We hired Emilie back to manage the estate sale for a number of reasons – A. I had no idea what people will pay for our ‘treasures’, B. She would handle all the advertisements and approvals, C. She would tag each and every item up for sale and D. she had the knowledge about how to run the sale, when to discount, etc. This ended up being a great investment of money. Because of Emilie’s and her partner Charlotte’s experience in running estate sales and long-term, excellent reputations in JAX, they drew a lot of dealer traffic that probably wouldn’t have come otherwise. Faye, a friend of Emilie’s and an ace sales person, was a fabulous addition and helped sell a lot of the bigger items. We sold about $5K between pre sale activity and day 1. Charlotte’s husband said there were 18 estate sales happening at the same time and we had the most traffic. I’m sure this was because of Emilie and Charlotte.
It was funny to see what sold and what didn’t. Some high ticket items that were priced really well didn’t sell, but things Michael and I were planning to throw away sold right away. Emilie had said you never know what people will buy so we let them price everything. (We figured we could always toss things out after the sale.) On day 2 we dropped prices by 25% and had another great day clearing about 3K. A lot of the higher priced items went on the second day and we realized a lot of people came to browse the first day, hoping things would still be there and discounted on day 2. Day 3 was the big surprise – nowhere as many people overall and most came in the morning to take advantage of the 50% off discount and purchase items before they sold. We sold another $2K of items and Michael connected with a local charity representative from BEAM (Beaches Emergency Assistance Mission). They agreed to send a truck on Monday to pick up many items that didn’t sell and then again right before we left to take any items we needed to keep until our departure.
Overall, we were very pleased with the sale. We learned that you need to think about what the minimum price you want for items in case they don’t sell until Saturday and balance that with wanting most things to sell in the first 2 days. The biggest surprise was that we had a beautiful oriental rug that didn’t sell at all even though the 50% price was way lower than we felt comfortable selling it for. I then tried to consign it but couldn’t get a guarantee that it would sell (and we wouldn’t be around to pick it back up) so we ended up donating it to charity. BEAM couldn’t take it (too big) but we got the Vietnam Veterans of Jacksonville to take it and 3 other large rugs that were in good shape.
We set the sale 3+ weeks before we left to give us time to get anything left picked up before we left without pressure. Michael was originally concerned we wouldn’t sell enough, I was concerned everything would sell and we’d have nothing to live with – in the end it worked well – we negotiated with our friend Janice, who bought our couch and coffee table, to pick them up the day before we left. Another friend, Dorothy, bought our Adirondack chairs and again left them until the end and Michael negotiated to have the TV stay an additional 2 weeks (although I don’t think we watched it once). The bed stayed until 2 days before we left and then we slept on a king sized blow up bed. Note to others – don’t sell your dryer or gas grill without a hold policy! LOL!
By the last night, everything we sold or donated was gone and we had a lovely dinner on our deck sitting on 2 plastic chairs our friends Jack and Carole Varney loaned us and using a U-Haul box for a table. Sort of felt like when we first moved in together and were starting from scratch.
Next step will be the actual move.