Which Secondhand Marketplace Is Right for You?
Estate liquidation is becoming a big business. Understanding how to maximize the proceeds of a home’s contents is incredibly valuable, and navigating the various avenues can feel overwhelming, to say the least. We’ve been in this industry for over a decade. Stick with us. We’ll walk to you through your options.
Consignment Stores and Sales
When someone chooses to sell something on consignment, they are making a third party the point of sale. Consigning an item means asking a professional to sell that item on your behalf, either in their retail establishment or at an event they’re running. In return for their services, the third-party seller receives a percentage of the selling price.
Consignment storefronts have a limited amount of space and relatively low foot traffic. Inventory turnover rates can be slow. Because of this, consignment shop owners tend to be very picky about the goods they accept and will typically lean towards higher-end items. Generally speaking, if a consigned item does not sell within the first few weeks, it will be subject to large price reductions until it is sold or retrieved by the original owner.
Consignment sale events are typically held over two to four days and feature a larger buyers network. Items are dropped off by consignors and are displayed along with all of the other consigned items. The likelihood of selling an item in this environment is higher, as these events tend to attract a large audience. While specifics vary from event to event, it is not uncommon for consignors to pay a required flat fee, as well as up to a 40% commission charge.
Consignment stores and events can work to liquidate a small number of select belongings. Again, consignment shops are looking for attractive, big-ticket items. Consignment events, on the other hand, can work well for lower-end items, especially if the event revolves around an associated theme.
Online auctions have been around for quite some time, with eBay continuing to reign as the most widely known. Depending on the company, an online auction representative may first vet potential sale items. Others leave the evaluation of what will perform best on the shoulders of the sellers.
Once photos and descriptions are created, the action begins. Auctions always take place over a specified amount of time. Once the time is up, the highest bidder wins the item. Some auction companies will allow a starting price or a reserve to be placed on an item. In that case, the item will only sell once a certain benchmark is achieved. Other online auction companies start each and every item at $1. This process can be exciting for buyers but incredibly stressful for sellers, especially when the auction company’s commission is taken into account.
Like estate sales, online auctions can include a wide variety of inventory, ranging from crystal stemware to gardening tools. Auctions can be great for buyers as there huge’s always the potential to find a hidden gem at a low price. As a seller, auctions are risky. Sure, there’s the potential for a bidding war if just the right people happen to be paying attention to a desirable item, but, more often than not, items sell for less than fair market value.
Auctions also require time and energy. If you plan to list items online yourself, be prepared to put in some serious work, especially if you want to maximize your profits. Even if you’re interested in taking a chance and handing your pieces off to the pros, the process isn’t overnight. Prepping, researching, shooting and describing items well is laborious. Add in a week-long sale, and you’re looking at quite a while before you get your cut of the sale.
If you’re looking to sell an extremely desirable item or two and are willing to roll the dice and wait on achieving highly uncertain results, an online auction may be a good option for you. If you have a large, somewhat random assortment of belongings, it’s probably not your best bet. At the end of the day, you will most likely be left with varying success in terms of selling those top-tier items and little to no success in moving the more common items.
Traditional Estate Sales
Thousands of estate sales happen every weekend across the country, but many are still confused as to what they are and how they work. Historically speaking, “estate” referred to the total of a person’s possessions upon his or her death. These days, the meaning is far less somber. Here at Blue Moon Estate Sales, the vast majority of our clients are simply downsizing. With billions of dollars of perfectly good, unwanted items crowding people’s homes, a quick, efficient way to cut the clutter is much sought after.
That’s where we come in. Rather than putting loads of time, energy and luck into online auctions or letting items sit for weeks hoping that they’ll sell in a consignment shop, our clients look to us. The need for an estate sale tends to come about with a great change in a person’s life. That can be stressful. We take the headache out of the equation, place items into the hands of happy shoppers and put a check in the mail, lickety-split.
We’ve set new standards in the estate sale industry. With our comprehensive training, proprietary technology and top-notch marketing, we can clear an average household over a weekend. Not only that, but we also pride ourselves on our exceptional ethics. When it comes to working in people’s homes surrounded by their possessions, morality is crucial.
If you are looking to quickly and easily unload a large number of items, all at fair market value, a traditional estate sale may be the perfect option for you. Do some research to find a trusted company in your area. Ask to speak to former clients, and read reviews. Above all, if a company attempts to make a deal based on a handshake alone, do not let them into your home. At Blue Moon, we use clear contracts that protect everyone involved.
Helping others is what drives us. Our business model is proven, and our happy clients and customers speak volumes about the service we provide. If you’re in need, reach out today.