The situations surrounding estate sales are often stressful and emotional for those involved. So having a team of professionals and an estate sales service put it all together can be incredibly helpful.
That’s the service that Blue Moon Estate Sales USA provides to people in markets around the country. Through a franchise system, the company has grown steadily over the past several years. Read about the company and its journey in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.
What the Business Does:
Helps people prepare and manage estate sales by offering an estate sales service.
Debra Blue, the company’s co-founder and CEO told Small Business Trends, “Blue Moon specializes in the liquidation of tangled assets that people acquire over the years. The estate sale service business is founded on the four D’s: Downsizing, Death, Divorce, and Debt. Whatever the situation may be that causes someone to liquidate their estate, our team prepares and stages the home, prices all items, and then sell entire content of a client’s home.”
Small Business Deals
Being a reliable and trusted estate sales service team.
Blue says, “The decision to liquidate is an extremely emotional and stressful time for most people. Not only are we the only estate sales service franchise in the country, our team consistently offers reliable service, knowledge about greatly reducing the stress of the situation, and a brand name you can trust.”
How the Business Got Started:
After years of attending estate sales.
Blue explains, “In 2009, during the recession, my husband Ken and I got into estate sales after buying and selling antiques for nearly 30 years. Thanks to our previous experience, we believed the economic and demographic trends would make the estate sale industry grow. So we decided to turn this hobby into a successful business. One day, we had an epiphany after seeing a billboard that read “Franchise Your Business.” In 2011, after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a degree in business, our son, David, joined the business and has helped grow the company.”
Opening the first and only estate sales service franchise in the country.
Blue says, “What once was a “mom and pop” business is now a growing network of people who have a passion for helping others. Ever since we started Blue Moon, our clientele has grown exponentially and people come from out of state to attend our estate sales.”
Opening a unique business concept.
Just as opening the first estate sales service franchise was the company’s biggest win, it also represented its biggest risk, since many didn’t understand the need.
Blue explains, “Many people would ask us, ‘Why should we open up an estate sales service franchise? Why wouldn’t we just open our own estate sale company?’ Our answer is simple: we provide the backing of a trustworthy, professional, and driven team. We provide training and support for our franchisees. We have launched many locations that have quickly gained traction in their markets after completing our training. Our franchisees have developed a reliable knowledge base to serve their clients well. It would have been a big mistake to listen to any of our initial detractors. Now, no one asks that question.”
How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000:
Hiring more corporate staff.
Blue says, “Presently, we only have a one part-time employee who has franchise experience, but we also need a part-time bookkeeper and full-time assistant.”
Most Interesting Find:
A rug made with monkey pelts.
Blue says, “Once, we found a rug made from 94 monkey pelts. We thought there was no way it would sell, but surprisingly enough, it was one of the first items sold. One thing we really look forward to is finding these stories that make each sale unique.”
“People are definitely a company’s greatest asset. It doesn’t make any difference whether the product is cars or cosmetics. A company is only as good as the people it keeps.” – Mary Kay Ash
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Images: Blue Moon Estate Sales USA
Top Photo: David and Debra Blue
Second Photo: Back row: sales staff Brent Cope, Christine Ward, Chase Edmondson, Kristin Bredberg, James Ward, Allison Donnelly; Front row: co-owners of Blue Moon Estate Sales of Chatham, Durham and Orange Counties Mariah Cope and Morgan Breakey