to get it out of your home. When you choose a professional estate sale company, you’ll have many options as to what will happen to the items that don’t sell during the sale. In many cases, there’s an option for the company to move the items for you, taking one more stressful thing off your plate for you. In some cases, you can even contract the company to have your home professionally cleaned after the sale is over and the items have been removed.

You shouldn’t have to do extra work—needing to host an estate sale is stressful enough. Let the professionals help you. Your sale will not only be more successful with their help, but it will go a lot smoother on your end, giving you the time and energy you need to tackle other tasks in your life.

Evolution of the Garage Sale

Summers and warm weather are pretty much synonymous with yard and garage sales. Every weekend throughout these warm months you’ll be able to find at least one family in every neighborhood hosting a garage sale.

Historical Roots

The garage sales you see in present day are vastly different from the ones in the past, but the same principle still exists. The first garage sales, which are also known as rummage sales, can be traced way back in history to the port cities. Rummage is a nautical term that means the arranging of items within a ship’s casks. After a ship pulled into the dock, any unclaimed or damaged cargo would be hauled off the ship and put up for sale—hence the beginning of a rummage sale. Centuries later, this practice was adopted by charities and churches to raise money and give to the less fortunate. Typically, these organizations would ask their parishioners or the wealthy to donate any unwanted or discarded goods to raise money.

20th Century Practices

The practice continued to expand, with Americans selling items they no longer had use for or desire to keep. While many neighbors had already done this before, now the concept of selling—not just trading—your goods. In the trying economic times, this practice proved to be useful for many Americans who needed to make ends meet. The practice of selling your own items became more socially acceptable in these early times, as it had been frowned upon immensely before to purchase the goods of someone else.

Downturn of Garage Sales

The negative social stigma of purchasing pre-owned goods hit an all-time high following the years of the World Wars. Many Americans had no choice but to shop at these sales during the hard economic times following the wars, including the Great Depression, in order to find affordable products. In the same fashion, many Americans had to sell their clothes or household items to make money to purchase food or to pay for their lodging or rent.

The 50s and early 60s saw a downturn in popularity of the yard sale, as it wasn’t socially acceptable to purchase pre-owned goods. These two decades were of great wealth for many Americans, with the expectation that the more new products and appliances you had, the better off you were.

Upswing of Garage Sales

Once the 70s rolled around, though, the nostalgic and loved sense of yard sales returned. As Americans began to embrace environmentalism and being thrifty, the yard sale transformed into the iconic tradition that is known now.

Today, Americans are wealthier than ever before, but the environmental aspect of capitalism has resulted in many Americans preferring to purchase pre-owned goods in lieu of brand-new goods. Additionally, some people just want to save money, and many college students are in so much debt that they don’t have another choice but to hit up garage sales before the big box department stores.

Summary

Garage sales have come a long way from their humble beginnings. As times continue to change, you can expect that garage sales will only continue to grow in popularity. Happy shopping!

Why You Need to Plan a Yard Sale Shopping Route?

If you’re planning on shopping your local yard sales this season, it’s important to take the time to properly plan and prepare. Because you won’t know what’s at a garage sale until you get there, you need to list out exactly what you’re looking for and where you might be able to find it. That’s where planning a yard sale shopping route comes in handy. Whether you want to shop two sales in one day or upwards of five sales in one day, these steps laid out below will help you on your quest to finding the best sales in your area and planning out the perfect shopping route. Read on to learn more.

Research Upcoming Yard Sales

In the past, you’d only be able to find local yard sales by scouting out the streets and neighborhoods of your city. While this is still a viable way to find promising sales, you’re probably a busy person who doesn’t want to invest all that time and money driving around town. Thanks to the internet and technology as a whole, you don’t have to. Many hosts of garage sales will post online and on yard sale listing sites to advertise their upcoming sales. There might even be cellphone applications available for your area that allow you see sales near you with ease. This new technologically advanced medium affords you the opportunity of being able to easily see where these sales may be. Additionally, some listings include images of items for sale and descriptions of what you might find at the sale. This information can be very useful in determining if you should go to that sale or not.

Another way you can find local garage sales to visit is by checking your paper. Some sellers will post an ad for the upcoming garage sale in the timeless advertising section of the newspaper. You can even try to check the online classifieds section of your paper if you’re not sure where to buy your local paper.

Planning Out Your Route

After you’ve thoroughly researched the upcoming sales in your area and decided which ones you want to visit, it’s time to plan out your shopping route. It may seem silly but creating a shopping route is a surefire way that you’ll stay on track and not be aimlessly driving across town. While you can do this the old-fashioned way by physically plotting these points on a map of your area, it might be easier to use technology. Start at the yard sale that you’re most interested in checking out. This way, you can be sure to get there first and not risk the items you want selling before you get there. From there, plan your trip accordingly with what makes sense. This may mean you plan your route based on where the sales are in a logical manner. Or, this could mean you go to the most interesting sales first. Whatever you plan on doing, having a plan will help you stay organized and on-track, even if the sales become overwhelming for you.

Summary

When you have a plan, you’re setting yourself up for success. Take the time to do your research and plot out the sales you want to go to so that you don’t have to stress about it when it’s shopping day.

The Art of Pricing Your Yard Sale Items

Whether it’s your first yard sale or your hundredth, there’s always one persistent pain point: pricing your items. If you price too low or too high, you risk losing out on making money. Above all else, the price tag on your items will have the biggest impact on how successful your yard sale is or isn’t. With clear and fair pricing, negotiation strategies and organization, pricing your items can be simple. Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list of tried-and-true methods to make pricing your yard sale items a breeze.

#1: Conduct market research.

Just like how major companies conduct market research to do figure out proper pricing for their goods and services, you need to find out what other yard sales in your area are pricing their items at. This will allow you to fairly price your items and give you a better chance of selling all your items. You can accomplish this task by driving around town and checking out other yard sales in your area. If you’re comfortable and confident enough in the situation, consider asking the sellers how they went about pricing the items. Explain that you’re going to holding a yard sale in a few weeks and you wanted to get a feel for the yard sale market in your area.

#2: Don’t expect to get back all the money you spent on a certain item.

This is probably one of the more important concepts to keep in mind when you’re pricing your yard sale items. There’s no doubt that you spent hard-earned money on the items you intend to sell when you purchased them. However, the market value of these items have depreciated, and if you’ve used them, this is especially true. A good rule of thumb to follow is the one-third rule. This rule explains you should aim to price items at one-third of the original price you paid. For example, if you purchased a bike for $150, you should price it for sale at $50. You’ll at least get some return on your initial investment, but you won’t scare buyers away with high prices.

GarageSales, YardSales, Estate Sales, Community Sales

#3: Price slightly above the price you want to receive for the item.

At yard sales, there’s an expectation that prices will be negotiated. That’s why it’s a good practice to price your items just slightly higher than the price you hope to sell the item for. This gives you some wiggle room for negotiations while still ensuring that you’re fairly compensated for the items you’re parting with. Don’t overdo the pricing, though. At most, consider marking up your items about 20% so to not scare away buyers.

#4: Clearly display your prices.

Think about how frustrating it is to you when you can’t figure out how much something costs while you’re shopping. The same principle applies to your yard sale pricing. It’s important to clearly display your prices and organize your yard sale so that there is no room for misunderstandings or confusing surrounding pricing. If a buyer can’t figure out how much an item costs, and becomes frustrated, you risk losing that sale. That’s why it’s so important for clear and fair pricing.

Summary

Yard sale pricing can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. By following these four guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a yard sale pro.

Why Secondhand Clothes Are Creating a Buzz in the U.S.?

Shopping for secondhand clothing used to come with a nasty stigma. Now, thanks to great marketing efforts spreading the positive environmental and sustainability impact that secondhand clothing has, that’s all changed. What was once avoided at all costs unless you had absolutely no other option is now what many U.S. consumers are doing regularly: shopping for secondhand clothing. This fact hasn’t gone unnoticed, and it’s giant spike in popularity isn’t just suspected, it’s proven.

The Numbers

ThredUp, an online secondhand clothing selling giant, conducts annual reports to look into market trends. Over the last three years, the secondhand clothing industry has grown 21 times faster than brand-new retail sales. Additionally, the U.S. market is currently worth about $24 billion.

According to thredUp’s Neil Saunders, GlobalData Managing Director & Lead Market Analyst, “Compared to the overall apparel market, resale’s growth has been phenomenal. As the market uniquely meets consumers’ preference for variety, value, and sustainability, we expect the high growth to continue.”

The company’s research found that the uptick in secondhand buyers is consistent across all types of clothing, including luxury, mid-market and discount items. Specifically, 26% of shoppers purchase secondhand luxury items, 25% purchase secondhand mid-market items and 22% purchase secondhand discount items.

Moreover, thredUp’s research revealed that the popularity of secondhand shopping is resonating across multiple generations, with millennials and Gen Zers embracing this market the most. Baby boomers and Gen Xers aren’t far behind though.

For a trend that’s seen double-digit growth in such a short amount of time, and crosses multiple generation, secondhand clothing is truly taking the market by storm.

How did the secondhand clothing market grow so quickly?

As with many different niche markets, the secondhand clothing industry can partly attribute its growth to ever-developing technology. New online marketplaces have made it possible for people to easily buy and sell pre-owned goods. ThredUp is obviously one of the major game players, but other popular resale sites include Poshmark, eBay and Etsy. ThredUp has done a particularly good job tapping into social media sites and using social media influencers to spread the site’s message and get its name out there. As more and more people see celebrities promoting secondhand shopping, the negative stigma surrounding secondhand clothing lessens.

One thing that these influencers promote when talking about secondhand clothing on their pages is the environmental factor of purchasing pre-owned clothes over brand-new clothes. ThredUP found that nearly 3 in 4 consumers are more likely to buy from environmentally friendly shops over non-environmentally friendly shops. This change in attitude is represented in mainstream culture, and while it isn’t isolated to the clothing market, it’s becoming a huge selling point for the secondhand clothing market.

Summary

The secondhand clothing market is predicted to continue to grow at a fast pace for years to come. With its sustainability factor, technological advances and social media marketing, you can expect that this trend is here to stay for the foreseeable future. While this might spell trouble for traditional retailers, consumers and the Earth can rejoice in the fact that it’s now cool to save money on your clothes by buying gently used items through popular resale sites.

Top Garage Sale Trends in the U.S.

When it comes to thinking about what to sell at your upcoming garage sale, you’re probably focused on getting rid of all the clutter that’s in your home or purely trying to make as much money as possible. What you might not realize is that every year there are certain items that buyers are on the lookout for. If you have any of the following trending items in your home, you should definitely plan on adding them to your collection of items to sell at your garage sale.

#1: Vinyl Records

This trending item shouldn’t come as a surprise given the recent spike in popularity records have seen. Millennials, baby boomers and Gen Xers alike will be excited to come across working vinyl records, especially if you have a great collection to choose from. Make sure to check out what your records might sell for online to compare pricing so that you can price your records, which are sure to be a hot commodity, fairly.

#2: Costume Jewelry

This trending item has always been a popular item at garage sales. Whether it is grandparents shopping your garage sale for toys for their grandkids, a performer looking for cost-conscious accessories or a fashionista on the hunt for stylish picks, you’re sure to see some serious cash flow if you put out costume jewelry at your garage sale. Pro tip: Price these items a bit higher than usual to allow ample room for negotiations.

#3: Americana Décor

People all over the country are on the hunt for “Americana” décor. If you happen to have any in your home and you’re willing to part with it, you’re sure to make a pretty penny by adding it to your items for sale at your garage sale. The nostalgia and style of these items are sure to be a hit with the buyers who come to your garage sale.

#4: Aged/Worn Furniture

Thanks to the popularity of home décor and renovation shows like Fixer Upper, rustic chic style has overtaken the country. Homeowners everywhere are on the hunt for shabby chic accessories and furniture to add to their home. That means that you can add that slightly beat up end table in your living room to your collection of items for sale and buyers will scoop it up. Focus on anything that’s wooden, as that’s a huge design trend right now.

#5: Antique Décor

Similar to the popularity of aged/worn furniture, antique décor is going to be a huge hit at any garage sale this year. People will travel from near and far to shop antique stores, looking for vintage and eclectic finds to add character to their home. If you have any unique antiques, make sure to add them to your collection of items for sale. Note: If you have anything like china or crystal, it might be more beneficial to take these items to get appraised before you sell them for cheap at your garage sale. Don’t make the mistake of selling grandma’s heirloom china for $10 when it’s probably worth $150!

Summary

As long as your items are in good condition, you’re friendly and your garage sale is well organized, you’re sure to have some success. If you happen to have any items that fall into the above categories, you can boost your odds of having a super successful garage sale. Good luck!