Moving is not for the faint of heart. Everything But The House (EBTH) is a national company that helps you navigate the stuff you don’t want to take with you on your next move. Shawna O’Connor is a Los Angeles based sales specialist with EBTH.
Shawna’s own story gave her a unique perspective on what people go through when moving. Several years ago, Shawna traveled back to Ohio to help her parents move from their home of thirty years to a new retirement community in Florida that came fully furnished. Siblings picked out a few things they wanted but they didn’t know what to do with the rest of the stuff. What should they do with the contents of a two story home?
They called a local estate sales company who spent many days in the home tagging everything and then had an estate sale there. People were traipsing through the house for an entire weekend and at the end, some things had sold for pennies on the dollar but many things did not sell. They had to figure out what to do with the rest of the stuff and who to call so they started over again. That’s how Shawna discovered her future employer.
EBTH lists items online. They catalog, organize, photograph, and write descriptions for each item. All small items are removed from the house. Larger furniture stays. The entire process is done with EBTH team members and the public stays out of your home. Bidding is open to a world wide audience and currently 50 states and 40 countries are represented in their sales. Shawna estimates that EBTH averages 3 to 5 times the value of an item sold at a traditional estate sale because of the online exposure.
EBTH is in 18 cities and has 1000 employees. The company is growing as a result of people that are downsizing, relocating or dealing with the estate of someone who died. A growing group of sellers have had things in storage for several years and are tired of the expense and hassle. People want to simplify their lives by having less stuff. Most of EBTH customers are from referrals. There’s a lot of work involved with getting an item sold on Craigs List or another sales site.
The most searched category is jewelry followed by home furnishings but EBTH sells everything from oil painting to golf clubs. They handle donations for their clients. They also offer consignment sales out of their facilities for a collection of items that a client can bring to them.
EBTH has a strong social media presence on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter that attracts people to the auction site. Part of the popularity of the auction is their unique business model. Everything starts at $1 with no reserve. Jewelry and art may sell in the tens of thousands of dollars after the five day auction period. EBTH ships directly to the bidder. Team members meet buyers or trucking services for any large pieces left in the home.
What does this service cost? Fees are a percentage of the final sale total with a sliding scale of 15% to 50%.