WTOP August 2020

How the COVID-19 pandemic has altered estate sales

Estate sales can be emotional for families, and now they are also complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has largely sidelined the in-person estate sale.

“In a traditional estate sale. People come through your house. There can be 25 or 30 people coming through. How do you do that in COVID?” said Matt Quinn, at Quinn’s Auction Galleries in Falls Church, Virginia.

The answer is moving estate sales online, and traditional estate sales companies as well as auction houses are doing a lot of them. Quinn’s itself reports its biggest July for business in its history — more than twice as much business as a year ago

“We have shifted to an online-only auction model in the home that allows us to go into the home, sort things, organize them, describe them, photograph them, put them up online, give the buyer confidence to buy and then execute those sales,” Quinn said.

Quinn’s is aggressively hiring in all positions, from people who physically move the merchandise to the auction experts who write the auction listing descriptions to administrative staff.

Many estate sales come after the death of a family member, and self-managing an estate sale is probably not something a grieving family would want to do, but with the time and the right technology, it could be done.

Quinn still recommends hiring a professional to evaluate the contents being sold.

“The biggest risk families have is not understanding the the value of objects in the home. We’ve seen it too many times, when there’s been a $100,000 painting on the steps of a Goodwill, or somebody bought something at an estate sale for $10 and later sold it at an auction for $100,000,” Quinn said.

Originally posted here.
August 20, 2020

Author credit: Jeff Clabaugh

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Please direct shipping inquiries to Shipping@QuinnsAuction.com. Quinn’s Auction Galleries ONLY ship with FedEx Domestic and USPS internationally. We do not ship Media Mail. Shipping costs are based on the weight of your lots and your location. We require a complete shipping address and phone number to process your shipping quote. You will receive your shipping quote in your invoice via your registered email. Once payment is received, Quinn’s will ship items FedEx ground in the United States, USPS International or release items to an outside shipper. We reserve the right to recommend an outside shipper based on fragility and size of lot. We offer recommendations for outside shipping by trusted shippers if necessary. If using an outside shipper, Quinn’s Auction Galleries is not responsible for damages by carriers or packers of purchased lots, whether or not recommended by us, and will not be liable for any losses which result. Payment Policies: Please remit payment by check, money order, cashier’s check, or wire transfer along with a copy of the invoice. For purchases under $4000 credit cards are accepted. We accept Master Card, Visa and American Express. There is a 4% service fee for use of a credit card. Invoices greater than $4000 require payment by certified check, bank check, cash or wire transfer. The Gallery must receive payment in full before any of your merchandise will be available for removal by you or shipped to you. The Gallery reserves the right to hold merchandise purchased by personal check until the check has cleared the bank.

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