Hiring Us for Your Estate Sale F.A.Q.



Estate liquidations with Carnaby Estate Sales are simple! We offer comprehensive on-site estate liquidation services. Our initial house call and consultation is absolutely free. Let us put our 30 combined years of experience to work for you! Call us at 860-1550 to have a chat about what we can do for you.
Our estate sale services include:


• Sorting, tagging and cleaning of items for sale - you do not need to do a thing!
• Advertising in local newspapers and to our huge email and contact list, plus lots of photos and coverage on our website and other social media venues. Our following is HUGE!
• Extensive directional signage on the days of the sale.
• The actual estate sale with our knowledgeable, friendly staff.
Complete list of items sold and check within 3 days after the sale or after-sale clean-out.
• After-sale clean-outs. We offer FREE clean-outs for more than 80% of our sales!


We're sure you have a lot of questions about having us hold an estate sale for you (and that makes us happy because it means we're dealing with a savvy consumer!). Here are some of the most common:


Q. What sets you apart from your competitors?
A. We are a family-run business - your sale will have a Carnaby owner there at all times; we do not pass your sale over to staff to run.
     We are known for our friendliness and enthusiasm - our buyers love to shop with us and our clients love working with us! We go the extra mile to make each sale the best we have ever done, and it shows in our results.
We've amassed a huge following this way; our customers know they are attending a top-notch sale, which translates to higher revenue for you.
     Our set-ups are amazing - everything will be clean, neat and on our shelves or tables (not your furniture); no confused jumbles of items at Carnaby sales! 


Q. Do I need to do anything before you start work?
A. The only thing you need to do is remove anything that won't be part of the sale (and in situations where things can't be moved out quickly, we're happy to designate a room or closet as "private" and store personal or family-reserved items there). We take care of everything else! Above all, don't throw anything out - things like spices, half containers of laundry soap, clothing, linens, cans of paint and oil, matchbooks and souvenirs, office supplies, and other household items can add thousands to your sale. We have sold bags of rocks, bricks, and old peat moss. We're happy to sort out and bag up the true trash for you on our time - so you can save yours! We cannot stress enough how much value these small items will bring to your sale.

Q. How will you advertise our sale?
A. Our social media coverage reaches all of WNY and into Canada and PA! Aside from our own website (where we will feature extensive photos of your sale), we have an active Facebook following, and are elite-level members of estatesales.net and estatesales.org where buyers can view your sale photos and description within a 250 mile radius at no cost to you. Between our own email list and the subscribers to the estate sales websites, many thousands of customers will receive emails (with photos!) about your sale.
      Print coverage includes the Buffalo News and other smaller local papers as appropriate for your area. We get special volume rates on print ads and pass those on to you with no add-on costs at all.
     We also keep a large data base of people looking for special items, and make sure to contact every one of them when specific specialty items are in a sale.

Q. Unlike some competitors, you're very upfront about your commission rate. 
A. We don't believe in being cagey about our fees, or in you having to meet with us for a "fee reveal". You should base your final decision on a good personality fit and your confidence in us once we meet, but we're not going to leave you wondering about the business end before we even start.

Our commission structure is simple: For sales grossing over $8,000 it is a flat 25%. 
Everything involved with running a normal sale is included in our commission: 40 man hours of set-up time, all necessary sale staffing, display units, online advertising and marketing, and leaving the house tidy at the end. (We also offer total clean-out services - more on that below.)

Q. Are there situations where the commission or fees might be higher?
Yes. If we are dealing with a house where set-up hours far exceed the norm there will be a charge for that (we have done houses where we have filled up several dumpsters before we even begin - and then had sales that greatly exceeded anyone's expectations with the treasures we uncovered). We include 40 man-hours of set-up time free in your contract. We will give you a firm set-up hour estimate during our initial consultation.

If your sale is likely to gross less than $8,000.00 there is a minimum commission to cover the actual costs of putting on a sale. This will vary depending on set-up time, staffing requirements and other factors, but we will be very precise about the costs at our initial meeting. Unlike some competitors, we will do smaller sales with as much care and enthusiasm as our larger ones - in many cases clients with smaller estates have found that rather than paying a hefty cost to have the home cleared out by a liquidator, using us brought a check into the estate instead - a win-win for everyone! And remember, those small items add up!

Q. Do you do a 75% off day at the end of the sale?
A. We hear this question all the time from people who are new to our sales. The answer we give them is "no, we just price fairly to start with." We do not over-inflate prices on the first day with the hope of moving things on the final day at 75% off, or worse, with the plan of buying things for pennies on the dollar ourselves at the end of the sale. We do not own a shop, antique booth or warehouse - we are there to sell your things, not to enrich our own business afterward. Our goal is to bring in as much for every single item in the sale as possible, while ensuring that you are not left with a house full of unsold goods at the end. It's a delicate balancing act, and one at which we excel. 
Our goal is to get top market dollar for every single item in your home, from the dish detergent to the $50,000 oil paintings.


Q. But what happens if there are some things left over?
A. There will be. It is rare to sell 100% of a house's contents, although we usually come close! Our primary goal is to make sure there is as little left as possible by pricing accurately for the local market and actively selling - we don't just sit there at our sales!
     That said, we offer various after-sale services to get the house broom-clean and "realtor-ready". We'll discuss what is right for your situation when we meet and can get an idea of the contents of your property; in many instances we can offer free clean-out services at the end!
     We are also happy to help with donations to local charities for unsold clothing and household goods. We work with you to make sure your house is as empty as you want it to be.


Q. I'm out of town - do I need to be there for this?
A. No - we regularly have people send us keys from out of state. It's helpful if a relative or someone local can show us around the house the first time and show us the lights, thermostat controls, etc., but we have handled long-distance complete sale/clean-out situations with no problem at all. Obviously, if there are things the family is keeping, someone needs to deal with those first, but there is no need for anyone to be there while we are working or during the actual sale. We will sort out and set aside all personal paperwork, photographs, etc. for the family to take care of after the sale.
     We are also happy to work directly with your estate lawyer or realtor.

Q. How much lead time do you need to do a sale?
A. The short answer is 14 days - this is the minimum to get the ad in the Buffalo News, photos done, the website updated and our mailing list clients contacted.
The longer answer is as much time as possible, especially if it is a large estate needing a lot of organizing and tagging. Our schedule is busier at some times of the year than others and all of our sales get our personal attention. Longer lead times also mean earlier advertising to our buyer mailing list - we have people who come from as far as Toronto and Pennsylvania for our sales, but they do need to schedule.

Q. How do you set your prices?
A. We set our prices based on many years of experience as antique dealers and appraisers, running on-site estate sales, and doing a huge business in on-line sales. Remember that because we work on commission, we are working to get you every dollar possible for each item.
     We do offer the opportunity to use our eBay consignment business for certain items when we know they will go for far more in the international eBay market than in our local area. We work together with you to use every sales method possible to maximize results for you.
     We also research heavily, especially for specialty items out of our area of expertise. Doing this ensures that absolutely nothing gets undersold.

Q. Are you insured and registered?
A. Yes, we are insured for business liability. However, you are also expected to have homeowner's insurance in force on the premises during the sale period.
You should make sure that anyone you interview can produce their insurance certificate - ours can be found here.

Carnaby Estate Sales is a NY registered business.

Q. I'm a little worried about my floors and carpeting; how do you help protect things?
A. We bring in mats for entryways and carpeting when needed; we also make sure to leave the property as clean as we found it. We display items to make sure there is no damage to walls, doorways or flooring.

Q. Do you sell cars, boats, etc.?
A. Yes - we have been quite successful with this for estates. You do need to make sure that the appropriate title work is done before the sale so that we can offer a clear title to the buyer, since we are acting as your agent for a private sale. We will let you know what paperwork is needed for your situation.

Q. Do you put out a lot of signs?
A. Yes, we have nice, bright directional signs. Although 90% of the people will come from our ads or mailing list, the signs are useful for attracting drive-by traffic - sometimes bringing in great impulse purchasers!

Q. Does it bother you if we interview a few more companies?
A. Not at all! We'd far rather you interviewed several of our competitors and then chose us knowing that we are absolutely the right fit for you. We'd also love to have you visit one of our sales so you can see how we do things in person.

Have a question we haven't covered here? Email us or give us a call at 860-1550!
Remember that our on-site consultations are always free - we look forward to hearing from you!