Estate sale questions needed

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Unregistered-1427815803, Jul 24, 2004.

  1. Having an auction house comming to look at all the items we have furnature, jewelry,gold cuff link, tie pins with stones silver , dishes, pictures, prints, and etc. the auction house puts out their oun catalog, also the day of the sale they are with clients on the phone and also e-bay while at their auction house. what questions should I ask, such as item receipt on each item,will it be only my auction, do they polish the sterling silver. They do all the handling, they take 17.5% of items sold which I think is reasonable. What other questions should I be asking? All answers will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    When my dad died, we almost did an estate sale.

    The first thing we discovered, however, is that all those things which had value for us had virtually no value in monetary terms. The only exception was my parents' home and land.

    So don't be surprised. Quite often, the things we hold dearest to our hearts have very little $$$ value.

    We chose not to liquidate through an auction. Now, I did spend about a year or so selling some of the stuff through eBay, notably books which were valued by the appraisers at, I think $600 for the entire lot of books. Also sold some odd things, like a strange old top hat, stuff like that. And I did get more money for these things by selling like that --- some of the books sold for $30+ each because they were old and fairly hard to get.

    In any case, i guess my point is, don't be surprised by low value, even for gold cufflinks which are of value to you. That's why people love estate sales --- you can get things relatively inexpensively.
     

  3. soulsurvivor

    soulsurvivor Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Make sure you have a list of their charges, if any, over and above the 17.5%. Also see how sales tax figures into what you end up receiving. Read that contract thoroughly before signing. Also, if it were me, I would want an itemized list of inventory before it sells and another list of sold items, so I could have both to compare. It's amazing sometimes how small unknown valuables can be misplaced. Pockets can catch a lot of hot little items.
     
  4. deb

    deb Well-Known Member

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    Find out who will pay for stolen items (bid upon, taken, but not paid).

    Find out how many people will be working your auction (an auctioneer, clerk, 3 ringers, a cashier or two is standard, more is better).

    17 1/2% is high commission which is why they can do a catalog. Most middle class families don't have the enough of the right stuff to justify an auction catalog. My mom spent 30 years collecting fine jewelry (Platinum, gold and silver with real jewels), but I'm not even sure if her 3 cabinets worth of jewelry would be worth a catalonged auction. If they don't want to do it, then find an auctioneer with a good reputation and an excellent web page. Some auctioneers put a lot of pre-auction photos on their web sites and that is often as good as a catalog for buyers.

    Find out how much of a commission they will be charging the buyers and if sales tax will be charged. We've stopped going to auctions held by a couple auctioneers because their buyers commission is too high. If the sale is held at an auction house then sales tax will be charged and that's another % the buyer has to pay.

    Good luck
    deb
     
  5. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    The ones I've encountered on eBay charge a 10% buyer's fee on top of what they take for commission.

    Some auction companies will advise the consigner not to attend the auction. Can hurt them too much to see family heirloons go for a couple of bucks. Up to you. But do bear in mind something is worth what someone else is willing to pay for it.

    Ken Scharabok
     
  6. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    We paid 7% commission for an estate sale. We also paid the newspaper advertising, the printing of the sales bills, and postage for mailing of sale bills and other fliers. No catalog was made. Can you negotiate a better %. As an example if the auction company is not known in your area and they want to get a foothold, insist that they shave a % since you are their guinnea pigs as to how well they will do.

    If this estate is a large one I doubt you will be able to get an auction company to inventory every little thing to give you a listing. I certainly wouldn't expect one to. They should and I'm sure will give you a copy of all of the purchases, i.e. such as box of misc., end bid price, and number of boxes taken at that price should they often any that way. Also bidder name or number of the purchaser. You can also request an address sheet showing who each bidder was, though the auction house may be reluctant to give you one.

    You may wish to have the auction company announce at the beginning of the sale that family members may also be bidding and purchasing items. Keep in mind that bidding on items may give the impression that you are just running up bids.

    Depending upon the estate, the items may need to be placed in boxes on trailers or tables. Who furnishes these.

    Will more than one ring be going at one time?

    One question I would certainly ask is if the auction company has a good reputation. Is the auctioneer clearly understood so that people can be aware of what the bid is, and is he patient if someone has understood wrong. In other words I'd attend at least one auction by the company to see if they were the company I wanted to indeed hire. Some companies actually have a following, whereas people will simply stay away from auctions by other houses.

    Who cleans up the grounds after the sale?

    Will there be a consession stand? Will they consume large quantities of electricity for coffee pots, electric roaster ovens, etc., and who pays for the electricity. I would, as a consession stand will sometimes keep people in a better bidding mood. Can your favorite local charity serve as the consession operators?

    Any insurance in place should anyone get hurt? Provided by the auction house or ?????
     
  7. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    I read this as if the auction company had their own sales place, such as a large building. All of the inventory would be taken there and sold. Don't see how they could have phone and eBay bidding otherwise.

    Ken Scharabok
     
  8. whodunit

    whodunit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Cant you sell the items yourself on E-bay? The small items you could do that way the larger peices could be also done that way and you just state the buyer is responsable for shipping arrangements and costs. You see ore cars (weight 700+lbs) that have sold on E-bay and thats what those sellers have done.

    It does take alittle bit of time but you can get some nice prices that way.


    Mrs Whodunit