When reviewing emails asking for more information regarding an estate sale, I always ask what type of timeline you’re looking at because organizing and orchestrating a sale often require a minimum of 3-5 days to organize, advertise and price your items.
It’s often easier on the client and my team for items you no longer want to keep to be left inside your home. Moving everything else into another room that has been roped off is an option but if you’re moving, why not take everything you plan to keep with you? It helps us to “weed through” items you wish to sell.
“I didn’t realize a moving sale was so much work.” Well, it is and many of our clients are so overwhelmed that they don’t know where to begin.
“How much do you charge to orchestrate and organize my sale? 35% of the profit is a “standard” set price.” If you don’t want to keep unsold items- we often discount your fees to 30% because we will list and sell those items after your estate sale.
“Why are estate sales different from garage or yard sales and why do shoppers prefer an estate sale?” A yard sale often nets far less profit because yard sale shoppers are “dead set” on getting a bargain even if you’re selling high end furniture. You will make far more money by having an estate sale because the “average shopper” is willing to spend more.
“What if people want to negotiate the asking price?” Well, it’s true that people line up long before an estate sale starts because they believe “the early bird gets the worm!” However, discounting prices at the beginning of a sale is always a mistake. We have a 17 year history of appraising items and therefore have a good idea of the selling price and market to ensure that your items are listed at a fair market value. “Giving away items” at the get-go will cost the seller and the broker money in the long run.
“How much can I expect to make at my estate sale?” Well, every home is different and your net is based entirely on the value of the items you have. We can’t “guess” a value without first meeting you at an Appraisal Appointment to view what you have. The average estate sale nets between $2500-4K when furniture, art, antiques and collectibles are involved.
“What about the profit of a yard or garage sale?” The average “net profit” from this type of sales is a significantly lower profit margin of $600-1100 because items are normally not in the best condition and the yard sale “shoppers” often want this or that for $1-5.00 even when the item is new. Knowing the client base is an important element of choosing which route to liquidate their items will work best for them which is why we require an Appraisal Appointment prior to committing.
“Why are your hours always 9-5?” Well, an estate sale is a long day for anyone. My team and I are on-site several days prior to your sale and during the sale, working without breaks or leaving the location.
“Why do you need a team?” It’s essential to have someone “monitoring” all of the rooms to ensure nothing is stolen or damaged during your sale. Our “job” on site is to protect your valuables while selling them and preventing theft or damage are key to the success of an estate sale. A normal event has 3-5 team members on site. Larger events are usually 4-6 team members.
“What if I change my mind about something that has been put in the sale?” You are given 24-48 hours to reconsider and re-evaluate items you have offered for sale. Once it’s gone-it’s gone so please take your time when deciding what to sell or what to keep.
“At what point during the sale do you start discounting or “marking down” my items?” Traditionally, the second day of the sale, items are discounted 25% and the third day, 50% which is why many of our sales run Friday-Sunday. Selling all of your items is based on the traffic and success of advertising your sale along with signs posted at key cross streets.
“Why do you not allow shoppers to use the restroom at a sale?” Seasoned estate sale shoppers are aware that restrooms are often off limits and allowing someone to use your restroom could result in an accident that puts you at risk. Years ago at a garage/yard sale, a customer asked to use my restroom. I didn’t see a problem and walked her into the restroom. Apparently, while washing her hands, water spilled onto my travertine tile and resulted in injuries. The shopper sued my homeowners insurance for $12k. If you don’t know someone and assume they can’t trip or fall- you are making a huge mistake. Someone getting hurt at your home or property will put you at risk for a lawsuit. We NEVER allow anyone to use the restroom of a homeowner to protect our clients.
“I don’t want to have an estate sale- I prefer for you to list items on your website Texas Twins Treasures. Is there a fee variation?” Yes, items offered for sale at Texas Twins Treasures are linked to all other Wendy Wortham websites and therefore viewed thousands of times a day. My feedback is 100% because I work hard to keep buyers happy. Listing and selling fees are 20% and we do not offer shipping or packaging of large items due to the expense. If you have large items, I suggest an estate sale. My reasons are that while there may be a lot of interest in your furniture or appliance auction- no one wants to pay shipping or cover the expense of packaging your item.
I’m hoping this blog addresses how we work hard to ensure success at your estate sale and the reasons we have a few rules that are out in place to protect the client who hires us.
If you are needing a Pawning Party (or rent party), the fee is 20% of the profits because far less work is involved.
Estate sales are far more work and commitment because we spend several days preparing and finally, selling your items.
A Pawning Party is a one day (or night) event which is why the fee structure is different from an estate sale.
For a list of services, please visit Low Cost Event Services-Family Owned & Operated if the service you require isn’t listed, please use the contact us link for more information.
Wendy M Wortham
Comments by Wendy Wortham