How To Have and Advertise An Estate Sale On Your Own
There is a lot to consider when holding a successful estate sale:
1. Inventory List
Canvas your home and make lists of everything you plan on selling and including in the estate sale. You may also want to create a list of items you won’t be selling as well – just to stay organized. You can even go a step further and categorize everything by room, item’s condition, etc. This will help when you start to research prices and determine where things will be set up and staged during the estate sale.
2. Clean and Repair
Most of what you sell will be “as-is,” but a quick polish or some super glue can take some items from “unsellable” to “worth a couple of bucks.”
3. Price As Much As Possible
Knowing what you have and pricing it accordingly is very important in having a successful estate sale. You can start by going online and looking at sold listings on sites like eBay and LiveAuctioneers. This will offer an idea of the fair market value. Google Lens/Photo is also a great resource. Just keep in mind, like garage sale shoppers, estate sale shoppers are looking for a deal. If you’re considering two reasonable price points, it’s not a bad idea to mark your item at the higher of the two prices. You’ll see that whatever the price, most people will try to negotiate you down. See what the average proceeds are for an estate sale in our guide.
Clearly mark each estate sale item with a price tag or sticker. If you have multiples of an item or like-priced smaller items, you can group them together for bulk sale. You can also display everything together on a table, shelf, in a box, etc., with a sign such as “All Stuffed Animals – $1 Each.” This insures you get the most for your items.
4. Manage Foot Traffic
Traffic flow is an important consideration. You want shoppers to browse each room at their own pace without any crowding or bottlenecks forming. Try to keep items to the perimeter or center of each room, allowing people to move around freely. Don’t clutter display tables or shelves with too many items; shoppers should be able to glance over your things and move on if they’re not interested. You also want enough room for a few people to stand and consider items without holding everyone else up.
5. Make Sure To Identify and Mark “Off-Limit” Items
You may have several items that you’re not interested in selling; it is important to clearly mark these items. Place a large “Not For Sale” sign on any items you don’t want people to try and purchase. Sometimes this isn’t even enough to deter people from trying to buy items. If possible, put all off-limit items in one or two rooms, and keep those closed off from shoppers to avoid any issues.
6. Have Security
Unfortunately, like in many other retail environments, you must consider theft and misconduct at your estate sale. Don’t leave an entrance or exit open and unattended. You should maintain a single entrance and exit for the sale, not multiple. This will control traffic flow and mitigate the opportunity for theft by allowing you to monitor everyone who comes and goes. Be sure to secure off-limits areas and have someone available to enforce those restrictions.
Close, lock and tape off doors to rooms you don’t want people entering. Keep your cash in a secure lock box under constant supervision. High-value small items, like jewelry, are best kept in constant site at the cashier’s table.
7. Pictures Tell The Story
When advertising an estate sale, great advertising pictures are critical. Take pictures of the items most likely to interest people to help drive traffic to your sale. Big-ticket items like furniture, appliances, collectibles, antiques, comic books and sports memorabilia always garner interest. Make sure your photos are clear, well-lit and visually appealing.
8. Advertising Is Everything!
How will people know about your estate sale and all the available items? Simple, you have to advertise the heck out of it!
Here is how to Advertise an Estate Sale
Estate sale advertisements take many forms, but most successful estate sales typically include the following methods:
- Post your estate sale listing to all of the major estate sale industry websites, including EstateSales.net and EstateSale.com.
- Create posts for social media platforms and community apps like Facebook, Instagram, Craigslist, and NextDoor.
- Advertise in town, city and village papers a week before your sale, as well as on any online classifieds for your area.
- Post signs with big, legible letters specifying the dates, times and the address of the sale at nearby intersections a few days ahead of time. Clear, visible arrow markers placed at intervals between the signs and the sale can help people find you. (Make sure to check local ordinances and homeowner association regulations before placing signs.)
9. You’re Going To Need Help Advertising Your Estate Sale
It takes a village! From cashing people out to loading big items into customers’ vehicles, it’s best to have lots of helpers to keep you from being pulled in too many directions the day of the estate sale. Offer to pay them in cash, food and beverages, etc., and maybe even throw a party at the end while everyone pitches in to clean up. Go Estate Pros is an excellent alternative to friends and family when you are thinking about how to advertise an estate sale.
10. What To Do With Leftovers
Even the most successful estate sales will have leftovers. It’s inevitable. You may want to contact local charities and donation centers ahead of time to find out what their policies are on large donations and pick-ups. If you have a lot of unsold items, you may be able to arrange a truck to pick them up at the end of the sale, or you can assign someone to take them to a drop-off location. Never leave large piles of garbage or recycling on your curb without calling your town’s waste management provider first for permission so that you don’t incur a fine. You may even need to consider a junk removal company.
Where To List & Advertise Estate Sales
Posting your estate sale listing on estate sale finder sites and publications will drive traffic to your sale. You can advertise for free on social media, Craigslist, NextDoor App, etc. If you’d like to spend a few bucks, you can even spring for some ads on estate sale industry websites such as EstateSales.net and EstateSale.com. These sites are tailored specifically to individuals looking to shop at Estate Sales. It may cost you $100 or so to list on each of these sites, but it’s well worth it as they are highly targeted to individuals looking for Estate Sales.
Hire An Estate Sale Company
Doing all of the above on your own is certainly feasible, but if you’re pressed for time or planning and logistics are not your passion, you may find it worth your while to pay for professional help. An estate sale can be a highly emotional experience for people, but it’s important to remain unsentimental in the face of your shoppers. Especially if you are helping to sell a deceased loved one’s possessions, as you may have no idea what these items were originally purchased for or what they’re truly worth. Hiring a professional estate sale company like the Estate Pros can make your life much easier, as we specialize in advertising, planning, organizing and operating estate sales.
Go with the Estate Pros!!!
The Estate Pros are consistently ranked amongst the top estate sale companies in America as recognized by EstateSales.net, EstateSale.com and others. We specialize in assisting families and individuals who are in need of residential liquidation, donation, clean out and personal property appraisal services. The Estate Pros are an estate-sale industry authority with hundreds of years of combined experience between our ownership and staff. Our owners, sale teams, and support staff are held to the highest standards of professionalism and experiential service. We treat each of our clients and shoppers with the utmost care, compassion and respect, and educate them on what an estate sale is and how to successfully host one. The Estate Pros pay meticulous attention to detail for advertising your estate sale as we handle every aspect of the estate sale process from start to finish. Our experts will work with you from the initial free consultation to the complete execution of your event and everything in between.
You don’t need to lift a finger. We take care of everything for you!
Wanting to learn more about how to hire an estate sale company? Contact the Estate Pros!!!
Overwhelmed? Thinking about hiring an Estate Sale Company?
Contact the Estate Pros!!!
The Estate Pros are the most professional estate sale company in the area, serving homes like yours all across southeast Michigan. We are consistently ranked amongst the top estate sale companies in America, recognized by EstateSale.com and other industry authorities.
We pay meticulous attention to every detail as we handle each aspect of the estate sale process from start, advertising, to finish. Our experts will work with you from the initial free consultation to the complete execution of your event and everything in between. You don’t need to lift a finger; the Estate Pros will take care of everything for you!
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Southeast Michigan Estate Sale Service Area
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