Top 4 Tips to Planning a Successful Estate Sale

Written by on June 11, 2012 in Lifestyle - No comments | Print this page


Planning an Estate Sale

Individuals hoping to find hidden treasures at bargain prices are the typical customers at estate sales. They probably enjoy spending time combing through thrift stores and visiting garage sales. Estate sales usually offer a higher quality of merchandise than one can find in a thrift store or garage sale. Each week, regular estate sale patrons peruse the local newspapers looking for estate sales in their area. Some will travel an hour or even more for a particularly intriguing estate sale. As someone who is in charge of planning an estate sale, there are a number of things to do to make it a success.

What Are Estate Sales?

When someone dies, they may leave behind a house full of personal possessions. The house may be passed down to a family member and they then must figure out what to do with all of the contents of the home. After taking out any sentimental items and anything else they want to keep, they may decide to hold a big estate sale and liquidate the remaining contents of the house.

1. Taking Inventory of Everything for Sale

A well-organized estate sale requires planning. Unlike a garage sale, which can be held with very limited preparation and planning, one should have a detailed plan about how to conduct a sale. One needs to go through each room and inventory and price all items they have for sale. While it is not necessary to put a price tag on every piece of clothing for sale, a sign indicating that all dresses are $3.00 each or sweaters are $2.00 each, is appropriate.

2. Pricing to Sell

While some people are motivated by the amount of money they can make selling off the content’s of a house they inherited, others look at it as something that just needs to be done to clear out the clutter. In any case, if one wants to sell everything or almost everything over the course of the sale, they must put reasonable or even very low prices on all of the merchandise. While you might think Aunt Sophie’s favorite rocker is worth $500, customers may not be willing to pay more than $50 for the chair.

3. Advertising the Sale

Let as many people know about the estate sale, as possible. Consider taking out an ad in the local newspaper, Penny Saver or other publication. Take advantage of the internet and social media sites to get the message out. One can post signs along the road, directing cars to the site of the estate sale.

4. Hiring a Professional Company to Conduct the Sale

There are quite a few companies that specialize in conducting estate sales. Some of these companies are also professional auctioneers. When hiring a company to conduct the sale, you should ask the following questions.

  • How long has the company been in business?
  • What is their reputation in the industry?
  • Do they charge a flat fee or a percentage of the sales?
  • How do they price items and do they negotiate prices?
  • Are they licensed and insured?


This is a guest post.  Consider Weschler’s as your professional auctioneer for any and all estate sale needs.


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