Canada-based MaxSold’s local staff sorts through items for an upcoming estate auction. The firm, with offices in 30 metro areas across North America, including Denver, organizes locally-based online auctions for estates and those seeking to downsize. Courtesy of MaxSold
BY PETER JONES
If you have ever had to sell off an estate, you know the challenges of getting rid of a lifetime of stuff. While websites like eBay and Craigslist have worked wonders for selling the eye-catching item or the hard-to-ship one-off, using such markets to dispose of 30 years of accumulation can be like selling the needle, but never getting rid of the haystack.
Enter MaxSold, an online auction that will move at least 98.5 percent of your kit and caboodle within two weeks. Rather than a direct competitor to the likes of eBay, think of it as an alternative to the traditional live auction, but minus the fast-talking aerobics.
“This is the same experience, except it’s virtual,” MaxSold founder Barry Gordon explained. “So, it’s more convenient, it’s safer, it’s transparent. Everything’s at your grandmother’s house, and we’re selling everything from her garden hose to her motorcycle.”
Although the auction, itself, is online, a local non-virtual staff is there to photograph and catalogue everything, and all pick-ups are handled onsite on a designated day. No more hassles with shipping, much less dickering with individual buyers.
“We’re using the internet to get a deep local audience, instead of a global audience,” Gordon said. “We don’t need the world bidding.”
MaxSold’s take is generally a 30 percent commission, a minimum of $1,000, so the more a seller is serious about clearing their floor and shelves, the more worthwhile the arrangement.
The Ontario, Canada-based MaxSold currently operates its virtual-in-person hybrid in 30 metropolitan areas across North America and has plans to be in every U.S. state within a year.
Gordon, who formerly worked in the old-style live-auction world that once dominated estate sales, says MaxSold has a customer base not easily served in today’s fast-paced markets—the older couple in need of quick downsizing and inheritors to Grandma’s lifetime collection. The antique piano and dining-room may be easy enough to sell, but what about the garage of gardening equipment and shelves of leftover Costco membership?
“We’ll sell everything from sterling silver to lawnmowers, but we also sell the contents of the laundry room and linen cupboards and the stuff above the rafters in the garage,” Gordon said.
And when it comes to the kind of “maximum” selling MaxSold is named for, the firm is anything but picky with its individual auctions that can run from 50 to hundreds of items.
“There are a lot of people who can sell your first-edition comic books. There are not lots of people who can say yes to everything Grandma has,” Gordon said.
Other than guns, products made from endangered species, food and everyday clothing, the sky is the limit. Over the years, MaxSold has disposed of everything from coffins and a monkey preserved through taxidermy to a quarter of a million dollars in coins.
“We built MaxSold as a company that could sell everything and do it all in about two weeks,” Gordon said. “There’s next to no disposal issue. People are in for the hunt. It’s fun.”
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