We do moves your way. Every project plan starts with our client choosing from our menu of services. Most downsizing clients ask us to pack and unpack; if we were a restaurant that would be our house special. Many like to have our coaching and hands-on help sorting. Others want our experienced eyes to help with home staging to get those million dollar photos for their real estate listing. And others ask us to ship goods to family and friends. We do all that and everything in between. But there’s one service nearly all our clients ask for: help finding homes for things they no longer need through sale and donation.
Over the past eight years, we have developed multiple selling channels. We get goods to the place where they will bring the best return for clients. We’re not appraisers, but our team members have many years of experience and knowledge of “stuff.” Our general knowledge combined with the expert knowledge of our selling partners adds value for our clients. We like to highlight the hidden gems that dazzled with sale results, but our real skill is in our ability to get all kinds of things to the right market and to find good places to donate the rest.
Since the beginning, we’ve worked with a combination of auction houses, consignment shops and dealers. They are still key for items that have high value and/or high desirability. But over the past three years there has been an growing challenge: the number of baby boomers downsizing is growing exponentially. It’s wonderful that people are making changes to better fit their lifestyle now. But they all have furniture and goods they no longer need. The local resale and donation markets are full to the brim. Things we could consign easily five years ago, we have trouble donating now.
That’s why we launched our own e-commerce site and opened a b&m shop, Nextstage Vintage. We offer expanded selling services geared specifically towards on-trend vintage and niche technology equipment for our clients. NextStage Vintage now serves as the mothership for our larger network of online selling venues–we list items on as many as six additional online marketplaces such as Etsy, Ebay, Chairish and Apartment Therapy Marketplace and actively use social media to promote those items.
We have assiduously steered clear of running estate sales because selling goods is only one aspect giving clients great transitions. Estate sales require an entirely different business model that we’ve always felt would take away from what we do best…getting people from where they are now to where they want to be without the stress and the worry. And we have been able to do a good job getting goods with resale value sold via our trusted partners and our own selling site.
But with the amount of goods coming onto the resale market continuing to grow, we have been looking for another way to efficiently help our clients clear out and find value for their no longer needed things. And we’ve found it! We’re happy to announce that we’re expanding our menu of services to include online estate sales cataloged and managed by us and hosted on MaxSold.com. Online sales are a more efficient and less complicated estate sale model than the traditional ones, and they are a natural fit with our other services.
MaxSold has been an industry partner to the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM) for a few years; our peers in parts of the country with fewer available selling venues heartily endorse their process and results. We like that they enable us to sell efficiently in a way that’s convenient for our clients.
Here’s how a NextStage-managed online estate sale works:
- Items that are no longer needed but have resale value are offered for sale via an online listing with photographs and a description (similar but less detailed than the ones we prepare for items sold online). We can do this over time, as we sort with a client, or all at once, after a client has moved to their new home.
- Once all the items are lotted and entered, MaxSold hosts and promotes the sale on their website. All bids start at $1. A sale lasts from 5-10 days, with bidding taking place over that time period.
- After the sale closes, buyers are required to pay for their items online. No money changes hand onsite. Buyers then pick up their items at the selling location (or our office) during specified pickup windows.
- MaxSold generates a check for the seller within 7 days of the close of the sale.
The simplicity of a MaxSold downsizing sale is what makes it appealing. It allows the market to determine the value of an item. No haggling, no negotiating, no cash on the pickup day. The pickup for the sale either at the client’s home or at our office. And best of all, it’s fast.
We will continue to send select items to our trusted local selling partners as we always have. But by adding the additional option of estate sales to our menu, we are able to offer faster and more complete selling services in a cost effective way.
We have one MaxSold auction currently running and we will be holding two more this month. Check our Facebook page for updates and to see these sales. Change can be good, and we’re excited to offer this new service on our menu to make us a bigger and better one stop shop for those making transitions and dispersing estates.