Merton and Dawn Larmore pride themselves on their skill as pickers.

She ran tag and estate sales when she and Merton met. And his enjoyment in finding just the right bargain at sales soon made them business partners, as well as husband and wife.

Together they buy, sell, trade and consign goods through their New Milford business, Litchfield County Pickers LLC. Buyouts and cleanouts of homes, as well as conducting estate sales, are their specialties.

High-end items are offered online or in locked showcases at their 35 Park Lane Road (Route 202) store.

Their grand opening was March 29, but they've been doing this together for the last three years.

"I love this business. I like the way we help people out," Dawn Larmore said. "A lot of seniors struggle financially."

"We helped one senior couple consolidate their belongings onto the first floor of their two-story home," she said, "then sold what was left on the second story for them."

Thirty to 40 percent of the Larmores' business is going into homes and doing everything to facilitate the sale of everything from furnishings to dishware.

Bill Deseta, a former Warren homeowner, used their services when he sold and cleaned out his house.

"The organization and honesty they conducted themselves with was outstanding," said Deseta, who has downsized to just his New York City home. "They sold the contents of the house, as well as sculptures I had on the grounds, and got rid of what wasn't saleable for me."

"My driveway was 1,000 feet long, with limited parking at the top. They drove a nine-passenger van from the bottom of the drive up with shoppers," he said. "It was a three-day sale and they really pulled people in."

Merton Larmore noted people should call him first before throwing anything out.

"The first thing a lot of people do when a relative dies is bring in a dumpster," Larmore said. "They may think they don't have anything of value. We can move things and give them money to live on."

Whether offering an 1850s Sheraton English console or 1800s mahogany tea caddy, the Larmores research and then price accordingly.

Their shop looks like a boutique, but items have consignment prices. Prices vary from $10 to several hundred dollars.

With warmer spring weather, the Larmores will start conducting outdoor tag sales at their Park Lane Road site. They will bring in items for customers who aren't able to host tag sales at their homes.

Litchfield County Pickers, at 35 Park Lane Road in New Milford, is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through April.

Hours may vary after that time.

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by Norm