Throughout the course of my career, I have worked my fanny off (like most of you) trying to accomplish my calling: make a positive contribution to the estate industry, educate, advocate and resolve difficult issues for my clients, earn an impeccable reputation, and do it all honestly and ethically. After 23 years, I feel pretty confident I have achieved many of my goals with the help of some great team members and my faith.
What makes me steaming mad are those individuals who flat out steal logos and intellectual property that is not theirs. No conscience, no care or concern. They don’t care that they steal what they didn’t earn. They do it with no forethought of hurting others, most especially themselves in the long run, because the truth will come out eventually. Those who know me would tell you I’d be the first to teach, to help, to answer questions if I can. Stealing information or logos is a huge no-no.
Many of you may not know that I own and direct The American Society of Estate Liquidators®. http://www.aselonline.com This professional organization is for those who want to learn the estate industry, and offers educational courses and a place for experienced liquidators to learn how to build their business. It is a safe haven for ethical liquidators and we have worked hard to set the standard for the industry.
The problem is some people don’t want to play nice. People steal logos without paying dues. Some don’t care about ethics until they get caught or fined. It’s not just about me … it’s about you too because many will attempt to take advantage of you, or someone you know, in the future. I often wonder how they sleep at night.
Here’s my point: Each industry has its good and bad, even estate liquidation. With companies that have no training/education or just popped up, and no one knows anything about them, you (the consumer) needs to research them carefully to make sure what their site says about them is accurate. Just because some company creates a website and add logos and makes claims, doesn’t mean they are legitimate or ethical. Follow up with them and pay attention to red flags.
Contact your local BBB and ask questions. Look for UNresolved complaints. Search online for the company name and any complaints or reviews. Ask for and check several recent references. Ask people in the community who is the best of the best. Do not be swayed by a company that is cheaper, for you often get what you pay for! Go for integrity, trust, ethics, gut instinct.
If the company is hesitant to answer questions, doesn’t call you back in a timely manner, doesn’t give you a polished and trustworthy feeling, then that little voice inside is probably telling you something. Listen to it.
So you see that even the devil uses the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval®. Anyone can steal that seal or logo. But not everyone can back it up with education, training, credibility, experience, and know-how. A professional liquidator is going to do the right thing for the client, answer any and all questions, maintain confidentiality, guide you to know what is best for your given situation, and communicate clearly each step of the way.
If you find out they are lying about being part of a professional organization, or anything else, don’t walk away … RUN!
©2013 The Estate Lady®
Julie Hall, The Estate Lady®, is the foremost national expert on personal property in estates, including liquidating, advising, and appraising. http://www.TheEstateLady.com She is also the Director of American Society of Estate Liquidators®, the national educational and resource organization for estate liquidation. http://www.aselonline.com.