Before my job-shadow marathon, I had no clue what an estate clearer was. Then I met Ella who sells people’s furniture, appliances, and basically whatever she can sell on Craigslist, at auction houses, and antique stores. She started her business because a friend asked her to sell some of her stuff and she really enjoyed the challenge. Ella catalogues all the items she is allowed to sell, researches them, takes pictures, and tries to get money for a client instead of just throwing things away.
I went with Ella to a house that was being renovated and she thought the appliances could be salvaged and sold. We took down every model number, checked the condition of the appliances, and took a lot of pictures. This was surprisingly tough since the appliances were pretty heavy to maneuver and the model numbers are in the most inconvenient locations. She planned on putting these items on Craigslist and Kijiji later. Ella has to be able to recognize what is junk and what has value; one of the ways she does that is by browsing the Web and visiting antique stores. She also says antiques are very tricky because her clients believe every antique is worth a lot of money, when in fact many antiques don’t have value. Ella says that antiques aren’t as popular as before so it’s hard to sell them.
Estate clearing is a rapidly growing business. Baby boomers are starting to downsize and sites like Craigslist are very popular. Being an estate clearer is a fun job and I think a great thing to do if you want part-time work.
A Typical Day
An estate clearer meets with clients, takes pictures and records information on items, and sells the items online, at auction houses, and antique stores.
Top 3 Perks
1) Choose your own hours (job autonomy)
2) Depending on the client, you can work on commission or per hour
3) See unique and interesting items
Meeting with clients, using a computer, taking pictures and notes, moving heavy items.
- No formal requirements
People skills, negotiation, organizational, computer skills
- Estate clearing is a rapidly growing field.
- Baby boomers are downsizing so business is busy for estate clearers.