Tagged: estate sales
12/08/2016 at 4:29 pm #7648shortandstoutParticipant
- Location: Central Pennsylvania
What are your best tips for Estate sales?
Heading to my first one this weekend and would love some advice and tips. Thanks!
12/08/2016 at 4:40 pm #7653JayKeymaster
- Location: Virginia
Go on the first day. Buy anything you think is really cool and will sell for big money. Take note of everything you may want but is too expensive.
Then go the last day when it’s closing. The prices will often be 75% off. (or more)
Don;t forget to dig in the corners. Down in the basement or attics (photos, slides, ??). Go into the bathroom cabinet and medicine chest (perfume, glasses). Kitchen drawers often have knife sets.
Remember that the house is no longer occupied. It’s all being sold. You aren’t being nosy. The family wants everything gone. They’ve already come and stripped the house for what they wanted. Have fun!
12/08/2016 at 4:56 pm #7656whiskeyParticipant
I will come out of lurker mode.
Jay is spot on. Plan on going twice and don’t be afraid to dig.
Be prepared to start piles. Don’t try to awkwardly carry everything while you search.
Be prepared for crowds if you are there early. Some are very well attended and it is like being in a crowded bar. I go through a second time after the crowd dies down to see if I missed anything.
Bring a flashlight. A lot of times the lighting is horrible, particularly when you are digging in the corners. We have stuff in the death piles that looked so much better when poorly lit.
I always try to find out the history of the estate– what folks did for a living or fun will help me in my search. Today I went to one for a music videographer who worked with famous musicians. I paid more attention to the media boxes.
Even on day one I will make offers when something isn’t marked, which is alot of what I grab. Don’t be afraid to lowball depending on what you have.
They will be either run by the family or by a professional company and each has pros and cons. If you are going to do this for long it pays to get to know how each professional seller operates. I know which ones I can get a good deal on a lot, which ones mark up certain types of items, and which ones expect you pay eBay prices for everything. Listen to them talk to other people as you search. You would be amazed what you learn about them and the stuff at the sale.
On the final day I tend to go hog wild. As Jay said, there are often great discounts and you still find awesome stuff.
12/08/2016 at 8:24 pm #7682shortandstoutParticipant
- Location: Central Pennsylvania
Thanks Jay and Whiskey!
I’m doing this as a scavenging add-on to some travel I have going on this weekend so my time table is a little screwy. I have three sales I’m trying to go to the north of the DC area, but south of Baltimore. My final destination is north of Baltimore and I need to be there by 4 PM. I’ll be in the area for the first one around noon so I don’t think I’ll make all three on my way down. I’m thinking I’ll hit the two that are closest to each other and then hit the other one and one of the first ones on my way back home since I can be there at 9 AM when they open on Sunday. Some interesting things are listed. One sale has a bunch of NASA stuff, but I’m guessing anything even closely related to John Glenn will be gone before I can get there. I’m always open to see what I can get for a good price that I think is cool so I’m going in with an open mind. If I’m going to make a four hour drive for a holiday party, I might as well scavenge along my way!
12/09/2016 at 12:40 am #7691So Cal JoeParticipant
On the last day, whatever doesn’t sell is going to be sent to the box lot auction, the clean out people or just getting trashed. I have filled up the car for $30 on the last day of some Estate sales.
Everything is negotiable, regardless of the stated prices or discounts. Don’t be afraid to ask, especially on the last day.
12/09/2016 at 11:29 pm #7751LouieJaneParticipant
If your state charges sales tax on estate sales, have pre-filled sales tax exempt forms on hand. In Texas, many estate sales are now charging sales tax.
12/10/2016 at 11:38 pm #7781didymusParticipant
Some great tips have been listed. About the only thing I can add is be prepared to go early. Some sales will distribute numbers to those waiting in line. Others only allow a limited number of people inside at a time. Some open exactly at the posted time and others will open early. Every seller is different. Good luck on your hunting!
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