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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Books - Estate Sale finds that can make you money.

Busy Bee Moving and Estate Sales-

Every week people hit the roads in search of the garage sales and estate sales in their area.  Some are furnishing their own homes but many are looking for something to turn.  That is, get it for a bargain and sell it at a profit either online or in an antique booth.  Most dealers have an area of expertise in which they know what to look for but what about the novice that is wanting to get started and not sure what to invest in.  My suggestion is books and here's why.  Books are often found at every estate sale and priced very reasonably.  Also, many estate sales companies do not have the time to research every book adequately before the sale thus missing first editions, signed by the author and rare editions.  If you want to sell on ebay or amazon books are easy to ship and often at a lesser book rate at the post office.  You will need to ask for it but book rates still exist due to the postal service being first started in efforts to spread literacy. 

Remember these points when searching for books.  Not all first editions are labeled as such.  Many will only have one copyright date.  When searching for the value, keep in mind that book jackets are sometimes worth more than the book.  Just because it is old, doesn't mean it's worth more.  And lastly, offer a bulk price for all of the books for a better deal and you may be surprised.

Children's books are a wonderful investment as they are still purchased in hard copies and not digital downloads as adult books are.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Online Estate and Auction Sales - Is it a better idea?
The new and upcoming rage in the estate sales business has combined the traditional on site estate and moving sale with the power of the internet.  By combining the local personal property, online bidding, shipping or local pick up, an auction platform for pricing, new estate sales companies claim they are going to lead the industry.

After reading several articles on one of these companies in which I will not name as I do not believe in building my business by discrediting others, I decided to try one of these companies out.  I must say I was at first very intimidated.  I saw raving reviews by bloggers that I later found were all contacted by the company to write positive articles about them.  However, another great strategy for search engine optimization as a marketing tool but I couldn't find many reviews from actual unsolicited customers with honest opinions.

I located a sale near my home and drove over to check it out.  There were no signs by the roads going to the sale and none in the yard where the preview was to take place.  Although you can not buy at the property, I think a sign would have helped greatly.  It was closed.  So, I logged onto my computer and found the sale with gorgeous professional pictures, descriptions and an easy online auction format.  I must say, technologically, this company was on top of their game.  I was a little apprehensive to have my credit card number on file for an estate sale company I was not familiar with but I took the chance.

Everything started at 1.00 which I felt was a very risky move but as a buyer, it was great.  I noticed the small items such as coins, jewelry and easily shipped items went up in price quickly.  The larger heavier items, even the BMW car were not getting bids.  I found an old antique radio that only went to 30.00.  I would have priced it at 150. for an estate sale.  However, not having the opportunity to inspect, plug it in, or see multiple angles and up close shots at it, 30.00 is all I was willing to pay.
I had to go back in 3 days to pick up my radio in which I was very happy with.  I noticed the girl working the sale was overcome in paperwork, computer transactions, and a phone.

Overall I had a good experience with my transaction but did not get the entire satisfaction as I would at an on site sale.  Ebay has proven that there is definitely a market for those that want to sit at home and take the chance that what they see in a picture is what they are going to receive as well as paying for that extra shipping.

My setback would be as the personal property owner that chooses an online auction company rather than an auction or estate sales company to sell their estate on site.  This particular company advertises that the average estate sale only gets 7,000. a sale as they claim they can get 27,000. a sale.  I did not see that possibility at all.  And this is why.  Opening up small items to an online auction will give a broader market to that item however, it's often a different customer altogether.  The impulsiveness of the buyer is lost when you have to preview one day, go home and bid, pay for the bid, then schedule to pick it up or wait for it in the mail.  Estate sales usually sale everything in the home including all of those little garage items and grouped or boxed items for the sake of clearing out a home.  I don't see that being a viable option in the online estate auction.  Also,  the BMW sold for 5,000.  Another item more customers would have viewed and considered in a traditional on site estate sale.

Again, technology has changed the estate liquidation business but has it made it better?  Online estate sales will never take the place of venturing out on Saturday mornings and digging through tables for hidden treasures.  The interaction of the buyer and salesperson is an age old custom of haggling that spreads across many cultures.  Pictures on a screen will never replace being able to touch, inspect and interact with the seller about the belongings they are passing along.  My advice is this.  If there is an online estate auction in your area, check it out for the big stuff because you will get a great deal.  If you are looking to liquidate your estate, beware, you may get more selling it straight from your home depending on the merchandise you have.