Having an Estate Sale in the Midst of a Pandemic?
With the daily spread of the Coronavirus, you may be wondering how it is possible to host an estate sale. We have been wondering the same thing.
There are a number of options we considered.
- Continue operations with restrictions on the number of shoppers allowed in the house at one time.
We immediately shifted to this approach after the initial concerns of coronavirus surfaced, and it was very effective. However, once the depth of the health crisis became apparent and Dallas County issued its Shelter-in-Place Order we had to change tact. Assuming that Dallas County methodically relaxes its restrictions as the coronavirus runs its course, then we can quickly revert to this option.
- Create an online auction site much like eBay but for estate sales.
Some estate sales companies offer online auctions where shoppers bid on merchandise and the winning bid gets the item. While the online auction enables shoppers to buy estate sale merchandise, our view is that an auction inherently violates the spirit of an estate sale where prices go down over time. Hence we concluded that the auction is not a good fit for us or our customers.
- Offer an online telephone-based estate sale.
It is fairly straightforward to operate an online estate sale in the same way as a traditional one. On the first day of the sale, items are offered at full price and are reduced on subsequent days of the sale. Shoppers view items online and email, text or call to purchase items. Items can be picked-up at a scheduled time.
While the Shelter-in-Place Order is active we intend to stick with Option 3 when practicable. Even Option 3 requires that our employees leave their home and work off-site, so in most cases even this option is unavailable. However, we will continue to balance the needs of our clients, our employees, and our customers to safely and responsibly serve the estate sale community in the best way possible throughout this crisis.
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