All About Online Auctions

ARRRGH! How am I going to sell this stuff? Who’s going to buy it? What’s it all worth?

As Move Managers, these are 3 of the most common questions asked when working with clients who are downsizing & divesting themselves of ‘things’. As creatures bred in an acquisition-prone culture, many of us have bought & stored more items than we even remember owning. The day of reckoning finally comes when downsizing and you realize that many things simply can’t & won’t fit into your next place.

Increasingly, one of SAGE’s ‘go-to’ solutions is to coordinate an online auction event for clients through providers such as MaxSold. If you are one of the many who are unsure about online auctions & how they might benefit you, we’d like to offer our perspective.

First, let’s define an online auction event. Unlike eBay or Kijiji where sellers post individual items for sale, an online auction event focuses on selling a collection of items from one client. This is SAGE’s preferred solution when clients want to clear a large number of goods quickly with a minimum of disruption & promote their goods to the widest audience possible. Benefits include:

Ease: Unlike traditional auctions, items never leave the home until the buyer picks them up. Before the auction, a project coordinator will photograph & measure the goods while collecting all relevant data. This information needs to be is accurate & well photographed because it becomes the basis for what the buyer bids on.

Viewing Time: A typical online auction runs for 5-10 days allowing buyers ample time to examine the info, do competitive research & consider their bid. Contrast this to a traditional auction when buyers have a limited preview period followed by mere minutes to bid.

Marketing Muscle: By its’ very nature, online auctions are unlimited in their geographic reach. Running 24/7, they have the ability to reach buyers in any location at any time. In reality though, good online providers understand that most buyers come from geographic areas close to the seller’s location. With this in mind, they tailor their online marketing efforts to reach & influence buyers in this zone.

Value: What’s it all worth? As the saying goes, the value of any property is defined by what someone is willing to pay for it. The Internet has made it possible for anyone with time & interest to verify current values of goods in their market. Ready access to this data helps both buyers & sellers set realistic expectations. Be forewarned that prices of many products continue to decline as boomers flood the market with merchandise. No matter what you think it’s worth, the ultimate arbitrator will be marketplace demand.

If you are downsizing, chances are 100% that you will need to divest yourself of a variety of items. If selling is part of your plan, we encourage you to consider online auctions as one alternative. When part of an overall plan that also includes donation & disposal, an online auction can help match your items with new owners & free you to move one step closer to your new home.




Lessons Learned From the SMM Trenches in 2015

If year-end is a time for reflection, then I have more than the usual amount to reflect on.

SAGE Relocation Services was launched in 2015 with a modest goal of providing Senior Move Management (SMM) services to the communities on the eastern fringes of Toronto.  As a business focused on seniors, we accepted and embraced the fact that the first year would be full of new learning and unexpected lessons.  What we didn’t anticipate was the strong degree of support and interest from our communities.

We are grateful! I’d like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of our clients for entrusting us with their projects.  We appreciate that we became part of your lives at a critical juncture.  Through working with each of you, we learned about each of your unique lives, the characteristics of your generation and the common challenges faced by seniors in transition.  It was a year full of joy and too many ‘AHA’ moments to recount.  

As a small ‘Thank You’ to our clients we’d like to impart a few ‘Sage” lessons learned that are worth sharing.

1.    YOUR home is NOT the messiest, most disorganized, overstuffed or cluttered house known-to-man.  Trust us when we say that we have seen worse - and have been able to create calm order out of seemingly insurmountable chaos.  Our message for new clients is this. “Feel free to invite us into your mess.”  Our job is to bring order to your world so that you can move on.

2.    The word ‘Collecting’ is a verb for a reason.  We have met avid collectors of fascinating artifacts of all description.  While each collection is impressive, the sheer number of items becomes a burden to an owner interested in downsizing.  Our message is this.  “There are creative ways to retain the joy and satisfaction of a collection – while letting go of many of the physical items.” Talk to us to find out how.

3.    Downsizing does not always equal less. It many cases, it equals more! How is this possible you may wonder?  It has been our experience that the clients we have downsized, emerge with a renewed sense of calm, energy and increased happiness.  They tell us this is due to their decision to let go of the previous chapter of life and move forward with less ‘stuff’ and more ‘purpose’.  Downsizing means fewer items to maintain, less housing-related costs, less space to clean and less home maintenance.  Inevitably, our clients state that they should have done it sooner.

These were just 3 of the many lessons we learned.  You are welcome to apply them to your own life.  Talk to us and we’ll be glad to tell you more.

In the meantime, SAGE would like to acknowledge and thank all our clients.  You made 2015 more joyful and meaningful than we could have imagined.  We move forward into 2016 with eager anticipation for the new clients, friends and experiences that lie ahead.