You may wonder how someone like Janelle Stone reached the pinnacle of the estate sale business. For her, it started at the young age of twenty-four by engaging in lots of hard work – enduring double digit Texas summers while staging homes, pulling down the contents of attics, and arranging garages … washing and polishing glass and silver that hadn’t been touched in 5 years … and finally at the end of the day heading home to research treasures discovered while emptying closets and cabinets.
It’s important to remember that before eBay and the internet, estate sellers were required to thumb through mountains of expensive books and other publications on topics ranging from glass & crystal, antiques and collectibles, dolls, vintage toys, ephemera – you name it.
eBay came along in 1996; and the internet didn’t dramatically effect our daily lives until the early 21st century.
After pouring over mountains of reading material without finding the information needed to price certain items, what did Janelle do? She turned to established estate sellers and antique dealers – people who could tell her what she had and its worth. If the first person contacted didn’t have the answer, Janelle would go down a list until she located someone who did. It’s tedious and time consuming work, but part of the job requirement. Janelle learned early in her career the importance of taking time to talk to people and doing her research. Even now she pulls up auction records, calls on “old timers,” talks to appraisers, and spends time researching internet sites to give her client the best possible results while maximizing the dollar amount collected. It’s that attention to detail sale after sale that catapulted Janelle’s career.
She’s still working hard perfecting her craft and shows no sign of slowing down. Earlier this year she and her son, Wen, spoke at the National Estate Sale Conference in Nashville. The topic, “Staging and High End Estate Sales.” Can you imagine anyone better teaching the class? Fred and I can’t!
February 27, 2020