With more and more categories of items bringing less and less these days, it is very important to be strategic about how you bring items to market. The way in which you proceed will in many cases be governed by what, if any, time constraints you are under.
If you are in the "gotta go" situation, as I like to call it, expediency is paramount. Typically this will be a situation where a deceased person's home needs to be cleared out for sale or someone is moving and they need to be out of the residence quickly. In the "gotta go" situation, an auction house may be a good bet since they will often arrange a pickup. Likewise, an estate sale may also be viable if it can be arranged quickly. In some instances, an estate sale company will pick up and store items if the sale cannot be arranged for the immediate future.
When time constraints are not a major factor, a more deliberate pace can be set. Usually this will involve culling the most valuable items for individual sale and then arranging either an auction or estate sale for the remaining items. The advantage to this is that it gives a seller more time to explore options and find he best venue to obtain the highest price for the most valuable items.
In an ideal scenario, there are no time constraints. In such a situation, a seller can place items at a leisurely pace in consignment venues or market via online platforms such as eBay. If the items don't sell, the seller can then adjust prices or simply re-list the items who convenient.
From my own experience as an appraiser, the third situation is rarely one that I am working with. More often than not, it's the "gotta go" scenario and all that it entails. In my next post, I'll provide insights into each of the specific venues for selling (auctions, etc.) and share tips and strategies for a successful outcome.
Bryan H. Roberts is a professional appraiser in Sarasota, FL. He is a member of the Florida State Guardianship Association, the Sarasota County Aging Network (board member), and is certified in the latest Uniform Standards of Appraisal Practice (USPAP).