02/04/2017 at 10:26 pm #11769
So I have to say I am lucky in that in a one hour radius of me I have five or so auction houses that I can go to for inventory. Some of them for higher end stuff and some for cheap bread and butter items. One thing I have found is that becoming someone the auctioneer knows is very helpful to my business.
First perk is they tend to notice you more when bidding. I’m a big guy but the first few times I went out to the auction I was not getting noticed depending on where I was standing. This could be frustrating as maybe I was ok bidding $10 but someone else got the $10 bid first so I’d have to pass or pay more than I wanted. Most of the auction houses I go to now know me and tend to look more in my direction during opening bids because they know I buy.
Second perk is your auctioneer learns what you buy so they help keep you focused. I buy a lot of box lots and table lots at one auction but I’m also a chatty guy, a lot of people want to know why I’m buying and I’m frank with them, I think it keeps them from bidding against me honestly. So the auctioneer will often have to yell out my name or bid on it for me. It’s kinda funny and it keeps the crowd interested in what’s going on.
The last perk is getting free stuff or being able to get big lots for cheap. The one place I go to often throws out a lot of stuff so they call me first, sometimes I get it free sometimes I pay for it but I always get a great deal. I got 60 of the porcelain christmas village houses and 10 boxes of vintage christmas stuff for $100 the other day cause I knew he needed to move it out before his next auction.
So get out there and get to know your auctioneers being someone they know helps support their business goes a long way to help your own business.
02/05/2017 at 7:46 am #11775
I have two local auctioneers I frequent. One is a live auction and the other is done online. Knowing the auctioneer and the staff has been helpful. The auctioneer at the live auctions is actually a family friend and our sons are in cub scouts together. They do start to look to you when they know you. I’d like to think they also don’t hold out the final bid like some auctioneers do just for my sake, but they move pretty quick with every lot. There are a lot of regulars at his events. As for the online auction, I have given my card to some of the staff since they tend to help go through and remove non-sale items like shoes and clothing. They know I buy and said they would try and help me out. Nothing has come of that yet, but I’m okay with it and will work on it more this year.
02/05/2017 at 5:31 pm #11802
I can see the very smart logic of getting to know the auctioneer. The auction workers definitely know our faces.
But I honestly like to be a mystery at auctions. No one needs to know our business. We may possibly be missing out on free boxes of stuff, but we never leave an auction without most everything we really wanted.
02/06/2017 at 8:23 am #11832
I can agree with most points here, and I think my wife and I are in a pretty good place at most of our local auctions. Our two favourites know us, and watch for us to bid, but neither the auctioneers nor the patrons know where we sell (that I’m aware of at least). No one asks, so we don’t tell.
We generally frequent antique auctions, so most people likely assume we’ve got a booth in an antique mall or something.
Sometimes being friendly with your auctioneer works out well, others it’s a pain. Yesterday was an example; my wife was planning to bid a lot of glassware up to about $20. She ended up getting it for $10, but the auctioneer said “by the way, you just bought everything else on the table with it too”, chuckled, and carried on. We got what we wanted, for less than we hoped to pay, but had to take a bunch of other junk that we’ll likely donate. I doubt the auctioneer would have pulled that move on a stranger…
02/06/2017 at 8:42 am #11833
That is pretty funny cause my go to auctioneer will hold an item out of a large lot if someone asks. They also will throw extras in during the bidding. I ended up with about 6 smaller rugs for $2 because they just kept putting them on the pile.
02/06/2017 at 8:46 am #11834
Thats a good tip for anyone new to auctions. You can ask the auction workers to single out an item from a larger lot. Usually they’ll then automatically start it off at $5 or more.
But only ask BEFORE they get to it. Our auctioneer gets angry if we interrupt their flow.
02/08/2017 at 6:14 am #12025
This is good advice. I’m friendly with two auctioneers in my area. Always make sure they know the types of stuff you buy.
One of the auctioneers just last week went to a business that wanted to have an auction. The auctioneer wasn’t interested because he knew the local market would not bring much money for these items. He gave me their number and I went out and looked at the stuff. 10,000 plus items of clothing, shoes, sunglasses and many other items, all new with tags and popular brands. No dollar store stuff. I couldn’t get to the ATM fast enough. These items will keep me busy listing through the normally slow first quarter and will result in steady sales for months if not years.
In return for these auctioneers looking out for me, I also help them out. If someone calls me wanting to liquidate an estate, but it’s not the type of stuff I sell, I refer them to my auctioneer buddies. Also whenever I have stuff I want to sell locally quickly, I take it to these local auctions.
02/08/2017 at 6:29 am #12026
Wow. 10,000+ items?
–How much did it all cost?
–How do you process that many items in just three months?
–Where do you sort, process, and store all those items?
–How many items are in your store now?
02/08/2017 at 7:28 pm #12099
Lol I’ll agree with Jay thats a lot of items TrunkFullofJunk, I have had the same type of success but not on that scale. My estate auctioneer will often give me the numbers to his customers for their clothes/shoes if they are trying to sell them. I live very close to a Del Webb Sun City so Lots of estates from that retirement community, I love all the vintage Made in the USA clothes I get from these estates.
I always pay 25 cents a pound unless I have too much inventory to work though then it drops down to 15 or 10 cents, most people are fine giving me 100lb of clothes for $25.
02/08/2017 at 9:01 pm #12100
I paid $7500. Normally I won’t pay this much, but this was great stuff, and NWT. 800 pair of shoes NIB. So far I’ve only listed about 200 of the items for about $10k asking price.
I currently have just under 2000 items listed.
My wife and I will both process items, but since most of this is NWT, we won’t have to take photos. We are able to use stock photos from the manufacturer. Since some it is the same style, but just a different size, that also makes listing quick. Also, I’m lucky enough to work a job where I can list items periodically while I work.
As for storage, I use an extra bedroom, my 2 car garage, 2 sheds on my property as well as rent 2 12’x26′ storage units just a couple of miles from my home.
I’m with you cebanak about estates sales/auctions. I typically buy an entire closet of clothes for $10. Great way to get vintage items.
02/09/2017 at 1:15 pm #12152
Has anyone ever posted a Craigslist “Wanted” for estate closet buyouts? Do you think it’s a good or bad idea?
02/09/2017 at 3:58 pm #12168
I couldn’t hurt honestly. I’d post it on Facebook Market Place and Bookoo if you have one local to you as well. People might find it while searching for a auctioneer to handle the estate, it cost nothing so if all it takes is a few minutes of your time to post and nothing comes of it then no lose to you.
02/10/2017 at 6:34 am #12203
I keep one posted at all times advertising that I buy estates, business closeouts and just about anything else. I also have business cards advertising this that I had out often. I get a few calls a month and a few have turned out to be great oppurtunities.
02/13/2017 at 8:44 pm #12466
- Location: St. Louis
Went to an auction yesterday, in spite of my no buying intentions, just because they pictured some nice kitchen chairs I was interested in for us. The auctioneer couple are actually friends since I have gone to their auctions for years, so that’s always a bonus. I bought four black painted Hendrix chairs for $140. They look like they could bring around $400 on Ebay, so I plan to list them and use them until they sell. Also bought a large red distressed Persian rug for $55 that I think will do well. Got a big stack of antique photos for $35 and spent $45 on bits of jewelry that will also do nicely. It’s a danger to go to an auction to “just buy something for myself”–so many random temptations. And I left halfway through it.
I like this type of auction where they just walk thru a house and empty it out. Not a lot of competition. No taxes. Best of all, they don’t charge a “premium”.
- This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by Linda Shields.
02/14/2017 at 5:52 am #12485
I’ve never like the “buyers premium” and it is sad when you get to a new auctioneer who didn’t disclose that on the announcement. The auctioneer I like has no premium, no tax, no phone bids, and no absentee bids. The online auction company I buy from often has a 10% premium and ships out so you are competing with a lot of others. They charge sales tax when the “auction” is out of one of their two buildings. The 10% is actually low for the auctioneering companies on proxibid.com.
02/14/2017 at 6:46 am #12489
We just assume all auctions have a buyer’s premium of between 10-15%. How does your local auction make any money if they don’t charge tax or a premium? I know they get a cut from sold goods, but the premium helps cover the cost of running the auction.
02/14/2017 at 8:35 am #12501
I just assume that the commission rate they charge the seller covers their cost. I’ll have to ask my friend if I see him this weekend. The only time I get charged state sales tax is when the auction is held at the auctioneer’s place of business. If it is done at the home, no sales tax. That may be dependent on each state.
02/15/2017 at 9:30 pm #12672
I went ahead and posted a Wanted ad on Craigslist for “estate clothing and shoes.” I got a handful of responses for kids clothes, etc. Nothing remotely related to what I wanted. Any advice on wording this Wanted ad a little better? Thanks.
02/15/2017 at 9:35 pm #12674
I’ll be interesting to see what responses you get. I assume most will be people just wanting you to come get their trash and junk. I would think anyone who has valuable items would know to take them to an estate sale, auction, etc.
But you never know. Maybe you need to get 100 responses for junk to get that one person no has no idea what they have.
02/15/2017 at 9:36 pm #12676
Oh, will you paste the text of your Craigslist ad here? That would help anyone understand better how you;re approaching it.
02/15/2017 at 10:37 pm #12678
Estate Clothing and Shoes (title)
Whole closets or individual pieces. (body)
[Pretty simple, I know. Thanks, Jay!]
02/16/2017 at 6:28 am #12680
I’d suggest you be a little more detailed in the body and state what you are looking for like dress shoes, work attire, no kids clothing…..
You may have luck looking for retirees who need to clear out their work clothes, or those who have had a big change in weight recently who are updating their closet. Targeted ads will help save you time finding the stuff you want.
02/16/2017 at 6:39 am #12681
I agree with shortandstout. I would also suggest making it a little more personal. You may be targeting people who will let you into their house to gather and remove personal items. I would include a brief description of you and your service. This would sound more professional/comforting.
“I am a professional estate wholesaler who is looking for large lots of clothes and household items. We will come clean out your unwanted items and dispose/donate them in a proper manner.”
02/16/2017 at 7:04 am #12684
I attend a lot of auctions. I used to be close friends with an auctioneer and here is what I know about the auctions in my area. Most charge 10-15% buyers premium. They typically charge 25-35% commission to consignors as well. Not everything sold in an auction is from an estate or consignor. Many auctioneers in my area buy from auctions and Cragislist themselves to sell at their auction. I see auctioneers buying at auctions every week I go. In my opinion, an on-site estate auction out of someone’s home is best because the items are most likely to be true estate items that have been hidden away for many years. I used to try and fly below the radar at auctions because I like to be private about reselling but honestly the auction company staff and other bidders know why you’re there. Much of their business is selling to resellers.
02/16/2017 at 7:15 am #12685
I didn’t think that auctioneers might be selling their own stuff in their auctions. That’s smart. If it”s good stuff for a cheap price, then it doesn’t really matter to us.
Totally agree that 95% of people at auctions are re-sellers. Most of them will be regulars who own stores, antique booths, or sell at flea markets. But we still like to friendly but anonymous. We don’t need to disclose the details of our business. There’s no upside in my opinion.
02/16/2017 at 7:24 am #12686
I agree Jay. I didn’t offer up that information. They just figured me out. 🙂
02/16/2017 at 7:30 am #12687
02/16/2017 at 12:07 pm #12709
This is the ad I have on facebook marketplace (like 3 different local buy/sell/trade groups) as well as two craigslists that I live between.
Paying Cash for Clothes!
I am paying Cash for gently used clothes. I am in search of Women’s, Men’s, Young Adult and even vintage/estate clothes. I pay cash on the spot by the pound. I also buy shoes by the pound that are still in wearable condition. If you have clothes you are going to donate and would rather get some money for them please message me and we can arrange a pickup time/place. I pay 25 cents per pound. I have a luggage scale that reads up to 80 lb so it will be no problem weighing the clothes on the spot. I live in *** but can meet in ****, *** or even off *** and ***.
This has gotten me a decent amount of leads, nothing to live off of but it helps, about once a week I can pick up between 2-10 bags of clothes… a normal garbage bag is about 15-20 lb so that’s $5 per bag. I do hand my cards out at yard sales if I am yard selling and at least one person will call me back usually if they are just going to haul it all to Goodwill afterwards might as well get $20 and not have to do any work.
Back to auctions I know my local guy does estates but also has other tables for other people in the mix and sometimes stuff he has, the auction that’s about a hour from me they have a thrift store and will pull items that are not selling to up for auction.
I will say this for people knowing I am a reseller, I have gotten a ton of stuff for free out of it. Sometimes people buy table lots to get two or three things and don’t want the rest. I can’t tell you how many times they see me buying table lots and then want me to take their extra stuff. I never mind because everything has a value and if it is to cheap for eBay I can always do a yard sale or just donate it for a tax receipt from Goodwill or something (that being said I sometimes find $100 items I got for free). Not saying you guys should start telling everyone what you do but like you said, either they think you’re a reseller or a hoarder.
I know at tag estate sales sometimes when they find out I’m a reseller they are happy I am there and I’ve even had them call me to get the left over for a big discount. It’s all about how you feel. I have a sales background and love to talk to people and people always feel comfortable around me (not in a used car salesmen way more like “he’s just a good o’l boy he can’t do no harm”) so I don’t worry if they get offended because I’m buying their Grandma’s painting so I can resell it, they should feel bad because they are selling it in the first place.
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