Hey, guys! As promised, here are some tips for finding great estate sales and getting deals once you’re there! 👍🏻 These are just some things that I have picked up on over the years and things I have noticed.
1. Skip the sales that are in condos and apartments.
I know that sometimes, if you live in New York or a bigger city, that’s primarily where people live, but anywhere else, DON’T bother with sales held in apartments or condos unless they have something in the listing that really interests you. Most of the time, when I see condo sales, it means that the people have downsized. Generally, when older people move into a smaller condo, they put their best stuff away in storage units, meaning there’s not much left for you to pick through except junky Christmas decorations or dated (but not in the cool way) furniture.
2. Do show up early or on time.
The early bird really does get the worm! Show up on time or even earlier to sales to get a better number in the queue and a better chance at the good stuff!
3. Some sales are farther out, but sometimes they’re worth it.
In my experience, sales that are farther out and away from the city can sometimes be the very best ones! For instance, I love estate sales in Oak Ridge or “The Secret City”. They are usually only one owner homes of people who came from a generation where if it wasn’t broken, people didn’t fix it. These houses are like time capsules where the people usually kept everything they owned. Sales farther away from the city also have the cool, old kitschy stuff sometimes, including clothes from decades ago.
4. Look at pictures on listings, but don’t get caught up in them.
I scan through pictures to get a general feel for a sale, but I don’t go by pictures alone. Also, I kind of like to be surprised when I go!
5. Narrow sales down by an area.
Usually, if you just type in an area, sales in the area will come up on estate sales.net. I search my favorite areas specifically sometimes, just to save time. 👍🏻
6. Don’t discount “living estate sales”.
The main difference between living estate sales and just estate sales is—you guessed it! Living estate sales are for people who are still around, while estate sales are for someone who has passed. Sometimes, living estate sales mean that there will still be some emotional attachment to items, but most of the time, people are just wanting to clear out, so you can get some pretty good deals.
7. Look in garages and basements.
Some people are creeped out by basements, but that’s where some of the good stuff is! Some people skip over garages and sheds entirely, but that is where I have found some of my best stuff. One time, I found a whole box full of leather, postal straps used by the Postal Service for holding mail together in the earlier days. 😱 They were so cool and I sold them all! If I hadn’t gone in the damp, musty garage of that house I was at, I never would have found them!
8. Bundle when you can.
Most of the time, prices are predetermined, but occassionally, you can talk people down by bundling. At the end of the day, they have to get rid of everything and they’d rather you take home 4 things than 1.
9. You say it best when you say nothing at all.
Also an Alison Krauss song 😂, but a good piece of advice. Sometimes, if you ask a price and don’t say anything after you’re told what it is, people will get nervous and talk themselves down. That’s a pro tip right there. 👌🏻
10. All about that paper.
Look through paper items. People skip paper stuff usually because they assume it’s just junk, but sometimes you can find old ticket stubs, newspapers, postcards and pictures!
Those are all my tips for now! 💋 Also, the scarf pictured here is one I found this weekend and it’s gorgeous! 100% silk, made in Japan and just beautiful in color. It is up on my etsy, Edison’s Place! Hope you all are having a great weekend! 👋🏻