Estate of Value  

NUMBERS & GETTING INTO THE SALE

Q:  Your advertising tells the date and hours of the sale - but it also says, “Numbers at 8:00 am”? What does this mean? Why do you do this?

A:  We want our customers to have a fair chance to buy the great things in our sales, but we can't just open the doors and let the whole crowd in at once. Estate of Value (EOV) has the responsibility to guard against breakage, theft and injury not to mention we don’t like the chaos. Instead, we give customers a number based on first come first served, just like waiting in line at the bakery. It works well and is the most democratic way to control the sale.

Q:  Do I have to stand outside and wait in line just to get a number at 8:00 am?

A:  Yes and No. 
Yes, if you want to be among the first people inside the sale you have to be among the first people waiting to get a number.  Who wants to wait outside at 5:00 am in all kinds of weather? We respect your time and we respect our client’s property by avoiding situations where people are milling around the yard or on the porch in the wee hours.  Consequently, a local custom has developed. Among the early birds that arrive there is always someone who starts a “pre-number” system.  Not all estate agents honor this process.  EOV does. 

It goes like this:  Early bird Earl takes it upon himself to write numbers on Posty Notes.  He gives himself the number one and he watches for other people and gives out subsequent numbers as they arrive.  When you get a number, you don’t have to stand around in line anymore.

NOTE:  A pre number is a place holder. It does not get you in the door.  It does get you in line to get an official EOV number at the time advertised.

In the case of “numbers at 8:00 am” you’ll notice that around 7:45 am people DO start lining up on the porch and in the yard in anticipation of the official numbers at 8:00 am.  This is also when Early Bird Earl stops giving out pre-numbers. We open the door at 8:00 am and begin calling out numbers "One, two, three" etc.  The corresponding customer steps up, hands over the pre-number and gets our official EOV number.  If we call for number four and no one steps up we give EOV #4 to the next person.  Pre-number 4 has lost his place in line.  He cannot show up later and say, "Here's my number 4, let me in.” This is a big deal. You must be present to exchange numbers.  We respect this process and believe it to be fair, particularly since everyone else made the effort, arrived early and stuck around to get the official admittance number.

Q:  How many numbers do you give out?

A: We give out numbers whenever someone knocks on the door and asks for one, or for as long as there are customers wanting to enter, but cannot get in yet because the house is still too full. 

Q:  Do you give them out all day long?

A:  Sales with rare or highly collectible items, as well as large or historic sales, attract large crowds - often all day long.  Distributing numbers is the only way we can fairly control the sale and the crowd.  In these situations we give out numbers even into the afternoon. Sometimes we put a pad of numbers and a sign outside on the porch -- anyone who arrives while there are still customers waiting can self serve their number. Eventually the need for numbers is gone.  The early rush is over, customers are coming and going, and the sale is running smoothly.

Q:  Do I need a number on Saturday and Sunday?

A: Generally, numbers are required on the first day of the sale only.  However, if sale is a big one we may require them on subsequent days.  We will always note this in our advertising. 

Q:  Why do you only let a certain number of people into the sale when you open?  And how many people do you let in?

A:  For an average home with a basement, a main floor consisting kitchen, dining room and living room, and an upstairs with two or three bedrooms we will admit between 25 and 35 numbered customers. One number per person.  Husband and wife do not count as one. As customers disperse throughout the house, or as they check out and exit, we let in more people.  We check back with waiting customers approximately every 10 to 15 minutes

Q:  Why do you open the garage early, and do I need a number to get in there too?

A:  We open the garage a half our early because we want garage items purchased out there.  This gives customers a reasonable amount of time to shop, purchase, and put away their things before the sale opens in the house.  We open the doors and it’s first come first served.  This means we will be very busy in there at least for a half hour.  We’ve got it covered!  Since the main sale doesn’t open for another 30 minutes, we also have enough staff to help out.  In cases where we know our sale is very big or unique we may require numbers to gain entrance to the garage.  In such a case we will state this information in our advertising prior to the sale.


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