Online Auctions and Estate Sales

Below are some common questions we get regarding our online auctions. Give us a call at 804-212-2160 if you have additional questions not answered below.

How do you handle estate sales and liquidations?
We assist with liquidating items in your home through donating, consigning, recycling, discarding, and selling items via an online auction. Every client has a unique set of circumstances so we evaluate the best options for you based on the timeline, the number of items, the types of items, budget, family allocation, etc.

Donations, consignment, recycling, and discarded items are handled quickly, using local resources. Selling items via our online auction requires more steps which we explain below.

How do you sell items online?
We use an online auction platform called MaxSold.

What is MaxSold?
MaxSold is an online auction tool for organizing and senior move management companies like Abundance Organizing. MaxSold is exceptional in marketing auctions. They provide a platform that maximizes sales and in addition, provides a safe and secure payment and pick up process.

How do your online auction services work?
Abundance Organizing manages the auction process from A to Z. Most importantly we:

  • Handle communication and paperwork submission on your behalf with MaxSold to set up your online auction account.
  • Sort, photograph, and catalog items to create auction lots.
  • Send you an auction draft to review before the auction goes live online.
  • Manage pick up day.
  • Remain in contact with the agents at MaxSold to follow the marketing of your auction and ensure everything is running smoothly.
  • Make sure the home is completely empty and ready for sale.

What are “lots”?
To maximize sell-through and bid numbers, we group and pair items to be sold together as “lots.” We follow MaxSold’s guidelines to create lots that equate to roughly $30 in value.

What is the cataloging process?
We take several photographs that clearly identify items in each lot. Simultaneously, we take measurements, tag each lot with a number, description of contents, and pick up times. In addition, we upload pictures to the MaxSold platform. Before the auction goes live, you have the opportunity to review the catalog and make any adjustments.

What happens on pick up day?
Pick up days occur on Saturdays. We arrive ahead of the buyers to set up appropriate signs and check-in tables. Each lot has a specific category with a specific time slot. When buyers arrive, we confirm their identity and their payment. Once confirmed, we walk each buyer to their specific lot(s), ensure they remove all items, and escort them out of the house. No one is in the home unsupervised.

NOTE: While stay-at-home orders are being implemented due to COVID-19 some of our pick up day qualifications have changed (and continue to change) to ensure everyone’s safety. Buyers are made aware of these rules before arriving on pick up day. Some requirements are:

  • Masks MUST be worn by staff and buyers on pick up day.
  • There is a limit to the number of people inside the home at any given time. This can extend wait times for buyers.
  • Buyers may be asked to wait in their vehicles until their lot(s) are ready to maintain social distancing.

Is an online auction right for me?
We use online auctions in many circumstances. However, we use them most for clients in transition – whether it be downsizing, moving, or handling an estate. Online auctions are a great fit if:

  • You’re selling your home and you have a tight timeline. Therefore, you need your home emptied and sold quickly.
  • You’re selling your home, you have a lot of stuff, and need your home emptied before you can put it on the market.
  • You live out of town/state. Consequently, you need someone on-site to assist with handling the estate home for a loved one who has moved, or is moving to, a senior community.
  • You have a storage unit you want to liquidate.

What is the timeline for an online auction?
The time it takes to catalog items depends on the number of items included, but generally, it takes between 1-2 days. When items are cataloged and the final draft is approved, the auction goes live and remains live for about 10-14 days.

What happens to lots with no bids?
An average of 98% of everything listed sells. However, in the event items don’t sell we attempt to reduce the need for hauling services or avoid it altogether by selling “zero-bid” lots on pick up day. In fact, buyers often ask about zero-bid lots because they are looking for deals. If any zero-bid lots remain we coordinate hauling services or transport items to a donation center.

What can’t be sold in an online auction?

  • Clothing
  • Taxidermy or animal bones
  • Food, alcohol or tobacco products
  • Most weapons and/or replica weapons that appear real
  • High-end brand name designer items with no verifiable proof of authenticity
  • Safety gear such as car seats, or current use military helmets

What are the benefits of doing an online auction? Will I make money selling my things?
Since it is an auction format, there is no guarantee of a specific amount of profit. There are many benefits, however, to selling items via our online auction.

  • Our online auctions are the quickest way to clear out a home. If you have a deadline your home can be clear in no time.
  • Alternative online options require several hours of your time. Therefore, you’ll have to photograph items, take measurements, post items for sale on Facebook, Craigslist and/or eBay, pack up items to meet strangers who will attempt to negotiate prices. Meanwhile, you’re trying to move or help a loved one move.
  • Yard sales require a lot of time and don’t typically provide a financial return worth the time invested. Furthermore, yard sales attract people looking for bargains and your pool of buyers is strictly local. Fortunately, our auctions are online so buyers from anywhere can participate. MaxSold generates nearly 5 million views per month. It’s true, auction buyers travel to pick up items sold online!
  • A cluttered home can reduce the final sale of your home by as much as 10%. Removing clutter can increase the value of your biggest asset, your home, and put more money in your pocket.
  • Online auctions create a competitive sale process. As a result, you get a maximum return for all your items. This gives you the chance to recoup some, if not all, of the costs associated with emptying a home.