Estate Sales: 30 Day Diary Of An Estate Liquidator Day 16

…Each day for the next 30 days, I will write about my experiences as an Estate Sales Professional…

When interviewing an Estate Sales Professional, always check references – then choose one who cares, can listen, and has a proven track record.

Day 16:

Estate Sales Day Fri: Today is an Estate Sales Day, which means that I am in my car out and about just after the roosters crow, to put up estate sales signs…I cross the mist and fog shrouded Golden Gate Bridge about 8:00am and head up Park Presidio on my way to 19th Ave.

My wonderful wife Valetta and I are driving into the city together…we talk about biz, and the need for a vacation, perhaps the Azores Islands off the coast of Portugal….far from the maddening rush…not likely though, we are at the beginning of the Estate Sales Season here in Northern California…we’ll have to put our thoughts of vacation away for now…

Estate Sales Signs: In the city of San Francisco, there are a laundry list of sign ordinances. Like in most cities, in SF, they are more or less ignored. Which works out for us, mostly because we are respectful, and always remove our signs at the end of each estate sale…However, every once in a while a Sign Vigilante springs up and under the cover of anonymity, and animosity, they will take it upon themselves to enforce the law, by removing all of our signs, even though most of our signs conform to the SF Sign Code.

To date the sign monster has removed and stolen about $1,000.00 worth of our signs. So this morning I am carefully putting up our signs paying closer attention to the letter of the law, to make sure that our estate sales signs stay put…

10:00am: The Estate Sale begins when I open the door, and count out 15 people and let them in like a swift wind from an open sea. It is a literal rush to be the person who opens the door, to see the serious intention on the faces of the first people in line, as they try to gather their bearings and make micro adjustments to their searching strategies in order to be in the right room, that has the right stuff, so that they can have a successful estate sales shopping day.

10:01am: It’s controlled pandemonium now, only one minute after I let these first shoppers in…there are 60 other people in line pressing to get in, and the house begins to hum with the activity of shopping…ten minutes more and I let in another 5 people. Now there are 20 people in the house, and the heat level goes up several notches…5 minutes later I let in 5 more people for a total of 25 people – all shopping, talking – asking questions; their eyes beginning to get that glazed look that comes over a normal human being under stress. But these are estate sales shoppers, no amount of confusion or commotion will stay them from their task of shopping…and shop they do…

10:20am: What was a hum, has become a cacophony, a quickening and escalation of sound…no one has left yet…their voices and the beating of their racing hearts shifts the estate sale into high gear…and it will go on like this for the next 4 hours. Unrelenting.

2:00pm The Line Finally Twiddled: We Begin to think of lunch – perhaps the hardest part of the estate sales day, is that there is never time to take a break, no way to eat your lunch from start to finish without an interruption…I eat my Turkey with Jack Cheese on Focaccia while listening to a man tell me the story of how he met his wife, wonderful woman that she is, at a gun show at the Cow Palace a number of years ago; how this was the most wonderful thing that ever happened to him…I nod, truly interested and take another bite from my sandwich.

5:00pm And All Is Well: We lock the door, a tad worse from the wear, but all the better for the experience…Trade this lifestyle? Not on your life!





All The Best

Martin Codina

Where to Purchase Our Book "Liquidating an Estate"


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