A beginner’s guide to estate sale shopping
Estate sales can be intimidating for people who have never gone to one before. People often assume that estate sales are only for antique dealers and collectors and tend to sell more expensive items, such as fine porcelain china and framed artwork. But self-proclaimed estate sale obsessives will tell you differently! Here are some helpful tips for those who are new to estate sales:
- Although estate sales run by professional companies usually include higher-priced items, merchandise will also be of higher quality. Also, respected and reputable companies will never offer items at hyper-inflated prices. They will price items at fair and competitive prices in order to attract a diverse range of customers and to build a loyal following. Certified appraisers are also used for estate sales run by professional estate sale companies, so although there may be higher prices, everything sold will have clear purchasing policies and prices.
- The early bird wins. During estate sales, the best items are almost always sold within the first day of the sale, so be sure to get to the estate sale when it opens. On the other hand, if you come in after the rush, the estate sale is likely to be less crowded and you’ll be in a better position to negotiate prices.
- Estate sales usually draw a wide variety of people, from antique dealers to bargain hunters. Regulars will be very savvy, efficient, cutthroat and knowledgeable, so if you see an item you like, there’s the likely chance that you might have to negotiate the better price for the item.
- Although key items are usually kept in the main rooms of the house, such as the living or dining room, check out hidden treasures in boxes or other rooms in the house. Don’t hesitate to ask the estate sale organizer if you can check the storage boxes in the attic and basement, which will most likely also be on sale for liquidation. If you’re looking for a deal on rugs, check out the floors.
- Before heading there, research the estate sale company’s webpage. It will most likely list several upcoming estate sales and will include detailed information and photos of merchandise being sold in each estate sale. If you see something you like, do research on the item and make an educated assessment of the item’s worth.