Guild of Oregon Woodworkers

7634 SW 34th Avenue Portland, OR 97219

Guild Estate Assistance

This document outlines how an estate can be handled, addressing the three different audiences, the family, volunteers and buyers.   Estate assistance has become recognized as a very helpful program for the community and for the Guild.

The Guild of Oregon Woodworkers Estate Sale program has been a very successful community service program, financially beneficial to the families, the Guild and to our members.  Our volunteers enable us to accomplish this.

When called upon, the Guild can do a brief survey and coach the executor on the value of equipment, tools and materials.  If a choice is made to work with the Guild on a sale, details are covered below.

See Estate Calendar for currently planned events.

The Family

If you choose to work with the Guild contact 503-719-7033

What am I dealing with?

Woodworking estates typically contain power tools, hand tools, lumber and various small items typically unidentifiable to the casual observer.  It usually includes varying degrees of clutter.  What is it?  Of what value is it?  Should I try to sell these items myself, or hire someone?  Is it a good idea to donate items and receive a tax benefit?

Woodworking tools and materials are specialized and complex. Most people do not have the knowledge to value these items appropriately. A small hand tool may look like a $20 item but may be worth $200 while at the same time, a big power tool may look like it’s worth $1,000 but in reality only be worth $150.

The Guild has put together an experienced team of woodworkers to help families with woodworking shops deal with these complexities during this stressful time.

Decide on approach

Sell it Yourself

  • Dispose of possessions yourself
  • Garage sales, Craigslist (Tips for doing it yourself).
  • Hire a company to dispose in the form of an auction or an open-house estate sale

    Donate to the Guild

    The Guild is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
    • If you donate this estate to the Guild, we will remove all the items and leave the shop clean and orderly. Donated tools are used in our own shop or sold to Guild members. Unsold tools are donated to other charitable organizations or sold publicly.  You will receive a tax-deductible receipt. Funds generated from sales as used in the treasury to continue Guild work.

    Hire the Guild to Run an Estate Sale

    Estate Selection Process

    • Step 1 - When we are contacted we send someone knowledgeable to evaluate the site and determine if it is of interest.  Many are not because of the low value or age of the items or other reasons.
    • Step 2 – If interesting we either send a bigger team to estimate the value or go directly to Step 3.
    • Step 3 – We offer the family different options including doing an on-site sale.  We have them sign a simple contract or MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) so there are no mis-understandings.
    • Step 4 – We plan one or two days to stage the event before the sale (usually Thursday/Friday before a Saturday sale).
    • Step 5 – After the sale we clean up the site, removing any excess items, leaving the site clean and orderly

    The Volunteer Team

    The task - Activities include sorting the tools and lumber, pricing for a sale, assisting with the sale and cleanup.  You can participate in any or all parts.  Commitment of your time and preferences to the estate sale leader helps assure that he can accomplish the task.

    Staging Volunteers – A team of 6-8 is ideal for getting a site ready.  This entails sorting items into logical groups, grouping accessories with appropriate tools, cleaning things a bit, and pricing the items.  We need people of all skills.  There is a lot of work that is just manual labor while others need a fair knowledge of the tools and their value.

    Sales Day Volunteers – For the sales day, we need people with a fair knowledge of the items.  We assign people to specific areas or set of tables and they act like a sales person, explaining the item and the price.

    Post Sale Volunteers – This is all manual labor moving items to recycling, other non-profits or back to the Guild Annex.  Trucks and trailers are a big benefit, otherwise the estate needs to pay for a truck rental.  Note: we will pay for all member expenses.

    The Buyers

    Estate Sale Rules

    How do we make purchase opportunities fair for volunteers and buyers?  Each sale has some “big draw” items that sell fast.  It’s not fair for us to advertise these items and then let the volunteers buy them before the sale even opens.  On the other hand, volunteers should get some benefit for working.  To help with this issue we are using a “tagging” system.

    Usually estate sales are first-come, first severed.  The “tag” approach rewards volunteers by giving them a chance to buy an item that a regular buyer also wants to buy.  It keeps the integrity of the sale for buyers by not removing items before the doors open.  It also helps ease the “Christmas Rush” open door problem. 

    Here is how it works.  If multiple buyers express interest in an item in the first 30 minutes, they can bid on the item.

    Note: “Tagged” items are only applicable for items that are priced above $100.  Item less than $100 can be purchased when the sale starts.

    1.       Sign-up - Volunteers need to sign up for a specific day by contacting the team leader for the sale.  Please do not just show up.  This enables us to make sure each day is staffed adequately.
    2.       Sales Open - There are no sales to anyone prior to the opening of the sale which is usually 10:00 AM.
    3.       Sales day volunteers – All will be given a name tag indicating they are available for help.
    4.       Tagging - Volunteers can “tag” items of interest ($100 and above) as they stage the event or before the sale opens on sale day.
    a.       Staging volunteers not working the sale can ask someone to represent them on sales day.
    b.       Items less than $100 can be purchased on Saturday
    5.       Tagged Items
    a.       If a volunteer is interested in buying an item, they can tag it and if it is still available after 30 minutes they can buy it.
    b.       If there are one or more buyers interested in a tagged item, we will stage a mini-auction between interested parties at the 30-minute mark.  Highest bidder wins.
    6.       End of Day items – at the end of the day, if a volunteer is interested in an item that did not sell, they can make a reasonable offer to the leader of the sale.  If reasonable, we will accept the offer but please remember the family and make a fair offer.


    Remembering the Guild

    If you would like to remember the Guild of Oregon Woodworkers in your last will, there is a suggested wording below.  Consult your advisers for what works in your case.


    A Last Will wording suggestion



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