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

Estate liquidations with Carnaby Estate Sales are simple! Our initial consultation is absolutely free. Let us put our 30 combined years of experience to work for you! Call us now at 716-860-1550 to have a chat and set up an appointment. Our comprehensive estate sale package includes:

• Sorting, cleaning and tagging of items for sale - you do not need to do a thing!
• Fabulous set-up and pre-sale staging - we bring in everything needed.
• Unparalleled marketing to the entire WNY area. Our following is HUGE!
• Extensive directional signage on the days of the sale.
• The actual estate sale with our knowledgeable, friendly staff.
• List of items sold and check within 9 days after the sale or after-sale clean-out.
• We can facilitate the house being left cleared out and broom-clean after the sale.

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?
1. We're the only estate sale company in WNY accredited by the American Society of Estate Liquidators (ASEL). This involved extensive vetting of references, verification of past sales, adherence to a code of ethics and a written thesis. We have also received ASEL's Service Excellence Award.
2. We're a family-run business and personally monitor every detail of your sale from start to finish.
3. We're known for our friendliness and enthusiasm - our buyers love to shop with us and our clients love working with us!  
4. Our set-ups are amazing - everything will be clean, neat and on our shelves or tables (not thrown on your furniture). Check out the difference for yourself - view local Buffalo sales on www.estatesales.net and compare the photos of our set-ups with others; you'll see why your sale should have Carnaby Care. Our set-ups definitely mean more things sold and higher revenue for you.
5. We know how to use social media and modern marketing to ensure your sale reaches thousands of potential buyers! Simply put, we get your sale seen. 
6. We do not have a warehouse or shop; we do not take the "leftovers" to make extra profit for ourselves at the end.
7. We can take care of everything from start to finish as needed, so you get a broom clean house ready for listing or closing.

Q. Do we need to do anything before you come to take a look?
You need to know what will NOT be included so that we can properly evaluate the potential sale. Above all, don't throw anything out - things like food, spices, half containers of laundry soap, clothing, linens, cans of paint and oil, matchbooks and souvenirs, holiday decorations, office supplies, and other household items can add hundreds to your sale. We have sold bags of rocks, bricks, and old peat moss. We take care of trash during set-up! We cannot stress enough how much value these small items can 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 pay to be elite-level members of estatesales.net and estatesales.org where buyers view your sale photos and description in 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. We cover the costs for all of this premium online advertising.
     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. What is your fee for doing a sale?
A. We have two different packages for small and large sales. For smaller sales we charge a low commission and direct labor costs; this enables us to take on the smaller sales that other companies will not. For larger sales, we charge the standard area commission and include 50 man-hours of labor.

You'll find an in-depth look at how we do an estate sale from start to finish here.

You'll find a great explanation of what your commission entails here.

Q. Are there situations where there could be extra labor costs in a larger sale?
A. Yes. If we are dealing with a house where set-up or clean-out hours will far exceed the norm there will be a charge for that. We have done "hoarder" houses where we have filled up several dumpsters before we could even begin - and then had sales that greatly exceeded anyone's expectations with the treasures we uncovered. We will tell you if this is the case during our initial consultation.

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. 
We have found that by staying at full price the first day and doing at most 25% off the second day, the clients really reap the benefits of our knowledgeable fair market pricing.
Our goal is to get top market dollar for every single item in your home, from the dish detergent to the $50,000 oil painting.

Q. What about the clean-out of leftover items at the end? The house will be left ready to go for sale or rental?
A. We work with a select group of after-sale liquidators, all of whom will give you a free estimate after the sale - they even vacuum and sweep your home, leaving it ready for closing. We provide you with a complete list of resources, including charities who will pick up donations. If you are out of town and need us to handle the management of the clean-out, we can do that for you as well. 

Q. I'm from 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 7 days from the day we start set-up - this is the minimum to get the social media marketing going, 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. Prices will fluctuate as the market changes, but we stay on top of those trends; current market knowledge means "in" items do not get undersold, and outmoded items are not priced at last year's pricing and leftover at the ends of the sale. 
     We also research heavily and call in experts as needed (at our expense) 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 an Erie County and NYS registered business.

Q. I'm a little worried about my floors and carpeting; how do you help protect things?
A. We will bring in mats for entryways and carpeting when needed. 

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 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. We will also bring the plates to the DMV and get the paperwork for you to cancel your insurance after the sale as part of our service.

Q. Do you put out a lot of signs?
A. Yes, we have nice, bright directional signs. Although 95% 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!