How to Plan & Host an Estate Sale


According to industry sources, estate sales account for more than $100 million in revenue each month. The opportunity to clear out old belongings and earn extra money offers sellers a win-win situation. But figuring out how to effectively sell and take payments at an estate sale can be an intimidating process. It takes more than a cash box and a few flyers to pull off a successful and lucrative sale. Fortunately, electronic payments, estate sale companies and consignment shops can all help lighten the load and maximize your profits.

Take Credit Card Payments with your Phone

If your estate sale is full of lucrative items, you need a way for customers to pay beyond cash. Customers are more apt to charge a thousand dollars for your jewelry collection on their credit card than they are to fork it over in cash to a stranger. Draw in more customers by advertising that you accept credit card and electronic payments for those who are short on cash. Chase Quick Pay can be used with your smartphone’s browser, even if you don’t have a Chase account. The Flint app takes credit cards without the need for a card reader. Just scan it right into your iOS or Android app. It also provides a way to track invoicing and give customers more payment options.

Make Change

Keep enough cash on hand to make change at your estate sale. Even if you make numerous transactions with plenty of bills going into your cash box, you’re unlikely to have enough small bills and coins on hand to cover an entire day’s worth of sales. And if you find yourself short, sellers are unlikely to pay a higher price because you don’t have $20 to give back in change. Before your estate sale, head to the bank and ask for old bills that easily separate. New, crisp bills can stick together and cause you to make more change than you intended to.

Hire an Estate Sale Company

Selling dozens, or even hundreds, of items on your own, is a big commitment. And unless you have in-depth expertise on a variety of goods from antiques to collectibles and clothing, you will struggle to figure out the best price point for your items. Instead, hire an estate sale company. Once an estate sale company agrees to come on board, they will send someone to inspect your belongings and work out a contract. You’ll pay out a percentage of the proceeds to cover the commission and set-up fees. The investment may be well worth it. Estate sale professionals can assist with advertising and contact collectible experts to get the best price for your belongings.

Find Buyers for Valuable Items

Go out and find suitable buyers instead of waiting for them to come to you. Certain items like antiques or rare books attract specialty buyers. Look for organizations and interest groups in your area that specialize in buying your items and contact them about setting up a viewing appointment. You can also advertise in the paper or online to find direct buyers.

Consign Your Items

Consider holding an estate sale and taking any leftover items to a consignment shop to earn even more. Designer clothing, accessories, and vintage hats may find a home if you sell where people are already looking for unique items. The upside is the items are out of your home and waiting to earn money instead of taking up space.

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