How to Run a Smooth Pick-up

Know any good pick-up lines? No, no, this is not a piece with tips for the dating scene. However, if you're in the online auction and estate sale business, you'll want to follow these easy tips for ensuring a smooth post-sale pick-up.

Pre Auction

Make sure that your cataloging and photography is accurate. From a "good vendor" perspective, if you state that something is 24kt gold you need to be willing to guarantee that you've represented the item correctly. If there is any doubt, there are ways to present an item without guaranteeing it. In the 24kt gold example, you might state, "appears to be 24kt gold" or "stamped 24kt gold" which indicates that it's your best educated guess given the information you have during cataloging. Additionally include accurate measurements of the items. Be sure to include faults, blemishes, and the like in your imagery. You want to be as up front and transparent as possible before someone places a bid. This will greatly reduce issues that can arise after the auction with displeased bidders who feel cheated or scammed because issues weren't disclosed either in photos or cataloging (or both).

Make sure that all your pick-up details and policies are clearly stated on your website and terms and conditions. 

Double check your winning bidder email template to make sure that the information your winning bidders need (pick-up times, addresses, COVID related safety measures, etc.) is readily available to them.

Respond in a timely manner to questions and inquiries about the items your are selling. 


Post Auction

1) Print out all your winning bidders' invoices

2) If at all possible, go to the sale site a day before the scheduled pick-up to sort, bundle, and group together items (as much as possible) for each bidder. If you can't do it the day before, at the very least allow yourself a few hours the morning of pick-ups to organize as much as possible.

3) Unless specific appointments/arrnagements have been made with the winning bidders of large/bulky items/equipment (i.e., refrigerator, large gym equipment, etc.) make sure that all your winning bidders remain outside the home while you and/or your staff "pick" their items. Items may then be brought outside and placed in a general pick-up area for the winning bidders to pack and load into their own vehicles.

4) Have the winning bidders sign their respective invoices stating that they have received their merchandise. Keep these signed invoices in a secure and organized place.

5) If an issue arises, be honest and open about what you can do then and there. Sometimes, given the circumstances you may not be able to issue a credit immediately; be honest and tell them that the credit will be issued in two days. If a bidder objects to an item not being as described (i.e., a chair that was cataloged as 18th century turns out to be a 20th century reproduction), work with them. If other objections arise where it is clearly an error of the bidder's fault, be professional about finding a resolution.