Estate sale enthusiasts, I have spoken with many friendly competitors this week about how the world and estate sales are going to change. There are many unanswered questions that will change the time normally needed to set up an estate sale.
How long does the virus stay on different surfaces?
How long does it really take to catch the virus after exposure?
How many people have or have had it and don’t know?
If you have had it, can you get it again?
Will it mutate to a different more resistant virus for the next flu season?
How do we keep ourselves and our employees and customers safe from this?
When will the donation centers reopen?
What will the donation centers actually accept?
What will people really want and or need to buy after months of not working?
Will the trash dumps re-open and at what cost?
What will the world do with all this stuff and how can we recycle it?
All valid questions. It’s a "wait and see" kind of business right now. How much time will need to be invested to help those who have sold their homes, or families liquidating an inherited home is really the biggest concern. How do are we going to help people in need without risking anyone’s life?
I, for one, have Type 2 Diabetes. It is under control with weight loss, good diet, and exercise, but has my body’s immune system been compromised enough to be susceptible to the disease? How do we ask more from our workers than we ourselves are willing to undertake?
The solution of non-interaction transactions and selling items online seems to be an interesting idea. An item is sold, the buyer pays for it and then picks up the items at a designated time and location. One concern is if the buyer sees the item they purchased and decides it’s not what they thought it was. They touch it and leave it behind. Now the transaction is canceled, the item must be disinfected again and this is more time involved and cost to the seller. Is this a good social distancing solution?
Estate sale enthusiasts love the hunt, poking around, and snooping in people’s homes. The seller will lose extra income by having an online sale. Where do the Tupperware, chemicals, and household goods go? How do you get rid of all the essential everyday kitchenware that people would buy just by driving by the sign thinking, “Hmm, I need some Pyrex containers for baking. Let’s see if that sale has it instead of buying retail”.
The challenge will difficult to find homes for those items in the months to come without filling our already overfilled landfills. Paxem’s Estate Sale Mavens are working on those solutions.