My wife and I spent quite a bit of time and effort in deciding who to use for my parents’ estate sale, and the effort was well worth it. For any estate sale company you are considering using, I highly recommend that you attend one of their sales in advance. Not only will you see how items are displayed and organized, but you can observe how helpful (and watchful) the staff are at the sale. At the Queen B sale we attended, I stood looking bewildered and in less than a minute someone came and asked if they could help me. Every question I had was either answered by that person or another staff member who had expertise in that area. Traffic flow was well organized and regulated so that nothing left without being paid for.
Queen B charges differently for their services than most estate sale companies (which typically charge a 40% commission on the sale of most household items). Queen B estimates their cost to prepare for and run the sale (staff labor hours, trash haul away if necessary, etc.) in advance, which will be deducted from the total amount collected from the sale. I was initially concerned that if the sales generated were less than Queen B’s fee, we might have to pay them. But Kristin was able to estimate how much the sale should generate (we collected much more than her estimate), and would likely advise against any arrangement where the customer would be at risk of not at least breaking even.
Since estate sales often include items of significant sentimental value, the staff is careful to point out any personal items (photos, letters, etc.) they find. In our case, a hidden stash of cash was found and given to me promptly, which was a reassuring sign of their honesty.
What They Do:
Discovery process: The first step is to gather and inventory everything that will be offered for sale. The contents of every drawer and cabinet are removed and grouped into collections of related items (e.g. cookware, clothing, electronics, etc.)
Display for sale: After grouping, collections are logically and thoughtfully displayed for sale, and a traffic flow pattern is planned for each room. All items are clearly priced. High value items (e.g. jewelry) are kept at the checkout table for safekeeping. Some of the more expensive items are open for bidding.
After the sale: Since we were not there, Queen B sent us photos of the remaining unsold items, asking us if we wanted them back or donated. They will return any unsold items you ask them to. Everything else is either donated to the charity of your choice, recycled or disposed of properly. Then they broom-cleaned the house in readiness for sale. Afterwards, Kristin presented us with the results and a check for the total amount sold less the pre-agreed fee for the sale.
Everything went very smoothly and we couldn’t be happier with the end result. Queen B Organizing has a stellar reputation and we now understand why!