Live and Learn – Inaugural Sale

Well Folks, Bassetts’ Estate Sales held their first sale. We believe it was quite a success, but of course, lessons have been learned! “Live and Learn” they say and it’s true. Learning is best done through experience. The first sale was an amazing experience and we learned so much – ways to grow, make our business better and always bring our best.

Let’s first talk about how we got this sale. It’s important to discuss because this is an example of one of the many ways people will come to need our service. A dear fellow passed away and his siblings were bestowed the estate. The siblings all live out of state.They were able to come and share memories and keep items of their loving brothers’. After that, however, they still had a home full of items that needed to be removed before the house can be put on the market. This is where Bassetts’ Estate Sales comes in! We like to say “Challenge…Accepted.” The family has a challenge – they live out of state, don’t have the time or means to empty a house that needs sold. Bassetts’ Estate Sales accepted the challenge. The beauty of technology allowed us to communicate, send files and complete contracts with the family from miles away. We have the time, the means and the passion, knowledge and focus to take on this difficult task for the family. This is why we do this! We want to help families and individuals in dealing with the tremendous life changing situations that are most often unexpected.

Once the contract was signed, we began our work. Sorting is the first phase and the most time consuming. We removed items that were simply trash or needed recycling. We moved items to the rooms that would be displayed during the sale. Then, we cleaned! First lesson learned, make the time to clean. Not only because items may need dusting, but having the home clean really makes for a welcoming sale. We even tested the dishwasher – and yes, it works! To be honest, I like cleaning, not my own house of course (my kids took the joy out of a clean house years ago), but it makes me feel accomplished and more organized. It is definitely a need before staging a sale. Which brings me to the next phase – Staging. All the items we expect to sell are now in the rooms, closets and garage where we will set up the sale. Next lesson, “You can never have enough ‘fill in the blank!’” You can never have enough boxes, tables, hangers, paper towels…it goes on! I’m probably going to be visiting a lot of liquor stores for future sales! No, no, not to drink, but getting beer flats – they are the best boxes to display a lot of items!

Pricing follows staging, that’s where the expert appraiser comes in. Yes, that’s my dad! Together we began valuing the items for sale. I have learned a lot from buying and selling to appropriately price a lot of items, but that expert (yes, my dad) is important when it comes to those unique or specialty items. How much is a wall mounted taxidermy giant turkey?? That was a tough one, but doing research always helps, not only for pricing but to better understand the market for unique items.

The sale is staged, items are priced and we are ready to hold a sale. But first – you have to get buyers to the sale! Now, we begin the advertising stage. I contacted the paper, put up signs and hit social media. There are quite a few ways to advertise online and Facebook has many pages to do just that. Here’s where I learned my next lesson: I posted to 6 different selling sites, talking up the great items we’re selling and photos of those special buys. I found out later that day that the posts were rejected, blocked and no one was seeing them! After slight panic, I found out I used a trigger word – “Liqueur.” Apparently, my reference to liqueur sets was a violation. Of course, I’m not selling alcohol, these are decanters with small glasses. Yet Facebook sees “liqueur” and assumes I’m selling alcohol, which is illegal and I wouldn’t do it! So, lesson learned. On a side note, Facebook doesn’t allow for the sale of animals, so stuffed taxidermy giant turkeys didn’t make the cut either. The posts were updated and we were back on track.

Let the sale begin! We had two days of selling and it was the most exciting time. I enjoyed meeting new people and chatting about their treasures they were buying. We met people who knew the dear gentleman that passed away and they shared such endearing, heartwarming stories about him, it was such a special treat to hear. Many, many things sold and buyers got a bargain. Win Win! We wrapped up and boxed the leftovers and took them to a local charity. All in all, it went smoothly and we had an amazing experience.

I appreciate the buyers for coming to the sale. I truly appreciate the family of the gentleman we held the sale for, they gave me a great opportunity and it was a pleasure to help them. Thank you for making Bassetts’ Estate Sales first sale a success! And we definitely lived and learned.