Many industries must be able to adapt to changes and evolve in order to survive. The business of Estate Sales is no different. Since the recession, home liquidations have been on the upswing and more “professionals” have entered the playing field to try to capture market share in this growing industry. As the Baby Boomer generation downsizes, we wanted to know what changes Estate Sale Professionals were making note of in their industry and how it affects them. Here’s what a few of the experts had to say:
“Now that eBay, Craigslist and other online venues have flooded the market with merchandise, prices have come way down, says Brenda Devereux, owner of The Real McCoy Estate and House Contents Sales LLC “Antiques and Collectibles are readily available and what I call “manufactured collectibles” like numbered plates and dolls have little or no value any longer.”
Catherine Baron, President of Catherine’s Estates & Appraisals says, “Estate sales are not just for the dead anymore. Since the downturn in the economy, we have seen other types of clients who have a need for the orderly liquidation process that defines an estate sale. Divorces, bankruptcies and long-term illness all have played a factor in opening up a new market for estate sales.”
Catherine also thinks the customer base has changed. “We still have dealers, low-income individuals and families who are our regular shoppers, but we are also seeing more middle class individuals or recently downsized folks who are looking to close the gap between lost income and buying power.” Catherine says, “My fiduciary obligation is to make the most money for the estate, but in this economy, I am challenged more in the negotiations and the deals I make with the buyers.” She suggests it’s a “delicate and dynamic balance to extract enough money out of them to fulfill my fiduciary role while offering buyers an incentive sufficient to keep them coming back for more sales.”
Has your Estate Sale services company noticed changes in the past 4 years? If so, what are they, and how have they positively or negatively affected your business? Feel free to share your thoughts and comments below.