What are our Customers Saying?
During a busy period of helping customers with their estate clearances and downsizing projects, we noticed some interesting conversation on the topic. Almost every customer who has found themselves in the situation of having to clear out their house have agreed that the process is hard! Before picking up the phone to call Canard Solutions, every single client has attempted to tackle the job on their own. They have tried the usual routes of garage sales, online offerings, and selling through auction houses. And while some have had a bit of success with these endeavours, many have found it a frustrating waste of time.
When it comes to garage sales, many customers tell the same story (one that we have heard time and time again). Their garage sales have attracted “professional” buyers early in the day who pick out the prize pieces from the collection. It’s great to make a sale, sure – however, everyone else coming through is less inclined to sift through the remaining items and will take off after a quick glance around.
To keep people interested, it is a good idea to place high prices on the “premium” goods. One can always reduce the price later in the day if need be but if there are particularly interesting goods in the collection it encourages people to rummage through everything else in the hope of identifying “objet of interest”.
In regards to online sales, we can sum up all our customers thoughts in one word: tedious. Facebook Marketplace, eBay, and Gumtree are all great places to list an item. But listing it is just the easy part! There is a lot of work involved with online sales. Buyers are often only interested in comparing prices rather than making actual purchases. Online sales also require a lot of back and forth with messages. Trying to answer the barrage of questions, or trying to tee up appointments for inspections or collection. And then a lot of the time the buyer runs late or doesn’t show up at all! It is a very time consuming process. While it may work well for just one or two items, it is not a good idea to try for an entire estate!
Donating goods can be tricky, too! A lot of people are used to the good ol’ days where they could offload all their unwanted furniture and belongings to the Salvos who would happily take it off their hands. Unfortunately, as a lot of our customers have found out, it is not so simple any more. Charities have become overrun with second-hand goods. They simply have too much! As a result, they have become rather picky in what donations they will accept as they want to ensure they can sell it. They will often reject goods with marks, scuffs, or other minor damage. Many clients have attempted to make a drop-off only to be turned away.
There are charities such as our donation partners – Western Emergency Relief Network (WERN), and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) who will generally accept most goods presented. However, depending on your location or transportation means it can be difficult arranging a drop-off.
In regards to auction houses, a lot of customers have reported difficulty in consigning their goods. While auction sales can be a great avenue for selling your things, furniture auctions have become increasingly popular and the auction houses have become overwhelmed with goods, too! Consequently, they either set minimums for the value of goods they will accept, or simply not accept consignments of small value at all.
With all this to consider, there is a real risk that downsizing or clearing an estate can take weeks or months to complete the whole task. This can be problematic if you are downsizing and have to move homes in a certain time-frame. It can also take even longer if it is a deceased estate for sale, as the family usually do not live in the house to pack and sort goods in their leisure and need to take time out of their days to visit the home in question. The entire process can be painful and emotionally draining, not to mention time-consuming and frustrating!
We are not surprised to hear our customers have all had similar experiences. Selling one’s home, downsizing, or clearing an estate is not a task that one does too many times in one’s life. This is why so many people are unsure of where to start, what to do, and where to go. All clients who have contacted us have been relieved when the monumental task set out before them is done for them, hassle-free!
Much like Canard Solutions, there are a few other businesses taking an interest in providing a holistic solution for house clearances and downsizing. If you want to dodge the headache, it is well worth contacting a professional to see how they can help you with your project.