Some questions you may have about our service . . .
Q How will you advertise any sale you take to make sure the items are offered to the most people who might be interested in them?
A This web site is viewed and visited by over 4,000 visitors a month, we also place ads in several local newspapers, other estate sale sites and we have a large email list we have developed with over 1,000 contacts. No one else can offer you this coverage!
Q Is this an "on line" auction on the Internet?
A No, we don't think that is the best choice for a client overall. Internet bidding can become complicated by buyers reluctant on bidding high for items they cannot see or touch. Our sales are usually held for 3 days, whereas Internet auctions often go on for weeks. By allowing so much time to bid, buyers can become distracted and just drop out. With our compressed sale time, they have to make up their minds and often pay what is marked on the item! We also offer charge card buying, that helps our customers who may not have the ready cash to purchase a larger more expensive item. We of course, take checks and cash!
Q How long does it take to get the property ready to have a sale?
A Once we have the contract and the key, we need approximately 2-3 weeks depending on the condition of the home or apartment.
Q What do I need to do?
A Decide on what you want to keep and get us a key.
Q Do I need to move the things I want to keep?
A Usually large items you intend to keep can remain until after the sale. Small items need to be removed from house or secured in a room or closet.
Q Do I need to clean out the drawers, closets, attic and storage rooms?
A No. We prefer that you leave all that to us, for many times, clients throw away hundreds of dollars worth of antique and collectible items. Photos and personal letters or files are not discarded but placed aside for you to dispose of or reconsider.
Q Do I need to be at the sale?
A Seeing a loved ones belongings sold can be a very emotional experience. We welcome you to be there but most of the time feel it is in your best interest not to assist with the sale.
Q What happens to the items that are not sold?
A These are donated to a local charity with the tax write off receipt filled in with your name and this is given to you later. Most donated items fall into the "garage sale leftover" status. We sell most everything of any value.
Q Do I have to donate these items?
A No. You may keep them. However, if you keep the items, it may interfere with our "cleaning out the house". Some items may be left in the rooms where they were located as we do not relocate sofa beds and other heavy furniture items to garages but rather let the charity take them away.
Q Do I have to pay any money up front?
A No, our fees come from the proceeds of the sale, you pay us nothing. We pay all advertising. If the house is quite full of items with little if any value, we do have a charge for dumpster rental. These fees run from $100 and up. In cleaning out the "junk" people are allowed to find the other more valuable items in the home or apartment.
Q When am I paid my portion of the proceeds?
A In approximately three weeks after the closing of the sale.
Q Will I have any idea of what you sold and how much it sold for?
A Yes, we provide you with a computer print out of the sale with the larger items being easily identified. This is sent along with your check.
Q Do I need any documents to show proof I am authorized to sell someone else's items?
A Yes, we need to see a letter of testamentary or a power of attorney and have a copy of this document to file when you sign the contract agreeing to let Alpha handle the sale.
Q There are several paintings signed by the artist. Are these worth anything?
A We thoroughly research all works of art to find their value.
Q Is an Estate Sale an auction?
A No. We individually tag the items and the sale is open to the public.
Q Do people come into the house or apartment?
A We have a buyer/entry number system and allow only 30 people at a time into the home. When two leave two more are let in.
Q What about small items of value, won't they be stolen?
A We take extra care to place small valuables in showcases where buyers are assisted when they want to inspect an item.
Q How long does the sale last?
A We usually plan a three day event for best and highest sales volume. We begin on a Thursday evening at full price for 2 hours, Friday all day at full price in the morning and 25% discount in the afternoon. On the Saturday of the sale (the last day) we sell items at 50% discount. This discounting structure yields the seller the most money for all items.
A Another estate sale company does a one day sale. Why can't you do all of the estate sale in one day?
Q A one day sale could prove to not be in a clients best interest. We do not feel this yields the highest gross sales amount for our clients. Our customers are busy people, some can attend the Thursday night event, others can only come on Friday or Saturdays.
Q Do you let anyone purchase items before the sale begins?
A Absolutely no early sales.