Sometimes you have to liquidate merchandise. Death, divorce, downsizing, it happens.
The first thing you should know is that estate sale companies/liquidators usually have a minimum required estimated value before they’ll take you on. They’ll handle it from soup to nuts, which makes it easier. The bad news is, it can take months if you want it on-site — a good thing to confirm that before you say ‘yes’ and sign the contract.
Things you need to watch out for —estate sale fees. Liquidators charge up to 50% of the total sales in fees. Some liquidators are members of the American Society of Estate Liquidators and must meet certain experience requirements. But alas, most liquidators have no formal training. What this means is anyone can hang a shingle and set up shop as a liquidator. Most have no formal training. Please note, there are no regulatory bodies that oversee the estimated 14,000 estate sale companies. We say again, do your research. Interview multiple estate sale/liquidator firms and check them out on the Better Business Bureau, Yelp or Angie’s List to eliminate ones who sound fishy.
You can run into problems if you think that all grandma’s stuff is junk. Never make that assumption. You are at your best advantage if you have an understanding of the value of what you have. Do not throw anything away; what may look like junk to you may be a treasure to someone else.
Unless you just took a Learning Annex course on appraisals, you’re in danger of overvaluing or even worse undervaluing. Take silverware; you could stand to lose a lot if solid silver goes to the $2 table. Always seek the help of professionals. Friends though well-meaning can steer you in the wrong direction. (Watching The Antiques Roadshow doesn’t qualify you as an expert, just sayin’.)
Dealers want to make a buck so you may get a fair price but not an optimal one. Selling to individuals is more time consuming but can get more money in your pocket. eBay can help. See what other people are getting for merchandise. Remember always to search, ‘completed sales’ so you can rule out the aspirational pricing. You can also check out websites like First Dibs, which deal in pricey art and antiques.
One more thing, if you do think you have something of value, it could represent a line of credit which can come in handy dealing with other liquidation costs. Even better, it’s not a sale; it’s a loan. Once you pay back the loan, your precious asset is returned to you. Pawngo can help you verify if you’re sitting on something of value. If so, you can get funding in 24 hours. All you do is upload a few photos and a description. See what assets we accept here. If you don’t see your category or specific asset there, call. We’d be happy to talk to you about it.