I've been fine tuning our company's overall approach to running estate sales and examining what set's us apart from others. I found a couple of web sites where "experts" wrote about what an estate sale company does but I couldn't find a really good guide on how to hire a good company. So, I created one. You can download it for free on my resources page. Let me know what you think - is anything missing? In the meantime, I hope you are ready for 2014. I know I plan to make it a great year.
An Organizer’s Guide to Recycling, Repurposing, Selling & Donating
in Northeast OH
RECYCLE IT: The County Solid Waste Management Department – Most counties in Ohio have a government entity in charge of waste. Some provide a minimum of services & others are fairly comprehensive. The Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District has a very informative web site. Check with your own county to see what they offer. A Note About Recycling Metals: Scrap dealers will pay for copper, aluminum, steel, iron & various metals. The waste management department should be able to refer you to a reputable company or research it on the web.
1800RECYCLING.com – A search engine that can help you locate recycling option in any zip code or city, plain & simple. Easy to use but only lists their partner companies or companies who have asked to be listed & met their qualifications.
Earth911.com – A search engine & more to help you locate recycling options for just about anything, just about anywhere & a bit more. Includes lots of related information & ideas.
Junk Removal Companies – There are several companies in Northeast Ohio that will remove unwanted items from your client’s home for a fee. How much they charge & what they recycle will vary. Do an internet search for junk removal or haul away companies then call & ask the questions important to you & your client.
“Think Outside the Bin” is a blog loaded with ideas on repurposing almost everything. Sign up to receive their blog by email or visit www.thinkoutsidethebin.com. Another great searchable web site for repurposing ideas is www.upcyclethat.com.
Estate, Moving, & Tag Sales – To identify an Estate or Moving Sale Company in the area, visit www.estatesales.net. Many of these companies will conduct a sale on site for your client in exchange for a percentage (30 to 50%) of the sales proceeds. Be sure to check references & ask what happens to items that do not sell. Some of these companies also sell on consignment & online, so ask about these options as well.
Auctioneers – There are numerous auction houses in Northeast Ohio. Some will buyout the contents of a home while others will sell items on consignment. Commissions tend to be closer to 50%. When negotiating with an auctioneer as with any other reseller, get everything in writing and make sure your client knows what happens if the items don’t sell.
Resellers or Consignment Dealers – Do an internet search for “consignment,” “resale,” or “thrift” shops in your area. Identify the shops that sell what you have. They will often buy on the spot but call ahead if you can. Visit www.thethriftshopper.com to help identify local thrift stores or just do an internet search in your client’s area.
Selling Gold & Silver: When the price of gold and silver are high, there’s a shop popping up on every corner offering to buy your goods. It’s true that gold and silver items may be more valuable today as “scrap” than as jewelry, tea service, etc. Make sure your client finds an established dealer or talks with an experienced antique or estate sale person to learn about his or her options. It never hurts to get more than one offer.
The most well known & largest agencies accepting donations of household goods are Goodwill (http://locator.goodwill.org) & the Salvation Army (1-800-728-7825). If your client wants to support another charity, call your local United Way for a local list. Another option are the Yellow/White Boxes on virtually every busy corner. Most accept donations of clothing & shoes. The agency receiving the donation is usually listed on the box & you can call or visit their web site to learn more.
A Furniture Bank is a great option for, well, furniture. There are several in Northeast Ohio including the Cleveland Furniture Bank (www.clevelandfurniturebank.org). Do an internet search to find the bank nearest to your client’s home.
Medical Equipment can be a challenge to both donate & sell. A Cleveland-based nonprofit collects and ships medical supplies & equipment to developing countries where it can save. To donate, call (216) 692-1685 to schedule a drop-off of unused, non-expired medical supplies and usable medical equipment.
Freecycle - The Freecycle Network™ has local chapters all over the country. Through Freecycle, you can give things away directly to someone who needs it. Remember to use caution when you arrange the exchange. See the web site for more details at www.freecycle.org.
Created by www.TheTimefinders.net 9/2013
Home and Garden Television and out reality programming consumes my DVR. I can't get enough.
Right now, my Repurposed Enamel Star goes to the Junk Gypsies. They can keep the cowgirl motif but give me all that glam junk and I'll give you a big Ya-Hoo. I mean, drop cloths trimmed with wedding dress lace as curtains? Wow. The chandeliers, the signage, the big letters, the brilliant color choices. I don't know how, but they make it work. Really, you could load a warehouse with the stuff they use to decorate and it would look like a trash pile. But give them a room and somehow they manage to make it sing. Thanks Gypsies, you are inspiring.
On the other hand, you can keep Craft Wars (and Tori Spelling simply must go away). Even the professional panel of judges come off as imposters barely able to keep from guffawing at the crap people make on that show. I feel bad for the contestants. I know they have some talent because we see their work during the introductions. But giving people Christmas packaging materials, winter clothes or plastic beach toys and telling them to make something decent is just, well...let's say it should be called Crap Wars. Sorry guys, this one is a big miss.
I know, I know, I'm a writer for crying out loud - why is there nothing here? I set this up on May 15 and then, wham, I am running 3 sales in the next month. I promise I will squeeze out some good stuff in the next month or so. Be patient, puhleaze.