New Association Represents Estate Sales Industry
The newly formed National Estate Sales Association aims to promote best practices among estate sales companies and increase transparency and awareness around the industry.
The first membership organization in its space, the National Estate Sales Association (NESA) officially launched this year to represent estate sales companies and raise public awareness of the industry.
The estate sales industry—made up of 14,00 companies that are mainly small operations that conduct in-house public sales—has low barriers to entry and is not subject to any specific state regulations. NESA seeks to better educate these companies on estate sales, promote best practices, and ensure the integrity and transparency of the companies, according to an article by Chairperson Martin Codina on Antique Trader.
“We are a trade association founded to help define, motivate, and promote our industry’s goals and agendas,” said Codina in a blog post on NESA’s website. “We believe that a clear code of ethics sets an objective standard by which estate sales companies can be compared, which ultimately leads to better consumer protections.”
While NESA serves to educate the public on these companies and how estate sales work, through its membership requirements it hopes to distinguish between reputable companies and “fly-by-night companies who blur ethical boundaries.”
“Consumers want clear and concise explanations about their estate sales options,” Codina, who owns Fine Estate Liquidations in San Francisco, wrote in the article. “They are looking for quality information and education. They want to hire companies that have gone through a vetting process; that can demonstrate character and prove they are in compliance. The public wants to hire companies that adhere to the highest levels of professionalism.”
In addition to setting best industry standards for the good of the customer, NESA also is prepared to be the advocacy voice should potential legislation regarding the industry develop.
“Groups have a much better ability to effect change,” Codina said in the blog post. “Together we form into something which will influence various commercial entities and because of our standards and codes of ethics, gain a seat at the table when the time comes that legislation is proposed.”
To improve the overall quality of industry service, NESA also provides its members with online resources, including sample attorney contracts, pricing documents, discounted access to industry vendors, and group forums such as a September video conference with a panel of 20 experts.
NESA, which is still seeking 501(c)(6) status, was originally formed at a meeting in 2014 by 10 estate sales company leaders from across the United States. The official launch came this year following a series of meetings and the designation of the board.