It’s no secret I love estate sales. I’ve found some amazing items including furniture, vintage kitchen wares and children’s clothing. Estate sales are held usually when a house needs to be cleaned out due to death or a person downsizing. It can be a bit odd, poking around someone’s personal items but the rush from a great find can make the entire experience worth it. Here are five important estate sale tips to utilize in 2022!
Five Essential Estate Sale Tips!
How to Find An Estate Sale
I’m lucky to live in a historical neighborhood that has estate sales every single weekend. I’ve often just been driving home from doing errands when I see the tell tale red and white estate sale sign. Solid places to find estate sales include Craigslist.org and Estate Sellers mailing lists. If you stumble upon one that is run by a professional company, get on their mailing list. They often send emails a few days before a sale and sometimes include pictures which are really helpful in determining if it’s one you will want to attend.
Get there Early
One of the most important estate sale tips is to get there early! I would say to get there at least 10-15 minutes before opening but if you don’t it wont be a big deal. Often there are lines and since I’m a casual collector I don’t necessarily need to be the first in line. I’ve seen people argue about line position and it’s just not my thing. Be patient, wait your turn and more often than not you will be rewarded.
Have a goal!
It’s very important to have a budget and goal in mind when attending an estate sale. I personally know the items I’m looking for so I always make it a habit to hit the kitchen first. I will walk through the entire house and scan everything. Make sure not to forget the garage (there are usually tons of galvanized and rustic items) and any outside areas that have been opened up. People usually avoid these areas and I’ve found great gems here. Also know how much you want to spend. The first days of estate sales the prices are firm, and the last days at least around here prices are slashed 50%. If you want something bad just pay the full price. If you wait until prices are slashed chances are the item might be gone. that being said make I usually make a quick stop on the final day of sales I’m really interested in. I’ve gotten great deals by doing this.
An important rule is to be nice to the people working the estate sale. I’ve seen far too many times where customers are rude and even yell at the selling staff. Remember, some times things fall through the cracks and if something isn’t priced asking a staff person nicely might get a better answer then immediately popping attitude. Some estate sales refuse to sell items with no price tag and I’ve asked that the item be held for me until someone can price it. Usually this request is accommodated.
Some estate sellers only accept cash so I always bring some. Some professional estate sellers accept credit cards but I would bring both just in case.
If you have any tips to share, please leave a comment!