When deciding whether to use Big John’s Flea Market verses an auction service or an estate sale company, the conclusion is simple.  


Estate sales do not work. They just don't.

Often referred to as a "tag sale", "conducted garage sale" or “Estate Sale”, these types of sales may be a solution for those who are not moving from the home, just need to sell a couple items for quick cash or more room, or for those with a lot of spare time on their hands and are willing to work extra for the money received. At the end of the say, these other option have one thing in common. “What do I do with all this stuff?” Most is items that did not sell. Other “stuff” is just plain trash. Where the home owner or executor will need to throw into a dumpster. And in doing that, you just spent all that you received in your “sale” 

Each year we receive many Monday morning telephone calls from unhappy estate sale clients. Many are panicked, some are mad and all are disappointed. Not only are they faced with poor financial returned on the labor they put into the sale or the sales results from the previous days estate sale, their goal is still not accomplished. The ever-present leftover items that did not sell still have to be dealt with. Add in other factors like a fast-approaching moving date/closing date and they have more stressful issues than when they began with. Sadly, after an estate sale, we cannot help them. The sentence we use most often is, "Everything that would sell for me, has already sold for you. In some cases we will remove the leftovers. But it is at a cost."






* Value assessment and pricing is usually done by one or two people. Pricing is a guessing game based on instantly obsolete price guides, reference books and a good old fashioned stab in the dark. "No one pays book price for anything nowadays" and you have a hard-to-win scenario. Estate sale companies may say they use the "fair market value" criteria when pricing but that, in no way, guarantees it will sell, and isn't that what you a seller needs? Additionally, buyers must agree with the opinion placed on the price tag or the merchandise does not sell. Pricing further becomes a slippery slope with this costly downside: Similar to a retail store, if something is priced too high at an estate sale, people will walk away and not buy.

* Many estate sale companies are not registered businesses.  Many estate sale companies work out of their homes and garages or are friends or a friends cousin’s mother’s second daughter’s brother in law twice removed. They do not hold brick and mortar locations. This makes you wonder, “who are you really dealing with?”


* Generally, the public is granted complete, unescorted and unsupervised access to all levels, all rooms and all locations of the seller's home on sale days. Many estate sale companies are understaffed during sale days. This is crucial as dozens of people are allowed to walk through a home. Many family members do not like the idea of strangers meandering through a loved ones home for several days.

* Some Estate Sale providers Cherry pick vauluable items.  Potential buyers do not have access to these items since they are being saved for a low price quick sale to an associate. An item that should be considered a $100 item, is sold as a $10 item to a friend of the sales personnel.

* Many estate sale companies suggest donating the many unsold items after an estate sale for tax benefits.

Trust us, there will be many unsold items after multiple estate sale days. We know. We get the calls from owners on Monday morning pleading with us to finish what the estate sale company started. Plus, it's more work for the seller to track down an organization and wait for a truck with no guarantee the charity will even come or accept the items. Remember, a donation receipt is worthless at tax time unless the owner itemizes on their tax return and you itemize the donation. We suggest checking with a tax adviser, even then the actual cash benefit may be pale in comparison to the receipt. Many have trouble with the idea of giving away items that should have sold. Many charities no longer come and pick up items, leaving it up to you, the owner, to transport the items to them. It would be like moving the house twice.  

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