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How Do Online Estate Sale Auctions Work?


Preview day for an online estate sale auction

Online estate sale auctions are becoming more popular as people are looking for quicker and easier ways to liquidate their estates. If you’re new to this concept, hopefully this post will help clear things up for you. Of course you could do it all yourself, but hiring an online estate sale provider or auction house can help save tons of time and hassle!

If you do enlist the services of an online estate sale provider, they will come to your home to tag and photograph everything that will be available for auction. Just like traditional auction houses create print catalogs of items, you will have a dedicated online catalog for your estate sale auction. We highly recommend removing items from your home that you do not want to include in the sale. This eliminates any confusion on what is or isn’t for sale.

FYI: If you live locally in San Diego and you prefer not to have the estate sale in your home, you could have everything displayed in our warehouse for preview day. Just one of the perks of working with us!

As soon as the catalog is published online, people are able to start bidding on items. What’s nice about holding an estate sale online is that people from all around the world can bid versus a live auction where you’re limited to a local audience.

Here are more advantages of holding an online estate sale instead a traditional estate sale or get a behind-the-scenes look at our process of getting your estate sale online.

An online auction generally lasts from 1-2 weeks depending on the auction house. Up until the time the auction goes live and during the auction, the catalog will be marketed through various channels including local newspapers and radio or online via social media, estate sale directories, and more. Before enlisting the services of an auction house, inquire about their marketing strategy.

The auction service company will also hold a preview day so that the public can inspect any of the items prior to the closing of the auction. Sometimes pictures don’t do the item justice and sometimes people just want to check if items work (as in the case of electronics). What’s interesting is that sometimes pictures make things look small, but when you see it in person, they’re much bigger and vice versa.

After the auction is over, there is a removal day(s) for people to pick up items. Winning bidders who are not in the local area can have items shipped.

Lastly, you collect your check after the fee to the auction house is paid. The going rate is typically 30-50% of total sales.

As you can see, an online estate sale is relatively stress-free when you hire an online estate sale provider to handle all the details. Need more info about how online estate sale auctions work? Feel free to contact us or tweet us your question.