How Much to Pay for Estate Sale Services

If you find yourself in need of having an estate sale, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ve looked into hiring a third-party professional estate sale company to run the sale for you. As with any service, you’re probably keeping cost at the forefront of your mind. When you’re shopping, especially if you’ve never held an estate sale before, it can be tricky to know what to pay for an estate sale professional, and it can be equally as confusing to figure out the different pricing options. Have no fear. We’ve put in the hard work to give you an easy-to-read overview of estate sale services charges.

Services Typically Provided by Estate Sale Agents

When you’re shopping for an estate sale professional, you need to ask exactly what their fees include. And, while it seems obvious, you should always triple-check that the agencies you’re contact are insured estate sale agents. While you’re contacting local companies, you’re going to find that there’s a wide discrepancy in what services are included. Be sure to review each bid you receive carefully and ask clarifying questions if need be.

How Estate Sale Companies Structure Pricing

This is probably the area that you’re most desperate for information on. Unfortunately, every company in every region will have differing prices. Some companies will charge you a commission fee in addition to charging based on the duration of the sale. Sometimes payment is due up-front and sometimes payment is due after the sale is completed. Some companies may even offer additional, optional services like trash removal for an additional charge.

To break things down for you, here are the three most common ways estate sale professionals determine the percentage that they’ll make on your sale.

  • General set percentage: While it’s the least common option out of the three listed here, some estate sale agents will charge a flat, set percentage commission fee for their services, regardless of the size of the sale. This option is great for those who have larger sales but don’t want to give up an extensive portion of their sales, but it could potentially be detrimental to those with smaller sales.
  • Sliding scale percentage: Some companies vary their commission scales based on the sales gross total. In short, the higher your estate’s sales, the higher percentage fee you’ll be charged.
  • In-person evaluation: Out of the three methods described, this is probably the most common. A company will come into your estate and evaluate the work load it’ll take to sell the items and the value of those items. If a company you’re contacting wants to do this, make sure to clean up the estate as best as possible so to not deter any good bids.

Summary

Unfortunately, there’s no right answer or golden number to keep in mind when it comes to how much you should pay for a professional estate sale service. Across the board, the national average is between 30-50% commission on your sale. While this seems high, many reputable companies take care of absolutely everything in relation to your sale for that charge, so it may be worth it. Contact a few reputable agents in your area and compare quotes to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible.

6 Reasons Why Estate Sales are held

To start, it’s important that we make a distinction between an estate sale and a yard sale, as the two aren’t interchangeable. An estate sale is held when you need to get rid of the majority of your or a loved one’s estate. A yard sale is held when you need to get rid of unwanted items or are looking to make a bit of extra money. You might be thinking; well why would someone want to get rid of all of their items? The answer isn’t always simple, and the truth is that many estate sales are sometimes held for extenuating circumstances. Read on to learn about the most common reasons people have an estate sale, and if hosting an estate sale is right for you.

Top Reasons People Hold Estate Sales

When it comes to holding estate sales, there are generally common themes as to why someone would hold such an event. Here are the top seven reasons:

6. Death of a family member or friend: This is probably the most common reason a person would hold an estate sale. Often, the family member that has passed on has it written in his or her will that their estate should be sold by an estate liquidator to avoid their living family members fighting over what to do with the estate. Even if it’s not required by a loved one’s will, many families choose to hold an estate sale to get rid of the items that exist after the family has gone through and claimed their wanted items.

5. Divorce: When couples split up, sometimes it’s easier to have an estate sale to get rid of joint assets instead of dragging out the divorce proceedings by splitting up every single shared asset. In the event of a divorce-generated estate sale, it’s best to employ a third-party professional to facilitate the estate sale to avoid any hostile feelings.

4. Downsizing: When a family or couple is forced to or chooses to downsize, it’s pretty likely that they’ll have many items that they can’t take with them to their new, smaller space. In this event, couples will generally hold an estate sale to get rid of their unwanted items for a profit instead of donating or just tossing out their items.

3. Debt/bankruptcy: In the event of crippling debt or bankruptcy filing, an estate sale is generally held to recoup costs and payoff some of the debt. Whether this is court-ordered or facilitated, debt-related estate sales generally don’t compromise on prices because they’re trying to get as much money back as quickly as possible.

2. Relocation: If a person finds out they have to move across the country to help out an ailing family member or for their job, chances are they’re probably not taking all of their belongings with them for the trip. When this is the case, they typically hold an estate sale to make money on the items they have to get rid of.

1. Retirement: When people retire, they’re entering a new phase of their life. This new phase generally prompts questions about if they need to keep their items or if they should liquidate their estate to start from scratch and make some funds while they’re at it. Whatever the case, retirement-related estate sales are generally very popular.

Summary

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to holding an estate sale. If you’re considering hosting one, you should reach out to a professional to walk you through all your options!

5 Tips to a More Profitable Garage Sale

So, you’re holding a garage sale. Chances are, you’re not just holding it for fun—you want to make some money! We don’t blame you. Garage sales can be hugely profitable, if you put in some effort and come up with a plan of attack to make it successful. Don’t be intimidated—it’s actually easy to host a profitable garage sale. Read on to learn about five simple tips that will boost the sales at your next yard sale.

Tip #5: Variety Is Key

If you only have niche items to sell at your garage sale, there’s a good chance that you won’t attract as many potential buyers to your sale, which translates to fewer buyers and lower sales. In order to attract the widest possible array of buyers, you’re going to need to make sure you offer a wide variety of goods. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure is a saying that you’ve probably heard countless times, but it rings true. Make sure to compile household goods you don’t use anymore, clothing that doesn’t fit or you don’t wear, jewelry, electronics and furniture. Anything can be fair game and you never know what a buyer will be in the market for.

Tip #4: Organization Is Important

Think about the last time you were at a disorganized store. Did you leave with many items? Did it make you upset? As humans, we like when things are organized, and a state of clutter and disarray will send many potential buyers into a bad mood. Many will probably also leave empty-handed if it’s hard for them to find what they’re looking for if your sale is messy. Organization will go a long way to having a profitable sale. Don’t forget this simple step!

Tip #3: Price Strategically

While your first inclination may be to price your items high so that you get the most bang for your buck, buyers may be scared away by high prices. On the flipside, if you price your items too low, you’ll risk not making money by nature of the items being priced low. You’ll want to try to find the middle ground that won’t scare buyers away, but still leaves the opportunity for you to profit even after a little haggling.

Tip #2: Offer Freebies

Let’s face it—everyone likes freebies! And, while you definitely don’t want to go crazy giving away your items for free, offering up some odds and ends items will be worth it. The idea is that if you have a box of “FREE” items, buyers will walk over to that box to look, but then they’ll also see all the other reasonably priced items that you have for sale. Because they feel like they’re getting a good deal on their freebies, they’re more likely to spend money at your sale.

Tip #1: Sell Goodies

When people shop, they tend to get hungry or thirsty. Consider buying a value pack of drinks from your favorite stores, as well as pre-packaged snacks that you can sell by the register. You might not think that you’ll recoup your money, but considering the average 24-pack of water is under $4, and you can get a bag of prepackaged chips for under $10, selling these items at $1 or $2 a piece will add up quickly.

Summary

Garage sales can be a huge success financially if you put some time and planning into your sale. Consider implementing the strategies from the above tips at your next sale and reap the rewards!

5 Ways to Display Clothes at a Yard Sale

If you’re looking to have a profitable yard sale (and let’s face it—who isn’t), you’re probably going to want to sell clothing at your sale. Thanks to an increased popularity in sustainability when it comes to clothing, there’s been an influx in yard sale buyers who are shopping for gently used clothing. In fact, it’s of the most sought-after items to buy at a yard sale. With that being said, clothing is also one of the trickiest items to display and keep neat (just ask major retailers). Fortunately for you, we’ve compiled a list of the top five ways to display clothing at a yard sale.

Option 1: Clothing Rack

If you’re looking for a simple way to display clothing that will also help keep your display tidy throughout the duration of your sale, you’ll probably want to invest in some clothing racks. Using a clothing rack for the clothes you’re selling at a garage sale will keep clothes off of the ground, make it easy for buyers to sort through and keep your sale looking nice. Many racks come with wheels, which will make it easy to gather the clothing at the end of the day.

Option 2: Piles

Probably one of the simplest ways to display clothing is in piles on tables. Propping the clothes up on a table will keep them off the ground and make it more comfortable for customers to sort through. You’ll need to be prepared to tend to your piles throughout the sale, as the piles will undoubtedly get messed up and mixed while people sort through them.

Option 3: By Size

This option is particularly useful if you’re selling a lot of clothing in different sizes. Separating kids clothing from women’s clothing and men’s clothing, and organizing it by size and separating those sizes out will make it so much easier for your buyers to sift through what you have to offer. And, by nature of convenience, these buyers may spend more because it was a breeze to find what they were looking for. Make sure to obviously label which size is which so that buyers know where to go. Additionally, you should be prepared to inspect the clothing displays once every hour to make sure everything is in the appropriate section and that your display stays tidy.

Option 4: Plastic Tubs

Displaying your clothing in plastic tubs is one of the easier ways to keep your items organized. However, it can make it cumbersome for buyers to sort through the items you’re selling. Nonetheless, plastic tubs help you to keep items separated and are a great way to make it look like you’ve got a lot of items to sell, even if that isn’t the case. Be prepared to refold the items in the bin many times throughout the sale to keep it easy on your buyers.

Option 5: On the Ground

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly way to display your clothing, do so on top of a blanket on the ground. Stack your items on top of a blanket or towel on the ground to keep them from getting dirty and mark sizes so your customers can see which pile they should head for.

Summary

With some planning and potentially some investment, you can simply display your clothing in a way that’s exciting and easy for buyers. Good luck!

How to Make Your Garage Sale Unique

Let’s face it—you’re not going to be the only garage sale on the weekend you intend to hold your sale. There are going to be countless other garage sales in your area (especially if you hold a summer sale), which raises the competition factor. In order to have a successful sale, you’ll need to up your game and find ways to make your garage sale stand out from the rest. And, no matter what you do at your sale to make it unique, you’ll need to heavily invest in advertising to let the world know that your sale is the one to check out.

Getting Started

The first step to make your garage sale stand out from every other garage sale is to actually make your sale unique. Will you offer bulk discount pricing? Will you offer free refreshments? Will you offer a raffle for a grand prize? If you really want to draw in a crowd, you’ll have to come up with ways such as the ones just outlined to make your sale stand out. Chances are, if you present buyers with the option of going to a sale or going to a sale that they’d have a chance to win a grand prize, they’re probably going to head to the one where they can win something. Once you’ve come up with how your sale is going to be different, it’s time to market yourself.

Advertising Galore

Even if you have the most unique garage sale in the world, if you don’t properly advertise it, no one will know about it. And, when it comes to advertising, you’ll want to make sure your message is heard by as many people as possible. That means you’ll want to explore every possible advertising avenue.

  • Sign boards: You see them every weekend in the summer, but they’re highly effective. Yard sale sign boards that are posted near the vicinity of your sale will help direct traffic to your sale. To make them stand out, consider purchasing brightly colored paper and incorporating clever and sales-focused sayings like “You won’t believe what we’re selling!” on your sign boards. Make sure to include general directions to your home (e.g., “5 minutes west!”).
  • Social media and online sites: Take to your social media page and local sales pages to advertise your sale. Be sure to highlight how your sale is unique. If you’re giving away free refreshments at your sale or holding a raffle for a prize, definitely include that information on your post. You should also include pictures and detailed descriptions of the items that will be at your sale. This will immediately tell buyers why they should head to your sale and what they can expect to find.
  • Print advertising: Believe it or not, there are still plenty of people who read print advertising like the newspaper. List as much detail as you can in the print space to entice buyers to head to your sale and see what you’re selling.

Summary

By putting some effort into differentiating your sale and packing the advertising punch behind your sale, you’ll be well on your way to hosting a unique and successful yard sale. Best of luck!

How to Make Money Shopping at Garage Sales

Yes, you read that headline right. There’s a way that you can actually make money by purchasing items at a yard sale. How? It’s easy. You can resell the items that you find at a garage sale and flip them for a profit. There are some people out there who are professional yard sale flippers, and they make a good chunk of change. However, it’s a risky business that takes a good amount of time to get good at. If you’re interested in dipping your toes into the pool that is yard sale flipping, you’re in luck. Find out how to get started yard sale flipping by reading on.

How to Get Started Flipping Garage Sale Items

The good news is that you don’t have to get a degree to be a garage sale flipper. Anyone can go to a garage sale, so in short, anyone can be a garage sale flipper. However, being a garage sale flipper and being a great garage sale flipper are two entirely different things.

To be a great garage sale flipper, you’ll need to know what items are trending within the resale community. You’ll also need to know the going price for those trending items. Doing this research will open your eyes to finding out what a good deal or reasonable price to pay at a garage sale may be, and you’ll also know how much profit you stand to make. Having this background knowledge will give you the tools you need to weed through the worthless items at a garage sale while you search for the diamonds in the rough.

After you’ve done research about what to look for when you’re at the sales, it’s time to head out to go shopping. Many people who host garage sales will post to local social media groups about their upcoming sale. Sometimes, they’ll post hot ticket items that they plan to sell. Checking out what’s available in your area will help you pinpoint which sales to go to. Remember to get there as early as possible to give yourself the best chance at snagging the items you need before anyone else can.

Reselling Your Items

When it comes to reselling your items for a profit, you’re in luck. Today’s technologies have made it so easy to resell items that you find at garage sales. From eBay to Facebook Marketplace, there are so many different platforms on which you can resell your items.

Make sure to clean off any item that you plan on reselling. People won’t want to buy an item from you if it doesn’t look like it’s in good condition. That’s why it’s so important to make sure it’s in as good of condition as possible.

If selling online isn’t your cup of tea, you can try selling items to consignment stores. Items that do well at stores include clothing and furniture. If you purchase electronics, sometimes video game stores or online electronic sites will buy back the items for a decent price.

Summary

No matter if you’ve never been to a garage sale before or if you frequent garage sales, you can definitely stand a chance to make a profit by being a yard sale flipper. Best of luck!