The Bonus of Browsing an Estate Sale
Just Tools and Books?
One of the things I love about my husband is his knack for finding things in the newspaper that spark my interest. Whether it be an article he knows I'll read, a one day sale at a department store, or finding some very useful coupons. This Sunday he found an ad in the classifieds for an estate sale. Although for the past month, we have been stopping by at a few yard sales, this was our first time visiting a multi-family estate sale. While he keeps his eye open for tools, I look out for interesting art and search through piles of unwanted used books. Most of the time we end up finding something else of value besides what we came in looking for. This Sunday's estate sale had an amazing variety of household decorations, a rocking chair and bedroom furniture. It was a the last day so everything was 50% off the marked price! Below are a few of the items we picked up including some interesting books for both me and my baby boy. Looks like we're getting our family library built sooner than I hoped afterall!
Vintage Vanity Tray
This gold plated vintage vanity tray was in great condition, even the bottom velvet is clear of any tears or damage. Since the gold showed no signs of fading nor was the glass scratched, it must still be fairly new. I checked online and a new one runs upward of about $20.00. Our cost, $2.00! The versatility is either using it as a perfume tray or a mirror.
Painted Porcelain Tile Frame
Found this glazed and painted porcelain tile made into a frame for $2.50. It brightens up our kitchen with a little bit of needed sunshine! I hope to find more of these but even if we find some that are mismatched, these kind of colors and simple designs will create an ambience of a mini art gallery in our kitchen or anywhere we choose to display them.
Carved Wall Shelf
Wood carved wall shelves can decorate a room with variety over the usual picture frame. This one has a just enough dark color and a gently aged charm. Wood shelves can go almost anywhere in the house, a bedroom, a hallway, a foyer or even the laundry room! We paid only $5.00 for this one at the estate sale!
Studded Jewelry Doll
Jewelry dolls are beautiful! I fell in love with this the second I saw it. Its an artistic way to create a romantic touch in the bedroom without being too frivolous. This elegant vanity display costed only $5.00! Who says a grown lady can't have anymore dolls!
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Ceramic Tortilla Warmer
How could we resist this cute corn designed tortilla warmer? The bright yellow color fits in perfectly with our kitchen style and was in great condition. We eat a lot of corn tortillas so now we can set the table in style and be able to serve plenty of warm tortillas for our visitors too. The bonus here? We only paid $3.00!
Wall Curio Cabinet
Our living and dining room is furnished with a decor of dark cherry deep brown colors so we loved finding this reddish colored wall curio cabinet. It matched up perfectly to the color scheme we have at home. These beautiful cases add a touch of class to any room corner and are great for displaying collectibles, heirlooms and souvenirs proudly. New, they can cost well over $100.00 depending on where you shop. The real beauty here is we only paid $15.00.
One of the primary reasons I started browsing through yard and estate sales is for books. Its nice knowing I won't have to buy all of them new, especially if I find them in great condition. The benefit of buying books this way is never knowing what you'll find and stumbling upon classics you would have never thought of getting or been able to find. Even if you knew what out of print or rare book your searching for, its likely you'll pay more to get it re-printed. You can buy a brand new Chicken Little storybook today but the art and illustration and even the shape of a book changes over time. The paper used also has a different feel and quality.
You may ask why bother buying a paper book in our age of e-books. Here are a few points why I suggest we should:
- It doesn't require batteries to read, only energy and motivation produced by ourselves.
- Real books have evolved over centuries relatively unchanged but in today's fast moving high-tech age we now find ourselves smacked with yet another "advancement" telling us how we should be reading and learning. The e-book rave has spread so rapidly yet I don't think we should be as rapid to replace all of our reading with an LCD screen.
- It can last much longer than an e-book... hours vs. hundreds of years!
- Then most unforgettably, I don't feel quite ready to abandon one of English's most widely used idiom, "Never judge a book by its cover."
Find Rare and Old Books!
- AbeBooks.com Passion for books!
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- Amazon.com Books: New & Used Books
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Maple Wood Bookshelf
The original cost of this bookshelf was $18.00, which was still a darn good deal, but with 50% off Sunday, we paid only $9.00! Now we have plenty of space to fill it with books for our boy! A bookshelf like this one has a median price of about $80.00 new, again depending on the retailer. Very happy and so very satisfied with the deals we found!
Estate Sale Do's and Dont's
- Do be an early bird. Remember, first come first serve. There is usually only one available of things being sold and there isn't any rainchecks for things no longer owned.
- Do bring cash.
- Do ask about the item being sold such as why they are selling it, how old it is, if there are any problems with it or where it was bought at.
- Do negotiate. If something you have your eye on seems a bit overly priced, ask the seller if they will come down on their price. They usually will meet you somewhere in between, especially at yard sales.
- Do ask the seller to hold any items you've decided on if your still browsing, otherwise it may end up getting sold before you go back for it.
- Don't clutter your home. Only buy things your going to use or collect.
- Don't buy pots, pans, silverware, baby bottles, sheets, pillowcases, undergarments, etc.. Remember hygiene!
- Don't skip out on inspecting baby items such as carseats, high chairs, strollers, etc. Make sure they are in good working order for baby's safety.
Find an Estate Sale in Your Local Area!
- Find Estate Sales!
Find detailed descriptions, pictures, and maps of estate sales, tag sales, auctions, and other types of estate liquidations going on in your area.
Copyright Lupita Ronquillo (c) 2012
All rights reserved.