Estate sales can be overwhelming. Here are some tips to make the process go as smoothly as possible.
Advertise your sale in local classifieds, online marketplaces and in your neighborhood. You should also place fliers at nearby businesses and supermarkets. Ensure that the space where your sale is held is clean and organized.
1. Do your research.
Estate sales provide the opportunity to find treasures like furniture, vintage art and rare collectibles at a fraction of their retail price. However, the sheer volume of merchandise can make it difficult to sift through everything and find what you’re looking for.
This is why it’s essential to do your research before heading out to an estate sale. Start by determining the value of the items that are up for grabs. This can be accomplished by doing a quick Google search on the item and finding out its average retail price or going to a secondhand website and viewing sold listings.
Once you’ve established an item’s worth, the next step is to decide how you’ll sell it. For example, you’ll need to determine if you’ll accept credit cards or cash and if you’ll offer any form of buyer’s premium. You’ll also need to decide how you’ll display your items (be sure to leave plenty of room for people to maneuver) and if you’ll allow buyers to take home large items.
Lastly, you’ll want to determine how you’ll advertise the sale. This can include social media, estate sale websites and contacting local radio stations for free airtime. You may also want to ask your local newspaper if they’d be willing to do a feature story on the event.
Finally, if you’re planning on taking home any big-ticket items, be sure to bring a lot of muscle. Estate sale workers don’t typically help shoppers load up their cars, so you’ll need to be prepared to get your hands dirty and bat your eyes at others to score some assistance. You may also want to look into bringing a friend or two along with you to help you move the heavier stuff.
2. Get organized.
A successful estate sale requires time to sort, organize, and price items. It also takes time to set up barriers, if needed, and to keep people from entering rooms that are off limits. It’s best to plan ahead and start advertising your sale well in advance. You can do this through social media and local online outlets. If your estate is in a small town, you might want to reach out to the local newspaper or community newsletter for a feature story.
It’s a good idea to have a few trusted helpers on hand to assist with manning the sales, as shoppers may have questions. You’ll also need to have a plan for anything that doesn’t sell, including donating it. You might be able to arrange with local charities for pick up or drop off.
One thing to be sure to do is clear away any personal documents or items that contain sensitive information, such as credit card receipts, passports, medical records, etc. This helps keep both the team and customers safe and secure, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Prior to the day of the estate sale, it’s important to take a walk-through of the house and make a list of everything that is for sale. It’s helpful to categorize items by room, as this will make it easier for buyers to find what they’re looking for. Also, it’s a good idea to do some research on each item to see what the current market value is. This step will help you avoid pricing mistakes. Estate sale companies have access to private databases that help them determine values. You can do some research on your own, but it will take more time and is a little riskier.
3. Be prepared to accept cash.
Estate sales are often very hectic, and shopper demand can be overwhelming. If you want to avoid a long line, make sure you have plenty of cash on hand and be prepared for some items to sell out quickly. This is particularly true for large ticket items such as furniture and electronics.
Inflatable air dancers, a clown or other over-the-top entertainment can draw people in to a sale that might otherwise be slow. These types of attractions can also create an instant memorable moment for your social media followers and help to generate buzz around the event.
If you are selling your items at an estate sale, be sure to place large, legible signs on major roads and line the route to your home with them. You can also place fliers in local supermarkets, city and village papers and online classifieds. If you are using an estate sale company to host your event, be sure to ask them for copies of their marketing materials and to get their references.
Seasoned estate-sale shoppers say the best time to shop is in the early morning before the doors open. They recommend that you dress in layers, bring a water bottle and wear comfortable shoes.
Another great thing about estate sales is that they offer a wide variety of things that you might not find in your local thrift store, including everything from galvanized mop buckets to antique wooden croquet boxes and an amazing old first aid kit. Plus, many of the items have a story behind them and can tell you a bit about who owned them in the past.
4. Be patient.
Estate sales are a great way to get rid of unwanted or no longer wanted items from someone’s home. They can also be a great source of finding furniture, vintage art or rare collectibles that you may not be able to find in a traditional retail store.
But before you head out to an estate sale, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First and foremost, be patient. Estate sales can get very busy, especially during the opening hours. It is important to respect the line and wait your turn to browse the house. This is for the safety of everyone attending the sale and to ensure that the staff can handle a certain amount of people at one time.
It is also a good idea to do some research before heading out to an estate sale. This will help you to better understand what you are looking at and what it is likely to be worth if you decide to purchase it. It will also save you the heartache of purchasing an item that is not worth what you paid for it.
Finally, remember that estate sales usually run 2-3 days. This means that you can often find more treasures on day 2 and 3. Also, many estate sales will go half off on the last day, so it’s always worth checking back to see what’s left.
Overall, estate sales are a great way to find great finds and clean out your home in one fell swoop. Just remember to do your research, be patient and be kind. After all, these are the families’ cherished belongings that you are rifling through, so be respectful and sensitive to their situation.
5. Be kind.
If you’re a fan of rummaging through garage and yard sales to find hidden gems, estate sales are the ultimate in treasure hunting. But there are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for estate items to make the experience as pleasant and rewarding as possible.
One of the biggest things to remember is to be kind. These are people’s belongings, and oftentimes they’re sentimental or carry a lot of history. It’s important to respect that and treat the staff and fellow shoppers with kindness, even if you think something is junk or overpriced. Remember that they’re trying to sell their family member’s belongings, and it may be an emotional experience for them as well.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions! The staff at estate sales is there to answer your questions and help you find what you’re looking for. They may not know the exact value of an item, but they can give you a good idea of what it’s worth.
Another thing to keep in mind is that estate sales can be very popular and the best items can go quickly. If you’re planning on attending an estate sale, be sure to get there early in the day to get your pick of the merchandise. You’ll likely have to wait in line before the doors open, but it will be worth it once you see all of the amazing finds!
Estate sales are an excellent way to clean out a home, sell heirlooms, and even make some extra money. But they can be overwhelming and confusing if you’re not prepared. That’s why it’s always a good idea to hire an estate sale professional. Using a professional can save you time and stress, and ensure that your estate sale runs smoothly.