Everything you need to know about Estate Sale Auctions

If you have an estate that you need to liquidate, you can hold a yard sale, sell each item individually, hold an estate sale or hold an estate auction. When it comes to estate auctions, there are a variety of options to choose from. This article provides an overview of each option and details the pros and cons.

Hire a Professional Company

If you’ve never held an estate sale or auction before, it might your best option to turn to the professionals. Professional estate auction companies will take care of everything you need to make money and get rid of the estate’s items, but it comes at a cost. Some auction companies can charge you up to 50% of your total sales in fees and costs. Additionally, it could take a few months to get the payment from the sale.

Many professional companies will take your items from your home and sell them in an off-site warehouse. This is a benefit for some sellers because they don’t have to worry about random people being in the estate. However, in addition to the price tag of hiring auction professionals, you have to deal with some other downsides. One large downside is that these companies may only take high-value items, leaving you with the responsibility of getting rid of the other items in your estate. Some companies also have a minimum project size that they work with, so your estate may not qualify based on a company’s specifications. Be sure to read the fine print and call around for quotes to find out what service is best for you.

Consignment Auctions

Some professional services operate on consignment terms instead of percentage fees. Consignment refers to the agreement made between you and an auction company to sell your merchandise at our auction, after which we are paid a percentage of the sale price and you are paid the balance. This option works best for high-value items that you don’t have the time to sell in other ways. With consignment auctions, you should know that companies typically reject about 50% of the items that come to them, so you shouldn’t be upset if your items aren’t accepted. Consignment auction services are typically very selective with what they try to sell.

DIY Auctions

If you have time on your hands and you don’t want to lose your earnings in fees, hosting your own auction or selling your estate items online may be the way to go. You can use any online sales platform to sell your items. Many of these platforms are free to use. If they’re not free, they will charge very nominal fees, helping you keep as much profit as possible.

When you’re selling your own items, you’ll need to be aware of potential scams and always keep safety a top-of-mind-concern. Moreover, you’ll need to be prepared to do the extra work of transporting or shipping your items to their new owners. If it’s a large item that will cost a significant amount in shipping costs, consider charging buyers shipping costs to protect your profits.

Summary

If you need to get rid of estate items, there are plenty of options available to you. Be sure to take enough time to carefully review all the options and make the smart choice for you and your family.

5 Ways to Get a Good Bargain at a Garage Sale

Let’s face it—who doesn’t love snagging a good deal? Whether it’s a discount on your coffee or a discount on your groceries, it doesn’t matter. The fact of the matter is that people love saving money. If you’re a budget-smart adult, you probably already know about the money-saving possibilities that can be found at a garage sale. While these goods are typically already well-priced, there’s some simple ways that you can save even more money when you’re shopping. It may take a little perseverance and a few uncomfortable feelings, but by sticking to your guns and keeping these negotiation tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to saving a few extra dollars on your next trip.

Bring Small Change

Put yourself in a seller’s shoes. If someone came up trying to talk down a $20 price tag to $10, but then offered you a $20 bill to pay for the goods, you’d probably be annoyed, right? That’s why it’s so important to bring small change with you to garage sales so that you can be polite and courteous when trying to negotiate. Plus, there will be plenty of other people at the sale with large bills who will need change back, so a seller will welcome any small change that they can get their hands on.

Ask for a Bulk Discount

Buying in bulk is a great way to save money at grocery stores and it’s a great way to save money at a yard sale. While it’s true that many people hold yard sales to make a few extra bucks, you should keep in mind the fact that they’re selling goods they’re trying to get rid of. As such, if you offer to take a good amount and mix of their items, they may be willing to give you a discount on the whole purchase. Before you ask, be sure to have a fair number in mind in case they ask what you’re willing to pay.

Consider Going Toward the End of the Sale

While you might not be able to score the best finds at a yard sale by waiting until the ending hours, you will be more likely to score a deal. By the end of their yard sale, sellers typically just want to get rid of whatever they have left. As such, they may be more likely to offer you a discount.

Be Kind in Pointing Out Flaws

Pointing out general wear and tear on an item can be an effective way at negotiating a price down if you do it politely. No one wants to hear how crappy their items for sale may be, and you’ll want to tread lightly as the item for sale may have sentimental value to the seller. Be kind in saying that you’ll need to find replacement parts or do a cleaning on an item to work the price down.

Be Reasonable

You run the risk of insulting the seller and turning them off from making a deal with you if you give them a low-ball offer on their goods. Try to not go above 20-30% of a discount. Sometimes, it works best to ask them what the “best price” they can give you on an item may be. That way, they dictate the terms and you don’t have to worry about insulting them

Summary

By keeping these five tips in mind, you can potentially save a significant amount of money next time you go to a yard sale. Good luck!

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!

Essential Tips on Advertising Garage Sales on Facebook

In the age of technology and social media, one of the best ways to reach people over a major social networking site like Facebook. Using this site is, in most cases, way safer and more effective than using other sites like Craigslist and eBay. Additionally, using this site is free, which will help you boost your sales. Here are some simple ways that you can advertise your yard sale on Facebook.

Posting on Your Page About Your Sale

One easy and free way to let your Facebook friends and family know that you’re going to be hosting a garage sale is to post about it on your page. Make sure to include the details about your sale, like the days, date, time and length of the sale. You’ll also want to include pictures of hot-ticket items that you’ll plan on selling at your sale to entice people to attend. Ask your friends to share your post with their friends to double your potential sales pool. Pro tip: Make sure you set the privacy settings of the post to public so that it can be shared.

Posting to Your Local Garage Sales Page

The vast majority of large cities have a Facebook page dedicated to advertising garage sales around the area. You can promote your personal sale on this page. You might want to plan ahead, as some of these pages are private, and only accepted individuals will be allowed to post and advertise your local sales. Typically, these groups have an administrative staff that review potential members or posts. You can expect an approval to take as few as a day or as long as weeks to come. That’s why you should plan ahead if you’re wanting to post about your upcoming sale on a local garage sales page.

If you’re planning on posting, you should include the same types of information that you would post on your personal page to promote the sale. This information includes the date of your sale, days, times and length of the sale. You should also include sneak peeks of the items that will be included at the sale and pricing information to entice prospective buyers.

Using Facebook Ads

Most people already know how to use Facebook to upload wacky pet videos, post pics of their lunch or send a flirty message to an ex.

Posting items for sale on a local group is just as easy. Just post directly on your group’s page and upload a pic. Most for-sale groups just have a super-simple ‘for sale’ form, including item, price, category and a photo.

Handily, when you post an ad, any Facebook pals who are also group members get email alerts. Users can also tag friends who might be interested. Don’t worry about spamming all your friends with ads for scrapped espresso makers and hamster cages though. If it’s a closed group, only members can see ads.

Summary

When you’re posting on a public site like Facebook, it’s important to keep safety a top-of-mind concern. Never give out personal information like your social security number or credit card information to potential buyers. With common sense, you’ll be well on your way to having a safe yard sale.

Beginner’s Guide to Selling Your Stuff in Community Sales

If garage sales aren’t your cup of tea, don’t worry. As the second hand community continues to advance and consumers become increasingly frugal, you can turn to community sales to get rid of your unwanted items and make a few extra dollars. Read on to learn more.

In-person Local Communities

While you may think that most people advertise solely on social media, there are plenty of traditional ways to sell your unwanted items without having to turn to hosting a garage sale or social media. You’ll want to touch base with your local communities. For example, your church, hobby club or local neighborhood club may have community sales that you don’t know about. Reach out to the leaders of these communities to check and see if they hold an annual sale where you can enter your items for sale. Even if they don’t have a sale, there are good odds that someone within these communities will have a good suggestion for a local consignment store or resale shop that you can take your items to in hopes of selling them for a profit. It never hurts to ask and it’s always a good idea to trust word-of-mouth recommendations from people you know!

Facebook

If you’re not keen on connecting in-person with local communities, you can use community-based social media platforms like Facebook. Facebook is a ginormous social media site that allows you to connect with and be active in groups that are formed to advertise used or unwanted goods for sale. Many cities and counties have groups that you can become a part of to buy and sell your items. Some of these pages will be controlled by a group of administrators, so be prepared to have to wait a day or even a few to gain access to the group. While this may seem inconvenient, it’s actually for your own protection as the administrators will vet each potential group member in most cases.

Facebook also features a “Marketplace” function that allows you to easily post and sell your items. Through Facebook, you can see a potential buyer’s face and can easily communicate a public place to arrange a meet up to exchange money for the goods you’re selling. To use the Marketplace option, simply take a few pictures of the goods you’re trying to sell, write a quick description, list your price and put the item up for sale. Make sure to specify if you’re willing to drop off the item somewhere, or if it’s pick-up only. Regardless of how well-detailed your listing is, be prepared for questions about your post. Sometimes potential buyers will only look at the picture. While this may seem frustrating, take a deep breath and respond kindly so you don’t scare off a buyer!

Summary

As you can see, there are plenty of ways that you can try to sell your unwanted items in exchange for cold hard cash. With today’s technology, you can easily sell your items through your phone with minimal effort and planning required. With a little research and good pictures, you’ll be well on your way to using community sales platforms to sell your unwanted items. Good luck!