Frequently Asked Questions
Alpha Estate Sales was formed in 1983, however, Bob Baker, the president of the company, has long been associated with the selling, appraising and collecting of antiques. Bob began his career in 1970 when he opened a small shop in Chattanooga, Tn. Relocating to Huntsville in 1975, he has continued his involvement in the antique business until today. Around 1998 he and Gary Knight began their partnership in the company and continue today. Gary is well versed in antiques as well as collectibles with his long term interest and eventually became the official auctioneer for the company. Although we specialize in antiques, we also are well versed in the selling of used furniture and miscellaneous items found in every household. Alpha also has a team of employees dedicated to making every sales event a positive experience for all involved. If others offer you estate sales service for less than Alpha, it only stands that you will be getting less service for your money! We are the best, ask around.
Below is from a very recent client:
My experience with Alpha Estate Sales was excellent. Gary, Bob and the rest of the Alpha team helped me get through the difficult task of preparing my father's house for sale.
When my father passed away, I lived far away with no family in town. Alpha was perfect for the situation. The sale was very successful, helping to find new homes for most of the items, as well as raise money for the estate, leaving the house ready for sale.
The Alpha team is highly professional and knowledgeable. Their service is turn-key, and their pricing is fair. I highly recommend them.
David and Erika Bockelman
Never settle for less than great service
If you are being quoted a low price for others claiming to provide you with the same service as Alpha Estate Sales, ask them how they can afford to do the job for so much less. Ask them about insurance, research, staging, marketing, experience and seasoned staff. We provide nothing but excellent service. Unlike other "estate sale" companies, we offer our customers charge card service and we take checks! Our sales are computer controlled where we can tell our clients what their items sell for. All of our customers receive printed receipts for their purchases. No scribbling numbers on legal pads! Now, may we help you? email@example.com
Frequently Asked Questions
Q I noticed several companies in the same business as Alpha Estate Sales but they have no one person named or history of their company. How do you respond to that?
A We are an open book. Our president and other members of our team are well known and out there so that you know who you are dealing with. Bob Baker, Gary Knight, Billy Blankenship and Arecia Jones have been leaders or associates of this company for years. All of us can be found either by googling our names or for instance on Facebook!
Q Another company has offered to do the sale for less money than your company. They promise the same results. How can they do this?
A Don't be fooled by low bidders. If you need medical attention, wouldn't you go to a specialist? Alpha has a full time staff, our customers get 100% attention to detail. We usually do not have 2 or 3 sales going on at one time, and if we do, we concentrate on giving each of our sales and clients the best service possible. No hidden fees. If they are charging you 75% less, then it stands to reason you are going to get 75% less service.
Q How will you advertise any sale you take to make sure the items are offered to the most people who might be interested in them?
A This web site is viewed and visited by up to 10,000 visitors a month, we also place ads on other estate sale Internet sites such as estatesales.net (15,000 visitors) and auctionzip.com, paid Facebook ads, plus we have a large email list we have developed with over 800 contacts. No one else can offer you this coverage!
Q Is this an "on line" auction on the Internet?
A No, we don't think that is the best choice for a client overall. Internet bidding can become complicated by buyers reluctant on bidding high for items they cannot see or touch. We are, however, now developing an online Internet auction of certain items. Our sales are usually held in your home or the subject property for 3 days. With our compressed sale time, they have to make up their minds and often pay what is marked on the item! We also offer charge card buying, that helps our customers who may not have the ready cash to purchase a larger more expensive item. We of course, take checks and cash and credit cards which allows customers "impulse buying"!
Q How long does it take to get the property ready to have a sale?
A Once we have the contract and the key, we need approximately 2-3 weeks depending on the condition of the home or apartment.
Q Do I need to move out of my home?
A Absolutely not! Although having an estate or downsizing sale in your home can be extremly invasive of your space and privacy, it can be accomplished while you live in the house. We usually suggest an area for you to keep your personal items in that are not to be sold and the room locked at all times during the sale. Large items that cannot be relocated in the "keep space" can be left where they site usually and marked "retained by family".
Q What do I need to do?
A Decide on what you want to keep and get us a key, sign our simple two page contract and include any legal documents allowing you to sell, lets say, a relatives personal property.
Q Do I need to move the things I want to keep?
A Usually large items you intend to keep can remain until after the sale. Small items need to be removed from house or secured in a room or closet.
Q Do I need to clean out the drawers, closets, attic and storage rooms?
A No. We prefer that you leave all that to us, for many times, clients throw away hundreds of dollars worth of antique and collectible items. Photos and personal letters or files are not discarded but placed aside for you to dispose of or reconsider.
Q Do I need to be at the sale?
A Seeing a loved ones belongings sold can be a very emotional experience. We welcome you to be there but most of the time feel it is in your best interest not to assist with the sale.
Q What happens to the items that are not sold?
A These are donated to a local charity with the tax write off receipt filled in with your name and this is given to you later. Most donated items fall into the "garage sale leftover" status. We sell most everything of any value.
Q Do I have to donate these items?
A No. You may keep them. However, if you keep the items, it may interfere with our "cleaning out the house". Some items may be left in the rooms where they were located as we do not relocate sofa beds and other heavy furniture items to garages but rather let the charity take them away from where they sit.
Q Do I have to pay any money up front?
A No, our fees come from the proceeds of the sale, you pay us nothing. We pay all advertising. If the house is quite full of items with little if any value, we do have a charge for dumpster rental. These fees run from $100 and up. In cleaning out the "junk" people are allowed to find the other more valuable items in the home or apartment during the course of the sale.
Q When am I paid my portion of the proceeds?
A In approximately three weeks after the closing of the sale.
Q Will I have any idea of what you sold and how much it sold for?
A Yes, we provide you with a computer print out of the sale with the larger items being easily identified. This is sent along with your check.
Q Do I need any documents to show proof I am authorized to sell someone else's items?
A Yes, we need to see a letter of testamentary or a power of attorney and have a copy of this document to file when you sign the contract agreeing to let Alpha handle the sale.
Q There are several paintings signed by the artist. Are these worth anything?
A We thoroughly research all works of art to find their value.
Q Is an Estate Sale an auction?
A No. We individually tag the items and the sale is open to the public.
Q Do people come into the house or apartment?
A We have a buyer/entry number system and allow only 40 or so people at a time into the home. When two leave two more are let in.
Q What about small items of value, won't they be stolen?
A We take extra care to place small valuables in showcases where buyers are assisted when they want to inspect an item.
Q How long does the sale last?
A We usually plan a three day event for best and highest sales volume. We begin on a Thursday evening at full price for 2 hours, Friday all day at full price in the morning and 25% discount in the afternoon. On the Saturday of the sale (the last day) we sell items at 50% discount. This discounting structure yields the seller the most money for all items.
A Another estate sale company does a one day sale. Why can't you do the estate sale in one day?
Q A one day sale could prove to not be in a clients’ best interest. We do not feel this yields the highest gross sales amount for our clients. Our customers are busy people, some can attend the Thursday afternoon event, others can only come on Friday or Saturdays.
Q Do you let anyone purchase items before the sale begins?
A Absolutely NO early sales. By not allowing early sales, our customers know if they are first in line, they have a shot at getting that item(s) they have been longing for often seen in our online Internet ads or emails.