Estate Tips

Why Choose Hiddenworth?

At some point in our lives, it is inevitable that we will be on a collision course with a house full of stuff. Whether it’s our own, our parents, a close family member, a friend, or acting as an executor/executrix of an estate, you have a good chance of dealing with a lifetime collection of stuff. A sudden death of a family member, financial urgency, divorce, downsizing; the list is endless as to why there is a need to liquidate an estate.

The reality though is most of us are unprepared to deal with this stuff. It is hard to manage the disposition of an entire lifetime of your own or a loved one’s accumulations. Even working in the liquidations business, we’ve experienced our own family challenges when dealing with a loved one’s estate. Luckily, there are plenty of resources at your disposal, that you can refer to, when the time comes. Our mission is to provide unparalleled service and compassion to our clients in a time of need, while maximizing the value of their estates by using our experience, network, and commitment to being a leader in the liquidation industry.  From our own on-line auctions to consignments to in-home estate sales, we have the ability use multiple channels to maximize your estate’s value.  


Maximizing the value of an estate

  1. ASK, ASK, ASK! Talk to your friends, relatives, realtors, estate attorneys, or anyone else that may have faced similar circumstances as you, whether professionally or personally; chances are, they have.
  2. Don’t throw ANYTHING away! What seemingly looks like a pedestrian object, could turn out to be your next trip to St. Lucia. Great stuff can come out of average homes.
  3. Obtain a professional appraisal of the estate’s contents. For equitable reasons to divide an estate amongst family members, insurance reasons, or peace of mind, this service is critical. An oral appraisal is typically free of charge, with the written and recorded appraisal being charged. If an appraiser offers to buy the contents when conducting an appraisal, RUN, don’t walk, away from the situation. This is an ethical breach in the industry. The appraiser is there to appraise, not buy.
  4. Don’t think you know it all. There are plenty of upstanding professional individuals working in the antiques, auction, and estate sales business that can help you with maximizing the estate. Most families who stage their own estate sales, or sell individual collections to dealers will get “picked”. The estates they represent will experience income losses of 50 to 70 percent of the total value of the estate, possibly even more.The right professionals working for you will add income far in excess of any fee they may charge.
  5. Buy a pricing guide such as Warman’s Antiques and Collectibles Price Guide, search around the house and treat the experience as a class. Even if it gives you a rudimentary understanding of antiques and collectibles, it can only help you with navigating the liquidation experience. If you find some interesting objects, look them up in one of these informative guides. Ebay is a fantastic way of gauging the market of a certain item. A quick search can reveal a wealth of information about the worth and the demand for an item of interest. 

Rather than write, ad nauseam, about the estate liquidation process on this page, we instead want to offer a basic foundation on which to start the process. We encourage you to glean as much information as possible before tackling an estate. You add value to an estate when you add your research time.

Estate Sales 101

  1. Estate sales are the best way to maximize the sale price for most personal property found in a home.
  2. Estate sales are the most direct and profitable way to sell personal property to the general public.
  3. Estate sales are an incredibly efficient way to clear a house of its possessions and make it ready to sell.
  4. With a gallery type setting in the home, estate sales create an aesthetic that an auction cannot duplicate, and can often result in higher prices for the item.
  5. We believe at Hiddenworth, that our sales dignify our client’s belongings and collections. By staging our client’s belongings in the house, we feel this form of liquidation is a more communal and inviting experience than an auction block.
  6. Logistics and outdoor space requirements of a property may not be conducive for an auction. An estate sale may be the only viable option.

Industry trends

From conducting our sales, there are certain objects that are in high demand. Whether this is a regional trend or a national trend, we have had an inordinate amount of interest in the following:


From rusty oil cans to vintage erotica to vintage barware, this is a niche of the collectible industry that can't be defined in a neat and tidy way, but has that, "I know it when I see it" type of buyers. Mantique brick-and-mortar stores are continuing to open up in urban areas, where one-of-a-kind items found in these stores are a nice respite from the chain driven stores that rely on moving mass produced products. Owner's of these stores are always scavenging for new product to replenish their inventories.


Yes, that's right folks, records are back, and in a big way!! In the age of Itunes, Spotify, and Pandora, records are experiencing a resurgence. The younger generations, who have never experienced life without the internet, are leading the new vinyl revolution.

Record parties are the new social craze, where guests are bringing records, carefully selected, to the host's house to drop the needle for a night of entertainment.

Mid Century Modern

Simple lines, classic appeal and functional; this aesthetic seems to be finding its way into more and more homes. Our estate sales from previous years revealed the demand for this style in the Erie area.


Although the advent of internet radio & Spotify is a wonderful way to listen to anything you could possibly want, the inner music purist is alway's present. Reproductions of an Atwater Kent radio with 21st century technology can be found just about anywhere, but there's nothing like the real thing. The demand for vintage radios is a unique technological paradox, whose collectors embrace new formats of listening to music, but keeps their roots firmly grounded in the transistor age.

Military Relics

Military collectors are just as deep as our country's military heritage. Military items are one of the first things people ask for at our sales.

The last decade has seen a huge increase in the number of people who collect militaria and war relics. There are many reasons for this including the recent passing of the fiftieth and sixtieth anniversaries of World War II.

Vintage Jewelry

One category that never seems to wane with respect to demand is vintage costume jewelry. Costume jewelry is sometimes labeled as “fake” jewelry, but it often holds its own against fine jewelry with respect to workmanship and materials.

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