What are some tips when you attend an estate sale?

When I started to sell items online, one of the types of sale that I found are estate sales.  When you go to an estate sale, the contents of the house are usually for sale.  I have heard them referred to as a tag sale and even an estate liquidation.

Estate sales are a wonderful way to find some bargains, but what are some tips to remember when you attend one?

The first thing to remember is that all sales are final.  You need to be careful with this—check everything carefully for damage and to see if any electrical items that you are interested in work.  When you attend a sale, you will most likely see signs that read either ALL SALES ARE FINAL or even one  that reads ALL ITEMS ARE AS IS / WHERE IS.

The next thing to remember is to bring cash.  The people that are running the sale may not have the ability to run a credit card or accept your check.

Another thing to remember is to bring the muscle.  You may need to load a very heavy piece, like a piece of furniture.

The last tip to remember is that there will be times that you can get a discount on the price of the item you are interested in.  The estate sale company that runs the sale will usually have the sale over a couple of days.  The first day will usually be full price while the second day will have 10 to 25 percent off and the third day could be as much as half off the price.

When I go to an estate sale, I am now in the habit of seeing if there is a discount the day I attend.

This is only a few of the tips to remember when you attend an estate sale.  What kinds of tips have you run across?

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What are some of the different types of plates that you will run across?

One of the first auctions that I attended, I found out that there are different types of plates when it comes to a set of dishes.  Here are some of the more popular ones that you will run across:

Dinner Plates—they are flat and usually round (there are other shapes like square out there).  Dinner plates range in size from 9 ¾ inches to 11 inches in diameter.

Salad Plate—these are also known as a side plate.  They are flat and usually round and range in size from 7 ¾ inches to 8 ¾ inches in diameter.

Bread & Butter Plate—these are also known as a dessert plate or even a cake plate.  Like salad plate, this type of plate is flat and usually round.  They range in size from 6 inches to 7 ¾ inches in diameter.

Luncheon Plate—they are often confused with the dinner or salad plates.  Luncheon plates are flat and usually round, ranges from 9” to 9 3/4” in diameter.

This is only a sample of all the different types of plates that you will run across.  What other types of plates have you seen?

Simple things to remember to help keep the cost of shipping supplies low

When you start to sell items on the internet, one of the things that could eat up any profits are shipping costs.  There are plenty of ways to help keep costs low, and here’s a few of them:

Grocery stores like Wal-Mart will set aside some boxes for you if you ask them to.  They will give you a wide variety of sizes so you can pack any number of items.

If you have a paper item (like an ad or even the cover of a record), you can use plastic bags from stores to help keep it from getting wet.  Make sure that you also put a piece of cardboard with it to help it from not being bent.

When you are packing an item, a good substitute for packing peanuts is newspaper.  Make sure that you use plenty of it so that the item you pack with it doesn’t move around and get damaged while being mailed.

This is just a few of them, what kinds of tips have you heard of?

3 simple tips to remember when you sell an item online

You decided not to long ago to sell some of your items around the house, and some of your item have sold.  What are some simple tips that you need to keep in mind to help things go smoothly?

Tip number 1—when selling items online, make sure you have a scale to help weight items you are shipping.  You don’t have to worry about getting a scale from the post office—you can use a bathroom scale if it registers anything less than a pound (this will help with first class mail).

Tip number 2—make sure that you pack the items you sell as good as you can.  When I pack an item, I will use bubble wrap and packing peanuts to help keep the item I sold from getting broken.  You never know what might happen when the item is being shipped.

Tip number 3—If you are unable to get an item you sell to the Post Office, you can always schedule a pickup with them.  This can be very useful if the weather outside is bad or if you have to get to work (you can tell the post office to come where you work if it’s ok with your boss).

This is just 3 tips to remember when you sell an item.  What kinds of tips have you run across that help you out?

How long is too long to list an item?

One of the questions that you will ask yourself whenever you are selling online can stop you in your tracks—how long is too long to list an item?

From my own personal experiences, you can list the item from one to four months (that’s depending on the site you are on).  These sites will charge you a small fee not only to list the item but to renew the listing as well.  The renewal fees itself can add up pretty fast, cutting into your profits once the item sells.

What I do is I look at the listing to see what I can change—a better description or title and even different pictures can go a long way to help sell the item.  There have been quite a few of the items that I have sold online that I have done these tricks too that help sell them.

The next thing that I do is I look at the price and lower it a little if I feel that will help.  Don’t lower the price too much—it could mean that you would take a loss on it when you make a sale.

I usually don’t let any listing that I have online be renewed more than five or six times.  After renewing that many times, I take the listing down and I will combine it with something else to help sell it faster.  If I have a set of Tupperware measuring cups that looks like they are not going to sell by themselves, I will take that listing down and combine those measuring cups with something like a set of Tupperware measuring spoons.

One other thing that you might want to consider is switching the listing to offer free shipping if your profits are high enough on the listing.

How long the listing is active also depends on what the item is (like a car or furniture) or how expensive it is.  Both may play into how long the listing is active.

What do you do to help sell the items you have up for sale?

At what price do you walk away from a piece?

One of the first questions you ask yourself when you are out shopping for antiques is at what price do you walk away from a piece?  It’s a very simple question that every collector and dealer ask themselves, sometimes even on a daily basis.

It doesn’t matter if you are looking at a piece of pottery, a coin or even an advertising piece.  This question will be asked on pretty much everything that you look at.

A good rule of thumb that I use is I ask myself how much I can actually sell the item for.  I then try to pay half for the item (if I can sell it for $20, I try to buy it for $10).

The reason that I only pay half for the item is that this gives me a good cushion to cover any expenses that I happen to run across.

Some of these expenses that you also have to factor in is the cost of shipping materials like the box, packing peanuts bubble wrap and even tape.  Even the cost of the shipping label also must be considered.

There are also fees that you pay to the selling site whenever you sell an item (you usually will have to deal with these at the start of the month).

When I am looking at a piece, I also look to see if I need to make any repairs or even do something like rewire it or replace parts.  This will definitely drive up the price of the item and eat into (and potentially eat up) any profits that could be made.

What do you consider when you look at the price of an item?