Eight-year-old Connor McCrory’s first foray into the estate sales business was deemed a great success, as several hundred people came by the La Cañada, Calif., estate looking for bargains. Even a TV news crew stopped by to interview “America’s Youngest Picker.”
LA CAÑADA, Calif. – Connor McCrory’s first foray into the estate sales business was deemed a great success, earning praise from the executor of the estate, his customers and a 20-year professional in the field.
Not bad for an 8-year-old.
“In all the years of doing this, I would give Conner a nine out of 10,” said Martin Codina, of Fine Estate Sales and Estate Liquidation, Inc., in the San Francisco Bay area and the author of “Liquidating an Estate.” “The only thing keeping it from being a 10 was that there wasn’t a big sign outside. Otherwise, he did great.”
The debut of Estate Sales by Connor, the third-grader’s new company, was greeted with beautiful Southern California Indian Summer weekend—a perfect 75 degrees and sunny skies—as well as some 100 people in line waiting for the sale to begin last Friday morning. Over the course of the weekend, Connor—and a crew of family and friends—worked 11-hour days. In total, he sold about 75 percent of the contents of the house, garage and yard.
“We were there three days and Connor was in his element. I was just stunned,” said Aime McCrory, Connor’s mother. “He was working all over the house and yard, supervising and making deals. He didn’t complain once about being tired.”
The sale will continue at 1210 Descanso Dr., LaCañada-Flintridge,Calif., this Saturday, Oct. 18, with all items left priced at a deep discount. The estate is that of a 97-year-old woman who recently moved into an assisted care facility. The woman’s daughter—a family friend of the McCrorys—contracted with Connor to run the sale and is, according to Aime McCrory, “just over the moon with the results.”
Connor, who uses the WorthPoint.com mobile app to help identify and price items, was in charge of sale, but had help of his mother and father, Stephen, and family friend Jennifer Clien, as well as a couple of special helpers—WorthPoint founder and CEO Will Seippel and Worthologist Martin Willis.
“Will worked the entire outside of the house and garage, and Martin worked inside of the house, and they were both very helpful in offering Connor advice on pricing some of the bigger items,” Aime McCrory said.
Connor Worthpoint“Connor has amazing depth for someone so young who is relatively new to the business,” said Seippel. “We at WorthPoint are happy to contribute in any way to help him launch a successful business.”
Connor’s new business venture even drew the interest of a news crew from KABC, which ran a two-minute segment on the boy to has dubbed himself “America’s Youngest Picker.” To watch the report, click here.
While Connor was happy to take some time out to talk to the TV reporter, and to chat it up with his customers, he’s showed he’s already got the hard-edge attitude of a business man. At one point, a couple who thought they could get the better of a mere kid started haggling over the price of a grandfather clock. They worked it down to $475, where Connor was standing firm, and despite repeated efforts to knock the price down further, he wasn’t going to budge off that price.
The couple walked away, talked it over, and came back, ready to haggle again. That’s when Connor told them, in the nicest way possible, “You have to understand what ‘I’m done’ means. If you want to keep negotiating,” he said, “there’s the door.”
“The depth of knowledge that 8-year-old Connor has been very obvious to me,” said Willis, who first introduced Connor to the world through his Antiques Auction Forum Podcast.
“Sunday, the day after the estate sale, I was at the Rose Bowl Flea Market and had sent him a few pictures of things I know that he collects. He asked me to go over the pieces while on the phone with him and he had exactly the same kind of questions that any knowledgeable, focused adult collector would ask me prior to an auction. I was blown away.”
While most of Connor’s commission from the sale will be put into a savings trust account, he did reserve a small sum to invest in an item he spotted at a local antique store.
“It’s a vintage ’50s-era Color Magic Barbie,” said Aime McCrory. “He plans on holding on to for a while before reselling, hopefully for a profit.”
It was priced at $500, but—proving that he knows how to haggle the other way—Connor talked the proprietor down to $300. That profit is just about in the bank.