An estate sale is a great way to clear out a home, make some extra cash and score some antique bric-a-brac. However, it can be complicated and challenging to run successfully.
Luckily, there are several tips that can help you get the most out of your estate sale. Here are some of them:
Set a Price
Estate sales are usually held over a couple of days and have a large number of items to sell. To be successful, the items need to be priced correctly so that they sell quickly. Estate sale companies often have access to private databases and pricing information that can aid them in this process. Independent sellers are not likely to have this resource and will need to spend time researching prices on their own.
The first step in setting a price is to separate out and label each item. It is important to keep in mind that estate sale shoppers can become confused by mislabeled or mixed items. This confusion can cause them to miss out on an excellent bargain. In addition to labeling each item, it is important to place these labels in visible locations. This is especially true for high dollar items. For example, placing a sign near a closet full of designer clothes or a book shelf of expensive books can help shoppers identify the items they are looking for.
Whether you use a price gun, a label machine or hand-lettered stickers on string, good price tags are important to the success of your estate sale. They are also essential for proper display of the items. Leaving items in boxes or stacking them on tables makes it hard for shoppers to find what they are looking for and can even make the item less desirable.
It is important to remember that estate sale shoppers are looking for a deal. Therefore, it is not uncommon for items to sell at significantly below their normal asking price. This can be frustrating for an independent seller who has invested a great deal of time and money in preparing for the sale.
When pricing an estate sale, it is important to consider the quality of the items as well as the condition. If the items are in excellent condition, they may be able to fetch a higher price than their original asking price. This is especially true for high-end designer clothing and jewelry. However, if the items are in poor condition or have significant wear and tear, they will most likely be priced much lower than their original asking price.
Organize Your Items
An estate sale is a popular way to clean out a home after the death of a loved one, divorce or downsizing. It’s also a great way to earn some extra money. Estate sales require a lot of work, however, including taking inventory, pricing items appropriately and marketing the event. Having a plan of action will make the process more manageable and ensure a successful outcome.
Once you’ve taken inventory of all the items for sale, it’s time to decide how much each item will be sold for. To avoid overcharging, it’s a good idea to research prices online, in sales guides and at local shops for similar items. This will give you a better idea of what your items are worth and allow you to set them at an affordable price. If you’re not sure what an item is worth, consider consulting an appraiser.
When deciding on the date of the estate sale, Ruby suggests choosing a weekend when shoppers will be free and able to shop leisurely. It’s also a good idea to keep the sale from competing with garage sales or rummage sales in the area, which could deter shoppers and limit attendance.
The best way to get the word out about your estate sale is by advertising through local classifieds and online platforms like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. In addition, pass out fliers in your neighborhood a few days prior to the event to attract more buyers.
Before the estate sale begins, be sure to organize the items for sale by type and function. This will help buyers find what they’re looking for and reduce the risk of them leaving without buying anything. For example, grouping tools and equipment together in the basement, linens and clothing in the bedrooms and household decor in the living room will streamline the shopping experience for shoppers and allow them to easily see what’s available.
During the sale, be prepared to assist shoppers and answer questions. It’s a good idea to have a cash box on hand so you can provide change as needed and make easy, quick transactions. Most shoppers will be paying with small bills, so have plenty of change on hand to prevent any monetary loss.
Market Your Sale
Whether you’re looking to purge your belongings before a move or make some extra money, estate sales are an excellent option for clearing out your space and selling items. These sales are typically conducted by a professional company and include higher-end items, making them more appealing to shoppers than your average garage or yard sale.
If you’re planning on holding an estate sale, be sure to advertise it in a variety of places so that as many people as possible can attend. This includes listing it on websites like Craigslist and social media sites. You may want to use pictures and highlight top-ticket items to attract interest. You can also distribute fliers at grocery stores, churches and local businesses. It’s a good idea to contact local Realtors if the home you’re selling is part of the estate sale as they may want to bring their clients to check out items that go with the house.
As with any other type of sale, it’s important to set the right price. Pricing too high can turn away potential buyers, while pricing too low leaves room for negotiating. Try to find a balance between the two by evaluating comparable sales in your area and taking into consideration your own needs.
Don’t forget to mark your prices clearly and make sure customers can easily find them. It’s also a good idea to have family members or other people on hand to answer questions and help customers navigate the crowds. If you’re worried about theft, having an entrance and exit only can help deter unauthorized individuals from entering the premises.
If you’re worried about running an estate sale on your own, it might be best to hire a company with experience in this type of event. These companies usually charge 25-45% of the total sales value, which covers marketing costs, staffing and profit. Be sure to research several options and read online reviews before choosing a company. You may also be able to negotiate the commission rate based on the size and value of the estate. You’ll need to provide detailed receipts as proof of the sales value before settling on a commission rate.
Estate sales are usually larger in scope than garage or yard sales and may be more emotionally charged. They often follow the loss of a loved one, the downsizing of a family home or a life transition from one stage of life to another. While they can be a time of great emotional strain for those involved, they can also provide an opportunity to get rid of unwanted items, clear out clutter and make room in the home or yard for future projects.
Before the actual estate sale begins, it’s important to do a thorough inventory of all the items for sale. Even if it means dusting off corners of the attic, crawling under beds and opening up cabinets in order to take stock of what’s available, this step is vital to making sure that all potential sales are covered and that priceless heirlooms don’t “disappear” into the pockets of contractors or service providers.
Once a complete inventory has been established, it’s time to start organizing the space and planning how everything will be presented. The goal is to make it as easy for shoppers to find items and get in and out of the house as possible. A jumbled mess of items will not only make it hard to navigate the home, it could also be distracting for shoppers and potentially turn them away. It’s also important to set up barriers and limit entrance to certain rooms so that valuable items remain safe and out of reach.
If there are any special instructions left by the departed estate holder regarding how goods should be disbursed, be sure to follow those guidelines. This can help ease tensions among heirs who might otherwise clash over what should be kept, sold or donated.
Depending on the size of the estate and how quickly it’s being liquidated, it might be necessary to work with a professional estate sale company. These experts are experienced in managing crowds, solving issues and providing an overall efficient process. They should also be familiar with local and online marketing strategies that can help boost interest in the event. In addition, they should have access to private databases that can assist in determining market values for various items and have experience negotiating prices with buyers.