Estate Sale Tips

1) Start at  – type in your state and zip code and a list of sales will magically appear.  Many include pictures so you will know if it’s worth your time.  Don’t forget to check your local newspapers and the Craigslist garage sale section too.

2) Map out your course – plan your trip to hit the best sales first.

3) Cash is king – most sales won’t take credit cards or checks so stop by the bank before you go.

4) Don’t bring – large tote bags or purses, they might not be allowed inside.

5) Do bring – measuring tape, a flashlight (for those dark attics and basements), room measurements

6) Arrive early –  If you want first pick, be prepared!

7) Early bird gets the worm – the best selection is during the first couple of hours but there will be no room for negotiating price.  If you have something specific on your wish list – get there early or it will probably disappear

8) Late bird gets the bargain – prices are slashed after the first day (up to 50%) with real bargains during the last couple of hours (perfect for those of us who don’t “need” anything and like junky stuff).

9) Do a fast walk through – go through every room when you arrive to scan for treasures and grab them quickly.  Then go back to poke through boxes and bins for a more thorough search.

10) Hit the garage, shed, and backyard  – it’s where I head first and where I find my best treasures.

11) Ask about unmarked items – appliances, draperies, rugs, garden furniture, shelving and swing sets are often for sale if you ask we cannot price everything.

12) Bring post-its marked “sold” – if you find something fabulous that’s too big to carry, slap your post it on it before someone else can buy it while you’re searching for a salesperson!

13) No prices marked – just gather up your loot and ask for a price (you’ll get a better deal if you’re buying a lot then if you bring up each piece separately).

14) Bids, Make and Offer, sometimes sales allow you to bid on big ticket items that aren’t selling at full price.  You give them your best price and they will call you if it’s accepted.

15) Check pick up policy – some sales allow you to come back the next day for large items but others insist you remove them right away.

16) Bring your own muscle – estate sale workers often won’t help you to load your finds so bring help (or just bat your eyes to get other shoppers to help you).

17) Remember All sales are final – check condition before you buy.

18) Sign up for email list – (usually by the check out register) add your name so you’ll be the first to know about new sales.

19) Respect the property and be nice – out of bounds rooms are usually marked off with tape so stay out and be friendly (you’ll probably see them at the next sale).

20) Have fun – you may come out empty handed but you can at least enjoy an inside peek into lots of very cool houses.

Note:  Check out my up coming Estate Sale in Downtown Mesa @ this week ..


Published by michelles antiques

Michelle's Antiques llc 418 N. Hunt located off University at Hunt Dr. look for our signs. An eclectic shop filled with curated items from the PAST.

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