Florida Estate Sale or Florida Estate Auction, What’s Best?

Are you confused on the difference between an Florida estate sale and a Florida estate auction?  Maybe your wondering “what is better for my situation”?  Wondering how much money you will make on your Florida estate sale?  This page will discuss what the difference is between an Florida estate sale and a Florida estate auction. At Prestige Estate Services we are here to answer your questions about Florida estate sales and Florida estate auctions.

Prestige Estate Services answers these questions and deals with many different projects everyday.  As southwest Florida’s leader in personal property and estate liquidation we are regarded by many as “the source” to call to for many different projects when our fellow Floridians need to deal with the personal property within an estate or business.  Prestige can help to identify, what is the best service for your Florida estate situation, whether it be an estate auction with live bidding or a Florida estate sale, where all the items are tagged.

For most of our clients, auctions are not the way to go.  With auctions, all of the little things that are within an estate, are not included in a typical auction.

FOR EXAMPLE: Let’s say you have a new, unopened bottle of laundry detergent that is sitting on the shelf above the washer and dryer.  It’s retail value is $8.99.  At an estate sale, it might be priced and sell around $5.00.  Auctions do not spend the time to start the auction at $0.50.  It’s not worth what the cost is, to auction it.  So, many, if not all, of these lower priced items, are not included in an auction.

Now, let’s look at approximately how many items in the average estate sale there are, that are valued under $25.00.  Would you guess maybe 100, 200 or maybe even 300?  If you guessed 500 to 1,000 or more, you would be correct.  Now let’s take those 1,000 items and say the average value is just a measly $3.00.  That equates to an extra $3,000.00 of profit that just walked out the door when you choose to do a Florida auction instead of a Florida estate sale.

Now I’m not saying estate auctions are bad, heck they are quite fun and we enjoy running them, they are just typically a bad choice for most estates.  If your home is full of $3,000.00, $4,000.00 $5,000.00 or more types of individual items, then an auction, very well may be the best fit.  If you had a rare original1955 pink Cadillac in mint condition you wouldn’t want to just say let’s put a $65,000.00 price tag on it.  You would auction it, because there is a very good chance you will get more for the item, than $65,000.00.  The odds you start a bottle of laundry detergent at $0.50 and it gets bid up to $25.00 is never going to happen.  Nor would any auctioneer spend the time to auction off, an item valued at $4.00 or $5.00.

By now, you probably understand the difference of why an estate sale, tag sale or moving sale (All of which are the same thing, just being held for different reasons.) are typically the best option for most Florida estates.

By having an estate sale over an estate auction you will realize higher profitability because you get to sell all of those smaller valued items along with the car, furniture, art, collectables etc. and that adds up.  If you have none of those things and only have high valued items when maybe you should call us to discuss an estate auction.

Another thing we see many estate auction companies do is
“Cherry-picking” your estate.  DO NOT ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN.  Why does this usually happen?  They are looking at a quick way to make some money off of a few items they know they can sell.  They will find the best pieces, offer cash on the spot for 3, 4, 5 or more of the best items.  Now your left with all the “stuff” that typically sells for a $1,000.00 to $3,000.00 in the average Florida estate sale and no way to sell them because there isn’t enough value to hold a Florida estate sale.  Again, please do not let this happen to you.  There are situations where some estates just don’t have enough to do an estate sale.   Call us today and we can help you make this determination with a free onsite consultation or what we call “a walkthrough”

When you get cherry-picked, you now have all the little stuff and a couple of thousand dollars isn’t enough for a company to hold an estate sale.  So now, you not only can’t sell the stuff that is worth a few thousand dollars but now you have to hire someone for a few thousand dollars to haul all of this little stuff away.  So, you not only got cherry-picked but you also didn’t make the $2,000.00 of value on the items because you didn’t have enough value for a sale and now you have to spend an additional $2,000.00 to get the stuff hauled away.  So at the very least, you are now dealing with a $4,000.00 or more mistake.  Granted, it wasn’t intentional but what was intentional was someone trying to take advantage of the situation.  All of this stuff adds up and this is one of the reasons we tell folks to not donate, or throw anything away, until after we meet for a free walkthrough.


It’s the nicer items that make an estate sale more successful.  When you prevent yourself from being cherry-picked you have all the great items in the sale that people drive out for.  Furthermore, these people show up to buy those great items and they also buy that bottle of detergent for $5.00, along with the broom for $3.00, dvd player for $20.00, the lamp for $15.00 and the tool box for $25.00.

So $5.00 + $3.00 + $20.00 + $15.00 + $25.00 = $67.00 that now sold because the person showed up to look at the car that was for sale at the estate sale and looked around and bought these other items.  The nicer items help to sell the other stuff.

OUR POINT: Don’t get CHERRY-PICKED! Save the great stuff to be included in the sale.  It will help to make you more money in the long run.  We always tell people “We don’t just sell stuff, we sell the items people want and the other stuff sells along with it!”

We always tell folks keep what you want, pass down what items you want to give to the kids, grandkids etc. but understand the more that gets removed from the sale, the less marketable the sale is and the less overall value that can be obtained from your Florida estate sale.

So, estate sale or estate auction, what’s the best solution for your Florida estate?  Well more often than not, a tag sale event or Florida estate sale is much more preferable.  We can handle auctions, and we do them all the time, so, call us if you need an estate auction but most of the time, an estate sale, is the way to go!

Remember, at Prestige Estate Services we can help you to find the best and proper solution for your Florida estate and typically this is a Florida estate sale.  There is not clear-cut or blanket answer for every Florida estate.  It takes years of experience and knowledge on how to prepare an estate sale, find the value in the estate, market the Florida estate sale and handle the sale days appropriately, from crowd management to security.  It takes quite a team to pull of a successful Florida estate sale and Prestige Estate Services is ready to provide our estate services to you with no out of pocket costs and no upfront fees.  We work on a commission basis so it behooves us to sell things for the most money.

Call us today! 239-449-0409

Call Prestige Estate Services today at 239-449-0409