Anatomy Of A Mega Estate Sale
If you can’t have an individual, on-site estate sale, your belongings can be grouped with many other households and presented in a much larger sale. A “mega sale” can contain items from fifty or more households. These popular sales are widely publicized and are held regularly in this area at fixed locations, with security provided. There are diverse items for sale, from the ordinary to the exceptional, including antiques, collectibles, jewelry, books, furniture and more. The possibility of finding a treasure or adding to a collection is so intriguing that some people schedule their vacations to attend. One strategy that keeps attendance high is that most of the items are new to that sale.
Every estate sale manager operates a little differently, but usually there are no boxed lots and everything is priced separately. The estate sale manager labels each item with a code representing the seller, and some managers will also code certain items, like collectibles, to receive special attention when they’re priced. Normally pre-selling isn’t allowed. A good estate sale manager will clean and display items attractively. Some will even make minor repairs.
The advantages of participating in a mega sale and working with a knowledgeable and experienced estate sale manager include:
- Finding things of value you might have overlooked.
- Pricing items correctly. This also means realistic pricing so they will sell.
- Marketing to a much larger audience than would have come to an individual, locally advertised sale.
Some people worry that the estate sale manager will “cherry pick” the best items before the sale begins and buy them, or sell them separately to connections. If you’re concerned, specify that there will be no pre-selling without your express permission, and make specific arrangements for important pieces. Estate sale managers, particularly if they’re appraisers, can identify special items, and also will know the best way to sell them.
At the end of the sale you’ll receive payment, less commission and fees, with an itemized account of what was sold. Items that don’t sell will be taken to a charity of your choice, and you’ll receive a donation receipt for income tax purposes.
Smart Selling Tip:
Allow at least a month to prepare for a mega estate sale. Don’t throw anything away and don’t clean anything. Let the sale manager evaluate everything in your house “as is” so you don’t toss a treasure into the trash.