How Does MAX SOLD Work?
MaxSold is an online auction company that helps you sell your unwanted and unneeded things, in a relatively short period of time.
It works best when you have lots of stuff – they suggest at least 50 “lots” (or groupings of items). So if you do – don’t donate items beforehand, hold onto it for the auction.
The money you earn from the auction can mitigate the cost of removing unwanted belongings, while giving you access to some cash. But be aware – this effort can require up-front work!
Keep expectations reasonable – Grandma’s mahogany furniture will not sell for anything near what she paid for it – the market has changed, younger people don’t always want the “brown furniture.”
Two Options – MaxSold-managed and Seller-managed.
MaxSold–managed– they manage the whole project from beginning to end. This includes coming to your home to identify lots, photograph everything, and write up descriptions. A big plus is their experience in knowing what is valuable – what jewelry is actually gold, what is not; the value of antiques and vintage furniture, clothes, books, etc.
MaxSold then posts the auction on their site for one week during which they market extensively to estate sales and collectors’ sites. They supervise pick-up at the end of the week, so you really don’t have to do much. There is a fee of $700 for this, and they also take a 30% commission on gross sales.
Seller-managed – you are responsible for all of the photography, catalogue descriptions, and pick-up coordination. MaxSold posts your auction items on the site and does all the marketing. The fee for this is $300 or 30% of gross sales, whichever is greater.
Preparing for Auction
- Clearly mark items to be sold.
- All furniture should be empty (dressers, bookshelves, file cabinets etc.)
- Pre-sort items by type – group like with like
- Boxed items should be removed and easy to see
- Clearly mark or secure items not for sale
- Pair less desirable things with those more likely to sell.
- Anything “connected” like light fixtures, built-in items must be disconnected
- Important! Do the pre-sorting and start grouping lots to make it easy for MaxSold, or they will charge you for the sorting when they get there.
Cataloguing Day and Pre-Auction
The MaxSold staffers come to your home, where you show them all the things you want included in the auction. They’ll then sort into groupings of “lots” using their expertise and some tools to value the items, and photograph everything.
It takes a day or two for them to create a catalogue with descriptions for everything. You have a chance to review the descriptions, which is highly recommended. Feel free to add in any history you know (“Great-granpa got this during WWI in Germany” or “this was the first Beatles album”) that could contribute to the item’s value.
This is your last chance to make any changes in the items, or remove anything you’ve changed your mind about. After you approve the catalogue, it goes up on the site and cannot be changed.
Everything in the auction starts at $1 – that’s one of the things that makes it so popular. Make sure you’re OK with this before you add in anything to the auction list.
The MaxSold website posts the auction catalogue online for a period of one week. They promote the auction using social media as well as on classified advertising websites, along with targeted estate sales and collectors groups. Your auction will also be accessed by the bidders through the MaxSold bi-weekly email newsletter.
You can follow along and watch how it’s going, but keep in mind – 40%-60% OF ALL BIDS are placed on the LAST DAY, in the last few hours of the auction (with a good proportion of those happening in the last few minutes). If you are reviewing bids prior to this, you are likely seeing less than half the result.
How can you help your auction? If you wish to help market your auction, share this link via email, Facebook, twitter, etc. with your network (co-workers, friends, family, etc.) and encourage them to do the same. Although pick-up is limited to the designated day and location, it’s possible for someone to hire a proxy to do this for them, if they really want the item.
Preparing for Pick-Up Day
If you live in a gated community, condo or apartment complex, make sure you get any necessary permissions from management. Ask for a written approval letter that can be scanned and sent to MaxSold several days in advance of pick-up.
You may also need to arrange elevator access if you’re in a high-rise building. Find out if your building has any restrictions for pick up vehicles, like height, weight, loading dock, etc.
Make arrangements for the crew to have access to any locked doors or concierge/guard/key codes so you can assure the security of your neighbors during pick-up.
The MaxSold crew arrives around 45 minutes in advance of the opening to set up. Typically they post branded signs in front of the home or in the parking lot to show people where to go. A crew member is positioned in front of the door to answer questions and give directions.
Once the buyers enter the home a crew member asks for their receipt and ID, and matches it to the auction winners list. Each lot is assigned a number, and sometimes a location, and the crew member guides the winner to where to go to get their prize.
If an item is very large or heavy, it is noted in the catalogue description that the winner needs to bring help to move it out. Neither MaxSold nor you, the seller, is responsible for any of this.
Since one of your goals is to remove these unneeded things from your home, you can give the crew permission to give away anything that hasn’t sold. They love doing this and the buyers feel like they got a great deal. And you don’t have to haul away the unsold stuff.
Within 10-14 days to two weeks after Pick-Up Day, MaxSold will send you a check via FedEx for the auction proceeds, minus their commissions and fees.
Benefits of Using MaxSold
By selling through MaxSold you have made an environmentally responsible decision to reduce your carbon footprint by extending the useful life of your things. Because all the goods are bought and sold locally, you have helped eliminate the carbon footprint associated with packing material and shipping.
There are a lot of people out there who struggle financially these days, and are thrilled to be able to buy nice furniture, household items, jewelry and other things for a good price. So your things are going to a good home!
There is also a cost to having unneeded/unwanted things removed from your home, especially if there is a large quantity which is common in a downsizing situation or estate liquidation. An online auction saves you this cost, and has the added benefit of turning your treasures into cash!