FAQs

How long have you been doing estate sales? I’ve been running Estate Sales through S&H Estate Sales & Service since April 2015. Before that I worked for an Estate Sale Company in the Madison area. All my life I’ve been attending Estate & Garage Sales and it is my PASSION and my DREAM come true!

Are you insured? Yes. S&H is insured, however, we require proof of current homeowners insurance as well.

Do you have the proper permits to sell legally in WI? Yes

Do you collect tax? Yes, we are required to by State law. Technically, any one who makes more than $1,000 at a Garage Sale is required to collect sales tax.

How many estate sales have you conducted? In 2015 we held 7 Sales. And in 2016 we held 24 Sales.

Can you provide contact information for your clients? I have referrals.

How extensive is your customer network? I advertise on Estatesales.org, Estatesales.net, Craigslist, Facebook, and my own email list which is over 400 customers.

How long does it take to set up a sale for a 3,000 square foot house and extended 2 car garage? It depends on the state of the organization in the house currently. Typically a sale of this size could be set up within three weeks, but it could be more depending on the amount of smalls.

Would you be available to meet at the house? This is what we prefer. We allow for a 30 free minute consultation at the house so we can see everything and make sure it will be a good fit for both of us.

Can family members be at the sale? We prefer not, only because we tend to believe it will decrease sales and is very stressful for all involved.

What date would you be available to begin setting up the estate sale? We would discuss this during the consultation. We would like to be able to have access to the house between the hours of 8 a.m. and 10 p.m.

How long would the estate sale last? The sale is typically a two day sale. If there are enough items after the two day sale a third day sale can be discussed at a higher rate of commission.

How far in advance would you begin to advertise the estate sale? The sale is typically advertised 4-5 days in advance on the estate sale websites. The day before for Craigslist, Facebook, and by email. (This is only if we have enough time to get it staged (displayed) in advance of the advertising.)

Do you ever change the locks on the house after the homeowner gives you a key? Typically no. If we find out neighbors, family members, etc. have keys and we have found them using them during sale set-up, then we will be forced to change locks.

Do you provide an inventory of goods and estimated value based on initial pricing before the estate sale? No

Will you bring items to the house for sale that are not part of the estate? How do you keep the proceeds from the sale separate? If a sale is too small to host a sale on its own, then options to bring in other sale items are discussed and commission and minimums are discussed. Each item would be logged separately for billing purposes. However, this is not a typical situation.

How many photos would you post for a 1,250 square foot house and detached two-car garage? Please refer to shestatesales.com to see past sale pictures. Some have more than 300 photos, typically all will have over 100.

Do you have portable racks to display clothing? Usually clothes will be displayed in the closets. If there are exceptional items those would be displayed separately. If there are more clothes than closet space, yes we will bring in portable racks.

How do you control shoppers between the house and detached garage? Each sale has it’s own interesting anomalies. This one can be addressed by staffing the garage and having the staff person write down what people want to purchase. They take the receipt to the cashier station to pay, then return to the garage to collect their item with a sold receipt. We have had 2 cashiers at past sales, but this is an added service, at an added cost.

How do you display items in a garage? In the garage and in the house, items will be displayed on any available furniture, as well as on tables that S&H provides.

If the garage door has to be closed to control customer traffic, how would you provide enough light for customers to shop? We would provide ample lighting.

What percentage of items do you put a price tag on? 90% Items are priced individually, the rest may fall into categories such as records, linens, cds, dvds, clothes, etc. which are placed on a pricing sheet that is hung all around the house.

How many check-outs would be provided? Typically just 1. We have done 2 in the past, however, we charge an extra fee for this service.

What is your pricing philosophy? Day 1 is priced as is (with some negotiation) and day 2 at 50% off, typically. If there is a 3rd day, items may go as low as 75% off.

In your experience, what % of items sell in an estate sale? This varies, but obviously not everything sells.

Can we set a minimum sale price for specific items? Yes. Up to 5 items (NOT CATEGORIES OF ITEMS).

What forms of payment do you accept? If you accept checks, how do you verify that the checks will not bounce? We take cash and local checks. If the client wants to allow credit card transactions they pay the credit card fee. S&H can not verify that a check will not bounce, but will take proper action with the police if this does occur.

Who pays for staffing? S&H Estate Sales & Service will provide ample staffing for how they see fit. If you require more than what S&H is willing to provide, that will come out of your net-to-Client receipts at a $30/hour, per person rate.

Is there security and who pays for it? Unfortunately, S&H realizes that some minor theft by customers is inevitable. We will, however, take reasonable steps to guard against theft, for example, having small, high-value items near the check-out station. We will supply an adequate number of employees to work the sale. If you request it, or if we deem it prudent for the sale, we will also hire one or more security officers from an outside source to provide security at the sale, the cost (TBD) of which will be deducted from the net-to-Client receipts.

Who pays for advertising and what type of advertising is included? Any newspaper advertising is paid for out of the net-to-Client receipts. We highly recommend the local shopper. All other advertising is S&H responsibility. Internet, Social Media, Craigslist, Yard Signs, etc.

When and how are you paid? S&H takes their commission, or minimum, out of the total sales and the Client gets the rest by check within 10 business days.

What happens to the items after the estate sale is over? The Client has a choice of two options that are laid out in the contract and will be discussed during a consultation.

What is your commission? Typically it is 35%, or a $1,500 minimum, (whichever is greater) but this can go up based on location, number of items, hoarding situations, etc.