During our most recent sale, the idea that taking a good, long look makes a difference was reinforced. We learned yet again that you just never know what you will see if you take the time to look!
Taking a look is a process to be sure. At Next Chapter Estate Sales and Household Transitions, the first step is finding everything and then determining how others can find it. We start the process by looking inside, behind and in everything. We look inside drawers, behind filing cabinets, in attics, under pieces of furniture, behind filing cabinet drawers, and in every nook and cranny of every piece we find. Looking inside pocket book pockets is important, for example. The thrill of the hunt is the fun part for us!
After we discover everything, our team places it in the space where we believe it will be displayed. (Of course, that changes as we continue finding more hidden treasures.) Since we are creating a retail “store,” of sorts, we understand that presentation makes everything sell. How a piece is displayed is important, and organizing the room is part of that process. Presentation helps add credibility to the pricing structure, and makes what Next Chapter does very different from yard sales, auctions and flea markets.
After our team is pleased with the presentation, we then evaluate the pieces and price everything. Pricing is the most involved part of the process because it includes not only the physical process of pricing but also evaluating the market value. The Next Chapter team uses a number of resources for evaluating price, and researching pieces can take time. Of course, we feel it’s the most important step!
During a recent sale, we found a signed and numbered print of some brightly colored parrots. It didn’t look all that impressive, but we always research artists to determine value. In this case, what looked like just another tropical print for a beach house turned out to be a piece from a prominent New Orleans artist. Three other prints we found by three different artists also were more than they appeared to be, and we realized yet again how taking a good look pays off.
There are lots of other stories we could share! We’ve had a number of instances where a family heirloom is found in the bottom of a box underneath Tupperware, or where valuable costume jewelry was stuck in a shoe box underneath some ratty old shoes. Taking the time to look and then reviewing the pieces after they are found has revealed some real treasures.
We’ve learned time and again that the moral to the story is to never assume anything, and look through everything. Being detailed is important. When you find it, taking the time to determine what you have found is why we love what we do!