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The Beginners Guide To Estate Sale Shopping

We talk about the best items to look for at an Estate Sale and give tips on how to be a successful Estate Sale shopper.


The Beginners Guide To Estate Sale Shopping

Estate sales are one of the best ways to find unique items for discounted prices as well as collectible items that are hard to find.  If you haven't been to an estate sale, don't be intimidated, just think of it as shopping only you are shopping at someone's house.

The estate sale community is a friendly one and you will be welcomed with open arms.  Here is our beginners guide to estate sales where we answer basic questions about going to estate sales.  If you have any questions we missed, add them in the comments below and we will add them to our guide.

What is an estate sale?

An estate sale is a sale where the contents of an entire household are liquidated.  These sales often take place in the owner's home and last several days.  Estate sales are typically open to the general public.

How does an estate sale differ from a garage sale?

Garage sales are held to sell a limited number of items and are usually held in a garage or yard.  Estate sales are held to sell all the contents of a home.  They are held inside the house and have a greater selection of items then garage sales.

How much can I expect to spend at an estate sale?

This all depends on what you are buying.  Many items will be priced much less then retail.  For special items such as collectibles, fine art, vintage, and specialty you can expect to pay similar prices to what you would find online.

Can I pay with credit cards?

Many estate sale companies will allow you to pay with credit cards but it is always a safe bet to have cash on hand when you go to a sale.

What kinds of things can I find at estate sales?

You can find anything a typical household would have at an estate sale. If you think of all the rooms in a house, you can get an idea of what types of things are sold at an estate sale.  For example, let's take the dining room - what is usually found in a dining room is a dining room table, dishes, furniture to showcase dishes, etc.  Estate sales are also known for having vintage, antique and collectible items.

Is there any estate sale etiquette?

Estate sales are typically pretty laid back.  You can pick up items and examine them if you want to.  You can haggle with the companies on prices if you really want an item, but in general, items are priced well and we recommend paying the price marked.  If you have any questions about an item, the company holding the sale typically has helpers around the sale that you can ask for more information.

Where do I find estate sales?

You can find estate sales in online estate sales directories by searching in your favorite search engine for estate sales near your city. Our site, allows you to search for estate sales near you and is an easy way to preview sales and auctions before you go.  You can even create your own personalized estate sale dashboard so that you always know when your favorite company is having it's next estate sale.

Where do I park at an estate sale?

For most estate sales you will simply park where you find a space close to the home the sale is happening at.  Some sales will be in areas with restricted parking - for these, estate sale staff are typically on hand directing shoppers to the appropriate place to park.  Other times there will be signs showing where parking is restricted.

When is the best time to shop estate sales?

This really depends on your desires.  Is there something at the sale you really want?  Best thing to do is get there before the sale opens, wait in line and try to get to the item first.  If you are looking to save money, many estate sale companies discount prices on the last day of their sale.  This is a great time to get deals.

How do I find a company to help me hold an estate sale?

You can search on google to find estate sale companies near you or visit our estate sale company directory to learn more about estate sale companies by state.

Are you a first time or new estate sale shopper? Tell us about your first shopping trip!