If you are thinking about selling your items online, please read this first.
It is NOT easy. It is complex and time consuming.
It starts with RESEARCH. To know how to price your item(s), you must first find out what your item is. An accurate description is essential to creating a loyal following.
You know what your item is, now write up a great ADVERTISEMENT write up (or listing).
Now is the time to PRICE your item. Pricing it too high will not sell your item and it will sit indefinitely. You don’t want that. The name of the game is INVENTORY TURNOVER.
The longer your inventory sits, the more it costs you in terms of not having that space for “new” items.
CONTENT is king. Having fun and interesting content will develop a following in todays online feed.
Take good and clear pictures. If they cannot see your pictures clearly, they will not buy it.
Partner with the LAV Pros and keep the time consuming work to us.
Text Us Pictures and let’s get to work! 518-944-0256
I think most of us can say, it’s time to declutter. Now is the time to streamline our stuff and get some cash in our pockets. The price of eggs?!
Here is our TOP 10 WAYS TO STREAMLINE, DOWN SIZE AND DECLUTTER BEFORE YOU NEED TO DO IT!
Step 1: Start NOW!
Assess what you have. Admit to how many pairs of shoes you own, how much storage space you have, or the fact that you haven’t seen your garage floor in years. Don’t make yourself wrong for getting there, or feel bad about being there. Just admit how it is now so you can accept it and move forward.
Step 2: Clear the Clutter and Clean the Slate!
After you’ve taken stock of the areas in your home that need decluttering, prioritize which area is most important. You may want to start with what seem easiest, to gain confidence and momentum. This will catapult you toward cleaning out the other areas that take more time and energy.
Don’t get overwhelmed by thinking you’ll do everything at once. Put out a bag or a box for items that need repair, one for items to donate, one for items to sell at your garage sale or through ebay. (Might as well make some money off of all that stuff!) Take breaks, play some great music, and enlist the help of a family member, friend, or professional organizer.
Don’t save things for “someday.” If you don’t need them, just let them go. It is just stuff.
Step 3: Let Go of “Shoulds”!
The “shoulds” create clutter, both physically and mentally. There may be a list of things you should do, but that you’ve been avoiding. Put those things on your calendar and get them done.
If they take follow-up action, put those actions on your calendar. Set yourself up to win by making commitments to fulfill these tasks. If you are challenged by self-discipline, there are great reminder apps out there for your mobile phone, or you can enlist the help of a Life Coach to hold you accountable.
Also, let go of what other people think you should be doing with your life. Those are their shoulds, not yours. Don’t let them clutter your brain.
Step 4: Start a “Don’t Do” List!
Admitting what you have been “meaning” to do and “just letting go” is a powerful step. You may never go back to college to finish that degree. You may never hike that 100 mile trail that you have on your bucket list. That’s okay. In fact, let the bucket list go.
If it happens, it happens. If not, don’t sweat it. These are not your non-negotiable items, but things that hold you back from feeling great about all you have already accomplished.
Step 5: Go Paperless!
Reduce paper clutter as much as possible.
Unsubscribe from catalogs or magazines that you don’t need. (There are even websites to help you avoid receiving junk mail so it can’t accumulate in the first place.) Get your bills online, and don’t print anything out you absolutely have to.
Of course, be aware that certain documents (e.g., tax statements and other important files) may need to be kept in paper form for a specific amount of time, but do as much as you can to streamline the rest.
Step 6: Get Organized NOW!
Now that you’ve gotten rid of the clutter and all of the things you don’t need, it’s time to organize what you have. You may find that you don’t even need those file cabinets or storage bins you thought you needed (when you had more stuff). The great part about getting rid of things is that it leaves you with less to organize.
Put everything in its place according to how and where you use it. By keeping like items in one place, you’ll find you don’t have to go searching the entire house for them.
Step 7: AUTOMATION!
Since you’ve now gotten your bills online and out of your mailbox, you can take the next step and automate your bill payment. Set this up through your bank, through payment sites that auto-deduct directly from your bank account, or through your credit card of choice.
Step 8: Clear Out the Digital Clutter!
When it comes to digital clutter (such as emails, files, photos, etc.), create a system for backing things up and for storing them. There are online file storage sites that you can use so your data stays secure and backed up. Only keep emails that you think you will need to refer to later. Start unsubscribing to emails you do not want to receive, or use an email filter to make them simpler to view.
Step 9: Maintenance!
Now that things are looking good, be determined to keep clutter from accumulating again. Create daily, weekly, and monthly strategies to keep things clean and clear. Bad habits start small – resist the urge to leave things laying around or let dishes sit in the sink overnight. Make it your firm determination to put those dishes away and clean up before going to bed. Keep your desk clean and clear, rather than letting things pile up.
Another tip: When you are going on a trip, clean up the house before you leave so that it is clean when you return. You’ll be amazed at what a difference this makes in giving you time to decompress from your travel.
Step 10: Enjoy the Simplicity!
Less IS More! With less stuff and less need for storage space, you can take the time to enjoy the fruits of your decluttering. Who knows? You may be able to downsize and get a smaller place. That will leave you with more money. And more time.
Time you can use to enjoy your new, simplified life.
Text us with pictures of what you want to sell 518-944-0256.
Or email pictures to email@example.com.
You ask, should i go it alone with our upcoming estate sale? Here is a run down of some of the steps that might be involved. If you’d like to get a free consultation, text us at 518-944-0256.
Steps to a do it yourself Estate Sale-
How to sell on Facebook MarketPlace
So, you want to sell online but not sure what is truly entails? It seems so easy, like watching pro athletes excel in their sports. But you can spend a lot of time in the process. Here are some of my top tips to help you determine if MarketPlace is the way to sell your items.
Selling Online in 2022
How to Sell Online in 2022 with Lover Antiques and Vintage!
Selling online has become a trend in the past few years. Today, more people buy on the internet due to convenience and ease of payment. This has led to an increased interest in learning how to sell effectively online. From aspiring entrepreneurs to big retailers, everyone wants to know how they can start selling their products online and find success easily.
One of the best parts about selling online is that you can do it without leaving your desk. Once you get the hang of it, you can run your entire business from your laptop. It’s the best, but not for everyone..
How to Sell Online: The Essential Steps
When preparing to sell online, you want to start on the right foot by selecting products that people will want to buy. Finding trending items can be tricky but you’ll be surprised at where you can get product ideas. Take the time to lay the initial groundwork, so you can grow quickly as your sales rise.
Here are steps to start selling products online:
Decide What to Sell Online
Selling online is easier when you have a great product that everyone wants. You can use online tools and reports to get an idea of what’s trending. Look at:
Identify Your Target Audience
With so much competition online, it’s essential to ensure your product listings and campaigns are strictly aligned to your target audience. Marketing to a specific audience segment is more strategic in terms of imagery, messaging, and promotions.
Start by looking at your competition. Who are they targeting, and what type of campaigns are they running for their products? If you don’t have access to any data, check out their social media profiles to see what kind of people engage the most.
Additionally, think about audiences you already tend to attract. Maybe your target audience is one that you’re already familiar with. For instance, if you’re good at marketing to millennials, you could tailor a promotion to them to see how they respond to your offer.
Create Your Listing
With your product selected, you can now create a listing to present the items to your audience. This is a catalog or list of items you put up on an online marketplace to help shoppers make a buying decision. Examples of marketplaces that allow listings include Handshake, eBay, Swappa, and Facebook Marketplace.
Core elements of a listing:
Set Your Margins
Everyone interested in selling online wants to earn a profit, so you should set margins in a way that yields a positive Return On Investment (ROI) from your sales.
Note that the average ecommerce gross margin is approximately 40 percent. But you can generate more or less depending on the product you sell. An easy way to maximize your profits is finding winning products, putting them at the front of your marketing initiatives, and adding variations to expand choices.
Where to Sell Products Online
The next step in learning how to sell online involves selecting the right sales channels. Here are a few that might suit your business:
Hosted ecommerce platforms like Shopify offer a quick and easy way to build an online store without touching a server or managing a backend. You get a good variety of well-designed themes that you can apply to your store. Such platforms also include great promotional tools like coupons, discount codes, and gift cards.
Also, you can install a dropshipping app to start selling online without inventory. It’s a great way to keep things lean – as you eliminate the need to rent a warehouse or purchase stock.
Shopify also lets you integrate a wholesale channel to sell products in bulk. Once integrated, you can display discounted pricing and deals on a password-protected online store that’s only accessible to retailers.
As well as selling through your own store, you can also list your items on a wholesale marketplace. Handshake is by far the safest marketplace to sell wholesale products online. If you own a Shopify store and sell unique products under your own brand, you can apply to sell on this platform.
Facebook MarketplaceIf you want to sell online to a local audience, the Facebook Marketplace is the perfect place to list your products. It doesn’t charge a listing fee, but there are certain requirements that you need to fulfill to start selling on the platform.
Since introducing it in 2016, Facebook has taken several steps to attract sellers to the platform. For example, the company recently partnered with Shopify to allow store owners to list their products on the Facebook Marketplace. This means if you build a Shopify store of your own, you can leverage different sales channels while managing your inventory through the core platform.
Etsy is a wonderful platform for selling handmade goods, antiques, art, and collectibles. It primarily caters to crafters, so it has more of a niche appeal than other marketplaces. Plus, Etsy has extended its offering to accommodate digital products—you can now sell illustrations, planners, themes, and more on the platform.
Getting started is as easy as making a shop account and listing items. However, be mindful that Etsy charges a $0.20 listing fee per item and a 6.5% transaction fee.
Swapping is a simple but effective marketplace where you can buy and sell tech products. The great thing about Swappa is that the team carefully filters through sellers to prevent scamming. For sellers, this means that you should expect any item you upload to be thoroughly scrutinized.
However, the rigorous approval process involved with Swappa also makes it easier to gain customer trust. When it comes to listings, Swappa doesn’t charge any fees from sellers but offers a paid featured listing option in case a seller wants to get more visibility for their products.
6. OfferUpOne of the best online selling apps, OfferUp allows you to list anything from apparel to baby clothes to used cars. Each seller gets a profile with images, ratings, and transaction history. Nailing these things helps increase buyer confidence and generate more sales for your products.
A novel advantage of OfferUp is that you can list a product in 30 seconds or less. Simply upload a high-quality image of the item, write a clear title and description, and voila!
5miles is one of the top selling online apps for reaching people in your locality. Available for both iOS and Android phones, 5miles allows you to set up sales pages for different items. You can give your item a set price if it has a specific value, or you can use 5miles Dash.
The Dash feature allows you to auction your items for 90 seconds, with bids starting at $1. Dash is also a fun way to buy new items for a great price. Who knows, you might just find something that would be a hit with your target audience.
OLX is a popular and well-known classified site that has earned attention in more than 50 countries worldwide. This is a great choice for sellers who want to sell their stuff to a local audience. Ads are free to use, but you can pay a little extra to have your listing placed at the top of the search results for your customers.
The key to making sales on OLX is to be transparent with people. Let them know whether your product is brand new or second hand. You can also mention the packaging condition and delivery method you’re willing to use. Describe everything accurately, and you’ll start developing trust with OLX users.
Gumtree is a UK-based classified website that was launched back in March 2000. Today, it’s one of the most popular selling platforms in the country, with over 1.3 million monthly visitors. Though Gumtree started in the UK, it’s now available in the US, Australia, South Africa, Hong Kong, Ireland, and more.
On Gumtree, the way you present your products matter. Once you’ve identified a few products to sell, take good photos so that the audience can envision the item in their mind. You could also style the item to add interest. If you’re selling a mattress, consider placing some cute pillows on it for a simple yet effective way to add interest.
Craigslist is probably the best-known classified ads site around. Craigslist makes it quick and easy to list the items you want to sell. You can choose a location site from the cities that suit you in the United States, Europe, Asia, Canada, and beyond.
Most classified ads won’t cost anything to appear on Craigslist. However, you may need to pay a fee if you’re posting specific information, like brokered apartment rentals.
What Are Some Advantages of Online Selling?
Once you have a good grasp on how to sell online, you can expect to get the following benefits.
Low Costs-The beauty of the digital world is that you can get started with very little investment. For example, if you create an online store, all you need to pay is hosting to keep it alive. That’s $29 a month if you use Shopify – much lower than paying rent for a physical storefront. If you need to market your products, it’s still way cheaper than renting a showroom or exhibiting at trade shows.
Flexibility-As an online seller, you can be anywhere in the world and still take orders from your customers. Partner got a new job in another state? Just pack your laptop and relocate. Wherever you go, you’re just a tap and an internet connection away from running your operation.
Easy to Scale- Where physical stores need to build extra displays to showcase new items, online stores can add a virtually limitless number of products to their website. Just click a button. Plus, you can list your products on marketplaces to reach a wider audience for your business.
Where can I sell my stuff online?
There are many different platforms to sell online, including:
What is the best way to sell online?It depends. If you’re looking to establish a brand, the best way to sell online
is to build an ecommerce store and make sales directly. However, online selling platforms like Amazon or eBay would be more suitable if your interest is to only sell products online, as opposed to starting a business.
What is the best social media platform for online sales?The growing number of sales features on modern social media platforms means that it’s easy to sell and make a profit. Channels like Instagram support retailers in setting up shop pages where they can show off their inventory to the local marketplace. Interested parties can add your items to a shopping basket and check out through the app. Moreover, you can sell products through Facebook groups, run ads, or launch a Facebook Business page.
There are many platforms, apps, and sites that you can use to sell your products online. If you have a good eye for trendy, profitable items, then consider selling them through one of these channels – the sooner you start, the better it will be for your retail/wholesale business.
Happy Spring! Downsizing, the act of moving into a smaller home or giving up your property in lieu of renting, is often an option for people who are moving. But it’s not always easy to make this change. There are many things you need to consider before downsizing your living situation, and if you don’t prepare for these changes ahead of time, they can be very stressful when they happen. In this article, we will go through what you need to know about downsizing and how to get prepared!
Come to terms with your decision
Whatever your reasoning from downsizing from homeownership to renting, it is important to come to terms with your decision. Whether it is due to financial reasons, retirement, or any other reason, you need to know why you are making the choice. Whether it be discussing the move with family and friends, speaking with a professional or simply thinking through the process, an important step to becoming emotionally prepared to downsize is by prepping yourself mentally and emotionally.
Declutter, Declutter, Declutter!
Have we mentioned you should declutter? If you are downsizing your living arrangements, you are likely not going to be able to bring all of your belongings with you. That means you will need to decide what possessions should be donated, recycled, sold or even thrown away. Of course, there are benefits to downsizing such as a smaller home and less room for clutter. But if you don’t get rid of your excess belongings before your move, it can make the transition more challenging.
Save what is important to youSome things are easier to let go of than others. Before you completely get rid of your possessions, think about what really matters to you and keep it! If there is anything that holds sentimental value for you or could be an heirloom passed down for use by future generations in your family, hang on to it.
Go through your new spaceIf possible, visit your new space, whether it be an apartment or home, to familiarize yourself with your new surroundings. Not only will this give you an idea of what to bring and where you would like it, but it also helps you get comfortable with the neighborhood and scenery.
Having a plan in place for what you want your new living situation to look like will not only take a lot of stress prior to your move, it will also be very helpful on moving day. Being able to show those helping you where you want things to go, or labeling items will help the big day go off without a hitch.
Mimic your old home!
A great way to ensure an easy transition to your new home is to set it up similar to where you are moving from. Whether it be bringing in photos, furniture or trinkets, having the familiar objects around will make you feel more at home.
If allowed, you can also paint and decorate your new home in the same themes and colors as your previous home. This way, you can make the transition to your new living space as easy and smooth as possible.
Make it fun!
Because it certainly can be. Or, downsize as the case may be. No matter which way you look at it, moving is a big deal. It’s stressful, it’s tiring and it can be downright overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom! There are ways to make the process fun and exciting! From including family members and friends to seeing how you can creatively set up your new smaller space, trying to make the experience as fun as possible will go a long way!
Allow yourself time to adjust
It is important to give yourself time to adjust to any change, whether it be a new job, a new city or a new home. This is especially true when it comes to downsizing and moving into a new living situation.
The process of downsizing can be very stressful, and if you are not prepared for it mentally or emotionally, the transition can be very difficult. That’s why it’s so important to take the time to get ready for your move both physically and emotionally.
Downsizing from homeownership to renting is a difficult process that requires you to be prepared and have the right mindset. Being familiar with your new living space, decluttering old belongings before moving day, setting up like an old home will make this transition as easy as possible. If you are considering downsizing for any reason such as retirement or financial reasons it’s important not only to think about how financially-savvy this decision may be but also what type of lifestyle change it entails; whether that means having less room for clutter in the form of possessions and more time on hand or simply trying out something different altogether by enjoying life in a smaller environment!
Are you contemplating an estate sale? Curious about what an estate sale is or how it differs from your run-of-the-mill garage sale or yard sale? Have no fear, you’ve arrived at the right place. Here’s everything you need to know about the who, what, when, where, why, and how of holding an estate sale, even during a pandemic.
WHAT IS AN ESTATE SALE? An estate sale is a large sale of someone’s personal belongings. Similar to a yard or garage sale but on a much larger scale. Estate sales include a much higher volume of sale items and can feature high-ticket items, whereas garage or yard sales are usually just reserved for offloading a handful of second-hand bargain items.
WHY DO PEOPLE HAVE ESTATE SALES? People often hold estate sales after the death of a loved one as a way to liquidate their personal assets. However, folks also turn to estate sales as a way to declutter before a move, make extra money, or help elderly people relocate. Believe it or not, estate sales are on the rise, even during a pandemic, as more people are switching up their living situations, relocating to another city, downsizing, or, sadly, dealing with the loss of loved ones.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR ESTATE SALE AS SMOOTH AND SUCCESSFUL AS POSSIBLE While yard/garage sales and estate sales are similar, estate sales are much more involved — from inventory and pricing to advertising and day-of-sale operations. Every sale is unique, depending on the reason, location, items offered, and the buyers they attract. Whatever your situation, here are our best tips to help make sure your event is as successful and smooth as possible.
1. TAKE INVENTORY! First, you’ve got to decide what you want to keep, sell, or donate. If you’re holding an estate sale after a death, you’re likely looking to liquidate as many of the assets as possible. However, if you’re having the estate sale because you’re downsizing or moving, you’ll probably want to take a more discerning approach. Be sure to check the house from top to bottom for items to sell — you might be surprised at how many things you forgot you even owned!
2. PRICE ITEMS STRATEGICALLY This may be the most difficult part of holding an estate sale. Especially if you’re selling items that belonged to someone else. While rare items, antiques and vintage have a somewhat consistent price, many items will vary in price depending on where the estate sale is being held. Something that fetches a high price in New England may be relative junk in Florida — and vice versa.
Remember that buyers are objective, so try not to let emotional attachment dictate price. Determine the highest price you can reasonably ask, and the lowest price that you’re willing to accept. For items you might otherwise toss or that don’t have obvious significant value, consider bargain pricing or grouping them on a table or in a bin where all items have a flat price of $1, $5, or $10.
3. GET PROFESSIONAL APPRAISALS FOR ITEMS OF VALUE We strongly recommend getting a professional appraisal of everything you’re hoping to sell in your estate sale. Professional appraisers will make sure you don’t underprice — or overprice — your items. Plus, they’ll know what certain items are worth in your specific area and help determine if things like collector’s items and jewelry are the real deal.
4. DECIDE IF ANYTHING IS WORTH A QUICK FIX. You’d be surprised what a bit of TLC can do for a particular items appeal. A simple bit of Old English with Lemon, shine, paint, quick wash, or easy mend can turn an item destined for the trash into something worth selling. That said, not everything is worth salvaging, so weigh the time and materials it will take to fix or prepare the item versus how much it would be worth afterward.
5. CONSIDER TEMPORARY STORAGE Estate sales seldom happen overnight. Choosing a temporary storage option can help relieve time pressure and free up space during the process. You can use a self-storage unit to safely store items while you’re planning your sale.
6. HOLD YOUR ESTATE SALE ON A WEEKEND DAY For the heaviest amount of traffic and the most prospective buyers, host your estate sale on the weekend. Keep in mind that hosting your estate sale over a holiday weekend can be a toss up since many people travel out of town. Never hold an estate sale on Christmas or Thanksgiving, even if it falls on a weekend.
7. ADVERTISE YOUR ESTATE SALE AND INCLUDE PICTURES OF YOUR TOP ITEMS Advertise! Advertise! Advertise! This is the key to getting buyers to your estate sale. There’s always a chance that a handful of people will walk or drive by, but the serious buyers scour for the best sales by looking online, on social media, on Craigslist, and in newspapers. Be sure to take pictures of your most appealing items, showcase a range of what types of things people will find at your sale, highlight rare items and bargain bins, and triple-check that the date, hours, and address are correct.
8. SET UP YOUR SELLING AREA TO MAXIMIZE SALES Presentation and flow can be big factors in the success of your estate sale. Be sure to lay everything out in an obvious manner, clearly mark prices, spread your items out to keep the flow going, and avoid any layouts that can cause traffic jams. Make it easy for you to keep an eye on valuable items like jewelry, antiques, or collector’s items. If you’re hosting the sale in your current home, be sure to clearly mark any items that are not for sale. If you rent a portable container, you can hide away items you want to keep — or even use it for additional display space, since it sits right at ground level. It provides shade and protection from the elements, and if you don’t sell everything on the first day, it will be easy to hold another sale without having to lug everything back inside and then out again.
9. DECIDE IF YOU’RE GOING TO DONATE, DISCARD, AUCTION, OR KEEP ANY ITEMS THAT DON’T SELL In a perfect world, all your items would sell, but that’s rarely the case. But fear not, there are some next steps you can take for unsold items. If you’re really looking to make money, you can arrange to put the items up for auction, or possibly receive a tax credit by donating them to charity. Otherwise, decide if it’s something you might want to keep or would rather just throw away.
10. FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH ESTATE SALE TAX LAWS One of the major ways that estate sales differ from garage sales is that you’re likely to make a lot more money. This also means that it’s imperative to know and understand the tax laws surrounding estate sales as you’ll likely owe taxes from the event. In states like Delaware, Alaska, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Montana, you’ll be exempt from tax of any kind from your estate sale, but this is not the case in other states.
SHOULD YOU GO DIY OR HIRE A PROFESSIONAL ESTATE SALE COMPANY? Holding an estate sale isn’t as spontaneous or simple as setting up a quick garage sale. You can either choose to go DIY or hire professionals to help you. A DIY estate sale is a lot of work, but it’ll give you the most control and flexibility during the process. You’ll also get to keep all the profits (minus any taxes due). The DIY route is usually the best option for people who are holding an estate sale to make money and sell their own items.
On the other hand, hiring a professional estate sale company can save you a ton of time and effort. But that does come at a price. At minimum, you’ll have to pay a portion of your profits in the form of a commission rate. That said, some consider it money well spent, especially if the items for sale are not your own or you’re dealing with the death of a loved one and other challenges, such as selling a home or moving to a new place.
TIPS FOR HIRING AN ESTATE SALE COMPANY TO HANDLE YOUR SALEIf you decide to work with the pros, here are a few things to consider before choosing who to hire.
CAN YOU HOLD AN ESTATE SALE DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC? If you’re planning to hold an estate sale while COVID-19 is still active in your area, be prepared to factor in social distancing and health safety measures. Set up your space with ample room for people to browse your items and limit cash transactions by using a service like PayPal or Vimeo. If you’re particularly concerned about risk, you may want to consider moving your sale online. If you’re working with an estate sale company, ask them what COVID-19 safety protocols they have in place.
The idea of holding an estate sale may seem overwhelming, but there’s no need to get stressed out. With these easy-to-follow tips, you’re already ahead of the game and on your way to a successful sale.
Got Questions? Contact Us at 518-944-0256. Thank You!
If you are moving or downsizing, it can be such an overwhelming time for most. So many years of memories and treasures from years gone by. But you know you can’t keep it all. Let me help you put it in a step by step easy to follow recipe.
Here are Steph’s Top Tips for a Less Stress Move-
🌈 Step 1- Mark all items that you want to keep. Color code them with your favorite color. These items you 100% want to keep.
🌈 Step 2- Mark any items you want to give away to family, friends or donate. Get these distributed as quickly as possible.
🌈 Step 3- Mark all items you for sure want to sell. If you can get things uncluttered and presentable, the next steps will be a breeze.
🌈 Step 4- Take the pictures! People eat with their eyes so make it most appealing. Plus, it appears that your items have been cared for and that always ups the sales prices.
🌈 Step 5- Do the research and complete the description of your items. This is the most time consuming part. Don’t go in blindly. Now it is easier to find the approximate value of items online so start by googling it.
🌈 Step 6- You’re ready to sell your stuff. Take those pictures, descriptions and pricing and go to market.
Or, forget all these steps and contact us at 518-944-0256. We can help guide you along or facilitate the process altogether. Thank you!
Ask Us! Do You Have Any Questions About Your Antiques, Vintage, Collectibles, Ect?
My name is Stephanie and I'd love to see your interesting items. The more unique, the better. We will feature your inquiry, pictures and our discussion.
I'll show you mine if you show me yours!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or text 518-944-0256.
I hope to be featuring your special things soon.
Downsizing? If you're downsizing due to an empty nest, planning a long-distance move, or clearing out a deceased loved one's home, you may be planning to have an estate sale. Considering the percentage professional estate sale companies take, frequently up to 35 percent, you may be wondering if you can do it yourself and pocket more of the proceeds. It's a lot of work, but you absolutely can hold an estate sale without hiring a pro. Planning an estate sale takes much longer than you expect it will, especially if it's your first time. Give yourself at least a month if that's possible, or as long as you can if it's not. When choosing a date for the sale, make sure it works for everyone if you're counting on for volunteer help; you can't run the sale alone. If you plan to hire workers, you'll need to leave enough time to accommodate their schedules, too.
Sorting Estate Sale Merchandise- Give yourself plenty of time to sort through the merchandise. Even if it's your own, you'll have to go through every attic, closet, storage shed, basement, cupboard, and drawer.
If you're holding the sale due to a death, be sure to keep private letters, medical records, and financial paperwork separated from the goods you're going to sell. You'll likely want to remove family photographs and memorabilia as well.
Make sure the family members and/or heirs have the first pick of any objects they'd like to keep, even if the terms of probate mean they'll have to purchase those things from the estate. When you're choosing objects you'd like to keep for yourself, remember that objects are not the same as memories. Otherwise, you may end up hoarding it all. At the same time, don't sell any object you think you're likely to mourn. You can always dispose of it later if you change your mind, but you'll never get it back once somebody buys it and drives away.
Pricing Estate Sale MerchandiseResearch is the key to pricing goods for an estate sale. Some of the things you think will bring a lot of money won't—and some things you might not even plan to include may be the very first things to sell.
If you have valuable antiques or collectibles to sell, consider hiring a professional appraiser to help you set a price. Depending on what they're worth, selling those specific things at auction may be a better way to go.
For the rest of the merchandise, whether it's newish, vintage, antique, or just used, hit the library and look at some price guides, or sign up for an online subscription. You can also find out what people are paying for similar things to yours by doing completed sale searches on sites like eBay, Etsy, 1st Dibs, and Ruby Lane. Remember, you're looking to see what people have already paid, not at the list prices sellers are currently hoping to get.
Advertising Your Estate Sale-You have to advertise your estate sale in numerous ways to maximize the number of shoppers who attend. Place classified listings on Craigslist (include photos) and in the newspaper. Put the newspaper listing in the garage sale section if there's no designated area for estate sales. If you're holding the sale in a small town near a city, advertise the event in the papers from both places—and consider purchasing a larger display ad that draws the eye and gives you more room to list the details and goods.
You can also advertise your estate sale on social media sites such as Facebook. In addition to your own page, join the online garage sale sites in the estate sale's area. If the rules allow it, post about your event there too. With all Facebook listings, include an album containing photos of your best merchandise.
Finally, list your event on designated estate sale sites, such as EstateSales.net and EstateSales.org. Both permit non-pro estate sale organizers to list their sales, and both let you include lots of photos.
Displaying Merchandise at an Estate SaleWhen possible, display estate sale merchandise in the room where it's commonly used. Take folded clothes, bed sheets, and blankets out of drawers and display the stacks on top of beds and dressers. Display dinnerware, serving pieces, and table linen stacks in the dining room atop the table and sideboard. Empty the kitchen cabinets and place mixing bowls, pots and pans, utensils, and small appliances on the kitchen table and countertops.
Small valuable objects such as jewelry and coin collections are the exceptions. Keep those at the checkout tables near the exit door so they're not as easily stolen. Ideally, rent or borrow locking cases for the event. If that's not possible, keep one worker at the table whose sole job is to watch the goods.
Managing Customers During an Estate Sale-Theft is an issue at any sale, and particularly so at estate sales where the merchandise is displayed in numerous rooms. Hire security guards or enlist volunteers to help. Station someone in each area or have them wander frequently from room to room. But, make sure they don't offend honest customers. Instead of letting them loom, instruct them to smile, nod, and say hello to shoppers while they keep watch.
Never let shoppers in the door of an estate sale before it's scheduled to start. Keep the doors locked, and place signage to indicate where they should line up until the sale begins.
Organizing shoppers into a line also let you limit the number of people in the house at one time, especially during the first hour or so of the sale. That's when the mad snatching typically takes place. Limiting the number of shoppers helps prevent breakage and fights during that time period. And, it helps minimize theft at all times because the thieves are easier to spot.
If you'd like to discuss having us evaluate your items FIRST, Call/Text Us at 518-944-0256!
What You Should Consider Before You Donate Your Stuff by Stephanie at LoverAntiques.com
1)Regain Monetary Value- There's an obvious reason you should seriously consider selling things instead of donating or giving them away. Money, of course. It's very likely that you spent money on the things you own, so why not recapture some of that value in the process of letting go? This can be especially helpful if you went through a heavy consumerist phase or are trying to pay down debt. While it can be a lot of work selling off each item, getting some of the money back is positive and there are even more benefits to selling as you'll see down below.
2)Sustainable Lifestyle Change Takes Time & Effort (and that's why it works) Truly shifting your lifestyle from a consumer-based to a more creator-based approach takes time and effort. It's not something that happens overnight. If you bear the pain of going through and dealing with each item, you are more likely to change as a person and evolve through the decluttering process. Selling off your items one by one is a conscious act and reminder to be more intentional with future items you bring into your life. Dropping a bunch of things off at the donation center really just makes your clutter someone else's problem.
3)If You Can't Sell It, Neither Can Someone Else- benefit of selling instead of donating an item is it's an indication of whether it's really something that ought to be donated. If no one wants to buy it from you, what are the chances that someone else will be able to sell it, including the donation center? There are certain exceptions though, depending on where you live and local organizations around you. This is where doing some research and thoughtfully donating can be very beneficial. Animal shelters will often gladly take clean, used towels and blankets, among other household things. Homeless or transition shelters will often take toiletries, makeup, towels, books, and many other household items. Checking with local organizations is a great way to intentionally donate items you no longer need or want.
4)Paying Increases Perceived Value + Product Lifecycle- When someone is specifically looking for your item and is willing to pay for it, they'll appreciate the item more. The person also has a higher likelihood of using the item. This extends the product lifecycle of the item. It also results in a lower carbon footprint since the person didn't buy a new item. It's also a great feeling knowing your unwanted or unused item is going to a motivated buyer. As we were selling off our things, it was reassuring to know that people had a need for those items. 5)More Likely To Buy Used (Save Money, Reduce Consumption) Another reason to stop donating is you're more aware of how much value is lost once an item is no longer new. You start realizing the value of buying used. The most sustainable item is the one that already exists. Not only is it much more environmentally friendly, but many used items are also just as good, if not better than new. Older items are sometimes composed of better materials and thus, last longer. It can be a wonderful thing to donate items in good condition, that are usable, needed or easily resellable. But it's time for us to take more ownership of the full product life cycle. Simply collecting items and donating them just transfers the problem from your home to another location. For the record, I think donating usable, practical things, or giving things to people that need them is wonderful.
Still donate things. Just don't default to it. Selling items gives you money back, reinforces a more intentional mentality, and is better for the environment. For more ideas on what to do with your unwanted items, check us out at www.LoverAntiques.com or call 518-944-0256. Thank You!
Why Are My Items Not Selling?
Hi Everyone, See us at www.LoverAntiques.com or call/text 518-944-0256. Why Are Your Items Not Selling- I know many people (including myself) are in a purging mood. Gearing up for spring and all its glory. Maybe its the items that don't have homes or the family accumulation, but whatever the case, it is so nice to PURGE! So I put together a staging area- keep - sell - donate areas. We sell items and within a couple of hours, we sold this and then we sold that. It's very exhilarating. But generally, if it's not sold in a week, I'll reduce the price systematically to see where it adjusts too. If you've been struggling to sell your unneeded items, my guess is that it's because of one of the 3 reasons below... 1. Your prices are too high. This is BY FAR the biggest problem when it comes to people trying to sell their stuff — no matter where they are trying to sell it. I'm not trying to sound rude... but no one is going to buy your "excellent condition" stuff or "like new" stuff or "still in the box" stuff unless they feel they are getting a REALLY good deal. And they are definitely not going to buy your "well used" stuff or anything with any sort of issue or stain or problem unless it's almost free. Yes, you might find an exception to the rule every now and then, but for the most part, there are too many other people out there who just want to get rid of their things ASAP so they set their prices really low in order to sell quickly. Unless you set your prices very close to what others are selling similar items for, you probably aren't going to sell your items very quickly (if at all). You will most likely get the most money for your items on Ebay. Craigslist and Facebook garage sales will usually get you the second highest price. And traditional garage sales or yard sales will require rock bottom prices to sell. 1- If your items aren't selling, lower your prices significantly. After all, if the point of your sale is to clear out your house, wouldn't you rather have a clutter-free house and a little extra spending money versus sitting and waiting while all your stuff sits piled up in your home? 2- If stuff isn't nicely organized, displayed, or described. Similarly, I've seen HUNDREDS of horrible Craigslist ads with dark, blurry pictures and almost no description. No measurements of furniture, no brand names. In those situations, even if it is something I'm remotely interested in, I usually don't even bother sending an email because I figure if they can't take 5 extra minutes to get a good quality photo and share a few more details, then it's not worth my time to email you asking for all the information. While I do try to set my Craigslist prices reasonably, I know for a fact that one of the main reasons my stuff sells so quickly is because I ALWAYS provide a very detailed description and multiple pictures of every item I sell. Over and over again, I get emails from people saying "we're buying from you because your ad was so informative and your pictures were worth a thousand words. So yes, how your things are presented makes a HUGE difference in how quickly your items will sell. And to be perfectly honest, if you're willing to take a few extra minutes to get high-quality photos and provide an excellent description, you will get too results. 3. Your stuff doesn't have enough buyer demand. Sometimes, even if you have a competitive price point and display/describe your items nicely, they just don't sell. In these situations, it's almost always because there isn't enough buyer demand. Maybe it's a very rare antique that only the "right" collector would be interested in. Or maybe you live in a more remote location so garage sales and Craigslist pick-ups are tricky since no one wants to drive out to your house. In these situations, Ebay or Etsy is often the best option for selling and shipping these types of items —but it's almost like a full time job. Over and over and again, I get emails from discouraged individuals who have been purging and hoping to make a few extra bucks by selling their castoffs with little luck. After a couple emails back and forth, I can usually pinpoint their selling troubles to one of the 3 things listed above. Yay for less clutter and more cash! If your sole purpose for selling your unneeded items is because you simply don't want them taking up space in your home (which is usually the case in my experience), then why not lower the price and add a few extra pictures (or a nice garage sale presentation) to increase the chances they sell ASAP?? Reach out if you have any questions. Happy Selling!
I'll sum up selling in these 5 sentences below.
IMHO, selling can be boiled down to the following basic principles:
You have just spent the whole day sourcing and found the most amazing treasure to sell on eBay, but there’s one big problem. You have no idea what it is worth. You might not even know what it is. It looked expensive and was clearly an antique. It was made by a good company, and was nicely marked with a rich deep patina. And, best of all, it was only a dollar. So, you bought it.
This can be a dilemma for many online resellers, because researching whatever newly acquired treasure you find can be a major time-consumer. For many new resellers, and even long-time sellers, researching an item can take up far more time than it took to find the item.
Sellers should already know an item will almost certainly sell for far more if it is properly identified and priced accordingly. Proper research relies on you being able to find the most relevant data, which will help you to correctly identify and price your newly found treasure. The more data you can access the more successful you will be. You might say, “He who holds the most data wins,” or more aptly spoken, “he who holds the best data wins.” This can take up a lot of your time. The more time you spend researching means the less time you will have to source and sell other items.
For those new to reselling, just trying to determine the best spot to find that data can be a daunting task. Even lifelong resellers can miss numerous key information gathering options that could save them time, and make them more money. Many sellers may look for a paid application or some monthly service for answers. There are plenty of applications and services offering you all sorts of data these days, but these options can be limited, and a good portion of the time the same information can be found for free elsewhere.
Luckily, there are plenty of free options available to identify your latest acquisitions and to help you determine what it is worth, without even leaving the platform on which you are selling. Amazon, for example, has an item ranking system across the platform broken down by category, which gives most resellers a good idea on the value of their items. It can also help you to determine how quickly the item might sell.
Amazon also offers a free cell phone application that is extremely useful in determining the fees and potential profits prior to even purchasing an item. For many sellers, those two features can be enough to run a very successful business on the platform.
eBay is pretty straightforward with their data, as well. Anyone with an account can access 90 days worth of completed and sold listings, which is how many resellers research their items for pricing them.
Terapeak is another exclusive feature available for free to anyone with a paid Basic, Premium, Anchor, or Enterprise store on eBay’s platform, but unfortunately those without a store will have to pay to access this feature. However, with Terapeak you can look at a further nine more months’ worth of completed and sold listings, giving you a far better date range of data.
Having more data is always better, and with the added nine months’ worth, you can better estimate what an item could potentially sell for. For some scarce or rare items, they may only sell once or twice a year, and you may not be able to find one in the completed or sold listings, due to its 90-day limitations. The only way you would know the price is if the item you were looking up happened to sell in the past 90 days, otherwise you would have to use Terapeak to look over a longer date range. I personally use it for researching nearly every item I plan on listing on the site and have found it to be an indispensable tool.
eBay offers one more big tool that nearly everyone seems to miss. Sellers in the U.S. seem to forget that eBay has more than one site. I routinely will travel to eBay’s United Kingdom site (ebay.co.uk) to find a price of an item made and predominantly sold in England, or eBay France (ebay.fr) to determine the value of a French book or collectible. eBay has well over a dozen other sites besides the U.S. version that are free to use. You can also watch an item on a foreign site, and it will show up in your normal watch list in the U.S. This is helpful when you are waiting for an item to end in order to see what it sells for.
Etsy, the last of the top three reselling platforms, seems to give sellers the most problem. Unlike eBay, you can’t search sold items – but you can find the sold items of a specific shop. Sometimes I’ll go to some of the really big Etsy sellers in certain items and check their sold items.
Another challenge – Etsy does not openly show you the final selling price of items, but it is still easily available with just a few clicks. A click of your right mouse button followed by a click on “View Page Source” of the listing in question will open up the web page’s source code.
There are applications out there that will do this for you, but why pay when you can easily do it yourself? I also use eBay to price out Etsy items. Usually the prices are about the same for most of the collectibles and vintage items I sell, regardless of the platform.
Researching your items and finding good data may take a lot of time but worth it in the long run. If you've got the time, go for it. If you don't have the time or inclination, contact Stephanie at 518-944-0256 or email email@example.com. Thank You!
Hi Lovers! A Note From Us
We are very excited about our upcoming spring/summer/fall selling seasons. Our goal is to help you sell your items the best way possible. Most estate sale companies just want to slap a price of $1 or $2. What if your items are worth $100 or more? If you are interested in a bargain type sales effort, we are not that. We want to partner with you to maximize the profits.
We are accepting a limited number of new clients. We provide a variety of solutions. These include-
* We will help you sell your items online,
* We will buy your items outright and haul them away
* We will perform an estate sale
* We specialize in assessing your items and “elevating the sale” on select items. The remaining items can be sold via an online and physical estate sale.
* We are happy to provide you with a free consultation. We can help you determine which way you should go. No obligation. We want your success first and foremost.
Call/Text Stephanie Daly at 518-944-0256. We can only accept a limited number of clients to be sure you receive our full attention. Thank You!
“Why Buying Antiques & Vintage Always Pays Off” by Stephanie at www.LoverAntiques.com.
The antiques and vintage market always has its ups and downs. It’s similar to the stock market. Yes it’s true, you can find some pretty cool bargains if you look around. Some items are worth rehabbing or putting in a little muscle to make it what you’ll love. I’m a buyer as well as a seller.
There are plenty of high end, home décor, artwork and more unique pieces that continue to hold their values. Smaller, more portable pieces are at an all time high. Especially with the ease of the internet, marketing and shipping options. Home Designers are fully utilizing antiques and vintage in their design too. Antique silver is also very popular right now. Tea set and tea cups are in demand too. Antique linens, unique art pieces, enamelware, ironstone, first edition books, flags, perfume bottles, Christmas ornaments and musical instruments as well.
Will antiques continue to go up in value? Absolutely! I think it can be all in how you market your items for sale. If you want to work with someone who utilizes a full marketing strategy, look no further than LA. If you’d like to partner with a sales pro, we’ll help you sell your beloved items at the pace it takes to sell. If you have items to sell or buy, check us out at www.LoverAntiques.com, call/text Steph at 518-944-0256 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank You!
Thank you for checking out our latest LA BLOG Posts. We love that you follow us and would appreciate it if you could share us with a friend. Need something sold? Contact Steph at 518-944-0256 or email email@example.com.
A friend of mine, after inheriting her grandmother's collection of antiques, became interesting in buying antiques and collectibles. I gave her some advice about determining the value of antiques and collectibles.
What Is an Antique?
Many people have valuable antiques in their homes. Whether purchased or inherited, objects 100 years old or older are considered to be antiques. Of course, plenty of people call that 1940s dining room set antique, but it is not. Interesting, desirable, older objects less than 100 years old are collectibles.
Value Has Many Meanings
When we talk about the value of an antique, we can mean several things. I greatly value the things passed down to me from loved ones and would never part with most of them as the sentimental value is too great.
Maybe I never met my great grandmother, but I look at her beautiful Flow Blue china and can touch something that she touched. The family came to the United States during the Irish Potato Famine in the mid 19th century. My great great grandfather was a laborer. So, I know that this lovely dishware meant a lot to the family. It meant that they had arrived into the middle class, that the family was established enough to spend money on a few fine things.
I remember seeing the Flow Blue at Auntie's house, how it was rarely used, but treasured, set in a bow front cabinet to be looked upon—not touched. This is the most valuable antique of all. It's priceless!
Depression Glass is a vintage collectible but NOT an antique.
Using Price Guides:
We can look at antique books and price guides that document various types of antiques and their values with a grain of salt.
One day, while looking at Depression Glass at a lovely little shop, the proprietor and I checked out a price guide to Depression Glass values. The dealer said that she would never be able to get the stated price because the value of each piece is actually determined by how much money people are willing to pay for it. She said that she could never get the suggested prices, and this was during good economic times.
So, the value depends on the economy, the region where you are attempting to buy or sell the piece, and whether or not someone will actually want to purchase the item and whether a similar item is available in the shop right down the street. Or on eBay.
Selling Your Items:
If you have antiques or collectibles (remember that Depression Glass is a collectible as it is not over 100 years old) and want to sell them to a dealer, remember that the dealer will need to make a profit. The dealer must take into account overhead costs as well.
You may decide to sell an antique or collectible on eBay. If so, first you must establish yourself as a reliable dealer on that popular site so that people have confidence in the items you have for sale as well as confidence in your shipping practices. Don't forget that, on eBay, there is a huge group of available buyers, but there may be stiff competition, too.
The Importance of Condition:
A friend of mine has a beautiful porcelain figurine of a young girl holding up the skirt of a pleated dress. Fifteen years ago, she found some information about the figure that was made in the late 1800s or early 1900s by the Gebruder Heubach Company of Thuringia, Germany. The figure can be identified by the look of it and the mark on the bottom, as with most valuable china and porcelain pieces. The mark is a divided circle with a sunburst on top and two over-lapped letters below.
The article suggested that the figure might sell for $500.00 in good condition. And that was 15 years ago.
Unfortunately for her, someone knocked the figurine's head off some 40 years ago. The head was neatly glued back on, but the damage was done. No way I would ever get anywhere near the suggested price because it is damaged. In addition, changing markets would decrease the value.
How to Take Care of Your Old Things:
Take proper care of your antiques and collectibles. Keep them out of harm's way.
Do not attempt to refinish a piece of old or antique furniture. Part of the value of an old piece is determined by its patina, the changes that occur in the aging process. If you remove old paint or finish, you may destroy both the charm and value of the piece. This holds true for high end, very old, or significant pieces by master craftsmen. A damaged, ordinary piece of old furniture may benefit from a restoration or refinishing.
Antique Textiles, Prints, Paintings, and Photographs:
Antique paintings, photographs, prints, and textiles can be destroyed by moisture, heat, and lighting conditions. Also, body oils transferred by handling can damage old things, particularly textiles and paper.
Never attempt to frame or remove an old photograph, print, painting, or textile from its frame. This is best done by a professional or an expert who knows how to handle such a fragile piece.
Do not allow someone who claims to be an expert to handle old textiles or such delicate antiques unless they are wearing gloves. If they do not wear gloves, they are not expert in the care and handling of valuable antiques.
Do Not Assume an Item Is Antique:
Just because something looks old, or someone else thinks that it is old, does not mean that the item is actually old.
The lovely lamp shown above may appear to be old or antique to some people, but was purchased at TJ Maxx in the 1980s. Not old.
Often older pieces, or antiques, are copied and sold just because they are so darn pretty. These reproductions can be fun to buy and use but they do not have the value of a genuine antique. Reproductions of old dishes are better to use than the real thing. Today's regulations prevent the addition of toxic elements in the production of dishware. That was not true in the past.
When to Have an Antique Professionally Appraised:
Maybe you love your old stuff. I do. Maybe you have no desire to sell it. But it is a good idea to have it appraised for insurance purposes.
If you plan to keep your valuable antiques until the day you die, you want to ensure their safekeeping for posterity. You are treasuring history here. You do not want your dim witted son-in-law to throw the Victorian Renaissance Revival table in a dumpster or ship it off to Goodwill. If the kids are not interested in keeping your antiques, they may earn some cash by selling them, something made easier for them with your written appraisal. You can find an appraiser in your area by checking out the American or the International Society of Appraisers.
Do not have an object appraised by the person you want to sell it to, unless you know and absolutely trust them. An unknown or unscrupulous antique dealer may offer you $150.00 for something which sounds just fine to you. But if they turn around and sell it for $5,000.00, you might not be so happy. And there is nothing that you can do about it.
When selling your antiques through a dealer, it behooves you to establish a relationship with a trustworthy and reputable person.
Identify Your Antique:
Before you learn the value of a piece, you must first identify the item. If you want to identify an old item yourself be prepared to do some research. If you love antiques, this process can be a lot of fun as there is a lot to learn. Your local library will have a section of antique and collectible guides for everything from old furniture to hardware. These can be a valuable resource. Of course these kinds of books are available to purchase at a bookstore or online.
Online sites like Kovels and Replacements are an excellent resource for the identification of dishware.
There are collectors clubs for almost anything you can imagine. Find one appropriate to your item and check out the group's website. They can be a valuable source of information.
Search ebay with a description of your item to see if something very similar appears for sale.
When trying to locate similar items make sure that you use a thorough description. The more information you have will increase your ability to learn about your antique. Go from the general to the specific.
Look for maker's marks on the item. Dishware, for example, should have an image on the bottom called a back stamp. You can then look up that stamp. There are many types of, say, dishware that appear similar. My Blue Fjord plates may look a lot like the highly collectible Royal Copenhagen but a quick check of the back stamp (shown below) tells me the truth.
Many products have marks that change slightly over the years which can help you learn when the item was produced. Some furniture will show identifying marks as well. An authentic Stickley Morris type chair should have a decal on the bottom.
More on the Value of Antiques:
Certain types of antiques hold their value even in a recession or in hard economic times. Metal such as bronze statues, silverware or other antique metal items can earn you a tidy sum of money. Of course sterling silver is worth much more than silver plate. Sterling silver is 92.5% silver. Silver plated flatware, trays, coffee pots, sugar bowls, creamers, and trays can be picked up at thrift shops for very low prices.
Religious items may not get you what you want. Old things are often valued due to scarcity. People keep religious items and pass them down for years. Also, may religious people feel uncomfortable selling a religious painting or statue, especially if it has been blessed.
Just because an object is attractive does not mean that it is valuable. A friend of mine was selling off some pieces and found that a very ugly old lamp sold for an impressive amount of money. The fact was the piece was rare and in demand by collectors.
The popularity of various items vary over time. Something that may have been a hot commodity in 1999 may have fallen out of fashion. Demand sets value. If lots of people are hunting for a particular item, the value will rise. Today, people like mid 20th century furniture and dishware so they can be quite expensive.
Design trends change the demand for antiques and collectibles. Modern buyers often look for the cleaner lines of minimalism. Overly ornate Victorian furniture does not fit that look. That means Victorian furniture, dishware, and decorative items may be cheaper than it was twenty years ago which is good news for buyers but bad news for sellers.
Modern trends favor Arts and Crafts styles with clean lines and simple forms in furniture, dishware, home décor, metalwork, and pottery.
If you bought an item because a company promised that it would eventually become valuable that does not mean that it has actually increased in value. Think about it - if everyone and their brother ran out and bought, then hoarded tons of say, Franklin Mint plates, then all decide at the same time to sell them, they will not be worth much. No one can see into the future so promises of an increase in value are meaningless.
Selling Your Antique or Collectible Item:
Selling Your Antique or Collectible to a Dealer. Do NOT have an object appraised by the person you want to sell it to, unless you know and absolutely trust them. An unknown or unscrupulous antique dealer may offer you $150.00 for something which sounds just fine to you. But when they turn around and sell it for $5,000.00, you might not be so happy. And there is nothing that you can do about it.
When selling your antiques through a dealer, it behooves you to establish a relationship with a trustworthy and reputable person. Talk to people you know who can recommend an antiques or collectibles dealer that they have done business with in the past.
Selling Your Antiques and Collectibles on eBay:
If you plan to sell your antique or collectible on eBay, you better know what you are doing. You can't just show up one day hoping for a bonanza, but need to establish your own reputation as an honest and trustworthy seller, especially if you do not have a bona fide appraisal to go along with the object that you are trying to sell. Learn the ins and outs of ebay auctions and always use PayPal.
Create a buzz for the antique that you wish to sell by hawking on other sites including social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Draw interest in your product by advertising, or writing articles about antiques, featuring the types of antiques or collectibles that you wish to sell. EBay charges a listing fee as well as a commission on the final sale price. PayPal also charges a fee based on the selling price.
Selling Your Antique or Collectible on Craigslist:
I know plenty of people who have arranged successful deals on Craiglist both buying and selling. But there are horror stories too. If you must ,arrange to meet the buyer in a public place for your own safety. Only accept cash. Of course, you can't sell a Victorian armoire and meet the buyer in the parking lot at Denny's. Well, maybe you can, but it may be a bit cumbersome and kind of ridiculous.
Selling Your Antique or Collectible at a Consignment Shop:
Most consignment shops will arrange to pick up and item at your home. They generally charge 1/3 of the selling price. Pay attention to the contract and their sales practices. Some consignment shops lower the price drastically if the item does not sell in a specified amount of time. You want to be sure that you are comfortable with the lowered price.
Selling Antiques at Auction:
An auction can be a good resource if you have a large collection of smaller items or one real good item. Auction can be good for you if you want to move a piece quickly, but you might not always be happy with the price.
The Antique Liquidators Association can provide you with information on reputable firms in your area. Liquidators will help you sell large quantities of items. If you have an entire house full of goods from an inheritance or if you are downsizing, these are the people for you. As they get a percentage of each sale, it behooves them to sell at the best price.
That's my chair!
In the case of a very valuable antique, significant art, or a historically significant antique, you may want to establish provenance. If you want to sell the piece as an important artifact, you will have to do so. Provenance means that a paper trial has followed the item throughout the years. Receipts, letters, and other documents that have been handed down along with that item will serve that purpose.
Face it, anyone can say that George Washington ate off a particular plate. Someone's say-so is not proof. Some sites claim that a photograph can show provenance. A photograph may help but to say that just because you own the same chair shown in one of Mathew Brady's Abraham Lincoln portraits does not mean that your chair is the exact one shown in the picture.
From one person to another. From one Mom to another. I know times are tough. Why not use this time to cash in on things in your attic, basement or using space in your home? And now may be the best time to do so.
Items that rekindle childhood or family memories are making a resurgence in the marketplace. Maybe you’ll find an old record player, your toy doll collection or vintage jewelry. These types of sentimental collectibles can be great for your youthful soul, but you know what’s even better than feeling good? Cash in your pocket.
Below are 10 items you may have lying around that just might be worth money if you sell them, based on what I’ve seen in the marketplace.
1. Vintage Record Players and Record sales have soared in recent years, and enthusiasts have returned to vinyl as a viable alternative to digital music. As a result, vintage record players or turntables have risen in value. My company, Maxsold.com, recently sold a Thorens TD160 record player for over $1,200. Other turntables from Thorens, a Swiss manufacturer of audio equipment known for record players it made in the 1950s and 1960s, are selling on eBay for upwards of $400.
2. Toys From Your Childhood-You’ve no doubt heard about the collectible Pokemon cards or rare Furbies that have sold for a fortune. But regular toys from the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s can actually also be worth a lot.
Vintage Star Wars toys tend to do very well; in 2015, a Bobba Fett figurine in mint condition sold for $27,000 to an internet bidder. It originally cost about $2 when first sold in 1980.
Even if you were one of those children who liked to open their toys, out-of-box figures sometimes still sell for hundreds of dollars.
3. Vintage Jewelry-The value of certain antique and period jewelry has increased by more than 80 percent in the past decades. Demand has been so that on some auction days, estimates have been surpassed as items have fetched double their predicted prices.
4. Antique Tools-There are two sides to the antique-tool market. Some buyers actually use the pieces they buy, because an old tool (like a level, saw hammer, chisel or wrench) can be better for a skilled job than its modern equivalent. Other buyers simply collect these tools because they admire them.
More people have started to collect antique tools lately, but there has also been an increase in awareness among woodworkers, who appreciate using older tools.
5. Musical Instruments-That old guitar in your attic could strum up major bucks. Some 1960s Fender Stratocasters — popular among surf music performers — have sold for over $2,000.
A guitar doesn’t have to be antique to be valuable: One that was played 60 or 70 years ago (think of your father or grandfather’s old instruments) can have a surprising amount of value.
6. Classic Books-There might be a book on your bookshelf that’s worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars. It may not be likely, but it’s possible.
Actually, there are a fair number of books published since 1960 that have significant value. Many of these valuable modern books are from early in the careers of authors who only later became widely read. Or they are signed first editions of children’s classics, like Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are or Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
7. Rare Old Coins-Old coins lying around in the back of drawers or in rusty jars in the attic can be little treasure troves.
You may want to sift through your change jar before you head to the bank to cash it in. Some rare coins, including a 1943 Lincoln head copper penny, can sell for $10,000 or more. the 1997 “Double-Ear” Lincoln penny has sold for $250.
8. Military Memorabilia-Collectors and historians spend hours searching the internet for military memorabilia. Sought-after items such as a World War I Native American soldier’s helmet can go for thousands of dollars.
If you have items from World War I and aren’t quite sure what to do with them, selling them could be an option.
9. Old Video Games-While classic video games are regularly reissued digitally, making them widely available to anyone who wants to play them, there’s still a collector’s market for the original product.
Much like comic books, old video games that are in pristine condition — especially if they were limited releases — can fetch a premium. Nintendo’s unpopular Stadium Events game sold at auction for $42,000. The PriceCharting Marketplace site with current and historic prices of old video games shows some selling for $100 to $200.
10. Vinyl Records-Until fairly recently, many people thought vinyl was a thing of the past, but a staggering comeback has changed all that.
Vinyl records have been slowly making a massive comeback over the last five years. In 2015, a copy of The Beatles’ White Album sold for $790,000 (in truth, that was Ringo Starr’s copy). But some other albums from The Beatles and Bob Dylan have gone for $15,000 and up.
Estate sales aren't just for dead people -- there are many other fine reasons to call in the experts at turning used stuff into cash. Maybe you're downsizing like I am, or you want to make some money and simultaneously clear out some clutter -- or maybe "Hoarders" is begging to film you. Whatever your story, here's how to hold an estate sale (or shop at one).
Setting Up an Estate Sale
In one sense, an estate sale is basically a glorified yard sale with more stuff and better advertising. But don't try to do it yourself -- an estate sells takes a lot of labor, some of it more specialized than you might think, so contract with a company. Look for listings on estatesales.net (also a good way to find estate sales to shop) and connect with a firm that has a longer track record and good reviews on Angie's List or other review sites. Most estate sales companies won't handle your sale if the goods aren't worth a minimum value -- often $10,000 or more.
If your sale is accepted, an evaluator will look over your belongings and write up a contract. The commission and set-up fees can run 30 percent or more of proceeds to advertise and run the sale, plus contacting collectors if you have specialized items.
I hired a company that has been in business for 40 years. I was advised to lock away anything I didn't want sold -- and I mean anything, from framed children's artwork to the toothpaste tube on the sink -- or mark it "NFS " (not for sale) with blue masking tape. Several weeks after my evaluation, a crew of eight came out and went through my house top to bottom, pricing, organizing and setting up displays. By the end of the day, my house looked like a three-story department store.
I highly recommend being available on set-up day. It helped for me to be on hand to answer questions ("Are there more pieces to this collection?"), provide interesting backstories for some items (it apparently helped my company sell some photographic equipment), share the prices I had found on eBay (EBAY) for comparable pieces, and -- vital -- make sure things you don't want sold are held in a place inaccessible to the public. Also, as unpaid manpower, I helped clear out a room to display high-end items.
Get Out of the House
On the day of the sale, though, I left the house early. Like real estate brokers, estate sale staff advise owners to be away when potential buyers arrive. Customers can be extremely snarky about items that means a great deal to you. Who needs to hear that? I only came home to sleep, shower and make the bed ready for another day of the sale.
On the second day, everything was discounted by 25 percent -- except for items that had minimum prices, such as a few pieces of furniture I knew I'd rather keep than sell at too low a price to replace. On the third day, everything was discounted by 50 percent -- with the same minimum rule. If I had been getting rid of the contents of the entire house, I could also have contracted for a charity pickup or trash clean-out for a fee -- a rather substantial fee -- so I opted out of those.
I received a check for my share of the proceeds about two weeks later. It wasn't as much as I expected, and entire categories of items -- like tableware and clothes -- hardly moved at all. Books didn't sell briskly in this age of e-books. What people will buy and for how much can differ considerably from what you'd expect. You may see reviews online about estate sales from people complaining that their items were sold at bargain-basement prices. If you want top prices for what you're selling, you'll have to do some research, and likely sell the pieces online yourself, or go though an auction house and set minimum bids, instead of holding an estate sale.
And here are a few tips for shoppers:
All that said, it can be a wrenching experience to sell your things for less than you expect -- or see them not sell at all. My own experience was fairly good. Comic books, records, photo equipment and some furniture (but not the antiques, surprisingly) moved out the door in the first few hours, according to the nightly email reports I got from the company.
I was paid quickly, but because not as much sold as expected, the company took out its minimum cut, which ended up to be almost half of the proceeds. I was still left with a large amount of stuff, most of which moved with me to my new, smaller home, or was carted off to the Salvation Army.
If you don't have the time to run multiple yard sales, trundle everything off to auction, or put up individual items on eBay, an estate sale may be your best option for cleaning out a house fast. In my case, I was left with more than I had hoped for, but tomorrow is another day -- for my own yard sale.
Pricing for Painters
Pricing Ground Rules for Painters
1) Remember: your pricing gets to change.
If, like my story above, you’ve got a client waiting to hear back about a price, know that as you become more established, you’ll be able to command higher prices. You may even raise your prices+ on your very next sale.
In other words, whatever you charge this one client is not set in stone, so don’t stress too much about it. Keep in mind, though, that it’s always a better business move to raise your prices than to lower them, so leave yourself some room for growth.
2) Never undercharge.
That said, leaving no room for growth is not actually most artists’ problem — most of us have the opposite issue: charging too little. Once I brought art to be juried into a show, and was horrified that one of my fellow artists was charging less for her work than it had cost her to frame it!
Needless to say, this is a big no-no. Always make sure your pricing covers your actual costs (canvas, paint, framing, shipping if applicable — unless you’re going to charge a separate, additional amount for shipping/packaging).
You also want to take into consideration how much time you put into creating your work. Emerging artists may not be able to command high enough prices to pay themselves fantastically for their actual time spent, but that’s definitely the goal for the long term!
If you’re lucky enough to work fast and loose, you can get away with charging less, because each piece just doesn’t take long to produce. However, if your style is very detail-oriented and meticulous, what another artist could sell happily for $500 might mean you’d be earning pennies per hour, which is not sustainable. Your choice, then, is to grit your teeth and charge a lot more, and/or to figure out how to offer less-expensive work (smaller and/or looser originals, prints, etc.)
Not sure if you’re undercharging? As I wrote in this post on 5 Pricing Lessons Learned the Hard Way, I have a practically foolproof gauge: resentment. If I notice myself feeling resentment about a sale, it’s a good bet I need to raise my price!
On the other hand, if my prices don’t make me feel at least a little uncomfortable that I’m charging too much, I’m probably undercharging!
Your mileage may vary with this: start to pay attention to whether you tend to undervalue or overvalue your work, and adjust accordingly.
3) Be clear and consistent.
Of course your goal is to be paid well for your time, but the truth is, some of your pieces probably take a lot longer to create than others.
You know how much work went into each piece, but customers don’t know (and don’t usually care) how long a piece took you to create. Charging by the hour is likely to result in a lot of confusion as potential customers look at two pieces of the same size and wonder why piece A is so much more expensive than piece B.
Customers who are confused do not buy, which is why I’m a believer in clarity and consistency.
Editor’s note: for more on why clarity is so important, check out our post What Artists Can Learn From a Door-to-Door Salesman.
If you’re a painter, one way to ensure you’re clear and consistent is by using size-based pricing — either by the square inch (h x w) or by the linear inch (h + w). This makes your pricing easy for potential clients to understand, and it prevents you from charging more for pieces you’re particularly fond of, which makes your pricing seem random and confusing (and remember, customers who are confused do not buy).
With size-based pricing, you simply need to determine your current multiplier (the number you multiply by the canvas size) in order to immediately know the price for any given piece (okay, possibly with the help of a calculator…) .
If you create in a lot of different sizes, you may find linear inch pricing more sensible than square inch pricing. Why? When you charge by the square inch, the price difference between a small painting and a larger one can become astronomical.
Here, for example, is square inch pricing, using a multiplier of 2.5 (ie, $2.50 per square inch):
4×4 inches = 16 square inches x 2.5 = $40
8×8 inches = 64 square inches x 2.5 = $160
16×16 inches = 256 square inches x 2.5 = $640
24×24 inches = 576 square inches x 2.5 = $1,440
32×32 inches = 1,024 square inches x 2.5 = $2,560
I don’t know about you, but $40 seems awfully small price for a painting by someone who commands $2,560 for a 32×32 canvas.
Here are the same canvas sizes using linear inch pricing, using a multiplier of 20 (ie, $20.00 per linear inch) — as you can see, the difference in price feels a lot less out-of whack:
4+4 inches = 8 linear inches x 20 = $160
8+8 inches = 16 linear inches x 20 = $320
16+16 inches = 32 linear inches x 20 = $640
24+24 inches = 48 linear inches x 20 = $960
32+32 inches = 64 linear inches x 20 = $1,280
Neither of these pricing methods is “right” or “wrong,” but once you determine your method and your multiplier, charging by size can be a very helpful way to eliminate the guesswork, and feel confident about your pricing.
Different Pricing for Different Media?
One possible modifier to your size-based pricing structure is the media you paint with. If you only paint watercolors, or only paint oils, there’s no problem, but if you paint both on canvas and on paper, as I do, it gets a little tricky.
For whatever reason, paintings on paper tend to sell for less than paintings on canvas — even though they require framing, which is an added expense. In my case, if I were to pay to have a piece framed, my costs become much higher for a work on paper than for a canvas painting! What’s an artist to do?
(And remember that pricing your prints is an entirely different topic.)
I don’t have a final answer to this question, except to refer you to the item below…
4) Do your research.
It can be useful to look around at what other artists are charging for their work: artists in your local area, and especially artists at a similar stage in their careers.
What are people charging for framed works on paper? For unframed works on paper? For stretched canvases?
The challenge here, though, is that what other people charge is likely to be all over the map. So when you do your research, be sure to take into consideration how you want to brand yourself: do you pride yourself on making “art for everyone,” at “everyman” prices? Or do you want to make your mark as a high-end, premium-pricing artist?
When artist Matt LeBlanc was deciding what to price, he looked at what kinds of art were available in his area and noticed the low-end and high-end of the market were rather saturated. The mid-range, though, didn’t have a lot of competition, so that’s the price range he decided to set on his paintings — at the time of this writing, Matt has work for sale from $50 to $900.
This kind of research worked well for Matt: he went from selling no art, to being featured on HGTV, and being one of the hottest selling artists in his area.
5) State your price, then shut up.
My most expensive moment as an artist was several years ago, when a couple flew out to California from Philadelphia to meet with me about commissioning a ketubah for their anniversary.
I’d already told them my price range, which at the time was something like “from $1,500 to $5,000” (mistake #1: never put an upper limit on your pricing!), and when they told me what they were looking for, I realized it was going to be one of the most time-intensive pieces I’d ever made.
In other words, this was a top-of-the pricing scale commission.
However, I’d never yet commanded $5,000 for a piece, and I was afraid this number, which felt so big to me, would scare them off! So when it came time to give them an estimate, I hemmed and hawed, and said something like, “Well, what you’re looking for is at the top of my price range.”
Then, instead of keeping my mouth shut and seeing how they responded, I stupidly barreled ahead to say, “…but if $5,000 is too much for your budget, I can always scale back the design to make it less expensive.”
The husband said, “$3,000, $4,000, $5,000 — it’s all the same to me. But I’m a middle-of-the-road kind of guy, so let’s go with the middle price — $4,000.”
Yep — because I couldn’t just state my price and shut up, I lost a thousand dollars in a heartbeat. (And “scaling back the design” is a myth. It never happens!) Lesson learned.
This one is important, so I’ll say it again: state your price, then shut up. Period. Do not explain, do not apologize.
(I’ve done that too — gotten defensive about my pricing — and oh, the pain! Now I’ve learned to say, “If you like my work, this is the price. If you don’t want to pay that, you don’t have to buy it.”)
If you’re sending an email to a potential customer, “state your price and shut up” might look something like:
“For this painting, the price is $X [plus shipping/packaging, if you’re charging for shipping separately].”
“I charge $Y per linear inch, and this painting is 24×30, which is 54 linear inches, so the price is $(Yx54).”
“If you’d like to purchase it, just let me know and I’ll send you a link to a payment page where you can pay either with a credit card or your PayPal account [or whatever payment method you use]. Once I receive your payment and shipping address, I’ll ship your painting to you via [shipping service].”
[Be sure to indicate when you’ll ship — a day? a week? does the painting need to cure first? does it need to be varnished first?]”
The really challenging thing about pricing is that there are no hard and fast rules. Everything depends on you, your work, where you live, where you are in your career — there are so many variables it can drive us nutty!
The tips I’ve shared here have helped me get more confident with my own pricing. I won’t lie to you, pricing my work is still really, really hard, but hopefully these ground rules will help light your path as you negotiate this trickiest of areas for artists.
Good luck, and let me know how it goes!
I know many people (including myself) are in a purging mood once the cold weather is upon us. Gearing up for spring and all its glory. Maybe its the items that don't have homes or the family accumulation, but whatever the case, it is so nice to PURGE!
So I put together a staging area- keep - sell - donate areas. We sell items and within a couple of hours, we sold this and then we sold that. It's very exhilarating.
But generally, if it’s not sold in a week, I’ll either reduce the price one more time, or donate it. I guess I just figure that if I don’t use the item anyway, I’d rather get some cash for it and have it gone ASAP then let it clutter up my home for weeks and months.
If you’ve been struggling to sell your unneeded items, my guess is that it’s because of one of the 3 reasons below…
1. Your prices are too high.This is BY FAR the biggest problem when it comes to people trying to sell their stuff — no matter where they are trying to sell it.
I’m not trying to sound rude… but no one is going to buy your “excellent condition” stuff or “like new” stuff or “still in the box” stuff unless they feel they are getting a REALLY good deal. And they are definitely not going to buy your “well used” stuff or anything with any sort of issue or stain or problem unless it’s almost free.
Yes, you might find an exception to the rule every now and then, but for the most part, there are too many other people out there (like me) who just want to get rid of their things ASAP so they set their prices really low in order to sell quickly. Unless you set your prices very close to what others are selling similar items for, you probably aren’t going to sell your items very quickly (if at all).
You will most likely get the most money for your items on Ebay. Craigslist and Facebook garage sales will usually get you the second highest price. And traditional garage sales or yard sales will require rock bottom prices to sell.
Just the other day, the kids and I stopped by 4 garage sales on one street. One lady had ALL her kids clothing for $0.25 a piece while the other 3 homes were selling it for $1.00 or more per item. I realize $0.25 is ridiculously cheap, but I’m sure you don’t have to guess which sale the majority people were crowded around. She was selling bags of clothing while the other women just sat by their sales with no buyers.
If your items aren’t selling, lower your prices significantly. After all, if the point of your sale is to clear out your house, wouldn’t you rather have a clutter-free house and a little extra spending money versus sitting and waiting while all your stuff sits piled up in your home?
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2. Your stuff isn’t nicely organized, displayed, or described.I can’t tell you how many garage sales I’ve been to with no rhyme or reason to how anything is displayed. Some sales don’t even have the clothing separated by size or gender so it’s nearly impossible to find what you’re looking for.
Similarly, I’ve seen HUNDREDS of horrible Craigslist ads with dark, blurry pictures and almost no description. No measurements of furniture, no brand names, no “this is where we purchased it from” information, or “here’s the Amazon.com link”. In those situations, even if it is something I’m remotely interested in, I usually don’t even bother sending an email because I figure if they can’t take 5 extra minutes to get a good quality photo and share a few more details, then it’s not worth my time to email you asking for all the information.
While I do try to set my Craigslist prices quite reasonably, I know for a fact that one of the main reasons my stuff sells so quickly (usually within 24 hours or less) is because I ALWAYS provide a very detailed description and multiple pictures of every item I sell.
Over and over again, I get emails from people saying “we’re buying from you because your ad was so informative”. I’ve honestly even had people email me saying “we’re not interested in your items, but just wanted to let you know that it was one of the most descriptive ads we’ve ever seen”
So yes, how your things are presented makes a HUGE difference in how quickly your items will sell. And to be perfectly honest, if you’re willing to take a few extra minutes to get high-quality photos and provide an excellent description, you will most likely be able to ask a higher price for your items.
3. Your stuff doesn’t have enough buyer demand.Sometimes, even if you have a competitive price point and display/describe your items nicely, they just don’t sell. In these situations, it’s almost always because there isn’t enough buyer demand.
Maybe it’s a very rare antique that only the “right” collector would be interested in. Or maybe you live in a more remote location so garage sales and Craigslist pick-ups are tricky since no one wants to drive out to your house.
In these situations, Ebay is often the best option for selling and shipping these types of items — however I personally don’t have much experience with Ebay so I’m definitely not the person to ask if you have more detailed questions!
Over and over and over again, I get emails from discouraged individuals who have been purging and hoping to make a few extra bucks by selling their castoffs with little luck. After a couple emails back and forth, I can usually pinpoint their selling troubles to one of the 3 things listed above. And when I make a suggestion as to what they might change, they usually excitedly email me back within the next day or so, letting me know their items sold!
Yay for less clutter and more cash!
If your sole purpose for selling your unneeded items is because you simply don’t want them taking up space in your home (which is usually the case in my experience), then why not lower the price and add a few extra pictures (or a nice garage sale presentation) to increase the chances they sell ASAP??
What are your best tips for selling items ASAP – either online or at a traditional garage sale?
The key to downsizing is to rid your life of the things you really don't need. In balance, keeping the things you really do need. It sounds simple, right? But I can tell you, it’s not. Somehow in downsizing you may find yourself with 7 forks, 2 knives and 1 Rubbermaid container top. Organization is unfortunately not my strong suite.
Granted, I’d like to think this isn’t the norm – most people won’t mistakenly get rid of their silverware. But if the old adage, “Three moves equals a fire” is true, you’re likely to get rid of a few items during a downsize (whether or not you’re actually moving), that you should probably hang on to.
Downsizing effectively comes down to time and thoughtful consideration. If you’re short on time, or if you’re not thinking about the end result, you’ll end up making mistakes.
Luckily, with a few tips you can get smarter. Life is definitely better more streamlined, even if you are not moving. Here are a few tips for quality downsizing, whether you are moving or simply decluttering your current home.
1. Downsize the Big Stuff If You’re Moving
If you know you’re moving from a three-bedroom home to a two-bedroom home, there’s absolutely no reason for you to move three beds, three dressers, and three bedside tables to your new place. It costs money to haul big furniture, and if there’s nowhere to put it, you’ll just have to pay for a storage unit.
Things get a little trickier when you’re downsizing space, but not bedrooms – for example, moving from a 1,800 square-foot, three-bedroom home to a 1,200 square-foot three-bedroom home. You may need all your bedroom furniture, but you may not be able to fit all your living room or dining room furniture. Look carefully at the floor plan of your new space, or do a walk-through with a tape measure to really get a feel for where you can place your tables, chairs, and sofas. You may realize you can keep your dining room table, but you need to sell your breakfast table; or, you may find that you can keep your sofa and a chair, but it’s time to give away your loveseat. It’s better to make these big decisions before you move so you don’t end up paying for the expense to haul or store the excess furniture.
For instance, you know space will be at a premium. Ditch that large chest of drawers, which wouldn’t fit easily into our space, and opt instead for on-wall shelving to store clothing or other items.
2. Take the Small Stuff With You
If you’re moving, or if you’re just fed up with the clutter in your home, you may be tempted to give away or sell a lot of small items, such as clothing, knick-knacks, dishes, and home decor. However, you may want to take this step slowly. It’s a good idea to go through your stuff to get rid of the general junk that tends to accumulate in a home, but don’t start getting rid of items you regularly use or enjoy just yet.
During our first downsize, we assumed we needed to get rid of just about everything. As a result, we ended up selling or giving away items we actually needed, including silverware, cookware, and cleaning supplies, and then ended up repurchasing them after our move. Part of the problem was that we didn’t really know how much space we would have in our new home for these items, so we just got rid of it all. Had we conscientiously separated the must-keeps and maybe-keeps into designated boxes before the move, we could have waited to give away or sell items until after our move based on the space we had in our new home. Ultimately, this would have saved us money, as we ended up repurchasing a fair amount of stuff.
Keep any item you currently use or use seasonally. Also, keep items with sentimental value or a practical purpose, even if you don’t use them regularly. For instance, if you’re done having kids, it’s a great time to get rid of baby clothes, old toys, or maternity wear. However, if you feel sentimental pangs about some of your children’s onesies or blankets, go ahead and hang onto the item, at least for now. Sell or give away any item that no longer has a practical purpose for you.
3. Go Through Every Box
One person I know said, "I am amazed at the number of boxes that have followed me multiple times across the country without me even looking inside them. Many of these boxes were filled with “keepsakes” my parents gave me at some point. Eventually, though, I went through all of them. What started as five large boxes and crates of my childhood art projects, photographs, cards, and scrapbooks was quickly pared down to two boxes mostly filled with photographs and a few knick-knacks. I was able to discard three full boxes worth of stuff that I never really knew existed and will never miss".
When space is at a premium, every box matters. So take some time to go through each area in your home, from your attic to your closets to your garage to your cabinets. There’s so much stuff that lands on shelves and gets tucked away in storage just because it “might be useful someday,” or because you simply don’t know what to do with it. If you haven’t used it in over a year, or if you see no immediate use for it in the coming six months, purge it from your life and give it away, sell it, or toss it in the trash. You may even want to have a garage sale, or sell items to a thrift store.
4. Plan Your Storage Before Downsizing Further
Once you’ve separated the items you no longer need or use, you may still be left with more stuff than you think you have room to store. This is the point where it’s tempting to start giving away items in an effort to free up space. However, before you start giving away things you actually use, need, or want, assess and plan your storage.
The best way to do this is to decide where and how to organize your things. Once the storage was in place, I could fold and hang clothing and linens as planned, then determine whether we needed to pare down further. I did end up needing to give away a few more pairs of yoga pants and tank tops than I’d originally planned, but the end result was perfect – our new “closet” was filled with the best items we owned, and purged of rarely-used or beaten up, older items.
We proceeded to use this same formula to separate and organize our tech gear, tools, books, kitchenware, and other equipment. By planning our storage first, then fitting our must-haves into the storage second, we were able to make sure we could keep the most important items. Then, if we did need to pare down further, we could easily select the least important or least used items from what was remaining.
In your home, determine how you can make space go further by implementing more effective storage solutions. For instance, you can hang additional shelves and hooks, and you can seek out organization tools that expand your storage in closets and cabinets, such as wire racks, behind-door shoe storage, vertical clothing hangers, or under-bed storage boxes.
5. Follow the One-Year Rule
I know how tempting it is to hang onto items you once loved but no longer use, or items you think you might use someday. But the truth is, if you haven’t used a particular item in the last year, you’re unlikely to use it in the next year. And if you’re unlikely to use something in the next year, then you’re unlikely to use it at all.
This means it’s time to give up your high school skinny jeans, your paint and yarn from old crafting projects, your workout equipment that became a clothes hanger somewhere along the way, and most of your kids’ old shoes, toys, and apparel. Of course there are exceptions to every rule – if a particular item serves a specific purpose, or is particularly nice or high-dollar, use caution before giving it away.
For instance, I live in Texas, where it’s hot nine months of the year. Also, I work from home, which means my wardrobe consists mostly of yoga pants and tank tops. I have little need for suits or nice coats, so I got rid of most of my old work clothes. However, I decided to hang onto one nice cold-weather coat and one suit, even though they haven’t been worn in over a year. On the rare occasion when a cold front comes through, or when I need to dress nicely for a professional event, I won’t have to go out and buy new clothes. The items I kept serve a specific purpose and will prevent me from spending unnecessary money on new items should I need them.
The point is to be a realist when separating the stuff you keep from the stuff you don’t. Be realistic and ask yourself what you use and what you need, both now and in the future.
6. Remember It’s All Just Stuff
It’s easy to go overboard when you get into the decluttering groove. At the core, all the things filling your home are just things – they may spur memories of a person, place, or event, but they’re not actual memories. But before you become a minimalist who subsists on next to nothing, think about what you’d want to save from a fire. Maybe it’s photographs, a few of your favorite books, or an item that reminds you of a special day in the past. Don’t let yourself start thinking of everything as “just stuff” – not all items are expendable.
When paring down your life, get rid of as much as you can, but don’t get rid of those things that are especially important – the things that you’d like to share with your children or grandchildren someday.
7. Re-home Special Items
What you may discover is that you come across things from your past that are in a “no man’s land” in terms of best fit. They’re nice, they hold value and memories, and you don’t really want to give them away – but at the same time, you have no use for them and they are just taking up space.
In my case, a few toys from my childhood, were a few of these special items. After thinking about it, I realized I had people in my life who could benefit from and enjoy each item, and I would enjoy knowing they were being used.
How you re-home your items is a personal decision, but if the item holds meaning to you, try to keep it in the family or with friends who understand the meaning behind the item.
8. Digitize Whatever You Can
CDs, DVDs, cassettes, videos, pictures, and important documents can all be digitized and saved to the cloud or a computer hard drive to free up important space. While we kept hard copies of important personal documents, such as birth certificates and social security cards, we scanned and saved all of our other records – financial and personal. We also transferred all of our DVDs and CDs to digital files. We were able to get rid of four boxes of paper, discs, and videos with this simple step of going paperless.
Most documents can simply be scanned to a computer and saved as a PDF file, or uploaded to the cloud using services like DropBox or Google Drive. You can transfer DVDs and CDs to digital files by using free computer programs, such as Movavi, WinX DVD Ripper, or Freemake Video Converter. Just be aware that some DVDs and CDs are copyrighted, which may prevent you from making a copy, even though making personal copies of products you’ve purchased should fall under “fair use” laws.
9. Set Limits!
Once you’re settled into your smaller space, it’s important to keep your clutter under wraps. It’s amazing how quickly things can accumulate, which can make a small home feel even smaller.
Clothing and paper are the clutter culprits in our house. What I’ve decided is that if I receive or purchase any more clothing or shoes, an item I already own must be given away to accommodate the new item’s space. I’ve also instituted a rule regarding mail – it’s dealt with immediately. It’s read and recycled, or otherwise handled as soon as it comes so that it doesn’t start piling up on counters. You can also opt out and reduce the amount of junk mail that comes to your house.
I get asked all of the time, “Which should I have, an estate sale, or a garage sale?”
This is a question that I can easily answer. Simply put, if you are planning to move, or if someone has passed on and you are looking to sell everything in your home, then an estate sale is it. If you are looking to unload some of your belongings rather than selling most of what is in your home, then a garage sale is a better option.
To look at it more closely, an estate sale happens in and around your home, usually includes everything in the estate, and is a very powerful tool to clean out a home in a hurry. Something to consider is how comfortable you are with strangers going through every corner of your house. Since the entire estate is for sale, people will be walking through the home in order to discover items they want to purchase. Aside from the comfort level of an estate sale, you should consider how to operate the sale. To make the most money you can simply host the estate sale yourself. If you choose to do an estate sale yourself, my best advice is for you to research all the items that you are going to sell. Utilizing the “Completed Listing” section on eBay is a great way to see how much your items go for, or you can pay an antique shop owner to come by and give you good evaluations for what it can sell for now if you have a lot of antiques. A lot of people hire a third party to come in and appraise and handle the sale of items. This is great if you do not have the time or inclination to do this for yourself but I will warn you, you will leave a lot of money on the table. The people that put on estate sales usually charge 30-35% of whatever they bring in and they may have other hard fees that they will add-on on top of that. A third party is also going to concentrate on ensuring everything is priced to sell fast. This can lead to undervaluing certain items so they have a stronger chance of selling them.
I recommend that estate sales should run for 3 days, Friday through Sunday, and begin advertising way in advance. Utilizing Tag Sell It, Facebook, street signs and Craigslist are great ways to promote your event. Unlike garage sales, estate sales should have a lot of promoting at least two weeks in advance. If you follow all of these directions, you literally can double the amount of money you make by simply doing an estate sale yourself.
Now, let’s talk about garage sales! These are typically one day Saturday events, but if you would like to extend it to two days, I recommended having the extra day on a Friday. Friday is the new Saturday! With garage sales you are only selling the items you have brought out and are typically on display in your garage or front lawn. In no way whatsoever should you let people into your house. These events make good money if done correctly, and have enough promoting. Garage sales will not always bring in the same amount of traffic as an estate sale; therefore the earnings potential is lower. FYI, garage sales can be dependent on the weather, whereas an estate sale can occur year round even in areas with cold winters.
Best Wishes & Happy Hunting!
If you are seeking more information on how to research your items, you'll find plenty of information here and on the Internet. Your first step is to learn how to research your antiques and collectibles so you can identify value to sell or to insure and price your items.
It's difficult to sift through the billions of pages on the Internet to find information on something that you've picked up at a garage sale, thrift store, auction, estate sale or an item that you've inherited, we've created this free informational site to help you on your quest.
Many hours of work went into putting together this information, if you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to contact us.
Quick TIP: Antiques can sometimes be found in self storage rental auctions for much cheaper than you would pay elsewhere. However, you will not be able to inspect the item before bidding, so be sure to buy with caution!
Here are a few ways to start researching ASAP!
Should I hire an estate sale company or do it myself? Top Tips to Maximize Profits!
We do accumulate and collect a lot of stuff over a lifetime. At some point, we need to get rid of some/all of these items. An estate sale is one way to the "downsize" your possessions that you no longer want or need. However, there are number of factors to consider when deciding whether to hire an estate sale company order handle to on your own.
There are many companies that help families sell furniture, jewelry, and other belongings that they no longer want. While a yard or garage sale requires a lot of work by the sellers, an estate sale company does all the work in exchange for a percentage of the proceeds — typically from 25 to 50 percent. The company usually handles sorting goods, staging the house, setting prices, promoting the sale, and hiring workers. There may be a separate fee for cleaning up.
To get ready for an estate sale, the first step is to ensure that you have the legal right to sell the property. There can’t be any unresolved estate issues. Companies may request legal documentation showing that you have the right to dispose of the property.
If there is a lot of junk in the home, especially in hoarding type situations, do a thorough cleaning of those items before hiring an estate sale company to come in. Be careful though not to throw away items that may have unknown value. Clear out the clutter, not the collectibles.
There is no regulatory body that oversees the estimated 14,000 estate sale companies, so before hiring one of them you should do some research. You can search the website of The American Society of Estate Liquidators, a trade association that requires its members to meet certain education requirements and abide by an ethics code. Be sure to check your local Better Business Bureau and Yelp for complaints about companies you are considering. You can also ask for references or attend a sale run by the company. In addition, make sure your liquidator carries insurance in case there are any accidents while buyers are at the estate sale. Finally, you should make sure the company offers a written contract.
Questions to ask any prospective liquidating company include how it handles security, what happens to goods that aren’t sold, and what type of clean-up is included. Families need to make sure they remove from the house anything they want to keep before they call in the liquidators.
Whenever conducting an estate sale, you should be mindful of the potential liability of somebody’s injured on the premises. Keep the homeowner’s insurance in place on the premises until such time as it is sold. In addition, you should hire an estate sale company that has liability and workman’s compensation coverage, so that if somebody is injured on the premises they will have coverage against any actions on their part that may have caused an accident.
Be careful of companies requesting to purchase assets from the estate. These could be items of higher value and they are they may be trying to acquire them at a discount. Research any items they may want to purchase on their own. Such requests are an inherent conflict of interest on the part of the estate sale company.
Some estate sale organizations may wish be compensated via a lump sum payment of a certain amount. It may be that the personal property is of such insufficient value that this type of arrangement may make sense. It’s an offer is made like that, it is recommended that you get a second opinion though.
Be prepared that cleanup cost are typically not included within the estate sale contract, nor are efforts to donate or dispose of any items not purchased at the estate sale. If you desire those services, make sure that those are negotiated in the contract. Otherwise, they will be your responsibility.
Importantly, always be realistic. There are many who think there items will generate an unrealistic value. Many believe that their personal property has a great deal more value than it actually does in the open market. For instance, Hummel's used to garner a higher price tag and they do now. As time goes by, the value for certain items change drastically. Always be sure you keep this in mind.
Lastly, it is usually recommended that family members NOT be present during the estate sale. Many times, the comments made or amounts received for certain personal property can hurt the feelings of family members. In addition, persons that attend estate sales may feel a little funny purchasing items from family members who have lost a loved one. It’s better to let the professionals handle the process.
Please let us know if you have any questions. We'd be happy to offer you a free consultation to help you determine your way to go. Thank you!
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