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6 Things to Know Before You Go to an Estate Sale

Estate Sale Tips

Looking for unique items to shop for? Shopping secondhand can be a rewarding experience, but sometimes your local thrift shops lack the eye-catching things you hope to find. Estate sales, though, are a fun alternative to secondhand shops.

If you’ve been searching for “estate sales near me,” you may know that estate sales are usually held when an estate owner has passed away, or when the owner is going through a divorce, has debt, or is simply downsizing. Unlike a yard sale, these sales happen inside the owner’s home rather than outside or in a lot. As it is the clearing out of an estate’s belongings, you can find a variety of items, from furniture to vintage decor and clothing.

If you are new to visiting estate sales, the process may be daunting at first. At Yellow Bird, we have experience with the process and the etiquette of estate sales, and we want to share that experience with you. Here are a few things to keep in mind to make your shopping experience easier and more enjoyable.


1. Get There Early

More often than not, estate sales happen on the weekend, and they only take place for a couple of days. The limited time means that buyers arrive as soon as they can, and items go quickly. It’s good to arrive early before the sale opens if you have an eye on something special .

Some sales will have a sign-up sheet to fill out, and they will often let in people one at a time to prevent crowding. Early arrival can better ensure that you’re at the top of that list and able to get the items you’re set on purchasing.


2. Bring Friends or Prepare a Truck

Large items like furniture are common items that are purchased at an estate sale, and buyers sometimes purchase more than they originally planned to when they go in. The last thing you want is to have your eyes set on something you want, but have no means of getting it home. When this happens, you may need extra assistance to take everything home .

Bringing the right vehicle is helpful, such as a truck or a van. Measure out what you’re wanting to take to make sure everything will fit in the vehicle. Extra hands are also convenient, so taking friends with you to the sales is ideal for moving large items like furniture pieces. It also makes the experience so much more enjoyable!


3. Follow the Seasoned Antiquers

If you want to get the most out of your estate sale shopping, a good way to do so is by following the buyers who have attended estate sales before. Veteran shoppers have an eye for good deals and valuable items at sales.

When you have an interest in antique pieces, following the practiced antiquers can lead you to finding vintage gems, as well as having a better understanding on how to find them. Seasoned shoppers are a well of knowledge for first-time buyers, so keep an eye out for the ones who know their way around the sale.


4. Explore Every Corner

Great finds are not always in plain sight, and sometimes they aren’t in places you would expect. When you’re exploring an estate sale, make sure you search every corner of it. With the large amount of items for sale, things can get hidden. This might make your search last longer, but it also means you may find valuable items that were completely missed by other shoppers.

Sometimes the best deals lie in the hidden spots of an estate, and taking the time to look can lead you to things no one else could find. Look in the rooms that aren’t crowded by other shoppers, or search drawers and closets that you’re allowed to look in. You may find something worth purchasing.


5. Last Day Deals & Bargaining

You can find good deals at the right time and with the right kind of conversations. Sometimes, there is the chance to negotiate with the estate sale manager on a deal. If you have a budget in mind, you may be able to get a bundle price if you’re buying items in bulk.

Getting to a sale early is very important when you know what you want, but going on the last day can sometimes lead to deals you wouldn’t get at any other time. With the time on the sale waning, sale managers may look to lowering the price to clear it out sooner.


6. Be Kind and Polite

Being polite and gracious is important in all kinds of sales, but it’s especially important in estate sales. Oftentimes, an estate sale is held after the death of the homeowner, and their family may be present during that time or even running the sale. Keep in mind that you are shopping within their home and looking through their personal belongings.

If you are looking to negotiate prices or simply purchase an item, be respectful and mindful when you’re talking to them. Treating the items their loved ones owned with care goes a long way and could mean a lot to them. Looking to have an estate sale of your own? Yellow Bird is here to answer any questions you may have from “what is the process like” to “how much do estate sale companies charge.” To learn more about our ongoing sales and how we can help you, contact us today.

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