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How to Start an Estate Sale Business: 6 Secrets to Success

Building a successful estate sale business isn’t easy. It requires a smart business plan and the right marketing to make it happen. Here are six secrets for how to succeed in the estate sale business:

  1. RESEARCH THE INDUSTRY

Even if you already have a background at an auction house or other experience in the resale industry, it’s important to do your research to understand  the complexities of owning your own estate sale business. Attend as many estate sales in your area as you can. . Take note of what may or may not be working for both the sellers and the buyers, and ask questions of the estate sale companies holding the sales. Find out what some of their biggest challenges are so that you can take those into consideration as you set your goals and objectives. Ask about commission rates for estate sale business owners in your area. Estate sale norms tend to vary according to location, so find out if there is a standard where you are. This information may help you price your own services more competitively.

Getting to know professionals in the industry can provide you with valuable information. This includes auctioneers and appraisers, individuals who will know a lot about the process and may even be able to give you advice on how to appraise and price items.

  1. CONSIDER YOUR COSTS

Depending on the projected scope of your estate sale business, startup costs will vary. Keep in mind that you may have to hire a part-time employee or two and you will need to run ads for your estate sales before you start to see a payoff. You will also need to plan for the costs of designing a logo, maintaining a web presence, and renting office or warehouse space. There are also licensing and permit requirements, as well as bonding and insurance costs, which will vary depending on where you're doing business. 

One of the many benefits of partnering with a franchise is that all of these costs are itemized and factored into the  initial investment range that is listed in the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD), taking out a great deal of the guesswork that comes with starting your own independent business. Startup costs for a Caring Transitions franchise , detailed in the FDD,  include all the expenses you’ll need to be prepared for to launch your business quickly and effectively.  These include training, insurance, grand opening marketing, and more.

  1. CONSIDER THE PERSONAL SIDE OF THE BUSINESS

The world of estate sales requires a sensitive and compassionate approach, as individuals are often selling under emotionally complicated circumstances. Baby Boomers and people aged 85 and older are the fastest-growing segments of the U.S. population, presenting many opportunities for estate sale business owners . Families are often faced with the challenge of helping their aging loved ones downsize or with clearing out their homes after they have passed away.  Selling homes that have been occupied for decades, filled with memories and possessions that have accumulated over a lifetime, is an emotionally taxing endeavor. Deciding what to do with all those cherished belongings can be overwhelming, and that is where you, a trusted estate sale business owner, can help.

Many of the items that need to be sold to accommodate these transitions are family treasures with a history of their own, and it’s important they are handled with great care.. It is your job to make the process as easy as possible. The ability to reassure customers that their valued possessions are going to new, loving homes is one of the most important, and often overlooked,  skills needed to run a  successful estate sale business.

  1. PRICE ITEMS EFFECTIVELY

The key to effective estate sale pricing is making sure you know how to determine the fair market value of each item. . Generally, this is less than what consumers would pay for the same brand-new item. Estate sale shoppers are looking for bargains, and sellers are expecting you to dispense with their items as efficiently as possible.

Rare or desirable items are more likely to be sold for their original retail value, or possibly even more. This includes things like paintings or sculptures by well-known artists; popular brands of furniture, clothing or jewelry; and anything that might be considered one-of-a-kind. The condition of the item is also a factor when settling on a price point.

Now more than ever, people are looking for the best estate sale professional to handle their project.. Consumers are looking for someone who can accurately appraise their belongings and sell items for the most money possible. . The sentimental value of some items won’t always match the monetary value, so a compassionate and considerate approach is key. An estate sale franchise can bring you satisfaction as a business owner not only through financial success, but through the knowledge that you have made people’s lives easier and helped them feel better about letting go of cherished possessions.

       5. TAKE YOUR BUSINESS ONLINE

Online auctions have become widely popular. The internet is an effective platform for managing and monitoring estate sales, offering both bidders and sellers the opportunity to connect and share everything from kitchen appliances to family heirlooms. 

The goal of an estate sale, either in-person or online, is to sell as many items as quickly as possible and for the best price. Through CTBIDS, the Caring Transitions e-commerce auction forum, the fair price of an item is determined by the bidders during auctions that  last 14 days.  The ability to host an estate sale online increases the number of potential buyers for your items, helping you sell them more quickly and for better prices. 

Today, due to an increased interest in reducing waste and reusing or repurposing household items, things  that might once have been considered unworthy of an estate sale, like minor household appliances, are able to find a second life in a new home.. People are increasingly appreciative of the opportunity to bid on a gently used coffee maker instead of paying for a new one. Online estate sales help give items of all categories an increased  chance of going to new homes while also cutting back on waste. 

  1. OWN A  CARING TRANSITIONS

If you’re interested in starting an estate sale business, Caring Transitions, the nation’s leading choice for senior relocation, downsizing, move management, and estate sales, is the perfect opportunity.. In addition to estate sales, Caring Transitions provides a  comprehensive list of  relocation services which generate multiple revenue streams. Caring Transitions professionals are Certified Transition and Relocation Specialists, trained to handle every detail of their clients’ needs with compassion. CTBIDS is a user-friendly online estate sale platform that can be utilized under a broad range of circumstances, whether clients are interested in selling only a handful of items or every item in the home, making it yet another unique and valuable feature of the Caring Transitions franchise.

 

Caring Transitions has been ranked in the Top 100 Franchises under $100,000 by Entrepreneur Magazine. It’s an affordable, scalable business for dedicated, passionate owners. With little or no previous experience, franchise owners can count on comprehensive training, a full-scale marketing program and the ongoing support they need to build their business and provide much-needed services for clients and their families.

Own a Caring Transitions franchise

To learn how to start an estate sale company with an experienced franchisor, view our next steps today.

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