We love new customers at our estate sales. It is so fun to interact with newbies to the “estate sale” circuit. Their wide-eyes and enthusiasm for the bargains available make our job fun week after week.
So as we enter the fall and busy season – we thought we’d put together a few hints to help people understand the culture of the estate sale.
1. If there is something you really want, something you have been searching for or really need, you should buy it. An estate sale is not like dealing with Bernie and Phyl’s – we don’t have a warehouse of neutral, slip covered sofas in our warehouse — so if you see one at a sale that fits your needs — don’t diddle, buy it. Chances are someone else will if you don’t.
2. Don’t put sold stickers on things you don’t intend to buy. We have a short period of time to sell our clients items and a sold sticker means just that — the item is no longer available to other shoppers. Also, don’t carry around small items of interest only to put them down after walking around for 1/2 hour.
3. Please do not “tell us” how much you are going to pay for an item. We feel we price very fairly and remember – we do not own the merchandise. Our customers have hired us to sell their items and we receive a small portion of the proceeds.
This is how we pay for our mortgage, college tuitions, groceries, etc. We’re sure you don’t try to get the cashier to lower the price of your eggs at the market!
We understand that many TV shows are promoting the art of negotiation at estate sales and there is a tactful way to ask, simply say “What is the best price you can do on the ….?” We will tell you honestly what the best price is and try to work out a deal. Do not continue to come back with lower offers – it will not win you estate sale friends.
If you feel you must low-ball an item, you should ask to leave a bid with our cashier. We review all bids and take them under consideration with our clients. If you do not hear from us, your bid was rejected. From time to time, our clients will make you a counter offer and you will have the opportunity to accept or reject the offer.
4. If you are purchasing large items, plan to either have help to remove the items from the house or plan to pay our movers to deliver the item to your home.
5. Come prepared with cash, checks or credit cards. We take all forms of payment but cannot hold items unpaid.
6. All Sales Are Final. Again, we are not a retail store with a return policy. So, measure, check colors, tip chairs over, check for sturdiness, check for rips, stains — talk to your wife if you need approval — once you buy it — we cannot take it back.
7. Please save your criticism (of anything) for once you exit the sale.
8. Join our mailing list at estatesales.net to be informed of where we are and what we are selling.
9. Don’t come 5 minutes before we are set to close and expect us to wait while you shop. It has been a long week of setting up and a long day or two of selling, we’re tired and want to get home to start all the work required in closing a sale!
10. We don’t get involved in knowing how much a house sold for. So when you ask and we say “we con’t know…” we aren’t trying to be secretive, we really don’t know. However, all real estate transactions are posting in the newspaper and you can easily do your own research.
Next time we’ll talk to folks hiring an estate sale company for the first time….
Take care and we’ll see you at the next sale!