Monday, February 23, 2009

Daryle Lambert: How Do House Sales and Garage Sales Work?

Garage Sale thanks to www.flicker

I enjoy giving the members of the 31 Club information that will help them in their search for treasure. I received an email asking how house and garage sales work as well as what is the best way to advertise? This information will be very useful as you go out into the field because there are strategies that you can implement

First, let’s tackle the house sales and their history. In the beginning, these sales were conducted to help the home owner liquidate holdings before moving, but this has all changed. In fact, at most house sales, the conductor is running a retail sale and often I find their prices higher than I can buy at auctions. They also are beginning to take the better items to list at auctions where they receive a commission on the completion of the sale. I once asked a conductor of a sale why I was there if all the great stuff had gone to auction?

These house sale conductors used to be a service to the home owner. They charged a fee to liquidate the home furnishings. Today, however, they run the sale as if they were a retail shop because they get a commission on the final value sales. This used to be where most antique dealers got their merchandise to resell but this is getting harder and harder as the sales ask retail or more for their offerings. About the only way that I can buy at a house sale today is if they make a mistake and don't find the pieces I am interested in listed in a price guide or in auction results. Be forewarned that the conductor is often also selling his or her own items at these sales.

Most house sales reduce their price by 50% on the second day and this is when I attempt to buy items that I think are over priced if they are still there. I don't leave bids because they are often used against me by showing them to others who will then give a higher bid than mine. It is perfectly okay to ask if they will take less than their offering price on the first day but I find that few reduce their prices on the first day.

The garage sales are a different matter. You will see mostly low end items there that you must search through but now and then you will come across a treasure. The people conducting these sales are usually less sophisticated than the house sale conductors but you may have to travel quite a bit to see several of these sales to be successful. The prices will be more reasonable because the seller is the owner and there aren’t any commissions to pay.

At each type of sale, get there early because dealers will go to garage sales far before the listed time for them to start and unfortunately the sellers often let them in. If you arrive at the time posted all the bargains are gone. The same works for house sales. Most conducted sales accept lists that are kept by someone who arrives early and unfortunately there are often many names put on these list that haven't come and signed in themselves. Most lists for good sales start as early as 3 or 4 in the morning. I have spent the night in a driveway to be first in line myself. Believe it or not it was well worth it and I made several thousand dollars for that night’s sleep I missed.

I think that I got carried away today so the advertising blog will have to wait until tomorrow.

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1 comment:

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