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Find Treasure In Online Estate Sale Auctions

Updated on August 11, 2013

I recently had a call from a lady who was settling her mother's estate and had disposed of all the items but still had china, crystal, signed and numbered prints professionally framed, 30 Hummels, and a china cabinet. She explained that the Hummels were worth anywhere from $189 - $275 on eBay. But, she did not want to sell all these things individually and deal with shipping or want strangers coming to her home if she advertised on Craigslist. She had been referred to me because she was interested in selling the rest of the estate all at once.

Unlike eBay that sells an item one at a time alongside a hundred other like items, there are online estate sale auction sites that will present an entire estate at once. The seller often works with the estate liquidation company to inventory the items and present them online in a certain time frame.

When a seller chooses to hold an estate sale online, a much larger audience can be reached than a traditional estate auction. When the auction company has a good online marketing program in place an online estate sale can achieve an average of 4,000 page views for the sale. Shopping an estate sale is convenient for the buyer. Imagine browsing an entire estate sale from the comfort of your own home and finding just the right lamp or antique collectible for your collection.

Online estate sale auctions are something of a new trend. Most auctioneer companies receive bids online for auctions In addition to their live auctions. Senior move management companies sometimes offer estate liquidation services resulting in online estate sale auctions.

Pot of Gold Liquidations, LLC is an Arizona estate liquidation company with 40 years of combined experience and holds live and online auctions. Their website can be found at, providing a worldwide audience for each auction. They begin the process of consignment by offering expert evaluation of your merchandise and free pickup from your location. Research and descriptions are done in-house and each item is featured in the online auction catalog In preparation for the sale. Pot of Gold Liquidations, LLC provides the seller with an easy process that results in payment to the seller in three days after the auction closes. Rates on consignment vary depending on the value of the merchandise. Fees can be as little as 10% of the final selling price. Another online auction site in Virginia called has been offering global bidding for local auctions for eight years now. Affiliates all over the state work with people who need to sell their treasures quickly and efficiently. Buyers are able to preview the items live at a one day showing and bid online, but pickup the items locally. There is no shipping costs and browsing through 300-500 items online is more convenient and comfortable than scheduling time to attend a live auction.

These sites serve both the seller and the buyer by providing a link that transcends distance between the seller and the buyer. The seller is able to reach a large audience. The buyer is able to find treasures by searching an entire estate sale quickly and feel confident that bidding online is secure.

Shop anytime - Estate sales can be held anytime of year. These sales are generally the property of someone who has recently passed away, just divorced, or are relocating. There are estate sales held as a result of the person owning the estate needing to sell property and their belongings so they can move to a retirement center or nursing home.

Regardless, estate sales open a house filled with rooms of things for sale, but not everything is a hidden treasure. Following are helpful tips to help you to find hidden treasure at an estate sale.

The online road - If you can attend a preview, definitely do that if you are interested in buying furniture. It is better to make sure it is something you like and want in your home. Plus, you may find hidden treasures that look better in reality than photographed. Attending a preview gives you an opportunity to ask questions about items you are most interested in and get more detail. Online auctions offer short descriptions. But, when you aren't able to attend a preview and have questions, don't hesitate to call if you have questions because once you have won an item you are obligated to take it unless it is damaged.

Maximum bidder wins - Many bargain hunters believe that it pays to wait until the end of the auction to put in their bids, but they often loose because you can't stay by the computer. In order to increase your odds of winning, put a maximum bid in for the item you are bidding for and you will increase your odds of winning that item by 80%. For example, if you plan to spend $200 for that treasure, put $200 in as the maximum bid. If others bid less, your final bid will just above the last bid. By putting in a maximum bid you the system will automatically bid for you until someone bids more than $200.

Do a little research first - One tip is to do research on items you are interested in finding. Visit the local library first and check out books on items of interest or go online and find helpful information. For example, there are books about glassware, china, collectible toys, magazines and just about anything of value. Get to know certain markings found on the bottom of valuable vases or glassware along with names of sculptors or artists. It's not unheard of to find a valuable piece of artwork being sold for next to nothing. If you've done your research, you'll be able to spot value that an untrained eye might overlook. You'll also be able to pass up items that look valuable but are not.

Find the right neighborhood - Find out about the area or neighborhood where the estate is located. An estate sale held in a wealthy zip code is going to fetch an array of different items than an estate sale in more modest neighborhood. If it's a wealthy area, you may find costly items that are marked up. If it is an older neighborhood, you may find vintage items which can fetch profit from collectors or people wanting to remember a part of their childhood.

Vintage finds - Vintage baby buggies and other valuable items no longer manufactured or available are good finds. Because they are usually well made and provide sentimental value, these items can be a successful find. Collectors enjoy these baby items for use in displaying dolls or using the items for other creative designs. Other collectibles include tins. Tobacco tins are very collectible and are common, but condition matters. Tobacco tins date from the mid 1800's to the early 1900s and many have the original tax stamp and make it easy for easy dating. Vintage Hickory Pipe Mixture Tin, 3" wide x 4 1/4 tall can go for $35 with the tax stamp. In addition to baby items and tins, vintage jewelry is extremely popular.

Whatever your interest or need is, you'll find it at at an online estate auction. While bidding for an item can be competitive, there are items you are sure to win at a great buy! But, you are guaranteed to have a lot of fun either way.

If you are downsizing and moving, consider working with a company that can offer you global bidding with local turnkey service. Make sure to check references and ask if the company has insurance and is bonded. This guarantees the safety of your contents.

Whether you are the buyer or the seller an online auction is the way to go these days.


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