5 Tips For Estate Sales

July 4, 2022

If you’re looking for amazing items that have been loved before on a budget, estate sales will be your saving grace. Brimming with antiques, paintings, and more, estate sales are a fantastic way to find treasure. Although, if you’ve never been, they can be overwhelming to approach. Knowing where and how to start finding them, what’s prime to look for, and how to negotiate a price is a lot to process! Here’s just a few tips and tricks for estate sales, so you can get the most out of your bargain hunting! 


From signs on the street to listings on Facebook and Craigslist, estate sales are advertised in a variety of areas. Online is a promising bet, considering the modern age we live in now. A simple search on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist can result in hundred of estate sales around you. However, when filtering these you’ll want to make sure that your range of sales is within boundaries you’re comfortable traveling to. To maximize shopping productivity, plan out a route where you can hit many estate sales at once. In the unlikely circumstance that you can’t find anything online, try a local newspaper or bulletin boards at local businesses. You can also research estate companies in your area and subscribe to their email list to get estate sales updates. 



Walking in the door of an estate sale, where someone’s entire life of treasures is on sale can be overwhelming! Knowing what to look for can be a challenge. However, there’s a few key items to keep an eye out for. Books, especially first editions, can be incredibly valuable and since they’re not in particular demand, can be incredibly affordable. Art is another valuable item that is of the plenty at estate sales. This not only a great way to snag personal pieces with a story behind them, but you can also stumble upon some incredibly valuable art! Glassware and furniture are also great finds, because they’re probably vintage and definitely durable if they’ve lasted that long. Clothing and other trinkets are good to keep an eye out for too, but will be a bit more subject to personal taste. 



Typically there’s a crowd that goes to estate sales regularly, and while it may be helpful to befriend these bargain hunters, they’re also probably looking for the same treasure you are! So, the earlier you can show up, the better! 



Typically, due to the nature of the estate sale, the crowd will likely be older. This means you might not be able to rely on venmo or credit cards or any other digital form of payment. Bringing cash ensures that you’ll be able to get the goodies you love, and offers a tool for negotiation, which is our next tip.



When assessing whether or not you’re willing to pay the asking price for an item, start the negotiations lower than you actually would pay. Don’t be shy, and definitely don’t be rude! Remember, it could be a family members things you’re buying, so if they won’t budge don’t push too hard. If it’s an estate sale worker, that offers more envelope to push. Going up by increments of $5 is typically an effective strategy in negotiation, especially of less expensive items. Try to buy in bundles too, grouping items together is an effective way to get a discount on all of them and get the items off the estate salesperson’s hands!

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