What do you do with 10, 20, 30 or even 40+ years of furniture, housewares, art, memorabilia, and even clothing? This problem can come up when you’re moving, downsizing or managing the estate of a loved one. It can be a very daunting question.

Don’t worry, you have options.

Option 1: Donate!

It feels good – and you can make a difference in someone’s life. Your old stuff may even get you a tax credit.

Furniture Bank would happily accept your gently-used furniture to pass on to a family currently experiencing furniture poverty. Click here to see what items we accept.

Here’s a list of charities and not-for-profits where you can donate other items, including clothing, books, sports equipment, office supplies, electronics and more.

Option 2: Hire a removal service

There are many companies, like 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, that will gladly come pick up your old stuff and take it off your hands for a fee – including Furniture Bank. The benefit of hiring us to remove your furnishings is that you can take comfort in knowing that your usable items will be passed on to a family in need. Click here to learn more about our furniture removal social enterprise and why we charge for pickups.

Option 3: Consider having an estate sale.

Let’s dive deeper into this option…

Now, these sales are not for the faint of heart. There is a lot of time, patience and organizing that needs to go into setting up and executing a smooth sale.

However, it can be a great way to liquidate those items you no longer want or need and make some money while you’re at it.

There are 2 main points to consider first:

1 – Estate sales are done on-site, which means the public will be walking through the house. Are you OK with this? If not, then an off-site or on-line estate auction may be a better solution.

2 – Who will manage the set up and the sale?  You can definitely do this yourself, but as mentioned, it takes a lot of prep and planning beforehand.

  • All items have to be labelled and priced
  • You will need a team of people to help during the sale
  • You will need to manage cash at the sale.
  • You will need to be prepared to negotiate on items
  • Be prepared for a long and busy day
  • You need to advertise your sale

In case this sounds too overwhelming, you can hire a third party professional services company to manage your sale for you. Companies such as Transition Squad, and MaxSold, will do on site sales, and well as on-line auctions. Shop around and compare fees before you choose your service company.

How Do Estate Sales Work?

Whether you manage the sale yourself or hire someone else, estate sales follow some basic principles:

  • All items to be sold are priced and labelled before the sale. Items that are not for sale should be removed from the site if possible so not to get mixed up with sale items.
  • Sales are advertised in newspaper classifieds both in print and on-line. The more places you advertise the more likely you will have more buyers coming.
  • Sales are handled on a FirstCome/FirstServe basis, which means people may start lining up hours before the sale actually starts.
  • Buyers are generally allowed in to the sale 10-20 at a time so that there is no overcrowding in the house. As buyers leave, others are allowed in. Door management/people flow is a must.
  • Buyers will pick and carry smaller items with them as they browse while larger items will have a SOLD sign placed on them.
  • Sales are generally CASH ONLY, however if you have a 3rd party managing your sale, they may provide credit/debt payment services.
  • All items are generally taken the same day. It is the responsibility of the buyer to move items out.
  • There are several “sales staff” throughout the house to help with the sale. They will answer questions, possibly negotiate prices, and label SOLD items.

If you have any unsold items remaining after your estate sale which could benefit a family in need, consider hiring our team to come pick them up. Click here to enquire about our furniture removal service.

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