Estate Sale Shopping Tips For Newbies

Posted on: 24 February 2015

Shopping for unique items, furniture, and other treasures at estate sales is not only fun to do, but it can also be a great way to buy things you really like or need for prices that are very affordable. If you love visiting garage sales but have not ventured into the world of estate sales yet, now might be a good time to start. There are some things you should know about estate sales before you start attending them, and here are some important tips you should know.

Ways To Find Out About Upcoming Sales

The first thing you will need to do is to find out when these sales will take place. Estate sales typically take place for two days in a row, which are often Friday and Saturday, or Saturday and Sunday. They are often on the weekends simply because that is the best time for the majority of people that work.

The best way to find out when local estate sales are going on is to look up estate sale liquidation companies. Any company that hosts estate sales will have a list of upcoming sales. Don't be surprised though if the sales do not list an address. Estate companies purposely do this to prevent buyers from showing up before the dates of the sale. If there are several estate sale companies in the area, look up each one and mark these dates on your calendar.

When you view these postings, you will also get to read over lists of items that are for sale. These lists may not be complete, but they usually include most of the items that will be sold at a sale. Knowing about the sales is the first step in finding great deals, but there are several other things you will need to know before you start this new hobby.

Get There Early!

Most estate sales take place inside homes, but an estate sale company may only allow a certain number of people to enter the house at one time. Because of this, you will need to get to the sale early if you have your eyes on a particular item. If the sale begins at 8 am, you may want to arrive by 7 am. If you are the first there, you will get to enter the home first, which will give you a better chance of purchasing the items you came there to get.

This is something that is really important with rare items or items that are high in demand. For example, if you collect cuckoo clocks and you see one on the list of an estate sale, you may need to get there first in order to purchase the clock. If you are not there early and other clock collectors show up, they may quickly snatch up this particular clock.

How to Get The Best Deal

Finally, here are some tips to help you get the best deals possible at estate sales:

  • Wait until the second day – If there is nothing that you desperately want to buy from a sale, wait until the second day to visit it. Many estate liquidators offer 50% off sales on the second day simply to get rid of any remaining items.
  • Negotiate with them – If you wait until the second day, you may have more room to negotiate on prices. As you do this, start with a low offer and work your way up.
  • Bring a truck – Some items are very large, such as furniture, and you will need a truck to carry these things. If you make an offer on an item and have a truck, you can negotiate by stating you will take the item with you when you leave. This is often a good tool to use because the estate liquidators will want everything cleared out as soon as possible.
  • Dig deep – There are always things that the estate company may have missed when they were pricing items inside a home. If you dig through boxes and closets, you may find items like this, and they may be things that you really want. Because they do not have price tags and are not on the estate sale inventory list, they might accept a really low price just to get rid of the item.

Estate sales are full of antiques, furniture, jewelry, and much more, and shopping at these sales is a great way to find interesting and useful items. If you would like to learn about upcoming sales, contact an estate sale company in your area or visit