Auction or Tag Sale?

Resolving a loved one’s estate can be a difficult and time consuming task. We can help by handling every aspect of the sale, from planning and marketing to cleaning and display to the execution of the sale, with each step designed to bring you maximum results.

There are three ways you can choose to conduct the sale:

  1. A tag sale, where each item is marked with a price and buyers peruse the items at set times;
  2. An auction, where we work to elicit the best price for each of your items at public auction; or
  3. A combination of the two.We can handle each of these items for you. Before you make your choice, however, we ask you to consider the value of an auction. It is more than just a means to the sale — it is the best way!

An auction could be your best choice when you have property you would like to move fast, and an auction can benefit both seller and buyer:

  • People come to an auction ready to buy;
  • Quick sale means less time and less storage space before the sale;
  • Enlarges the market of prospective buyers;
  • Creates fun competition among buyers;
  • Guarantees prompt payment;
  • Established marketing program means better visibility;
  • Potential for smart investments;
  • Buyers determine the price;
  • Elimination of extended negotiations;
  • Fair competition with equitable terms for all buyers.

Rich Haas, a member of the Auctioneers Hall of Fame, explains:

There is no more efficient or fair means of liquidating an estate or a family’s belongings than a household or estate auction. Here are some facts to be considered; if someone tags an item too low, the seller may never know, because someone else quickly buys it up. If on the other hand, the price is too high, it doesn’t sell. The estate or the owner is stuck with it. The only true way of arriving at fair market value is to establish that value between two or more interested parties. If you will look at the value of an automobile, a U.S. Treasury bond or the works of Van Gogh, you will see that it is an auction that established those values. Auctions are the basis of value for almost every type of goods in the world today. Value of stocks, bonds, precious metals, commodities, livestock, antiques, the priceless of the world, real estate and yes even humble household goods are arrived at in a competitive auction bidding. Traditionally, tag sales are advertised with a few lines in the local paper. This might work if all that was being sold was simple household goods. An auctioneer maintains specialized mailing lists that reach people who buy specific items. The auctioneer also utilizes publications that are targeted to specific markets. There is no licensing or bonding required for “tag sales”. They are not governed by a strict code of ethics or set of by-laws such as the National or State Auctioneer Associations. They have no continuing education programs required by state law in most states/provinces. The auctioneer is continually striving to upgrade his or her skills. A tag sale can disrupt housekeeping for as much as three (3) weeks. With most auctions, the auctioneer can help by coming into the home and handling the set-up a few days before the auction. The merchandise is cleaned if necessary and displayed. On the day of auction, the owners are presented with the money and the sales clerks sheets, which are the only honest accurate amounts for everything sold as well as who bought what. All of this work performed by the auctioneer and staff is at a much smaller cost than a “tag sale”. In most cases, the so called “junk” or the “miscellaneous items” will bring in more than enough dollars to cover the expense of advertising an auction. Remember, these are the very same items leftover at the end of a tag sale for you to send to the dump. Everything sells! No need to pack up and haul off to the dump or to a dealer for pennies. Not only is an auction fairer to the seller, it is fairer to the buyer. At a tag sale, only the first person in line (or many times the “tag sellers” help) have an opportunity to buy every item. At an auction, the items are offered for sale and every person present has an equal opportunity to purchase. Because of open competitive bidding, the seller never has to worry about selling too cheap, and the buyer never has to worry about paying too much. Think about it! In short, an auction is the best way to bring together a willing buyer and a willing seller, which fulfills the true definition of “True Fair Market Value.”

We agree! Let us work hard to elicit the best return for your dollar. It’s the best way – for you and our valued buyers. Contact us if you’d like more information about scheduling your action.

Thank you,

Darrell Ridgely,

Auctioneer and Real Estate Broker