Nine Tips and Tricks to Make Your Next Estate Sale Trip Even Better!

Matt Ellison| April 22, 2022

estate sale tips and tricks

Let’s face it; estate sales are as addicting as they are fun. What can make them even better? Try out these nine tips and become an estate sale shopping pro.

1. Get To the Sale Early

If you can, get to the sale before it opens and find your place in line. Being first can have its advantages. Not only do you increase your chances of finding that priceless (even if it is just priceless to you) item before someone else snags it, but it also allows you to have your pick of where you shop in the house first without having to move through a crowd to get there.

2. Remember That Old Video Game Dig Dug? Channel Your Inner Dig Dug

You never know what you will find stashed away in a drawer, in a stack of papers, in a junk box, or hiding underneath an old tarp in the shed. Some of the best finds are found when you take the time to dig at the sales. Remember that estate sales can be time capsules that are just waiting for you to unearth.

3. Take a Friend, Date, Coworker, Etc.

The estate sale industry is a giant community. You find that out fast the first time you stand in a line for a sale. You will get to know the shoppers in line and the companies conducting the sale, maybe even on a first-name basis. One of the best ways to experience estate sales is to bring someone with you while shopping. You might need more than two hands to carry your treasures after all.

4. Get Notified

If you are looking for designer brands like Chanel or Louis Vuitton, sign up for an account on EstateSales.NET and add those brand names to your Treasure Tracker. We will send you emails when those items are listed in estate sales around you. You can also sign up to be notified through email about estate sales in your area.

5. Map It

If you plan to attend more than one sale in a day, map out your estate sale journey. This will save you time and potentially keep you from missing out on any items you have your eyes on. We have made this easy for you in your EstateSales.NET subscriber account. Favorite a list of sales and click the “Route Your Sales” button. Wa-Lah! You have created a treasure map of estate sales. One of my favorite things to do is look at different areas around a city and plan out a route to hit as many as possible near each other. I usually try to make a big circle from my house to the sales and back.

6. App It

estate sale app on smartphone

If you don’t have the EstateSales.NET app, you are missing out. It is available for both Android users and Apple users. I use the app to favorite the sales I want to attend that day. It is easy to see the need to know details before attending a sale as well as pictures and sale location. You can map directions to your next sale using your smartphone without entering the address. Download it and try it out. It will change your estate sale shopping experience, and I am not saying that because I work at EstateSales.NET. It truly is a game-changer!

7. Bring Some Muscle!

Bringing help to haul heavy/large items is important. Some companies will help you carry large items, and some will not. Most companies will allow you to pay for the item, mark it sold, then come back before the sale ends to pick the item(s) up, so make sure you have a way to haul the items you purchase as well as someone to help you with the loading and unloading. I remember a time I forgot this and ended up with a thousand pounds of clay molds in the back of a rental Camry…It was a long five-hour drive home.

8. Bring Cash

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but it is easy to forget and could be the difference-maker in getting that retro disco light lamp or not ( I can’t let it go). Many companies do accept cards as payments; however, some do not. Be sure to check the terms and conditions before attending the sale

9. Dress Comfortably

Don’t wear your Sunday best or favorite velvet tuxedo (though you would probably look pretty cool). Dress in clothing you can move in that breathes. If it is cold, bring a coat. If it is warm, wear a t-shirt (and some sunscreen). You will be standing, digging, and walking a lot during your estate sale outing, so wear something you are comfortable in (I guess that could be a velvet tuxedo).

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