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Shopping Tips For The Estate Sale Shopper

Estate Sale Shopping TIps

Estate sale shopping is one of the best-kept secrets of interior designers. These sales can be small or large, grand or eclectic, but provide excellent treasure hunting sources for beautiful furnishings and housewares that suit any budget. Before you venture into unchartered territory, learn from the experts.

Antique furniture hunting

Antiques and vintage furniture are always in style. It’s getting harder to find well-made furniture in stores at a reasonable price. Estate sales are the perfect place for quality and a reasonable price,“About 50 percent of our business is due to a death in the family. Our remaining business comes from relocating, redecorating, and downsizing. It’s the circle of life in the furniture world.

Popular estate sale items

As in all aspects of the economy, estate sale liquidators are noticing that people shop for simpler items.

Of course, due to the current economy, the basics are very popular right now — linens, kitchen, bath, tools, clothing, People are still buying the antiques and art, but the everyday usable stuff goes out the door first.

We live in a disposable age and buying ‘used’ allows people to get what they need out of something before trashing it and they don’t feel guilty because they didn’t spend a fortune in the first place.”

Mid-century modern designs are flying out the doors. “It’s been popular on the West Coast for years and we’ve finally started having people seek it out in our sales,” he says. Need furniture money? Discover 5 ways to save $500.

Estate sale shopping tips

Some simple steps will keep you walking away with good deals in tow:

• Rise and shine and get there early! If the piece you are looking for is unique, chances are you aren’t the only one wanting it.

• Often people start out looking in the formal rooms of the home, so start in the garage, patio areas, and kitchen for treasures.

• Always ask someone involved in the sale if you can inspect any linens that are packaged up tightly. Sometimes stains can be folded up and not seen on large tablecloths and napkins making them unusable.

• Keep things on the lowdown. Don’t go around in awe commenting on everything or you’ll draw attention to the item, thus creating more competition for it.

• Sometimes estate liquidators are willing to split up sets of items, like dining chairs. If you can swing it at all, don’t split up sets of furniture or plates. Keep the family together and spring for the whole lot if you can to avoid woulda-coulda-shoulda, later.

• Preview pictures of upcoming sales on estate sale liquidator websites.

• If you love vintage clothing, keep in mind that clothes were much smaller decades ago. Consult a sizing chart first; there are no returns.

• Show up with boxes and packing paper for small fragile items.

• “You’ve got to move it, move it, so be prepared to pack and move (when you buy). Liquidators are in the selling business and not the moving business.

• Join major estate liquidators’ mailing lists to hear about new sales.

• When you find something you like, ask about the liquidators’ bid policy. We do take bids on pieces which helps keep a buyer in the game. Before we do discounts, we review the bids and sell to the highest bidder,.

• No annoying complainers or loud haggling at an estate sale allowed: If you’re into that, find a flea market atmosphere. Estate liquidators work hard to set their sales up. Make a bid or quietly ask if they’d consider a lower price toward the end of a sale.

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