Estate Sales for eBay Profits

Estate Sales

Just like garage sales, estate sales can be a good source for locating items to buy and resell on eBay. Although beware! Shopping estate sales can be a bit tricky and frustrating.

An estate sale is basically where an individual has either passed away, moved away or something of this nature and the family is selling off their possessions. Usually a house full of stuff! Estate sales can be a small gold mine under the right circumstances.

Quite often, not always, the estate sale is handled by a professional seller whose job is to be in charge of the advertising and selling of items. A lot of professional sellers know of eBay so their attitude is that everything is worth a small fortune! I’m being a bit sarcastic here, because I’ve dealt with some of these people before.

Once upon a time…

Let me tell you a true little story here. I went to an estate sale where an entire household of items were for sale. I mean everything! The sale was being run by an antique dealer. Usually antique dealers know mostly got it antiques!

Well I proceeded to select some items such as old wooden hunting arrows, vintage books, magazines, and fishing equipment (poles and reels). When I went to pay for my treasures the antique dealer kept trying to jack-up the prices on the books and magazines telling me how they were worth a lot of money on the “net”.

These particulars items were worth a few bucks, but nothing like what I was being told. Little did this dealer know I’ve already been successfully selling vintage books and magazines and I had a good idea of what the stuff was really worth. The really sweet part of it all was I managed to haggle a fair price for the books and magazines, but also got a great price on the arrows and fishing equipment. Guess what? The arrows and fishing tackle is where I made my money selling on eBay. The dealer didn’t have a clue that the other items I was purchasing were the items that really fetched a good price on the so called “net”.

Yes, I know it’s the dealer’s job to get the most that they can out of the items, but I also have a mission. To buy low and sell high! No disrespect to dealers or other estate professionals, but if you’re going to play the game you need to be well educated!

So as the saying goes “do your research”! The more you know about what you’re looking for the better. That’s the bottom line.

So the story continues. Two weeks later I go to another estate sale and the same dealer is there. This wasn’t too surprising since the area in which I live is relatively small. Now I go browsing for some goodies and everything is way over priced. At least for my wallet. All I kept hearing from this dealer and their assistant was how this stuff was worth a fortune on the net. I politely walked away.

The moral of the story folks is to have a good idea of what you’re looking for and be as familiar with prices as you possibly can. Don’t be afraid or too disappointed to walk away. You don’t really lose in the long run. You’re gaining valuable knowledge and experience that will make you successful!

One last thought on estate sales is to check them out and be prepared to negotiate “haggle” pricing. You’ll get good at it. It’s challenging, but fun. See my hubpage on haggling (negotiating).

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