Design Inspiration

How to Find the Best Deals at Estate Sales

Hello beautiful friends!

Thank you so much for stopping by! Are you ready to hear how to find great deals at estate sales? I’ve recently had a lot of question about how I find such great deals at estate sales. But Before I jump right in first, let me explain what an estate sale is? Often, an estate sale is similar to a garage sale and many of my tips and tricks work well for garage sales as well. Although, there are a few differences for example estate sales are run privately by the relative of a decedent, while others are run by professional estate sale companies. Estate sales typically take place in the decedent’s home or surrounding the property and may run for two or three days, with the seller commonly discounting items on the second and third days. Estate sale companies always accept cash and frequently accept check or credit card payments as well. However, family-run sales may only accept cash.

Now on to the TIPS!!

Tip #1

Use https://www.estatesales.net/ to find and scope out estate sales ahead of time. Many of the sales listed on the site will have photos.  I always look through the photos to make sure the sale I want to go to will have items I want. My husband says I need to stop looking for things but I love finding great deals and just can’t stop. Plus it’s in my blood… I can remember going with my father to estate sale after estate sale. It’s a dangerously amazing site that fuels my love for finding old junk.

Tip #2

As I mentioned above estate sales generally run for two or three days, with the seller commonly discounting items on the second and third days. I highly recommend you go on the second and third day of the sale. I have a rule for myself… I’m only allowed to go on the second and third day so I end up paying less for items. The locally run estate sales near me always have 50% off everything on the last day of the sale. This is generally because they don’t want the burden of having to move any unsold items out of the house at the end of the sale. So this gives you an upper hand to get a better deal.

Tip #3

I highly recommend bartering down the prices. What I do is find a few things I love. Which isn’t hard for me to do because I check the estate sale listings beforehand to make sure its worth the trip. Once I have all the items I want in I pile I barter a bundled deal. Generally, when you purchase lots of items they’ll work with you and give you a great deal. I start low and offer less then I want to pay without insulting the seller. For example, if all the items are already half off priced at $30 I don’t offer them $5. I might offer them $15 and then they might counter with $20. Go for the bundled price deal, I’ve had a lot of luck with it.

Tip #4

Bring cash, many dealers only take cash and the ones that don’t hate paying fees to credit card companies. If you didn’t know credit card companies charge fees to sellers. You will almost always get a better deal when you pay with cash because they don’t want to lose money to credit card companies. So bring cash, this also helps me stick to a budget as I can only spend what I bring.

Tip #5

Bring a large bag so you can go through the house as quickly as possible, grabbing items of interest along the way. I’ve found it very difficult to hold everything in my hands so bring a big bag is the perfect solution. Once you’ve seen enough and grabbed the items you’re interested in review them and get ready to barter.

Tip #6

Homes with a lot of items are often too full of stuff for even an estate sale company to research and price everything. Boxes of stuff found in basements, attics, or anywhere else can be a good source for hidden items that are otherwise overlooked. I’ve found lots of overlooked amazing things in random boxes and the items generally don’t have price tags so it’s another opportunity to barter and get a great deal.

While there are deals to be had at estate sales, you have to be careful. Unlike retail stores, there are no returns and you don’t get any guarantees. You buy everything at your own risk, and you have to be aware of the risks before you agree to anything. For the value-minded, treasure hunters like me looking for the hidden gold and forgotten junk, estate sales are some of the best places to find what you’re looking for often at prices, you cannot find elsewhere.

Click the following link for my recent estate sale finds (link)!

Have you ever found an incredible deal at an estate sale? What was your strategy? I would love to hear some feedback! You can also find me on Facebook and chat with me on Instagram!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

XOXO, Lisa Tornabene

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