This is always the big question. Without sounding wishy washy – it depends. A $5,000.00 sale and a $25,000.00 sale involve comparable amounts of work . The commission is based on several factors including:

  • Type of sale, auction, tag sale, on-line auction, or a mix
  • Quantity of items. Many lower price items = higher commission, many higher price items = lower commission
  • Condition and accessibility of items. Clean, organized, and accessible = lower commission, Dirty, strewn about in an attic = higher commission

The old phrase, “time is money” applies here as well. The more time we spend cleaning, organizing, cataloging, researching, and marketing your items, the more we have to charge you. 

Our goal is to get you the most money for your items. To accomplish this, we will present your items in a well organized  and professional manner. 

Our philosophy is when items are presented in a clean, organized, and professional manner, customers are willing to pay more. Conversely, items that are presented dirty and haphazardly usually sell for less. 


Value is the price that a buyer is willing to pay. There are many factors that affect value including:

  • Condition – Typically, the better condition an item is the more it is worth. For example an 1879 Carson City Silver dollar in poor condition is valued at $145.00. However, the same coin in uncirculated condition may bring over $10,000.00!
  • Collectible items – The value of collectible items varies depending on market demands. Items that may have been very collectible and bringing high prices a few years ago may not be as valuable today due to shifts in market demand. Items such as beanie babies, NASCAR items, and Tom Clark gnomes have lost considerable value from their highs a few years ago. Currently items such as old signs and Catawba pottery are in high demand. 
  • Sentimental value – Be mindful of sentimental value. Most buyers purchase items on a transactional basis with no regard for the historical value that you or your family place on the item. I have a painting of the Statue of Liberty that my grandfather purchased in New York City in 1912, and it is priceless to me. However, a similar painting can be purchased in an antique store for $25.00.
  • Age – Old items do not accrue value just because they are old. Many items from the 1950’s have a higher value than similar items from the 1850’s.
  • Be mindful of television shows that depict items found in an attic that are worth thousands of dollars. While treasures like this exist, it is more the exception than the norm. Some shows manufacture drama by planting items to entice viewers. 
  • In an auction sale, all items are sold to the highest bidder. However, some items of greater value may have a minimum bid or starting bid price which requires various notices that are explained in more detail in the auction agreement.
  • We will give you a fair assessment of the value of your items based on several factors. Our goal is to sell all entrusted items for the maximum price so you profit.

You are more than welcome to attend the auction or estate sale of your property; however, it may be emotionally difficult to see items that you may have cherished sold. We will work with you to ensure that you are comfortable throughout the entire process, whether you are attending the sale or not. 


Bowtie Estate Services maintains $1,000,000.00 in liability insurance coverage as well as workers compensation insurance for our staff. 

Anytime you invite people to your property there is a risk of liability for accidents. We require that homeowners / property owners liability insurance be in force during the time of any sales activity at your property. 

Bowtie will conduct a safety and security inspection of your property so that any issues can be corrected or properly marked. We will also place signs at appropriate areas as well as post an “enter at your own risk” sign at the property entrance.

We encourage you to maintain your security system before, during and after the sale. This includes any video security systems as well. 


Proper marketing can turn an average sale into a great sale. Each market segment has different marketing strategies. For example if you are selling a D-9 Caterpillar bulldozer, marketing to 19th century impressionist art collectors may not yield the best price for your item.

Bowtie strives to ensure that your items are marketed to the buyers who have the most interest in your items. Social media is a popular method to advertise as well as various websites. Along with these methods we also use the old fashioned method of networking to find potential buyers for many types of unique items.


Trust Bowtie