Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.
A. Estate Sales, Moving Sales and Downsizing Sales. Moving Storage Units into your house for a larger Estate Sale and then liquidating it all.
Q. Describe three recent jobs you've completed.
A. Since I do 26 to 30 Estate Sales in one year it is really difficult to describe any one. The best thing to do is to go to my website and slick on Completed Sales. There you will actually see the major inventory that we had and the pictures of the sale before it started. Pictures are definitely worth 1,000 words.
Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. Ask a lot of questions. Make sure you are comfortable with the person who will perform the major tasks that you have in mind. Make a list of questions that you would like answered before you talk by phone. There are three that I recommend.
1). How long have you been in Business?
2). How many Estate Sale do you do in pone year?
3). Do you have your own Web Site?
Make sure their quote includes all the fees, that there are no hidden costs. The home visit should be FREE!
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. That cheaper is not necessarily better. Sometimes companies bid low just to get the job. Sometimes they are just starting out and hope that you do not ask for a web-site, testimonials, references, etc. Remember to know who you are dealing with, check them out. Do they walk their talk or are they just "ALL Talk"!
Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?
A. Do you Travel to my area?
Do we have enough stuff to have an Estate Sale? (most have a minimum amount)
Do you have a Web-Site? (managed by you)
How long have you been in Business?
How many Sales do you do a one year?
How do you charge?
Do you have time on your calendar?
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. This is a very important question. What do you want to accomplish?
If it is an Estate, Moving, or Downsizing sale:
What time frame do we have? Do we have at least two weeks? What type of items; Furniture & Household items; Antiques, Collectables, Vintage, Clothing, Odd & Ends, the Unusual, Comics, Toys, Jewelry . . . , etc. So many questions that need to be addressed. Also; Never throw anything away before I see the house. It has been my experience that most people start to donate, give away or throw away before the estate sale is even held or called in to take a look. BIG MISTAKE! Those things amount to between $2,000 to $4,000 being thrown, given to donated that could have been in their pocket. The time to donate is after the Estate Sale - not before.
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. We go the extra mile in a lot of areas. Along with having years of experience I care about what my clients want to accomplish and try my very best to bring that into reality. I am a good listener and try to always go that extra mile for them. Just read my testimonials on my website and I believe you will come to the same conclusion.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. The enjoyment of helping people accomplish their goals and helping them achieve what they envision by bring that vision into reality. Sometimes tough decisions need to be made. Helping people is what ClutterBlasters is all about. Most of my clients are wonderful people who have a situation that is sometimes just too much for them at that time. It can be very emotional. I can help them through that. I'm a people person and my clients and customers seem to know that.
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A. How long will it take? Usually it's a two week process to do an Estate Sale justice. In order to get the house organized, staged, priced, trash hauled out, advertise and promoted. We take great promotional pictures and by the way we are the only ones that I know of that do Virtual Tours. Our customers and former clients love it
Q. Do you have a favorite story from your work?
A. I had a client who lived in a home for 50 years. This person had three generations of stuff accumulated and stacked so neatly in every room that for most people it would have been overwhelming. The home had become a storage facility. It was like three homes under one roof. As we started to de-clutter and organize the stuff in the house the items seemed to grow. As with most projects the home gets even more disorganized before it gets better. We also found a significant amount of money, almost $6,000 tucked in books, cards and between papers. We also found the lost diamond ring. Needless to say it was a very successful sale and the family was very grateful.
Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?
A. We are able to envision the outcome. What the client wants to accomplish becomes a reality even though sometimes it may even seem impossible. We listen, take a walk through the property and execute a plan..
Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?
A. As I said before; I enjoy helping people and seeing what they want to accomplish and help to make that happen. The service that ClutterBlasters offers I see as a process which has been with me since a child. Those talents where defiantly what helped to make me successful in corporate; which was in Manufacturing/Operations, Retail, Consulting and Recruitment. It has made the tasks that ClutterBlasters needs to preform much easier to preform and accomplish. I enjoy the work and I believe that is an essential ingredient to this business because the work can be very physical and strenuous. You wear many different hats in the Estate Sale Business and you defiantly have to enjy that. Remember I started ClutterBlasters just for you!
Q. Tell us about a recent job you did that you are particularly proud of.
A. An Estate Sale that consisted of years of collecting, art, antiques collectable books and lots of high-end MISC items. With more than 1,600 people attending the sale. It included a two story home, with a triple garage along with a shed and two storage facilities. We managed to consolidate all of the physical locations and ended up having a very successful three day Estate Sale.
Q. Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?
A. Yes, I keep updated on the changing prioritizing and popular collecting market. I also have extensive experience with people who have ADD and ADHD along with those suffering from depression. I work with other professionals like Lawyers and Doctors and Social Workers. I visit my completion, know that appraised value is for insurance purposes and market value is possibly what the item might sell for. You still have to find that "one" buyer who is willing to pay the asking price for that item.
Q. What are the latest developments in your field? Are there any exciting things coming in the next few years or decade that will change your line of business?
A. There are many interesting and exciting changes that exist today. I find that many of my clients are liquidating to a minimalist living style. People no longer want so much "Stuff". tIt seems like the older workers and the retired are all about about downsizing. THey are not wanting their storage units any more. Many people who are relocating so not have a "Free/Paid Move" as before. So it dose not pay to move all their stuff. The families who have had loved ones die are finding that your children and other relatives do not want what has been left by their loved ones. So times are definitely changing. My job is to make it as painless and comfortable as possible for all involved.
Q. Describe your most recent project, what it involved, how much it cost, and how long it took.
A. Most projects are very different with many overlapping solutions and circumstances. However, the most recent involved cleaning out unoccupied rooms (used as storage) a double garage and a large enclosed patio room stacked floor to ceiling. We are talking about 35 years of stuff. The owner engaged a large dumpster and we filled it . We looked over mountains of stuff in every nook and cranny for about one week, then the following week we had a great Estate Sale.
Q. If you have a complicated pricing system for your service, please give all the details here.
A. My pricing system is very straight forward. I do like to talk with my clients first and then I visit them at their location approximately for 1 hour. This is required in order to accomplish what they desire. Sometimes the need to charge a prep fee is necessary it greatly depends on the situation, I usually only charge a percentage when conducting and Estate Sale.
Q. If you were advising someone who wanted to get into your profession, what would you suggest?
A. Having experience in retail, pricing, cleaning, staging, operations, research, process, enjoy puzzles, along with good common sense is essential. A real people person personality is essential. You must understand human behavior and really like helping people through sometimes some very tough situations. You must be able to thrive on doing a good to excellent job in some very challenging surroundings. After talking with many potential professionals about this business - most do not have a clue how much work this business really is.
Q. What is your greatest strength?
A. Knowing what needs to happen when. The entire Estate Sale process is very important. You either have it or you don't.
Q. What are you currently working on improving?
A. Streamlining the entire process. I'm always about updating, changing the process in order to help the revenue for the client and making it easier for my customers.
Q. Write your own question and answer it.
A. Why am I doing this work instead of working at something else?
I enjoy helping people and solving problems along with making what seems; the impossible happen. I consider this business a privilege; helping people overcome what to them seems impossible. It's at times like a ministry. You have to have a passion for helping people. Although each project (Estate Sale) is different there are also many similarities. We are good at what we do and my clients think so too . . . just read my testimonials located on my web site. Contact; Donna at ClutterBlasters when you require an Estate Sale, DownSizing or Moving Sale.
Q. Write your own question and answer it.
A. What do you like about Estate Sales?
If you enjoy finding quality items, collecting quality items and finding (hunting) for the unusual you will enjoy Estate Sales. There are many customers that never shop the mall they buy all their Christmas, Birthday, Anniversary, etc presents at Estate Sale. Many items are NEW or only used once. So if you like shopping, bargain hunting, or watching fpr sales you will definitely enjoy becoming an "Estate Sale Junkie"
Q. Write your own question and answer it.
A. What make you continue in this business. Helping people liquidate their stuff. Remember George Carlin? He had a skit that was all about people moving there stuff from one place to another. Never getting ride of it and always accumulating more. Go to U-Tube and you will find it there. That is why I help people. It can be so overwhelming, and today people are so busy they just do not have time.