We cover Bantam, Bethlehem, Middlebury, Southbury, Oxford, Newtown/Sandy Hook, Roxbury, Waterbury, Watertown, Washington, Woodbury, and several other nearby towns.
1. What kinds of sales do you run?
We normally run on-site estate sales at one's home using all available rooms/space. In most cases estate sales are held because the owner is moving/has moved or a family member has died and the estate must be liquidated. If a house is still occupied, we recommend a regular tag sale, held in the garage/outdoors.
2. What do you charge?
Our basic commission is 40%. This includes all advertising, pricing, organization and display. If a house requires more than ordinary cleaning up (i.e. if it's in an unsanitary or unhealthy state and therefore not conducive to having a safe and pleasant sale), we will charge a very reasonable cleaning fee ($20 per hour with a usual cap of 8 hours.)
We normally will leave the house in "broom-clean" condition, particularly in cases where a home is being put on the market post-sale.**(see below for additional info)
3. Where do you advertise your estate sales?
We advertise in local newspapers and online media (estatesales.net, etc.) at least a week before the sale. and we also advertise your sale items to our in-house e-mail list.
4. Why should I choose Early Birds for my sale? How do I know I can trust you to sell my items.
We are an insured member of the Antiques & Collectibles National Association (ACNA), longtime residents of our communities, have been in the antiques business for 20+ years, and have many references from previous clients. (Plus we're fun to work with!)
Can't wait to see you at our sale. Setup was 344.
5. I need to sell some items, but I don’t have an entire house full of things. Can you sell what I have?
We are happy to buy or to help sell certain items privately or on consignment, especially if you have small antiques, jewelry and other valuable items that you want to make sure you don't undersell. Just call us and we can help.
6. Should I sort items, or clean anything out before the sale?
In short: “No!” We are always telling people "Don't throw anything away!" Many items might appear worthless to you or family members, but you'd be surprised. We've seen it time and time again where people have thrown out/given away items that were actually quite valuable and it's too late to retrieve them.
So that "junk drawer" of Dad's or that box of musty-smelling old paper in Aunt Agnes' basement? Leave 'em right where they are. Old newspapers/magazines, hardware odds-and-ends, old clothing, souvenirs, and "stuff" of seemingly no value might be where you strike it rich (or at least a bit richer than you were!) The only items you should remove are personal or financial documents.
7. What does Early Birds do to prepare for a sale?
We handle all the advertising, inventory appraisal, display and pricing. We will be happy to consult with you on prices for certain items, but we usually have a good idea as to approximate values, and do research and consult expert associates if necessary.
Once the sale is underway, we are pretty firm on prices the morning of the sale, then will negotiate with buyers thereafter.
Note: if you have a particularly valuable item that is just too valuable to display at an estate sale, we often recommend selling these separately through our antiques business -- at the same commission -- and again we handle everything.
8. What if I decide I want to keep some things after we've signed a contract?
Most of the time, owners have a good idea of what they're keeping before calling us, and of course you're welcome to keep anything you want. Our only stipulation is that once we sign a contract if you decide to keep an item, we are paid a commission on what that piece would have sold for.
9. What about items left after the sale?
While we work hard to sell everything you have to offer, most of the time there will be leftovers; often, these can be donated to charity so you can take a tax deduction or again, we can help sell some select, more valuable items privately.
At the end of the sale, we can help you arrange for a charity or third party to remove any remaining items and leave the house broom-clean. This is all part of our service. Often, charities will pick up items for free, but if they charge a fee or a Dumpster is needed to discard things, you cover those costs, either directly with the charity/Dumpster company or we pay it and deduct it from your proceeds (usually no more than $300-$400 in total, if that).
10. What if I or the executor live out-of-state?
We can handle everything by phone and e-mail so not to worry.
11. How long does a sale run?
Most of our sales are open to the public for 2 days, usually Friday and Saturday.
12. When will I receive my money?
We’ll provide you with an accounting immediately after the sale, and we’ll deliver a check within a week to 10 days after the sale.
Thank you for thinking of us!