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EstateSales.NET Blog

Listed below are various articles about estate sales, estate sale companies, and our office that we hope you find interesting. If you have any questions regarding the content on our blog, please feel free to give us a call or e-mail us. We answer the phones between 7am and 11pm Central time 7 days a week.

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Shopping for Vinyl Records at Estate Sales

No one gets sentimental over a CD. Eight-tracks are a nostalgic novelty. But records , man. People feel ways about records. I’m no exception. From borrowing albums from the library and listening to them with giant padded headphones on the shag carpet of our spare room, to playing Canasta with my grandmother while my grandfather blasted Johnny Horton so loud his neighbors could hear “North to Alaska,” records were omnipresent in my youth, even though I grew up in the era of cassette tapes and, by my teens, CDs. A post shared by what I'm spinning (@coffeepezaddict) on May 12, 2017 at 3:57am PDT Featuring the Fab Four smiling cheekily, wearing white coats and holding dismembered doll parts and raw meat, the original album was recalled, “then sent out to retail stores again with a new image pasted over the old one.” Patrick said “Many fans tried to then peel off the paste over, and most of the time it was not a pretty sight.” Patrick said Heritage Auctions recently sold a ‘first state,’ sealed original Butcher Cover for $42,000...

Vintage Fashion at Estate Sales

When it comes to women’s clothing, fashions come and go. Last year it was peplums. This year it’s cold shoulders. And next year, well, I’ve got four words for you: Unisex. Chain-Mail. Track suits. Just wait. You’ll see. But some clothing connoisseurs choose not to focus on what will be on the runways next year, or what’s currently on department store mannequins. They prefer to deal in vintage apparel, appreciating the colors, shapes, craftsmanship, and timeless styles from decades past. You can find them at specialty stores, with specialty store price tags, or you can cross your fingers that something will appear at a thrift store—it does happen occasionally. But one of your best bets for vintage fashions is through estate sales. We spoke to Annette Vartanian, editor of A Vintage Splendor and Lauren from Wearing History , both well-versed in different aspects of vintage fashion...

Collecting Postal History

There is a post office in Anchorage, Alaska, that stamps letters to children from Santa with a “North Pole” postmark. His letters are frequently routed through that specific office before reaching their final destination. Little post office secrets like this are one of many things that make the U.S. Postal Service so special. Other delivery services have made a name for themselves, and even more are on their way. (Listen, do you hear the buzzing of delivery drones?) But, for now, the USPS remains as a stalwart of package delivery. For more than 200 years, postmen and women have delivered mail to homes and businesses despite snow, rain, heat, and gloom of night. None of those conditions stay those couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. And as those years passed, the technology changed. Indeed, even the department itself transformed, operating first as the United States Post Office Department from 1792-1971, operating as an official U.S. Cabinet Department for most of those years...

Collecting Milk Glass

One of the dangers of my job is how easily I become infatuated with collectible items. Pictures of estate sales throughout the country are uploaded to our site constantly, each one with treasures both hidden and uncovered. My home is quickly filling up with vintage tablecloths , blue mason jars , and carnival glass . The only reason we’re not furnishing our house entirely with authentic mid-century modern furniture is that we have pets and are not made of money. Now I’m clearing off some shelf space for milk glass . Lucky for me and anyone interested, milk glass makes frequent appearances at estate sales. Local thrift shops often have shelves of white vases that could technically fall under the “milk glass” umbrella, as well, though it’s very low price suggests that it’s not collector-quality. Because like so many other vintage collectible, not all milk glass is created equal. And furthermore, not all milk glass is white, which is where my obsession begins...

Toy Fads

Every generation has its own popular toy . The gizmo or gadget that every kid wanted, many kids had, and was often cast aside after a few weeks of enjoyment. Sure, there are the evergreen toys: the Legos, the Barbies, the Hot Wheels—all exceedingly popular shortly after their release, and they managed to remain steadily popular in the decades that followed. No, what I’m talking about are the passing fads. Maybe the toy was only made to last a short while. Perhaps it was banned from schools for being distracting or dangerous, thus explaining the declining interest. Maybe, like the time in fourth grade when I won the jump rope competition for a schoolwide contest, and the next day I missed the winning catch in a game of kickball, never to be successful in sports again, the toys just weren't meant for long-term popularity. But many of those "fad" toys have seen resurgences in the decades that follow their introductions. New, updated, "improved" models have been introduced in the hopes of cashing in on some of those sweet, sweet nostalgia sales...

Crank Up the Radio

Radios are the stuff of songs. Not only have they consistently entertained our earholes for more than a century, but page after page of lyrics have been written about the little magical box that spreads music and news throughout the world. I was going to list every one I could think of...“Left of the Dial,” “That’s Why God Made Radio,” “Mexican Radio.” But then it started getting out of hand...“Video Killed the Radio Star,” “Radio Gaga”...eventually devolving into songs with call letter titles, “WWOZ,” “WOLD,” other groupings of letters. But you get the idea. Radio is is huge part of American culture. Many methods of getting music into your ears have come and gone, but radio remains a strong medium. Despite this, traditional stand-alone radios have fallen by the wayside. That’s not to say that modern versions don’t exist. My kitchen has a speaker system with a radio, as well as a smartphone jack...

Comic books

Comic books frequently make appearances at estate sales . Whether it be the collection of someone who spent a lifetime seeking out and preserving issues featuring his or her favorite characters, to the casual reader who wasn’t concerned with cardboard, plastic sheeting, and the various other precautions taken to preserve the integrity of the comic. The value of comic books can be hard to place. You’ll hear tales of people selling their collections and buying a car, and others taking their comics to the resale market when times got tough and discovering that their life’s collection didn’t provide the safety net they expected. And the fact of the matter is, collecting comic books for the sake of collecting them is not as lucrative as it once was. The successful collector is likely going to be one who collects for the love of the media, and not just to make money. Because at least that way you can enjoy them for their original, intended purpose. That’s not to say there aren’t some very valuable comics out there, of course. There are...

An Introduction to Sewing Machines

It’s a rare occasion when you attend an estate sale that doesn’t include at least one sewing machine . A sale I attended last week, in fact, had a cabinet machine on every floor of the home. It was my kind of home. Even if you know nothing about sewing, it’s hard not to appreciate these expeditious machines. Grooved and curved hunks of metal, each piece of which has both an individual purpose, and a collective goal of creating things both beautiful and practical. They revolutionized household management. Industrial machines made clothing more affordable through increased mass production. And once home machines became affordable, the middle-class housewife, accustomed to spending many hours clothing her family, now had much more time on her hands to dedicate to other matters. What a magical contraption. Early home sewing machines, regardless of the maker, tended to be heavy, black, and sometimes embellished with gold flowers or filigree, and powered by handcrank or treadle (foot pedal)...

Mid-Century Modern Furniture

“Mid-Century Modern” (MCM) has become a buzzword among furniture retailers, designers, and those seeking to give their home a certain “retro” look. If you’re not familiar with the phrase, you may still be aware of the aesthetic. Think “Mad Men.” Remember the colors and furniture in Don Draper’s various offices? Think of his penthouse apartment, complete with conversation pit. Smooth curves, clean lines, minimal clutter or ornamentation. You got it. And while MCM’s popularity hit a peak during the run of the show, make no mistake, designers and collectors were interested in this era of architecture, design, and home furnishing long before AMC briefly brought it back into the pop culture consciousness, and the work of American designers like Kem Weber, Heywood Wakefield , Milo Baughman , and myriad others, continues to be in high demand...

Show Them What You Got

Collectors of all types turn to estate sales to find their missing pieces. From clay marbles to vintage bicycles to Blenko glass , estate sales often have just the things you're looking for, and even more you didn't know you wanted. But once you return home with a car full of satisfaction and treasure, the question becomes: where do you put it all? Humorist John Hodgman once said “there is a thin line between a collector and a hoarder, and that line is in the shape of a display case.” I think it’s safe to say some of us who use (or work at) EstateSales.NET walk that line pretty closely. (Pay no attention to the three boxes of Mason jars collecting dust in my dining room.) So let’s look at some interesting ways to display all your trinkets and curios, show off your curated collections, and avoid becoming an unfortunate tale on an A&E reality show. Store Style #midcentury #vintagestyle #modernliving #blenko #artglass A post shared by Chuck Hamsher (@justamodernguy) on Feb 12, 2017 at 1:49pm PST Look up. What do you see...

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