ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Find Exactly What You Need at an Estate Sale

Updated on June 8, 2016

Searching for Hidden Treasures at an Estate Sale

When you are shopping an estate sale, how can you tell which items are a complete waste of your money (and valuable space) and which are worth bringing home? Finding treasures at an estate sale is not just for professional dealers. The following suggestions will set you on the path to developing an eye for treasure and the places they could be hiding at estate sales.

Remember, estate sales are not just for antique dealers and collectibles addicts. While you are out searching for an antique treasure, keep an eye out for useful items you can use at home. Buying practical items at an estate sale is a terrific way to save money. Most sales have a substantial inventory of everyday items that you could use in your home for a fraction of the retail price.

What will you find at an estate sale?
What will you find at an estate sale?

Do Your Research – What items do you find interesting? What do you need for your home? Research these items. Get to know what to look for, such as markings on valuable vases. You can do this research online, or invest in books about collectibles, antiques or vintage toys. If you know the value of particular items before you head out to shop, you have a better chance of finding a treasure that will be overlooked by other buyers.

Know the Neighborhood – Learn a little about the area where the estate sale is being held. This will help you get an idea of what types of items will be presented, as well as possible quality. A sale in an affluent neighborhood could mean high value items at a reduced price (but not necessarily a low price). Don’t discount older neighborhoods that have become a little run down. It’s very possible to find some great vintage items at a terrific price.

Get off the Beaten Path – Some estate sale shoppers will stick to the main rooms, where they assume the best offerings are showcased. While this is often true, it is very possible to find lower priced items in overlooked places of the home. Check the basement, the attic, the tool shed out back and the dark dusty rooms that other shoppers are avoiding..

Pick your ideal shopping time – Shoppers often think that the best time to get to an estate sale is early. While there is an advantage to arriving early, before items have been picked over, you are more likely to get a better deal later in the day. If the sale is being held for multiple days, prices are likely to be greatly reduced in the interest of clearing the home. Pick your arrival time based on your goal. Do you want a chance at the best items? Get there early. Do you want a great deal? Wait until later.

The best way to find hidden treasures at estate sales is to get out there and start looking! Over time you’ll develop an eye for valuable items, you’ll learn which neighborhoods offer the types of items you want and you’ll sharpen your negotiating skills. You may not find a treasure on your first time out, but you are sure to find something interesting. Keep trying!

You can find valuable everyday items at an estate sale for a fraction of the retail price.
You can find valuable everyday items at an estate sale for a fraction of the retail price.

Buying Everyday Useful Items at Estate Sales

The following list will open your eyes to the possibilities of estate sale finds that you can use in your home right now. Sure, there could be beautiful China and fine silverware at the sale you are attending, if that is what you are looking for, but consider first what you need.

What could you purchase at an estate sale for a great price and be able to use and enjoy frequently.

  • Everyday flatware.
  • Casual plates, mugs and tea cups.
  • Tablecloths, cloth napkins and kitchen towels.
  • Pyrex, corning ware, kitchen canisters
  • Glassware of all types. Look for juice glasses, wine glasses, cups, pitchers and barware.
  • Serving dishes, including platters, cake plates, candy dishes, salad bowls.
  • Draperies and window treatments. These items may still be on the windows, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are not for sale. Ask a staff member for a price if you see something you like. Be sure to measure your own windows before heading out to shop.
  • Office supplies. Look for everything from paper and staplers to desk sets and accessories.
  • Decorative art. You may expect to find for sought after, expensive artwork at an estate sale, but often you will also find prints, less expensive paintings and other decorative art at a reasonable price.

This list is in no way comprehensive! You will often be amazed at the variety of items to be bought at an estate sale. Keep your eyes open and look carefully through the items all over the house. You are sure to find exactly what you need.

Learn to sort through the junk and find what you want at an estate sale.
Learn to sort through the junk and find what you want at an estate sale.

Ready to become an estate sale shopper?

Becoming an expert at estate sale shopping doesn't happen overnight. It takes time to get a feel for negotiating and sniffing out the great items. Each sale will offer unique items and challenges.

Are you new to estate sales? Start by searching online for local sales. Plan o attend sales that are clearly run by professionals! This will basically guarantee that the sale will have many valuable and quality items. Keep in mind that items will not be priced as low as you would find at a garage sale.

The best way to learn how estate sales work is to simply dive in explore a few firsthand. There is no need to be intimidated. Estate sales attract a wide array of people, from antique dealers and interior designers to ordinary people who love vintage clothing or need to furnish a room in their home. Be polite and respectful as you shop and ask staffers questions when necessary. You’ll be an old pro in no time!

What do you think?

Do you think estate sales are worth your time?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      ayedk 

      2 years ago

      thank you for writing this great article. h2hestatesales.com

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)