Whether you’re looking to furnish a new apartment or stock up on joy-sparking decor, an estate sale might just be your shot to get high-quality pieces for relatively low prices.
People hold estate sales when they want to liquidate their or a relative’s belongings, usually because of death, divorce, bankruptcy or relocation. Essentially, they open up their house to the public, and everyone can explore all they have to offer. Shoppers are likely to find beautiful antiques or eloquent furniture, and sellers make money off of things they have no use for. If this sounds like a win to you, choose a sale — or two, or three — to attend, and keep these tips in mind.
If you want to get lucky, attend your estate sale of choice on the first day, and try to arrive an hour or even more before the sale starts. Some sales operate using a regular first-come, first-served line and some assign entry numbers, but either way, sales often limit how many people are allowed in at a time. Thus, if you want to get the good stuff, try to be the first inside.
See something you like, but don’t quite have the cash? No worries. Try going back to the sale on the last day. Often, companies or independent sellers will gradually lower the price of items that haven’t sold yet. Still, keep in mind that if you do this, someone else might snag the deal first.
Bring some muscle
If you might buy anything big, make sure you have someone to help you load it up, or inquire as to whether you can pick it up later. Usually, estate sells will not have staff employed to help its customers with heavy furniture, and if they do, there will be a fee.
Check out what you buy
This may seem obvious, but double check the quality of anything you buy. Smell furniture for anything literally or figuratively fishy, and make sure tools or decorations are functional and not broken. Don’t feel weird doing this, as you don’t want to purchase anything useless or that ultimately does not suit you.
To find estate sales in the area, check out sites like estatesales.net or estatesale.com. Usually, websites give details as to what the merchandise will look like, and you might even find price estimates. Like anything new, you might feel a little anxious heading in your first time, but once you find that perfect set of silverware or cozy reclining chair, your nerves will be long forgotten.