Q. Where does the name Pink Dog Estate Sales come from?
A. The Raybecks are passionate animal lovers, with six rescued pets currently filling our home with love. One of these, a Pit Bull mix named Naiya, is an unusual strawberry blonde color which we at first did not know is called “ginger.” We jokingly dubbed her “The Prettiest Pink Dog in the World,” and when it came time to name our business, we wanted to honor our pets, so Pink Dog we became. And to further honor our rescued pets, we make it part of our mission to support worthy local animal charities from the proceeds of our sales, including the Hudson County Animal League, the Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge Inc. (RBARI), and Orphaned Pets.
Q. How do I know you’re trustworthy?
A. Since Michelle and Steve both come from education careers, we have both passed rigorous State of New Jersey background checks, and our fingerprints are on file with the state. All our helpers have been carefully hired and trained and are our responsibility.
Q. How do you determine whether an estate sale is feasible in my home?
A. We begin with a telephone screening, and proceed to a free in-home consultation, when we discuss your needs, look at what is for sale, examine the layout of the home and property, and figure out what can be done and what resources it will take for us to do it properly.
Q. What do you charge?
A. We operate entirely on commission, with no out-of-pocket costs to you, and no high minimums. Our commission is flexible depending on the individual needs of the home, the length and size of the sale, and other factors. The commission is agreed upon before the contract is signed.
Q. Do you use a standard contract?
A. Our contract lays out everything we will do for you, everything you must do to prepare for your sale, and addresses common problems that may arise.
Q. Are you insured?
A. We carry $1 million in liability insurance and $10,000 in inventory insurance from the Antiques and Collectibles National Association (ACNA), the leading insurer of liquidation services across North America.
Q. How do you advertise?
A. To begin with, we take hundreds of well-composed, well-lit photos, and we keep adding as we organize the home for the sale. These photos will be used in detailed listings on estatesales.net, estatesales.org, and estatesale.com, which also feeds into pinkdogsales.com. We have premium memberships o all three sites, which ensures us high placement in the listings, and we routinely win recognition for high viewership. The sale is also shared on our business and personal Facebook pages, and with our ever-expanding e-mail list. We also advertise on Craigslist, four to six times before and during the sale. Finally, when warranted, we advertise in your area daily newspaper. We do not advertise in weekly newspapers because we do not want your address published until the day before the sale. Finally, if the municipality allows it, we put up hot-pink directional signs showing the turns to your home from the main road. Our professionally printed, free-standing signs are clearly visible from a half-mile away on a straight road. This is over $200 in advertising costs per sale, and it’s all covered in our commission. Some companies will charge you separately for advertising.
Q. How do you set up the sale?
A. We bring tables, jewelry cases, clothing racks and hangers, bins, whatever we need to organize your items and show them to best advantage. We go through boxes, cabinets and closets and display the items for sale. We rearrange furniture if necessary for safer traffic flow. We carefully mark items that are not for sale, and tag items throughout the home with prices. We also put up bright yellow caution tape and hot-pink signs to mark prohibited areas, and put up directional signs to show people where in the home they can go and draw attention to potential dangers, such as low door lintels and unexpected steps.
Q. How are prices determined?
A. In many areas, our own knowledge and experience allow us to know what prices to put on common items such as furniture and housewares. We also have a great deal of experience in research, and many excellent resources and experts who can assist us in determining value of such things as collectibles and jewelry. In the case of precious metals, the items are weighed and priced at a percentage above melt value as determined two days before the sale. We strongly discourage clients from attempting to set prices. In our experience, items with client minimums tend not to sell.
Q. Should we be present for the sale?
A. We recommend that family and friends find something to do for the day. There’s nothing you can do to help, and most people find it unpleasant to see the public in their homes and hear what customers say. It’s best to leave the sale in the hands of the professionals you hired. You don’t even have to be present for the set-up process. Most clients lend us a key and stay in touch by phone or e-mail, allowing us to schedule set-up times at our convenience and not have to be in your way.
Q. How important is it to accept credit cards?
A. In our experience, it is critical to accept credit cards. Credit cards allow people to make larger purchases than they might if we only accepted cash, and they prevent people from running out to the ATM for cash and never coming back to complete their purchase. Most people don’t carry hundreds or even thousands of dollars in cash, but it’s easy to use a credit card. In our experience, credit card purchases can account for as much as half the overall sales, which means half your sales might not have happened with a cash-only company. And we absorb the credit card fees as a business expense, which actually means our commission is 1 to 2 percent lower.
Q. How many people will staff my sale?
A. Usually, we have one person at the front desk, guarding the valuables, negotiating prices, accepting money and maintaining the itemized list. Then we will populate the home with a minimum of two helpers, depending on the size of the house and the volume and nature of the contents. Our payroll is covered by our commission.
Q. What is the itemized list?
A. As each transaction is completed, we write down what was sold and the total price. At the end of the sale, the list is entered into Excel. You receive a print-out of the list, with our calculations of our commission and your share at the bottom. You’ll be able to see the prices you got for your items, and exactly where we got the amount we pay you, so you’ll know we’ve been completely fair and honest. Most companies don’t bother with this, or if you insist on it, they charge you a separate fee.
Q. Are prices negotiable?
A. Yes. Usually on the first day we try to stick to our marked prices. On the second day we advertise 30 percent off, and then prices are negotiable from there. Our philosophy is, we’d rather accept a reasonable offer than not sell the item at all.
Q. What if credit card purchases exceed your commission?
A. Funds from credit card purchases go into our business account early in the morning on the next business day, so if we have to, we go to the bank and get out enough cash to pay the client’s share. There’s no waiting.
Q. How soon after the sale will I be paid?
A. Usually, we complete the list on Sunday and send the payment out on Monday. If possible, we pay in cash, or if you’re too far away, we send a cashier’s check via certified mail, so you’ll get paid as fast as the mail goes, usually a couple of days. Again, we absorb the costs of the cashier’s check and the certified mailing as part of our business expenses. If something prevents us from doing the banking on Monday, we’ll let you know so you don’t have to wonder.
Q. Does anyone on your staff speak any other languages?
A. Owner Michelle speaks Spanish and finds it very helpful to do business with Hispanic customers in their own language. This also allows us to work with underserved Hispanic sellers. We also have a staff member who speaks Portuguese.
Q. What happens to the items that do not sell?
A. First, invite your family and friends in to take what they want. Then, have a charitable donation, which will get you a tax write-off. Our favorite charity that actually sends a truck to pick up your items is the Salvation Army. If necessary, high-value items that did not sell may be sent to auction. Finally, if necessary, you can hire a clean-out company to dispose of what cannot be donated. We have vetted many clean-out companies in the area and have selected the two that do the best job and make it their business to keep your costs down.
Q. Some estate sale companies also do clean-outs. Why doesn’t Pink Dog do clean-outs?
A. We believe it is a conflict of interest for an estate sale company to also do clean-outs or buy-outs. We do not want to be perceived as deliberately not selling items so that we can take them for ourselves later. It is our job to sell your things, and whatever doesn’t sell, we guide you on how to dispose of it, but we keep our hands off of it.
Dec 03, 2019 I was very pleased with the level of service and professionalism by the Pink Dog Estate Sales Team. My job was huge, and the dynamic of Michelle and Steve was just the right touch for my project.... I was also impressed with their ability to sell aggressively for low end items, yet discerning and uncompromising on my higher end items. You can trust that they will not 'give your stuff away'... Yet also know, they will do everything they can to sell your goods at a fair market rate that makes everyone feel like a winner in the end. Thanks so much you guys! I am grateful for all you were able to do for me, and highly recommend your services to anyone who needs to liquidate.Robin Hutson, Augusta NJ(seller)
Sep 29, 2019 I just completed a very high-end Estate Sale with Pink Dog in Alpine, NJ. Michelle, Steve, Ian, Alex, Lynnette, Linda, Irv and the entire crew were wonderful. Very helpful to customers, easy for me to work with, and most importantly, we all make a lot of $$$. Thank you!Neal B., Alpine NJ(seller)
Nov 27, 2018 Preparing and having an estate sale is never easy especially when it’s for a loved one’s belongings. My research led me to several companies specializing in the process. All three couldn’t schedule on the timeline required and two competitors recommended Pink Dog Estate Sales, LLC. Living in Georgia and having a sale in New Jersey, I contacted Pink Dog who made the extra effort to see the property as it was that day. We agreed right then on using Pink Dog because they are committed to and help you through the process. Steve came in for the initial evaluation. Michelle followed up a couple of days before the sale to set up and arrange, then price. The pricings were good. The more money they make you the more they make. It’s in their best interest to get you top dollar. They secured the house and property before, during and after the sale and finally had me a list and check for everything sold in the mail the following Monday. It was fair and honest. If I ever need this service again, I hope I find a company as competent, friendly and easy to engage as has been my experience with Pink Dog.Bruce Larsen, Marietta GA(seller)
Jun 17, 2018 We needed to move our family out of the house we had lived in for over 75 years. We had contracted with a two woman estate sale company to help us sell the contents of our large, 4 story, FULL house. They came twice - a walk through and a first phase set-up. Two weeks before the sale they baled on us (via text!) saying they didn't have enough time to get everything ready. That left us in quite a difficult spot! There was NO way we could deal with all of it ourselves. Those two women had wasted 4 weeks of our time .. who would help us!?! PINK DOG SALES, that's who! We called Pink Dog Sales on a reference and thank goodness we did! When we spoke to Steve he said he'd see what he could do to help us out. He also mentioned that they would be squeezing us in to their already hectic sales schedule. Well, after meeting with Steve and his son, Ian, we breathed a huge sigh of relief! They showed total respect, compassion and professionalism and gave us the confidence that they could handle our sale. In addition to that, at no time did we feel like we were being "fit in" to their schedule nor did we feel rushed or like we were in the way. Steve kept in touch with us throughout the set up, the sale and the post-sale. With only two weeks to accomplish it all, the sale was a huge success! Steve, Ian and Debbie went above and beyond to make sure it was lucrative and safe for everyone. They were careful to keep people out of non-sale areas and kept excellent records of what sold and for how much. We HIGHLY recommend Pink Dog Sales to anyone wishing to empty their home using a professional, thorough and experienced company. You will not be disappointed!Amy C., Dumont NJ(seller)
Jun 15, 2018 Truly a great company to work with. Pink Dog Estates sales is an honest and trustworthy company. It is a great pleasure to deal with them everytime!!Lorena R., NJ(buyer)
Jan 04, 2018
Pink Dog was interviewed with three other estate sale companies and I chose them based on sincerity and what they said they would accomplish. I was very happy with the professional treatment they rendered analyzing my aunt and uncle’s belongings and conducted a very ethical sale which resulted in a nice profit. All items were documented and listed and I feel they went above and beyond what they said they would do, and exceeded my expectations.Louis B., Washington Township NJ (seller)
Jan 04, 2018 I recently used Pink Dog Estate Sales to liquidate the contents of my mother's house - 60+ years collection of valuable and not so valuable items. If it were an option, I would give them 10 stars.
From our first meeting through the end of the sale, Michelle and Steve were professional, reliable, well
organized, easy to communicate with and showed a knowledge of their business (and our items) that
allowed me to feel extremely confident in my choice to use their services.
Steve and son Ian took excellent photos which were posted on their web site. Ian was even able to
repair some old stereo equipment which added $$$ to the sale. While going through our "stuff,"
Michelle and Steve recognized the value of things we really considered junk.
The sale items were displayed attractively and the two-day sale was very orderly. After the sale,
Michelle and staff left the house very neat.
Michelle and Steve are very honest and trustworthy; when I mentioned to Steve that some workers
would be in the house doing repairs, he made sure that anything of value was well hidden. At the end of
the sale, Michelle provided me with a list of what was sold and the price. And the sale was extremely
It was a pleasure doing business with Michelle and Steve and I would not hesitate to use them again.Robyn L., North Bergen NJ (seller)
Jan 04, 2018 Michelle and Steve Raybeck and their team at Pink Dog are the most honest and hard working folks I have ever met. My husband passed away recently and I found Pink Dog in hopes of finding a way to clear my house of over 43 years of things that my husband and I collected. I donated things to my local charity, took what I wanted to my new house, my relatives took what they wanted and I still had a massive amount of stuff.
If I had a house on a normal street the sale would have been a whole lot easier. I was on a busy two lane road with no street parking and a narrow driveway with not a lot of parking at the top. Michelle and Steve thought about it carefully and came up with a wonderful solution! They set up a four day estate sale by appointment and also put a shuttle service in place so that more people could come. They also used some of their contacts around the state to sell and deliver some of the more collectible items to collectors that could not make the sales.For four straight days they worked very hard, not even stopping to take lunch. At the end of the four days there were still a lot of things left so they did an extra day hoping to clear out more. By the fifth sale almost all of the things were cleared out.
I don't know what I would have done without the Pink Dog team to help. I would highly recommend Pink Dog Sales to anyone and would give them a five star plus rating!!!!!Kathy Y., Oakland NJ (seller)
Nov 28, 2017 I had the good fortune of dealing with Pink Dog Estate Sales when we held our own estate sale in November 2017. Michelle and Steve did a superb job of organizing and advertising our sale. The week before the sale they neatly setup the sale items and afterwards cleaned up. During the two-day sale itself many buyers showed up. Sales were excellent. A detailed account of the sales was given to us at our settlement. We were pleased with the whole operation. I highly recommend Pink Dog Estate Sales to anyone considering a sale.Maxine H., Oakland NJ (seller)
Jul 13, 2017 5 stars across the board for Pink Dog Estate Sales! Michelle was truly exceptional in making our sale run smoothly and stress free, she was with us the entire journey making sure we got the most out of our sale. Michelle is very detail oriented which I appreciated immensely. She made several visits before the day of the sale setting up and making sure everything was set. The sale went better than I expected and she and her team were able to sell pieces of furniture and various other things that I had trouble selling on my own in the past. I recommend Pink Dog Estate Sales to anyone that is moving or looking to shed the load of excess "stuff" from their home!Nina L., North Haledon NJ (seller)
Jul 13, 2017 When I found myself having to quickly clear out the contents of my father's home due to a quick real estate sale, my realtor recommended that I reach out to Pink Dog Estate Sales for help. Michelle and Steve came to my rescue - they were super responsive and very accommodating. They handled everything and the process made a difficult situation so much easier for me. I couldn't be happier with the experience. Thank you, Pink Dog!Jackie D., Park Ridge NJ (seller)
May 07, 2017 I’m really pleased with how my sale with Pink Dog went. From the very beginning, Michelle stood out as direct, organized, confident and honest. Some of the other estate sale people I interviewed were flaky, pushy or sketchy. Not Michelle. And even if some of the others were fine, Michelle just seemed better. She’s professional, communicating clearly and promptly. Nobody else gave me their references and contract before I even asked. I really felt I was in good hands. She is not afraid to dig through your stuff, get dirty and find the gems to be displayed. A relative asked me if I wanted her to check in on the sale, since I was not going to be there. I told her it was totally unnecessary because I had no worries about Michelle and her staff and I was right. And she goes out of her way to accommodate you. She paid very promptly with a cashier’s check, which I didn’t even think was necessary, since she was so honest. I would definitely recommend her. Knowing that you can let Pink Dog take care of everything regarding the sale so that you can focus on other things gives you a sense of relief. Susan M., New Milford NJ(seller)
Sep 21, 2016 Our family chose Pink Dog Estate Sales to liquidate my parents' home after my father passed. Of the several companies I spoke with, Pink Dog Estate Sales stood out as the best choice and in hindsight, I highly recommend them. After I put an inquiry on the site, Michelle reached out to me immediately. She was extremely professional and explained the process in detail. When she and Steve came to our home, they were very professional, knowledgable, and kind. My mother was naturally sad and is also very hard of hearing. Yet, Michelle and Steve were extremely respectful and patient and caring towards her. They are business people who obviously care about the families they help. Prior to the sale, they obtained estimates on valuable coins and jewelry and researched prices for many unusual items my father owned. They made sure we priced items fairly. Michelle and Steve and their team were great to work with. I am grateful we chose them and would refer them to anyone looking for an Estate Sale company. They made a difficult process as easy as possible and were a pleasure to do business with. Thank you Michelle and Steve!Sharon Collins, East Rutherford NJ (seller)
Jul 08, 2016 Steve and Michelle
Thank you for handling our estate sale. When I signed up at Estatesales.net, I received many calls and emails but Michelle's was the only one that explained all about estate sales, things I never would have thought of on my own. Everything you did was as you said you would and I believe you guys went above and beyond given the short time frame. Thanks again!Donna Shaw, Clifton (seller)
Jul 06, 2016 Michelle and Steve thank you for handling my estate sale. Your professionalism was greatly appreciated and because of that you reduced the stress associated with such a major event in my life. If anyone is in need of your services, I will highly recommend Pink Dog Estate Sales!!!Catherine Hart, Rutherford NJn (seller)
Jul 04, 2016 Michelle and Stephen were professional and thoughtful with my mother, 88-years old and moving from her home of 40 years. Everything about the Pink Dog estate sale process was efficient and no-fuss.
When our family was deciding on an estate sale company, I received Michelle’s first email response to me. In straightforward language, it explained the process from A to Z.
She provided me an estate-sale primer at no cost!
That convinced me then and there.
A person’s lifetime of possessions can be difficult to go through, and to let go of. The Raybecks showed just the right amount of empathy mixed with sales know-how to make it a fully positive experience.
I would hire them again in a heartbeat.Kevin Krug, Montvale NJ (seller)
May 15, 2016 My husband and I had the task of settling his mother's estate and disposing of her property. Since we do not reside in the area where she lived we needed to find a reputable company to arrange the sale. We hired Pink Dog Estate Sales. They did a very good job of organizing, carrying out and completing the sale in a professional manner. They were honest, hardworking and trustworthy. Pink Dog Estate Sales was a good choice for us.Karen C. Smith, Anchorage AK(seller)
Jan 08, 2016 Hiring Pink Dog Estate Sales to conduct my moving sale was one of the best things I've ever done! Overwhelmed with downsizing and moving, Michelle and her crew were professional, caring,honest and efficient and treated my home and its contents with respect. The sale was extremely successful and when done, they straightened up what was left. It was a load off my mind. I would highly recommend Pink Dog to anyone!Jean Daniels, Randolph NJ (seller)
Dec 29, 2015Hello All
Writing to tell of my wonderful experience with my Estate Sale with Pink Dog. It was really hard getting rid of family heirlooms, but Michelle and her staff made me feel really comfortable and made this experience a lot easier than I ever thought it would be. They felt more like invited guess in my home and not just business partners. The sale went extremely smoothly and I appreciate them for that.
Michelle Washington, Vaux Hall NJ