The following is a list of questions you should ask when interviewing estate sale companies. It's imperative you do your due diligence. Afterall, the company you decide to retain will be going through all your personal items. You want to feel 100% sure that the company you chose was the best suited for you. The very first question is your most important question. Make sure you follow it exactly as we've laid it out.
1. Are you License, Bonded & Insured? The licensing part you can check out online. Go to your states Corporation Commission. For our company, you would type "Arizona Corporation Commission" on Goggle. This is what would come up: ecorp.azcc.gov/Details/Corp?corpId=L18417704
As for asking if they are Bonded & Insured, everyone will tell you yes. But throw them off-guard and say, "with whom are you bonded & insured? If they can't tell you for some made-up reason, cross them off the list and go no further.
2. How long will the estate process take to set-up? They will have to come and see all the contents of the household that your selling to make this decision.
3. How many people will help assist you in the set-up? If your living in the home, you'll want them to have as many people as possible to speed up the process.
4. How do you account for each item sold? If they tell you that they don't account for items sold under $50 or $25 then they are stealing from you!!! Listen, these are your items. I cannot tell you how many people have told me that they were told they don't account for all items sold.
5. When do you reconcile? The answer had better be immediately following the last day of the sale. Most companies will tell you 2-5 days, sometimes 2 weeks. If they don't have anything to hide and they are a legitimate company, they better pay you immediately! If they don't, pass on them!
6. Are there any up-front fees. Most companies do not have any up-front fees. Everything meaning just their "commission" or "flat fee" is taken from the proceeds of the sale prior to your payment.
7. How will I be paid? We pay our clients in cash
8. What percentage of a sale do you typically sell? Meaning, what's your sell-through percentage. This will tell you approximately how well their sells do, if they tell you the truth.
9. What do you do with the remaining items that do not sell? You need to be very careful here! Most will tell you that they donate it. Alot of companies will put high ticket prices on furniture in hopes of taking that item home, keeping it or selling it. We are opening a consignment shop. So, we tell our clients that we will take the remaining balance, if any and sell it for them! You need to be so very cautious. Be sure you look at the prices carefully once they are set-up!
10. Does your company leave the house clean at the end of the sale? Some do for a fee. Our company does not charge to leave the home clean.
11. What do you charge to conduct a sale? It will either be a flat fee anywhere from $2000-3000. Or, if they feel the sale will bring more than $6000.00, then they will go by a percentage of typically 30%-35% whichever is greater.
Should you have any additional questions or need any help whatsoever, please do not hesitate to call us at (602) 518-7721