All About Estate Sales With Lela

Micky McQuade  | June 21, 2013


For those of you who are new to estate sale-ing, let's talk about why people have estate sales and the many advantages to shopping at them.

Why Have an Estate Sale?

Estate sales can occur for many different reasons. A sale might take place because the homeowner has moved into a nursing facility or has passed away. Often relatives of the homeowner will hire a professional to conduct the sale. After seeing many sales myself, I can honestly say that it would NOT be a good idea to have an estate sale on your own. The professional estate sale companies know what they are doing and have it down to a science. Other reasons for having a sale may also include downsizing, moving, divorce, or even foreclosure.

estate sale sign

I admit, when I first heard those words, Estate Sale, it kind of scared me. I thought I could never afford to buy anything from someone's estate. Well, that was about 5 years ago and boy, was I wrong! Over these past few years, I've saved hundreds and maybe thousands of dollars by shopping at estate sales.

Estate Sale VS. Garage Sale

Estate sales are usually organized and conducted by a professional estate sale company. Garage sales are not. Also, at an estate sale you usually get to shop the whole house, not just the garage! Estate sales usually have lots of furniture, along with all the smaller things you might find in a home. I have seen vehicles, campers, trailers, and farm equipment for sale at some estate sales. The shopping can be endless and interesting!

home for sale sign

At an estate sale, the public can browse the home and purchase most of its contents. There may be items set aside that are not for sale. These will be clearly marked and usually have tape around them. Just a little tip: When walking through a sale, remember that these are people’s homes and be respectful of their things. You never know if the homeowner or a relative might be there, so it's best not to make negative comments while you’re in their home.

Prices are marked on most of the items with painters tape. If you find something not priced, just ask an employee. Also, if you've gathered several items to buy and just can't hang on to them anymore, ask an employee if they will hold your things. They often have an area near the check out where they can set your things aside. Once you do this, your hands are free to shop some more!

People of all ages shop at estate sales. Jewelry is usually very popular amongst women, teenagers, and college students. I often see the men searching in garages, basements, and attics. The crafty and talented gals might spend time in sewing or hobby room, and collectors may cover the entire house. I've seen many people spending time searching through old books, magazines, and record albums. It's a fun way to save money and buy unique things. My friends and family are always intrigued when I show them my latest purchases I bought from a sale. I do have some interesting conversation pieces! No matter what you're interested in, it's likely you'll find something to buy at an estate sale.

Soon, I'll show you how I used estate sale finds to change my girlfriend's master bedroom into a cozy “wanna spend more time in there to relax” bedroom.

Next week, let's find a sale or two to visit. We'll organize our day, put together an ESS KIT, and head out to our first estate sale. Hmmm, “What in the world is an ESS Kit?” you may be wondering. Come by here next week to find out! In the meantime, go ahead and familiarize yourself with EstateSales.NET. Use the large map on the home page and find your state. Click on it and see how easy it is to locate sales in your area.

Have a wonderful week everyone!

~Lela (aka: TrashFindRedesigned)