Estate Sale or Auction

Estate Sale, Auction, Buy Out? What's the Difference 618-233-1000

Question? Should I have an Estate Tag Sale, Auction or Buyout?

The biggest differentials are licensing, credentials, their business, economics, buyer competition, left overs and final reconciliation. 

Licensing: Estate Sale Companies are typically unlicensed, except for a city license, and rarely have any formal credentialed learning. Auctioneers are typically Licensed and Members of the National Auctioneers Association (NAA) abide by a strict Code of Ethics. Like Palatium Auctioneers® some of these people might have verifiable learning and training credentials. Be sure to ask.

Employees:  Be sure your to find out how the the Estate Sale Company pays their help. Do they allow deep discounts on your items for their helpers and assistants.

Transparency: Is the Estate Sale transparent?  Is the sale of your items verifiable? Will you receive receipts of the transactions? What is the trail of activity from beginning to end? Hoe are sale prices negotiated? When are deep 50%-75% discounts applied?

Their Business: Ask if the Estate Sale Company has another business? Find our if they have a store, shop or booth in an antique mall, do they sell on eBay or any online service. Many Estate Sale owners use the estate sale as away to find resaleable merchadise at bargain prices to re-sell. That is where they earn their money. Maybe that's why their fees may seem so cheap?

Economics: All have a purpose but the Auction method typically is the most economical way to liquidate a household or a business. Seller friendly Auctions generate competition for the assets between buyers bringing the highest fair market value for the items and most of the items are sold.  Estate or Tag Sales are Buyer Friendly letting the Buyer negotiate the terms and the price of the goods. Most Estate Sale companies reduce the prices of the merchandise as the sale progresses and time runs out as much as 75%. There are items remaining which need to be dealt with incurring Additional Seller costs for clean out.

Reserves: Sellers worry that at an auction they will give their stuff away. Items can be protected by a reserve but is rarely necessary with a well managed and marketed Auction. There is a higher chance items will be given away at an estate sale which is Buyer Friendly.

Reconciliation Inventory Receipts:  Reconciliations after an Estate Sale rarely allow the Seller to know what items sold for.  The reconciliation after an auction provide the Seller with an itemization of the tickets which include the sale items and amount sold.


Call Cathy Roesch 314-690-1978 Auctioneer - Appraiser

Call Cathy Roesch at 618-406-2065 for an evaluation and Email pictures of your project to

Hows It Work

The Auction Method of Selling
A specific day is set for the auction and everything will sell that day with a group of buyers COMPETING for every item up for bid. For an estate with quality antiques and collectibles, a public auction beats all other forms of liquidation. Conversely, for household items and yard sale merchandise, an auction is less of an option, although can be very effective to sell lots of goods in a liquidation clean out.

An Estate or Tag Sale
Someone (likely not a Credentialed Appraiser of Value) will establish a price for each item and open the property to buyers.  There is a lot of time, effort and expense involved with pricing everything and once the sale begins customers ask and demand "will you take" competing the buyer vs. the seller. As the sale progresses the buyers know that the seller's sale position weakens each hour as the purpose of the estate sale is to sell and get rid of the stuff. If the company conducting the tag sale does not negotiate a price once it has been set everything will not sell.
An Estate Buyout Easy Button
Is typically only beneficial to the individual doing the buyout. You will not obtain the highest return as they are almost always re-salers and are only looking to make a profit for themselves while providing the estate with a minimal value for the items.

What will you do with the leftovers? An Estate Sale / Tag Sale is like a glorified Garage Sale with loads of stuff left over after it's done! Someone will get the leftovers for a pittance.

At Auction

Almost everything sells, even your nuts, bolts, screws, plastic, etc. You'll have the satisfaction of knowing the public bid on your items FAIRLY and no employee had a chance to buy it first without competition a common practice of estate sale companies!

If you are the Administrator of the Estate, it’s your responsibility to obtain the most for the estate in a fair and reasonable manner. Accountability to other family members and the courts should require a detailed inventory and accounting of what’s sold and who purchased it.

Two questions:
1. "Why do Dealers sleep in front of a house about to open for a Estate Sale / Tag Sale?" It's because they know they'll be able to "steal" it (get it for less than it's worth) at an unfair price from your estate or home.

2. Would you rather have ONE person, usually the tag sale manager, price your possessions, or would you rather have  fifty people bidding up the price and giving you the truly Fair Market Value of your items at Auction?

Think about this:
There's a reason why the Internal Revenue Service and the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice considers Auctions as the source for comparables in determining FAIR Market VALUE.....and not Estate Sales!

Palatium Auctions® is licensed, credentialed, and insured

We take the stress out of your decision in choosing the best qualified and most reputable auction company. Best of all, everything will be sold by the end of the day.

Initial consultation and evaluation is free.

Learn more:
Call Cathy Roesch for a free assessment 618-233-1000 or at

Corporate Headquarters
Midwest Region - St Louis MO

Palatium Auctions® and Liquidations
Cathy Roesch, Auctioneer, CAGA Appraiser Business Card
Paul Roesch, Auctioneer, Realtor, Appraiser,
CAI, CES, ATS, BAS, AARE, GPPA, CAGA, USPAP compliant Business Card
314-690-1978 office
618-406-2065 cell


 Free Mailing List of Upcoming Palatium Auctions®