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.

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!

The Top 3 Things to Buy at Estate Sales to Resell

Shopping estate sales can be a great way for you to save money and furnish your home. What you may not know, though, is that shopping these sales can give you an opportunity to make some money, too. Estate sales typically involve a house that’s filled with goods that can be purchased and resold for a profit. That’s why estate sales offer great potential for buyers, as long as you know what items to look for. Here’s a list of the top three items you can buy at an estate sale to resell for a profit.

1. Paintings 

Each estate sale you visit is bound to have its own unique collection of art. Now, regardless of it you’re a fan of paintings or art prints—there’s a huge market for vintage and antique paintings. To be sure that you make the most profit and purchase wisely, you’ll need to do a bit of research on your own before you head to local sales.

This research should include investigating what art themes are resonating the most with collectors. For example, trends may dictate that buyers are looking for Art Deco paintings. To capitalize on this trend, you’ll need to become familiar with what types of paintings or styles are included in the Art Deco era so that you can easily recognize this type of painting when you see one. Keeping tabs on what the top trends are and what types of art are included in those trends will make it easy for you to purchase and resell paintings with ease.

2. Furniture

Many estate sales are focused on getting rid of the big and bulky items, like furniture, so they don’t have to deal with them after the sale is over. This creates a potential opportunity for you to purchase furniture hot ticket items like chests, tables and dressers for a reasonable price. Modern day buyers are loving vintage pieces, so look for wooden pieces with character or stained glass elements to really resonate with buyers.

If you don’t mind revamping these pieces of furniture, there’s good money to be made in reselling the furniture that you find at estate sales. Sometimes, you’ll just need to clean these pieces up. Other times, you’ll need to sand, refinish or paint a piece of furniture to reap the biggest possible rewards. With a little elbow grease, reselling furniture you found at an estate sale can really pay off. If you don’t mind putting in a little elbow grease then furniture is something you definitely want to be on the lookout for.

3. Books

The vast majority of estate sales will be selling books from many different genres. Some of the books for sale will include vintage cookbooks or best-sellers, while others may even include antique signed editions. Purchasing books from an estate sale is not only an economical choice if you’re an avid reader, but it’s a great way to make money fast. You can often purchase these estate sale books for a very reasonable price. With a little research, you can find out how much these books typically resell for and price your new purchases fairly on the internet. Or, you can try reselling them to local resale bookshops in the area.

Summary

With a little attention to detail and some outside research, it’s possible to make back the money you spend at estate sales by reselling hot ticket items you come across. Happy shopping!

Weekdays or the Weekend? When You Should Hold Your Garage Sale

Think about all the garage sales that you’ve been to. How many were on the weekend? How many were on weekdays? The answer is probably that the vast majority of yard sales that you’ve gone to have been held on the weekends. It is very traditional for garage sales to be held on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Despite it being more traditional, is it more beneficial to hold your sale on one of these three days or to hold it during the week? Read on to find out.

The Perks of a Weekend Garage Sale

They say don’t fix what isn’t broken, and with garage sales, that’s been the mindset for decades. Garage sales are typically held on the weekend because it’s been proven that these days work for making the most amount of money. The vast majority of people who shop garage sales have full- or part-time jobs that prohibit them from shopping sales that occur during the week, meaning that they’re only able to come to sales that occur on the weekend days.

Another perk to having a weekend garage sale is that you’re more likely to get families who come to shop. And, as you’ve probably experienced going to the store with your own family, you tend to buy things you wouldn’t have otherwise purchased on your own. When parents come with their kids, this is especially true. Because garage sales imply that buyers are getting a bargain, parents are more apt to say yes to their kids when they come up to them with a toy or trinket they want to take home.

Finally, due to the sheer number of days that you can hold a garage sale, the statistics are in your favor that you’re bound to make more money by holding a three-day’s-long sale versus a day-long sale. This number doubles when you factor in the increased odds of more foot traffic coming to your sale over the weekend days.

The Perks of Weekday Garage Sales

Although holding a weekend garage sale definitely has its benefits, it also has its drawbacks. Perhaps the biggest downside to holding a weekend garage sale is the fact that you’ll have to compete with all of the other local garage sales for customers. Think about it, if 10 households in your neighborhood are holding a Friday-Sunday garage sale, that’s 10 different houses that buyers can choose to go to and spend their hard-earned money. If the buyers find what they’re looking for or spend all of their money before they make it to your house, they may not stop by at all. If you hold your sale on a Tuesday or Wednesday, you won’t have to deal with as much competition—if any at all—which may help you sell more.

Summary

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide what may be better for you and your garage sale, if you’re new to the game or want a sure-fire bet, it might be worth it to start with a weekend garage sale. Best of luck!

The Things You Never Want to Buy at a Garage Sale

However, just like there are items you definitely want to look for when you’re shopping at a garage sale, there are also items that you’ll want to avoid like the black plague. In the same fashion, the items you want to avoid buying at a garage sale are also the items you’ll want to avoid selling, if you plan on hosting your own sale. Read on to find out what these items are.

Item #1: Mattresses or Sleeping Pillows

It can be tempting to want to buy a secondhand mattress from a garage sale, as they can be extremely pricey to purchase full-price. But, the risks of buying a used mattress from a stranger’s home are very high. Many used mattresses are full of bodily fluids, bacteria, dead skin and are potentially infested with bed bugs or mites. The same can be said about sleeping pillows. When you consider these gross factors, it’s pretty self-explanatory for why you shouldn’t buy a used mattress from a garage sale. And, if you’re trying to get rid of a mattress, don’t sell it at your garage sale. See if a family member wants it for free or just get rid of it.

Item #2: Used Car Seats

Yes, like mattresses, buying a new car seat from the store typically comes with a hefty price tag. Despite this, it’s never okay to buy a used baby car seat from a garage sale. In many cases, these car seats are expired, which may put your baby at risk. If you have car seats that you no longer use, but aren’t expired, consider donating them to a local women’s shelter instead of trying to sell them. Your baby’s safety is of the utmost importance, and investing in a brand-new car seat is money well spent.

Item #3: Helmets

You may not know this, but every time a safety helmet is involved in an incident (including a kid falling off their bike), it should be replaced. Because you don’t know if a helmet that’s for sale at a garage sale has been in an accident or not, it’s not a safe or smart idea to purchase a used safety helmet.

Item #4: Cosmetics

While this should go without saying, sometimes it needs to be said. Do not buy used makeup or cosmetics from yard sales. You will run the risk of infection if you purchase used cosmetics. Additionally, many items have expiration dates that you may no longer be able to see if you buy these products used. In short, just avoid them.

Item #5: Electronics

The electronics that are being sold at yard sales are generally close to being outdated (and sometimes don’t even work at all), you should avoid purchasing electronics from a yard sale. You’re better off buying these items brand-new or certified refurbished so that you don’t end up wasting money on an item that won’t work.

Item #6: Damaged Cookware

While you can certainly find gently-used cookware at garage sales, there are plenty of damaged pieces of cookware for sale. Be sure to carefully inspect any cookware before you purchase it, as failing to do so will result in frustrations and wasted money.