Caring Estate Liquidation
We’re often asked how our sales work and what the process is along the way. It’s easiest to explain in 4 steps– the consultation, presale, sale days and post-sale, which are listed below. There are a few things you should know before you meet with us or begin the 4-step sale process:
1. We suggest any items that you or the family are planning to keep be removed from the home. This assures that we can properly evaluate the home’s belongings. If doing this seems daunting, don’t let it stop you from meeting with us. Please just mark the items that will be leaving with a post it note or painters tape. Just something that lets us know that item will not be part of a sale. This assures that we can properly determine which options are in your family’s best interest.
2. Families often think they are helping by coming in and cleaning out the so-called “junk”, but this can be a huge disservice to your sale. The general public buys everything from every-day household items to high-end antiques and as professional estate/tag sale experts, we know the types of items that will maximize the sale’s income. The only things that we recommend be thrown out is true trash--food from the refrigerator or freezer, open and out-of-date food from the pantry, junk mail and household trash.
The first step in our estate/tag sale process is our free initial consultation. We first determine if an onsite estate/tag sale or an online auction will best fit you and/or your family’s liquidation needs. If neither of these solutions will work, we always will do our best to point you in the right direction.
We’re very upfront and always let our customers know that our services are compensated on a flat commission, which is earned from the money generated by the sale. There are no charges or out-of-pocket fees that you will have to pay. Our customers make money from a sale, not pay money to have it.
During our consultation, we’ll review our contract so you fully understand everything before you hire us. We can leave the contract with you to discuss with other family members or you can sign it during our initial meeting.
Onsite Tag Sale Preparation
Depending on the amount of content, we typically start working in the home the week before your sale. At this stage, you’ve removed all of the possessions you would like to keep and we stage the remaining items for sale. The first day, we pull everything out of closets, cupboards, drawers, the attic and crawl space. After examining all of the items, we place them appropriately throughout the house.
We provide tables, tablecloths, risers, lighting and anything else needed to display the items for sale and set up your home like a retail establishment. We wash dishes and glassware, wipe down furniture and do whatever is necessary to make your sale inviting and visually pleasing. We believe in respectfully displaying the items you or your loved one worked to acquire.
After the house is staged, we begin to research and price the items. We stay up-to-date on what things sell for and the fair market value. We encourage our customers to always let us know if there is a concern about the pricing of a particular item and we will address it.
We photograph the items and use the photos to market the sale online. This gives the public the opportunity to see what will be available during the sale; however, for security reasons the address of the home is never released until the day before the sale.
GC5 has worked in the estate/tag sale business for many years and we’ve acquired a loyal following of people who specifically seek out our sales. Our connections, along with our marketing tactics, ensure our sales have a high attendance rate.
Finally, we provide a letter to all immediate neighbors with the sale dates and times and our direct phone number in the unlikely event someone parks on their grass or blocks their driveway.
Taking steps like these, assures open communications and a successful sale.
Online Auction Preparation
Preparation is key for a successful online auction. Items will be cataloged and photographed for your auction listing. Your online auction will be presented using state of the art secure software.
We will drive traffic to your listing in a variety of ways to have a successful online sale.
At the consultation, if the auction method is your best option, we will go over our contract, and describe the process in detail and answer all of your questions.
Tag sales typically last two days – Saturday & Sunday. We put up directional signs to lead traffic to the front door, where customers will be greeted by one of our friendly and professional staff members wearing a GC5 uniform shirt.
All staff are trained to demonstrate exceptional customer service and keep a watchful eye on items while customers attend the sale. The size of the sale determines the number of staff members we employ for the weekend.
Only cash and credit cards are acceptable forms of payment – no checks. Approximately 60% of all purchases at our sales are made with credit cards. We cover all credit card fees and there are no fees added to the purchaser or our customers.
Friday and Sunday are typically the busiest sale days. We have at least two point-of-sale systems running to assist customers quickly with checkout. We also provide wrapping paper and plastic shopping bags so purchases make it home safely.
Our modern point of sale system organizes items sold into categories. This report is sent to you with your disbursement within 5 days of the close of the sale.
Tag Sale Wrap Up
We do our best to sell as many items as possible during the sale, while generating the largest profit for you and your family. Even in the most ideal situations, there are always unsold items.
We don’t ask you to make decisions about what to do with the unsold items until after the sale–it’s difficult to know what to do until you know exactly what is left. We offer three options:
• Keep the remaining items and decide on your own what you will do with them.
We find this is common if the extended family didn’t have the opportunity to go through and take items prior to the sale. Sometimes it can be in the estate’s best interest to wait until the end of the sale to take items.
• Make a tax-deductible donation.
We can provide a list of local charities that will pick up the remaining items and provide tax receipts. We have extensive knowledge about which organizations will do the best and most thorough job for you.
• Conduct a total clean out.
We have a relationship with a number of clean-out companies who will collect everything for a small fee. We find this works best with our customers who are working under a tight deadline due to a real estate closing or scheduled home renovations.
• Online Auction Wrap Up
GC5 will coordinate all pickup of sold items on a designated day. Unsold items will be disposed of in the same manner as a Tag Sale wrap up as stated above.