Well, we are coming into estate sale season once again.
Getting up extremely early, planning sales a week or so ahead of time, and searching the internet endlessly are all things essential to estate sale goers.
There are many places to find estate sale listings
- Craigslist under the garage sales
- Facebook/market place
- Local news papers
- Local signage on poles etc
Some listings have pictures and a good description of items others do not. It’s really a roll of the dice. I have been to sales that sounded amazing and were terrible and sales that had very little listed and found amazing treasures.
Once you find that perfect sale, getting a game plan together is a must. What time will you show up?, do you need help?, is it going to be freezing?, where in the house are the items you want?, how much money should you take?.
Once I find THE SALE, i try to figure out exactly where in the house the item(s) are. Zooming in on pictures, and paying attention to the flow of the pictures(usually pictures are taken as the estate company walks through the house). That will give you an idea of the layout of the house.
I typically show up 4 hours prior to start of the sale because I like to be 1st or 2nd in line just to even have a chance to get what I want. And yes I have stood in 18 degree weather for 4 hours just to get 1 thing.
Being early also gives you time to look in Windows and determine the best route to your items.
I would say there are 4 main types of estate sale buyers. The toy people, the tool people, the clothes people and the glass people. These categories may blend from time to time but usually you can spot who buys what. If you go to a lot of sales you know who is competition and who is not.
If you are first in line and you are a glass person, if the next 3 people in line are toy/tool people that will give you a little bit more time to get to where you are going before the mob.
^ photo from an estate sale 2 weeks ago. I arrived at 5am. I was second in line, luckily the first person was a toy buyer.
Now…… how much money should you take? I can’t really answer that. Take what you can afford to spend. Some estate companies price close to retail. Others don’t care and they price things extremely cheap regardless of what they are because they’re just there to clean the house out.
If you’re a collector you will spend a little bit more for something. If it’s close to retail price most resellers are not going to spend $100 to make $10.