Are you new to estate sales? Want to find out what they’re all about? Then this is the blog post for you!
Who Hires Estate Sale Companies?
People who want to sell large amounts of possessions quickly. This can be due to a death in the family, moving, or downsizing. Another name for estate sale companies is estate liquidators. We turn personal property into liquid assets (cash). For a probate estate, this makes dividing the estate amongst several heirs far easier. For moving or downsizing, cash may be needed for a variety of reasons as the person moves on to a new phase of their life. Regardless of the reason, because we take an “everything must go” attitude, prices tend to be far lower than what you find in stores, antique shops, or even eBay.
Are the Prices Really that Good?
Many of our customers at estate sales own their own resale businesses. We price things so that THEY can make a profit. Usually this means setting the price around 50% of what they should expect to get. However, in addition to liquidating as much as we can, our other goal is to maximize the return for the estate sale client for whom we are working. That means we will set our prices higher than you would see at a yard or garage sale. Most sales take at least two days, and prices generally start to fall the longer the sale lasts.
Can I Negotiate?
Of course! The only caveat is that most liquidators hold pretty firm to their prices the first day. On the subsequent days, we loosen things up. Most of the time you can expect 25-50% off the prices on subsequent days; AND we’re more likely to negotiate from there! If you show up during the final hour or two, many of the sought after items will be gone, BUT not all… and we are practically letting you name your price at that point too!
So What Kind of Things Can I Find at the Estate Sale?
Most estate sale companies sell pretty much anything the owner has. This can be super cheap items like half a box of staples in a desk drawer or an unopened box of mac and cheese, to low cost items like towels, dishes, common clothing and shoes, books, DVDs, etc. Or it can range to high end, expensive items like antique furniture, gold jewelry, cars, art, pianos, etc. Basically, you can expect to find anything you might see in someone’s home. There are some exceptions. At A2Z, we don’t sell opened food, medicines or drugs, guns (we sell these direct to dealers), or alcohol.
A Few Tips for the First Timers
Buying items at an estate sale is a new and different experience. It’s not like walking into a retail store, browsing neat display shelves, paying retail, and asking for your items to be delivered to your home.
First of all, while we may set things up neatly, it won’t stay that way very long as people start digging through, and second, circumstances are often such that making nice displays just isn’t feasible, and you’ll wind up digging through a box. Books are a good example… yes, they can be displayed neatly on bookshelves, but books are usually less than a dollar each on average. We get better use of that display space for higher value items.
And you know those big bulky items that you normally have delivered such as furniture, freezers, washer/dryer, etc.? Make sure you have a vehicle large enough and bring the muscle you need because most companies don’t have the spare manpower during a sale to help you move things, and its very rare to find a company that delivers. Sure, you can buy it now and come back to get it later, but everything must be gone by the end of the sale.
Finally, keep your eyes peeled for buried treasure! If you find something that looks like we missed, there’s a good chance we did! People put small items especially in very odd places that can be overlooked. Odds are, it’s still for sale, just ask for assistance, and we’ll give you a good price. We even had someone find gold jewelry (real treasure!) one time. We try to mark everything that isn’t for sale, but if you can’t tell, ask; it’s better to be safe than sorry.
One last tip, while A2Z Estate Solutions takes credit/debit cards, not all companies do, but cash is always welcome, so hit the ATM and stop on by!
Estate sales can be great fun and you can make great finds. So if you’ve never tried one before, now would be a great time to start!