If you want to know how to start an estate sale business, this article is right for you. An estate sale, also called estate liquidation, is a sale or auction performed to get rid of the sizeable amount of property or other material owned by a person.
The person may be dead or selling things to move on in life. There are many estate sales companies that perform the task of finding the buyer and help you to get the possible maximum amount of your property.
Many people are getting into this business nowadays because of its booming growth over the years. In 2015, there were approximately 14,000 estate liquidators only in the USA. Now, this number has been increased all over the world.
How to Start an Estate Sale Business
You cannot expect your success at the early stage of the start of your business. It needs a lot more experience and hard work to achieve your goals of a successful estate business runner. Following steps and ideas are devised for the people who want to know how to start an estate sale business. They will help you in planning and starting your business smoothly and legally.
Research to Know What You Are Going to Do
You should have a piece of complete knowledge of a business before getting into it. Its pros and cons must be clear to you. Before starting an estate sale business, you must try to be a customer first. Learn from the perspective of a customer what things are going to do the job. You can know about the challenges the estate sale companies face during running their business.
You can get feedback from the other customers too about the positive aspects and shortcomings of an estate sale business. The commission rate may vary according to the area. You must know about the normal commission rate of estate sale companies in your area. It will help you to set a standard before starting your own business.
The commission rate may vary according to the experience of a person. You can start from a bit lower than the standard rates and increase it later as you gain business and experience in your skills. Now many estate sale companies are running worldwide via internet resources. Some of them are eBay, Marketwatch, and many other auction houses.
Learn to Value the Items
This is a basic skill you must have if you want to know how to start an estate sale business. You must learn to price the antique and common items perfectly to get the best out of them for your customer. Study and know to identify the precious items. Many things make the items valuable. For example, many items, especially electronics ones, can cost more if the seller has original boxes they came in or the original gadgets like chargers that came with that item.
You can also learn this skill by visiting many estate sales near you. By noticing a large number of items and their prices, you will get a lot of experience, and your pricing process will get better with time. If you do not know about the value of an item, try to consult the local antique expert rather than making it unworthy.
Register Your Estate Sale Business
Choose a name for your business which can be hard in some conditions. You can brainstorm it or visit any estate sale company name generator site on the internet. While registering your business name, you must secure your name properly. Also, search it through various social media platforms or the records of your business.
Register your business properly on the internet and get a business registration certificate. If there is any sales tax in your state, you will be held responsible for reporting and sending that tax on each item sold to your state. To register your business for taxes, your business needs an Employer Identification Number (EIN). In some states, it is easy to get a federal EIN using their website.
You should also visit the municipal halls of the areas you are going to work in and get knowledge if any special license is needed to start an estate sale business there. Many areas have their own rules and regulations you must abide by to avoid any mishap. You may be asked to pay some fees for the permits. Following are the common business structure types adopted:
- Sole proprietorship
- Limited liability company (LLC)
You must form a legal business entity such as LLC to save yourself in case your company is sued. For starting LLC, you need to pay LLC costs. You can also hire any LLC service in your area by paying the required fee.
Use a Business Bank Account and Credit Card
Keep your personal and business assets separate from each other. If both of them are mixed in any way, any damage to your business will harm your personal property too. The separate business account enables you to track the credit history of your estate sale company.
Keeping your business and personal expenses separate from each other helps you in the future investment for raising your business later on.
Create a Sale Contract for the Customers
You must complete the legal documentation for any sale done through your company. Create an estate sale contract with your customers. All the details of the business and the terms and conditions must be listed in the contract. Everything must be clear to the seller and buyer of the items and there must be no hidden truth in your estate sale business.
The commission rate must be fixed before dealing. In the case of a standard business, it can vary from 10 to 20 percent of the gross sales. All these things will save you from any kind of legal dispute by any party.
Get a Business Insurance
You must have known about how to start an estate sale business till now. The next step is protecting and promoting your estate sale business. Business insurance helps you to operate safely and legally with your business. It will protect you financially in case of any loss. The business insurance policies vary according to the varying risks a business could face.
At the start, a person is not aware of the possible risks, so you can start with General Liability Insurance. It is commonly best for small businesses for the coverage of losses. There is another important insurance policy if you have employed some workers in your company. It is Worker’s Compensation Insurance.
Advertise Your Estate Sale Company
There are many ways to promote your estate sale business. The most important one is using the internet.
Social media sites are an important way to attract the attention of sellers as well as buyers for any item. You can also advertise in Facebook groups. The most important way to promote your business is by creating a website. The other way of promoting your estate sale business is putting ads in the newspapers. Till now, the newspaper is an effective way to boost up your business.
The website you are creating must be professional. You can get help from professionals to create a clear website for increasing your business. Put a feedback option on your website to get a response from your customers. It will help you to know about your defaults and improve your skills. The positive feedback from the customers also catches the attention of other customers and aids in the growth of your business.
How to Start an Estate Sale Business: Create a Website for Your Business
Before creating a website, specify the purpose of your business and create a logo. The logo works as a trademark for your business, so it must be unique from other ones. Creating a website is essential at an early stage. It does not demand success and a lot of experience in your field. A proper website makes everything much simple for all business owners. Some of the important reasons for creating a website are
- Social media is not a replacement for a business website. Facebook pages and profiles on LinkedIn can never do the job of a proper website.
- In the recent era, many people have shifted their business to the online system for their ease. Now all the legal businesses have a proper website that helps a lot in the growth of their business.
- Now it is not difficult to create a website. There are many tools like WordPress, GoDaddy Website Builder, etc. that help you to create a website by following simple steps. WordPress gives a year of free domain to the website developers. You can create your website by yourself rather than spending your money on hiring a web developer.
Skills to Improve the Growth Potential of Your Estate Sale Business
Many important skills are needed to build a successful estate sale company and get the best experiences. Communication skills are the most important of them. You must be sensitive to the emotions of your clients toward their belongings and value their items. Your communication skills will help you to build a connection between the sellers, buyers, and referrers.
Your marketing skills also matter in this business. Use as many resources as you can for increasing the growth potential of your business. Value all the things and highlight their positive aspects to get the maximum commission out of them. On busy sale days, your leadership skills will enable you to handle all your employees in a better way.
Nowadays, there is much competitive environment in the estate sale businesses. Many people have stepped out in this field. So, you must make sure that your abilities are enough to create a positive working environment and also your website and social media pages are well established to attract customers.
Never End Your Learning Process
A business mentor is necessary for everyone who is starting a new business to get complete guidance and knowledge about the possible facts you could face. Contact any business support resource near you and stay connected with them during your journey. You can also learn from other successful business owners by reading their blogs and visiting their websites. It will help you to get lessons and pieces of advice and knowledge about their entrepreneurial visions.
You can also buy a franchise of a successful company for getting a jump start to your business. In this way, the owner will also serve as your mentor and will be there to help you with any problem and avoid mistakes. The other way to learn is to start as an employee in any estate sale company.
Protect Your Investment
Protect the amount you have invested in your business. On the sale like auctions, shoplifting precious items can cost you much. To avoid this issue, hire an adequate number of employees for the sale days. The staff must be wearing shirts with your company logo or any other visible mark of your company to increase their visibility. Also, install security cameras with the proper monitoring.
The above mentioned are the few tricks on how to start an estate sale business. It may be difficult at the start that you may want to reconsider your choice, but it will get better with time and experience. Advertise your business as much as you can using local newspapers, handouts, social media, websites, and so on.
All the businesses need to be invested in the start. You can start the estate sale business easily under the investment of approximately 10,000 dollars. This business evolves with time. Do not be afraid of the trial and risks. Modify your business plans according to your needs. Find out the things that will work for your business.