Estate Sale or Estate Auction, What's Best?

Estate Sales vs. Estate Auctions What’s Right For Your Estate?

Are you doing your research and trying to decide what is the best fit for your situation, estate sale or estate auction? This 5 minute article will help you decide, 100% satisfaction guaranteed!

Maybe you’re not sure what or how an estate sale is run. How much money will you make, having an estate sale? Should I do it myself? Are these questions familiar? Then Prestige Estate Services can help you determine whether an estate sale, or estate auction, is right for you. These are just some of the questions we get every day and below, are some answers as to why, an estate sale, moving sale, tag sale etc. is typically the best option.

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People always ask us at Prestige Estate Services (PES), “Which is better, an estate auction or an estate sale?” More often than not, the answer is that an estate sale will be much more profitable. The reason is, mostly because an estate sale will include and sell not only the antique bed and the 2005 Ford Pickup in the driveway, but also the pencils in the office and the tupperware under the sink!

An estate auction, is not the ideal situation for the entire content of an estate and whoever tells you this is generally incorrect. Most of the time many estate auctions companies will not sell all of the content from an estate. They do what we like to call, “cherrypicking”!

They take a handful of only the good stuff and leave all of the small stuff behind. This process leaves you with a home full of small valued items, with no way to realize their value because too much value left when the estate was cherrypicked by an estate auction company. As they generally attempt to take the bigger ticket items and leave you with the rest. Don’t let this happen to you!

I heard our owner once say, “We don’t just sell junk. We sell the items people want and the junk sells along with it.” That is the beauty of an estate sale. The good items help to draw crowds and the little stuff adds thousands to your pocket, that you would otherwise never see with an estate auction.

Don’t get us wrong! We can and will do estate auctions as well, but most of the time they are not recommended for most of our clients. If you were just selling a beautifully restored 1957 Chevy Bel Air or an estate where the average item being sold, is over $5,000.00 to $10,000.00, then an estate auction might be right and we can help you there too!

However, when selling more content such as an entire household, you have to ask yourself, “Who will bid on the kitchen knife for $5.00 at an estate auction?” Let’s be honest, nobody is showing up to an estate auction, to buy a basic kitchen knife. At estate auctions, these items aren’t even sold typically by most  estate auction companies.

An estate sale allows you to maximize profit out of the majority of your items by selling the kitchen knife along with the other high valued items which is what we do for most of our clients.

Estate Sales By The Numbers – Why Auctions Aren’t Typically The Best Option

  1. Most homes aren’t full of $10,000.00 items. It’s typically these valued items that can be best for and estate auction.
  2. When we sell these 100’s of $5.00 items and 100’s of $10.00 items along with the occasional chair for $275.00 for example, it all adds up to be thousands of dollars in sale profits along with the sale of the more valuable items in a home like cars, jewelry, antique and collectable pieces etc.
  3. So, when you add the small items, along with the highly collectible or highly valuable items in an estate sale combined with large crowds, 90-95% of the content in the home or the estate will sell and this means money in your pocket, all while getting the place cleared out.
  4. Remember it’s those nicer more expensive items that help sell all of those little items so don’t get cherrypicked and don’t sell a select few valuable items on your own. The money you might make selling these items will not make up for the money you lose because your estate sale is picked over and sold through already Your sale will suffer from having a poor turn out because the stuff for sale is just that, “stuff!”.
  5. So don’t start selling off the valuable items and then call an estate sale company to sell the rest. Remember this quote? “We don’t just sell junk. We sell the items people want and the junk sells along with it.” If you don’t have items people want then your left with just junk!” So, remember this quote and save the good stuff to sell with the estate sale! You will be amazed at how many people show up to a sale and how much more money you will make including everything.

Estate Sale “Awe Factor” If Your Sale Has It, Don’t Get Rid Of It!

It’s important to have big ticket items that help draw crowds and present an “Awe Factor” to the sale. If you sell off the better items on your own this will potentially prevent you from obtaining the value of all of these little items. Why? I’ll leave the quote handy again…, “We don’t just sell junk. We sell the items people want and the junk sells along with it. If you don’t have items people want then your left with just junk!” Call us we can help you decide what is the best method to sell the good stuff and the junk!

We do even have solutions for these situations when people sell the good stuff and then want us to come sell the not so good stuff. In these cases we can offer services such as buyouts, clean-outs and haul-aways but they are not very profitable if they are not out of pocket. When there are no big ticket items that help draw crowds and present an “Awe Factor”. This will potentially prevent you from obtaining the value of all of these little items.

So often we get calls after a family tried to do this on their own and there just isn’t enough for a sale or they have been cherrypicked and stuck with a household full of stuff, a ton of work to prepare it for a sale, and no significant profit can be made. Why? “We don’t just sell junk. We sell the items people want and the junk sells along with it. If you don’t have items people want then your left with just junk!” If your not sure, let us do a walkthrough (a free no obligation consultation to help you decide the best route.) What’s it gonna hurt and it’s free!

Remember, auctions don’t sell all of these little items they are designed for a handful of items and even then, most of the time consignment is ideal for those situations.

Overuse of Auctions In Many Areas Still Going On. Why?

Auctions are overly used in selling the common everyday household goods. Why are auction companies doing this? Well most auction companies require them to be “Absolute” (meaning no minimum is placed on the item) so someone can bid $5.00 on an item that should sell for $200.00 and they go home with this great item for basically a five dollar bill and you don’t even get the entire $5.00. Ouch!
An estate sale is ideal for valued items such as antiques, furniture, décor, fine jewelry (Now if your selling the Hope Diamond or what is also known as “Le Bijou du Roi” or “The King’s Jewel” then we would be suggesting an auction) cars, guns and other household goods down to the half bottle of window cleaner. All of these items have value and are great for an estate sale. Yes even the window cleaner. It all adds up when you sell it all!

DON’T BE FOOLED! Don’t be fooled by the old marketing technique used by most auction companies of… “We let the item be bid to fair market value” or “Our bidders determine the value.” WRONG! The only time this is correct is when the entire world is watching an auction such as Marilyn Monroe’s dress from “Some Like It Hot” is up for auction and every Marilyn fan in the world (that has hundreds of thousands to buy an dress with) is watching the auction and bidding. Odds of this type of crowd for all your household goods is not very good.

EXAMPLE: Let’s say you happen to have a nice piece of art that is worth $12,000.00 and an auction company auctions it off. Well if only one person there is willing to spend the money to buy the piece, let’s say for $3,000.00 and nobody else likes the art but that one person…guess what? “SOLD for $3,000.00 to the gentlemen in the blue coat!” yells the auctioneer.

The reason they do this is because they don’t want to sit on the item for months on end until it sells for $12,000.00 they made their cut in a matter of hours. What do they care if it could have sold for 12,000.00 they are in the business of getting the item out of their auction house as quickly as possible and making some profit.

98% Of The Time, An Estate Sale Is The Right Option
So, we will ask you this question, “What is right for your estate?” Is it an estate auction? No, 98% of the time it’s an estate sale. Don’t get us wrong, we love auctions too. We even enjoy going to them. We very much enjoy running them as well, but only when it’s right fit.

Let us help you decide what is best an estate sale or an estate auction.  Remember, there is no black and white answer. It takes knowledge to decide what avenue an item is best sold in. If you are convinced you want an auction, fine with us. We will get the job done. But if your into making money most of the time an estate sale is the way to go!

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