I wrote a blog post Sunday night after the estate sale, but after reading it I decided the post really didn’t capture what I wanted it to, so I decided to write another one later. I would like to be able to read this post in the future if I get the opportunity to do an estate sale again so I can remind myself what I learned. Here are a few things I learned:
1.) Ann, Caleb, and I make a great team. I was so frazzled from lack of sleep and just being exhausted that I really appreciated Ann doing the money. She has a couple booths at Jenifer’s Antiques and helps as a cashier, so she had the experience to do a great job. She always kept her cool regardless of the amount of customers that were in line. Caleb was awesome to have around to keep us laughing, help with errands, and help load stuff.
2.) Allowing customers to leave bids is a great way to sell stuff. I also learned of a brilliant way to not have to get to an estate sale early and wait outside in line on 50% off day: Just leave a bid a tad higher than 50% off. I don’t know how the other estate sale agents do it, but I checked the bids at the end of the first day and if someone left a bid higher than 50% off then I called the customer and told them the item was theirs. Once they confirmed they wanted the item(s), I was able to pack it up and have it waiting on them rather than packing with lots of people there on 50% off day.
Edit: Okay, so I’ve been told that bids shouldn’t be looked at until after the sale. Years ago I attempted to leave a bid at a sale and the agent was really rude about my questions so I never learned the process or tried to leave a bid again. I was completely confused as to why so many people left bids at a few dollars above half price the first day… this is when I just assumed this must be common practice. I’m going to ask estate sale agents about this. I apologize to anyone who may have gotten offended by this mistake! I’m definitely learning! Thanks to those who emailed me. 🙂
Edit II: I asked around last Saturday about other sales’ bidding policies and was told that how I did it is how they do things too. It’s so much easier to take care of bids while the sale is going on than after the sale is over and the client is back in the picture. I think I may try taking advantage of this sometime since this is the way things seem to be done!
3.) Preview Sale nights aren’t all that productive. It was useful for me with this sale because it gave me an excuse to kick my client out of her house early so I could get all the last minute preparations done. As of 3:00PM on preview day, I finally had all her stuff moved out of the main sale area, which gave me a whole day and a half to get things staged and priced like they needed to be. I do need to attend some preview nights of other estate sales before I can confirm they’re not all that productive because I would guess it’s kinda hard to just go by one.
I was thrilled at how many people showed up for the sale. It was awesome to meet some of my subscribers — You guys were so encouraging! I hope everyone enjoyed coming.
I was also happy with how much sold considering how little I had to sell. I really should have brought some more of my own stuff to have more items available, but I just didn’t realize how little I had to sell until everything that wasn’t going to sell was cleared out on Thursday. I sold most of the cool “smalls” but didn’t sell much furniture. I attribute the lack of furniture sales somewhat to the awesome storm that went through Sunday afternoon. By awesome I mean that the customers and us workers all hung out on the old porch of the house watching the storm pass because it was one of those nice summer storms. It rained most of the afternoon so I’m guessing no one really wanted to mess with furniture moving. Amazingly, even though it was raining, we still had a steady flow of customers. I had looked on weather.com that morning and noticed it could rain, so I brought some brand-new umbrellas that I got at an auction a couple months ago. I sold two of them! 😀
As for future estate sales by Ashley, we’ll see. I’m still getting over this one both mentally and physically. I did all the digging, cleaning, researching, pricing, and planning with very little help, so I really pushed myself to my limits. Ann really wants to get a business going, but after all the stuff I’ve gone through (and I’m still going through) with this one, I don’t see myself pursuing any other sales unless they’ll follow my contract. I need a good beating if I ever again accept a sale where the client lives in the home or hasn’t picked out their stuff from the estate yet. You guys warned me though! I appreciate all the warning emails I received. I knew this would be a good learning experience, so I kept at it. Heck, I worked so hard I lost 5 pounds!! That’s gotta be worth something. 😀