Why Don't You Offer Online Auctions?
We have seriously considered all possible ways to manage estate sales. And, currently, we do not offer online auctions. All of our estate sales are held on-site at the client's house. Items offered for sale are available at the estate sale location and by phone.
Many estate sale companies conduct their sales through an online auction. In theory, competition among buyers in an auction drives prices for items to their maximum value. Additionally, online auctions are a great way to offer items of interest to shoppers who are not local to the estate sale or those who cannot attend the sale in person because of conflicts.
At Attics to Basements, we focus all our energy on hosting the best on-premises estate sales possible. Our view is that buyers will only pay an appropriate price for valuables if they are able to inspect them in person.
When bidding online, buyers take into account the blemishes that are visible, but also factor in the risk of flaws, discolorations, and other imperfections they cannot see. Whether online or on-premises, most estate sale companies do their best to represent items for sale honestly and transparently. However, the inability to physically inspect an item in an online auction naturally moderates the price a buyer is willing to bid. Online auctions incur shipping costs as well as a buyer’s premium (typically 10%) both of which impact the price that an online auction bidder will offer.
The bottom line is that we are committed to on-premises estate sales because we believe they maximize the value of the estate for our clients and provide a fantastic shopping experience for our customers. Telephone orders are our mechanism for selling to those buyers who cannot attend and who are willing to buy without inspecting an item. The phone call also allows us to confirm that the buyer is purchasing on an as-is basis.
Additionally, there is just something special about being able to pick up and hold an objet d'art before deciding to make a purchase. It allows you to see and examine an item up close and in person. And, who knows? The item that doesn't look all that intriguing in the web site photograph may be exactly what you were looking for.
There is a very personal and emotional experience that shopping an active estate sale brings out in everyone. Be it fun, excitement, or a sense of nostalgia, shopping in person is very different than shopping online. Each person and each sale is unique. For some, seeing an inlaid wood music box may bring back memories of a trip to that Sorrento inlaid wood factory in Italy years ago. For others, finding a hand-carved elephant pendant may remind them of that once-in-a-lifetime trip to Sub-Saharan Africa. For others still, items from a sale may stir feelings of curiosity and amazement at the lifelong hobbies and pursuits of the prior owner.
Whatever the case may be, shopping at a live, on-site estate sale is an experience that cannot be replicated in an online auction.
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