Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Estate Sale

My boss and I went to a home the other day to purchase some books. The step-mother of the man we were buying from had passed away and he and his wife were in the process of getting an estate sale ready for the following Thursday.
An entire house of stuff. NOTHING was priced. It was somewhat organized, but every drawer and closet and cabinet still had untold items spilling forth.
Next thing I know, I'm taking the week off from work and basically running my first estate sale.

Three closets full of clothes, 200+ dolls, six drawers of mismatched tablecloths and napkins, piles of jewelry, tons of gardening accessories, a closet full of linens, a scotty dog collection, a scottish collection (including traditional kilt outfit), a hedgehog collection, a full cupboard of fine china, office supplies, tools, boxes of crafting supplies, a nutcracker collection and much much more.

A full day goes by before I can get back over there, giving me only three days to turn the disorder into a priced, packaged and policed sale. I hired my mother who is a retired antique dealer to help with all of the older items.
Bless her heart, she's busted her ass for two long days now; one with the grandchildren in tow.

We've made a huge dent in the pricing, but still are waiting for tables and clothing racks to be delivered so we can get it all set up.
The people I'm doing this for are THE nicest couple and have been so incredibly sweet and trusting.
I'm bone tired at the end of each day, but it's fun work. I just wish we had a few more days to get it all done.

I'm mostly worried about the first morning of the sale itself. I grew up in the antiquing community and there is nothing more back-stabby, gossipy, whiny, and deceitful than a horde of antique dealers (sorry mom and dad).
I'm concerned about "early birds", thieves, fights over claimed items, bounced checks and broken glassware.

I'll have my mom, the couple and my boss there to help, so we should have it under control. I've educated the couple about going through boxes and shaking out linens to look for hidden stash. We're only having one entrance and exit. We've done all of the jewelry up in box lots, to prevent people from pocketing here and there.
I think it will be fine in the end. At the very least, the people I'm helping are way better off than if I hadn't stepped in. I can't even imagine how they were going to get ready by Thursday on their own.

Tomorrow is crunch day. Then up at five on Thursday to put on the finishing touches.
EEK. Fingers crossed.


jonathan hickman said...

Good luck!

firstimpressionist said...

I put in a 12 hour day today. Gotta go get a few hours of sleep before heading over there around 6.00am tomorrow. I think we can safely open the doors now and have what should function and look like a normal sale.
Poor couple, as far as I know they might not even sleep tonight. They were still working when I left.