Things You Will Need- Sticky Tags (To identify items and prices)
- Poster Board (For signs)
- Cash (To make change for your customers)
- Several friends and family members (to help direct people around)
Step 1It is extremely important to take a thorough inventory of what you want to sell. There can be a lot of items hiding inside of other items (i.e. in dressers, cabinets, closets, etc.), and you don't want to be caught off guard on sale day.
When taking an inventory, it is helpful to also do a little research and make notes about what items are worth. You can begin using the sticky tags to identify prices. eBay and Amazon are great resources for looking at what things are selling for. You should consider what the market is asking for items when you price them. However, don't be shocked that people will negotiate and low-ball you on sale day, that is normal business practice at estate sales.
Step 2Think about whether and estate sale is best, or maybe another venue such as eBay, Craigslist, or even an auction might be better. Estates sales do cost money and time, and sometimes it might not even be worth having one.
If you have a lot of a specific collectible (i.e. coins, stamps, china, figurines), sometimes eBay and auctions are the best route. If you just have several large pieces of furniture in good condition, you might consider Craigslist.
Step 3Now that you have inventories everything, and have decided that an estate sale in the best way to go, it is time to start finalizing the details.
Most estate sales run from Thursday to Sunday, and start as early as 6am. You should try to advertise in the paper, a local magazine, and online, such as Craiglist or EstateSales.com.
You should also make large signs using neon colored poster board. A common mistake that people make is not making their signs large enough or legible to passing cars. Also, there is NO such thing as too many signs. The more signs, the more traffic to your sale. Take a look to the right for a BAD example of what to do!
Finally, make sure that everything is priced inside the home.
You also want to make sure that you have your cashier table setup, and have friends and family lined up to help you.
Once everything is in place, it is game day. Don't be shocked if a lot of items don't move on the first day. Sometimes, people browse on Thursday, but come back on Saturday. Also, you should consider lowering your prices, or accepting any offer on Sunday if you must clear out the house.
Finally, you should consider a clean-up service for anything that doesn't sell, for example, 1-800-Got-Junk.
Tips & WarningsTips:
- Big Neon Signs
- Everything is Negotiable
- If you aren't willing to part with it, don't even have it at the location
- Don't take anything personal - this is tough, but you are running a business
- Always have friends and family watching over things - it's sad, but people do steal