TORONTO, April 21, 2014 /CNW/ - For many boomers, seniors and their
families going through the downsizing process, spring ushers in the
beginning of the busy estate sale season. Selling the house, cleaning
up and clearing out household clutter and deciding the fate of used
furniture, artwork and other items of value will be the biggest
challenge many will face. With the prospect of shelling out thousands
of dollars per month for a retirement home, the desire to maximize the
value of a lifetime of memories becomes especially predominant.
However, with a little selling know-how, solid marketing and a few
helping hands, anyone can conduct their own successful estate sale.
"There are three main approaches taken when facing an estate sale
situation" says Laura Convery, Manager of Senior Services at Transition
Squad. "Often the kids have their own lives to deal with plus the
emotion of the family situation. Most don't have the same tastes as
their parents and don't want a lot of the things their parents had.
Many will simply throw away, give away or donate everything in a belief
that these items have no real value to others" adds Convery. "However
you'll be surprised as to what people will actually buy. One person's
trash is another person's treasure. Others will try to sell the items
on their own, while still others will hire a firm to assist with the
process" adds Convery.
Convery should know. Transition Squad conducted 42 estate sales in 2013,
the most of any estate sale company in the Toronto area, including its
Estate-Sale-In-A-BoxTM toolkit, a pre-packaged do-it-yourself training, marketing and support
program for those that want to conduct their own estate sales.
Convery offers these 10 tips for DIY estate sale success to help you
sell like a pro and make the most from your sale.
10 Tips For Do-It-Yourself Estate Sale Success
When trying to sell something, you have to think like a buyer, as if the
shoe was on the other foot, and set up your sale accordingly.
The success of your sale will depend on three things - 1) marketing to
get people there, 2) selection and 3) attractive prices to get people
Selection - an estate sale should encompass the entire household with
items of higher value and in pristine condition, sitting alongside
items that may be garage sale caliber. Whether it's fine furniture,
glassware, kitchen gadgets, appliances, garden tools, plants, linens or
clothing, your sale should become a veritable department store at
bargain prices. Everything should be staged to bring focus to the items
that are most likely to catch people's eye.
Pricing is all about balance, set it low enough to be attractive, but
not so low that you are giving things away at far less than what people
would be willing to pay. Although many items will have great
sentimental value or may have cost a lot originally, they will most
likely not be worth as much to potential buyers as they are to you or
your parents. Take the time to research various websites like Kijiji,
Craigslist, and Ebay to make comparables.
An estate sale, aka contents sale, is really a full house version of a
garage sale. Things are spread throughout the entire home, not just the
driveway. Recruit enough family and/or friends you trust to cover the
entire home as salespeople, and for security to avoid theft. Ensure
they are familiar with your house, the items and prices in the areas
they will be posted to work.
Be prepared to negotiate. Negotiating prices is the foundation of every
garage sale and estate sale. It will be expected by buyers and a lack
of willingness to negotiate may cost you a lot of unsold items by
Valuables like gold, precious stones or signed artwork should be tested
and appraised, or left out of the sale. Estate sale buyers may not be
the right buyers for true valuables. You may need to find more
specialized sources to sell these.
Promote! Promote! Promote! Use tools like Kijiji , Craigslist and social
media and tell as many friends, family and neighbors as possible to
spread the word. Set up an event page on Facebook to maximize your
reach and increase your turnout. Draw as much attention to the sale as
possible by using signs along public roads. 40-50% of your buyers will
come from the signs, so large noticeable signs with proper messaging
and strategic placement is key. Signs can be created using cardboard or
Bristol board or for greater impact, professional estate sale signs can
be rented for nominal amounts.
Prepare a fanny pack for each staff member with a cash float and sales
materials to keep the sale running efficiently and smoothly.
Hand out tickets starting an hour or so prior to the sale to allow
access on a first come, first serve basis. Make sure to only allow
enough people in at a time to follow fire department regulations.
The Estate-Sale-In-A-BoxTM toolkit can be purchased from Transition Squad for $600 and contains
everything you need to conduct a successful sale. It includes a free
step-by-step guide, one-on-one training either in person or via Skype
and phone, toll free support, advertising and marketing, a custom
dedicated webpage to showcase sale items in advance, a sign placement
map, pricing assistance and a local eblast. Sign rental is optional at
$3 per sign in select markets. The client keeps 100% of their sales
revenues. Estate-Sale-In-A-BoxTM is available throughout Canada and United States.
About Transition Squad
Transition Squad is a fully integrated, turnkey downsizing company
working with seniors and families going through a parent transition. As
a project manager, Transition Squad assists with the physical aspects
of downsizing from getting organized, cleaning up and clearing out the
home, selling the contents through physical estate sales, online
auctions and Transition Squad's consignment store, removal of leftover
items through donation and junk removal, as well as auctioning off the
home online. Transition Squad supports the communities it works in and
has raised money for many organizations including MukiBaum Treatment
Centers, Seeds of Hope and Downsview Services for Seniors.
SOURCE: Transition Squad
For further information:
For media inquiries, please contact Cameron Thomas at (416) 249-4049 ext 332 or cameron@TransitionSquad.com.