Update: After several days of reflection and dealing with sellers ignorant of true value of their personal belongings I decided to add to this post. I might not make friends but I will at least make a point.
Baby boomers are downsizing. Baby boomers are a huge portion of society, much larger then the Generation X right below them. Boomers are starting to dump their belongs and collections on the market. The issue is that, for years, they thought or were told that their collections and items had (X) amount of value. But now their kids don’t want the items and their buyers market (other boomers) are doing the same thing and getting rid of their stuff. Those of us in the resale business (antique stores, used furniture stores, thrift stores, etc) have the ability to pick and choose what we want to buy and almost offer anything to get the item we want, whether or not we get the item, because we know that around the corner is another sale. The charities (Et Cetera Shop, Salvation Army, etc,) are even refusing items like most glass and some furniture and a lot more. You know if you have tried…
This creates an issue for those of us that do or have tried to do both, owning a resale shop and an estate sale company. You can be the most honest and well meaning person in the world but if you have one jack hole neighbor tell a seller that they think something is undervalued and it puts that thought into the sellers head that you are being dishonest with them or taking advantage of their property and that ruins their perception of you and your business. Even though you were doing everything you could to help them make the most money possible for their belongings. This ignorance destroys reputations and livelihoods.
If you plan on having an estate sale do your own research. Look on eBay SOLD items, not just “Buy It Now” there can literally be THOUSANDS of $’s price difference.
If your kids don’t want it for their house then maybe realize that their might not be a strong market for it anywhere. But do your own research.
Just because you build something does not mean other people will want it or will want to pay a lot for it.
In this day and age it is very hard to run a resale shop of any kind. The younger people want curtain styles and types of antiques that THEY remember, NOT the items that appeal to the boomers for the most part. I’ll sell a GI Joe a lot quicker then a Butter Churn to someone under 50.
When you come to the final hours of a sale you make deals to get stuff off the premises. Those deals might not be to the sellers liking but it is better then hauling the items to the dump when you have been asked to do that at the end of the sale. Something is better then nothing. Would rather recycle than rot.
Most older furniture is a hard sell right now. Some styles have no interest at all. The kids are buying mid century modern but it still has to be the right stuff and affordable for them. Brown natural vintage furniture is doing ok. It’s hard to give away newer bulky brown wood furniture. But of course there are always exceptions. Do your own research.
Most “collectables” that were pitched to the baby boomers in the 70’s and 80’s are close to worthless. Franklin Mint, Hummels, Fenton etc, etc are hard to sell and do not command the value non antique educated people expect for them. There are some exceptions.
Once again, its your money, do your own research.
After several years of having auctions and estate sales and running our antique store I have come to a crossroads. Between running Emma Creeks Antiques in Hesston and doing auctions and estate sales. There are positives on both sides and negatives of course but the one thing I know more than any other is that I will not be able to do both at this time. With some long term health issues on my wife’s side of the family and the fact that dad needs to spend time when and how he wants to I have decided to back off doing Estate Sales for the time being. I will still be happy to appraise items and even offer buyouts on entire households but will not be taking estate sales at this time. I can refer you to my friends who are starting their own estate sale company. Thanks for understanding and if you have any questions please ask. I have always chose quality of life and sanity over pursuit of money and this is another one of those choices. I will be completing several more sales I have with a family I have been working with. And I am always available for appraisals, buyouts or real estate auctions. Thanks!