Just like the stray cat that adopted me, I didn’t go looking for this job! Like the cat, the job landed right in my lap. The job is organizing, displaying, pricing, marketing and conducting Tag and Estate Sales. Like the cat, it suits me.
I never imagined myself as a “Tag and Estate sale professional.” I am an Interior Designer with a degree from Parsons and I spent more than 25 years working for national builders, merchandising real estate properties for sale (aka Home Staging). On the other hand, I am also a self-employed single mom who started my own business in a challenging economy. So…in the bleak month of November with a snow-white appointment calendar, when a client asked me if I knew how to sell the contents of a house, I felt confident and replied “Of course!” and a new facet of my business was born.
It seems my skill set turned out to be a good match for the job. As a designer, I know about furniture and accessories and can place a fair value on them. Attractively displaying them is second nature to me. I already had a Tax ID number and the ability to accept credit cards, I have a website, business insurance, an e-newsletter mailing “list” plus a business page on Facebook where I can post pictures and updates. Did I mention that I love doing these sales? It enables me to meet and help some fascinating people. My clients, who are often overwhelmed with the idea of dismantling and disposing of a lifetime’s worth of personal treasures, are avidly grateful. As one client put it, “You turned a daunting chore into a great looking adventure and so profitable too.”
Since being green is in vogue today, everyone feels good about recycling and reusing the multitudinous array of items I come across. Things I sell range from tools to fishing rods, from books to clothing and dishes to an array of furniture and household items. The buyers who frequent my sales find these affordable treasures attractively displayed and fairly priced. I serve coffee and cookies too. Past sales have yielded prizes such as a directors chair formerly owned by Steven Speilberg, glass letters that belonged to Andy Warhol, original Disney cels, fine art, designer upholstery, antique Persian rugs, a custom dining table and chairs with an original retail price tag of $32,000, a motorcycle, chandeliers, designer clothes as well as antiques dating back as far as the 1700s. Where else can you buy a Pyrex measuring cup and find a grand piano for sale in the next room?
“Tag-Sale-ing” is an affordable and fun way to spend a day. There is a regular following of enthusiastic repeat customers that I look forward to seeing at each sale. We reminisce about beloved purchases from past sales and bemoan “the one that got away.” They arrive at the crack of dawn and wait in lines sometimes exceeding 100 people for up to an hour just to get first dibs at the treasures. Many of them come back repeatedly during the sale for a second and third go ‘round. During the course of a sale I find myself dispensing free design advice on how to use or repurpose a particular piece of furniture, or discussing the merits of sofas with hardwood frames and eight-way hand -tied construction or I might end up sketching different ways to hang a collection of artwork or discussing refinishing techniques or even where to buy unique new hardware and drawer pulls.
According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, “8,000 Americans (are) turning 65 every day, on average, and the senior population is expected to double by 2050.” Imagine all of the Baby Boomers who have accumulated and inherited so many belongings and are ready to downsize or are looking for a lifestyle change. Many of them are seeking creative and profitable venues for disposing of their stuff. Enter the Tag Sale Professional. Considering these statistics and the current economy, I suspect these sales are on an upward trend and will keep me busy for years to come.
More info. at www.styledandsold.com, 631-899-3305. [/expand]