The contents of home/office sale business buys the moveable contents (furniture, appliances, anything) of a home or office usually when the family or company is moving to a new home or premises and then resells it for a profit.
Often times, when people or companies are moving there, will be stuff left that they will not take with them, this can be because they no longer need it, don’t have space for it or will be too expensive to take it with them (the shipping price exceeds the price of the goods and the item has no sentimental value). Remember the premises has to be empty when they leave not just when the property is sold for new owners but also when the place is to be renovated or when next rental tenants come to move in.
This business solves this problem by either buying the products and removing them or by facilitating the trade (connecting the people moving with buyers and taking a cut of the proceeds).
Facilitating the trade
This business is essentially a middleman for the homeowner/office, it finds buyers (inventories, photographs and advertises the goods) and then takes a cut (commission) for facilitating the trade. I’ve been to one of these sales and I don’t like how they work. Moving is a stressful situation and I personally would just prefer people to come and take the whole lot off my hands, and pay a fair price (a bit higher price than a junk buyer). What this business does is, once the occupants have removed all the items they want to keep is have an open house to show what is for sale, some of them run over a weekend from Friday till Sunday or just the day from the morning to the evening, and usually the price will decrease as the days go on cos by Sunday or the evening you want the house cleared. But this isn’t often how things work, lots of people leave moving for the last minute, there isn’t time for a third-party to do inventory, take photos, place ads on classified sites etc.
I once tried to buy something from a business like this doing an open home, maybe the people I dealt with were just really poor at their jobs (it was actually facilitated by a franchisee in this industry). But I tried to buy this really nice bar made from a repurposed wine barrel which could fold close and I was like here’s my fair offer praat nou praat gou and they were dillydallying “are you willing to wait until the end of the showing because it’s still too early” something like that (basically the offer was acceptable but only at the end of the day but they trying to get a better price before the day runs its course). I wouldn’t want people like that clearing out my place. I prefer when moving people just make an offer for everything and taking the stuff away. I personally do not consider the facilitating the trade in this industry to be a great business. It may not even be worthwhile at the end of the day (the commission), yes, you don’t need to outlay money to buy goods or pay rent for a shop to sell them and you might get good bargains when the seller says just take it off my hands. But it does not suit my way of doing business, could be frustrating coordinating with people that are moving and be way less profitable. If you working on a percentage commission you are going to try to get the highest price, because your commission depends on it, but if you too greedy you won’t sell stuff. Whereas the homeowner obviously wants the stuff to sell. Take for example my offer, I came early they just opened, they told me to come back later if it did not sell. I never went back.
Buying the goods outright
This is often how secondhand furniture stores get stock by clearing out the contents of homes or even estate sales. In this business, you come to the premises, assess what is left, make a quick calculation of how much it is worth to you (and how much you can sell it for), pay the money and remove the goods. You need your own transport in this business. I had recently moved premises and was selling what I was not taking with me privately and as the days got closer to when I had to leave I discounted stuff to crazy prices, the last item a built-in cupboard I sold for next to nothing on the day I had to be out, many people were interested and lost out on a good deal because they not have transport or could not arrange in a timely manner or were simply too lazy to remove it. I would have preferred to have someone take it all off my hands come with cash money and transport.
On the other end of the buying the goods outright business, you need to have a sales channel, where you are going to store and sell the goods from. Lots of people have retail shops while others do this on a smaller scale from their garages.
As a business you cannot go wrong with a secondhand buying and selling business, this particular business allows you to get stock at even cheaper prices than the usual channels as there is urgency involved and people want stuff removed asap.
There is also going to be an uptick in this business in the near future, more and more wealthy and educated people are leaving SA, scurrying like rats off a sinking ship. They in such a hurry to get away they don’t care about anything else and they just sell what is left for whatever.
And like any removal business, clean up behind you, even if it’s just a sweep, even if they say people are coming to clean. Still do a sweep.