Estate and Tag Sales

Jeff on Auction Block

This section has been designed to assist in deciding that an auction is the best way to liquidate your items. Remember that this is an opinion based article but through research and experience these are some notible items worth mentioning to a potential seller.

A) Value of items and pricing is usually done by one or two people. A “fair market” price placed on an item no-way guarantees that an item will sell. At auction, an item WILL sell in a competitive means which may generate more revenue than previously thought.

B) Generally the public is granted complete unsupervised access to all levels, rooms, and all locations of the sellers home on sale days. Many famalies are not comfortable of the thought that strangers are wandering thru a loved ones home searching every inch for that “treasure”, looking thru every inch of the home.

C) Estate sales are UNREGULATED industry void of any state licensing and registration requirements. Simply stated there are no written contract requirements documenting revenue or expenditures or mandating that money is put into escrow until seller is paid.

D) A limited number of people are allowed into the facility at a time. Some potential buyers line up very early, wait for hours and do not even have the opportunity to purchase the best items. the saddest part is that most of these buyers would have paid more than the item sold for. Also, intermittently the best items are sold prior to sale day(s) and the general public never has the opportunity to buy them. Plus multiple estate sale days do not create any urgency. At auction the goods are sold THAT DAY, the public knows when and where due to a solid advertising campaign. Estate sale advertising campaign is usually in the “garage-yard sale” section while auction ads are much bigger and have are more informative.

Here are a few more random thoughts on how The Jeff Pennington Auction Service can help decide that the auction method is BEST:

1)Prices are decided by the public in a live, competitive process that involves many people deciding the price versus one or two opinions.

2) Auctioneers in Pennsylvania must attend one of two designated state colleges and pass a Licensing Bureau auctioneer test, or apprentice under a licensed auctioneer for two years, participate in at least 30 auctions, then pass the state board exam to become a licensed auctioneer. Estate sellers DO NOT HAVE TO MEET ANY requirements.

3) Auctions are open to the public. Everyone attending has the opportunity to purchase every item as it crosses the auction block. At an estate sale “the early bird gets the worm” and the seller loses. Also at auction the customer who has the most money buys the item, not the one who sees the item first.

4) Remember the word AUCTION is an ACTION word. The human eye has the potential to gravitate to it first. It brings the urgency of RIGHT NOW to mind. The public knows when the auction starts and knows that it is over when all items are sold. All potential buyers know that each and everyone may bid on the item being sold.

At some point you may consider these talking points when deciding to liquidate inventory or settle an estate. And, we know that every situation is different but there is only ONE chance to settle or liquidate. It is vital to gather information and facts.


Member of the Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association


Jeff Pennington Auction Service
1902 Williams Drive
New Castle, PA 16101

PA Lic.# AU005490 & RY000961