Friday, August 24

The Sale Of A Lifetime

I love Friday mornings, a pocket full of cash, Starbucks, a measuring tape, my decorating journal, a full tank of gas, a trusty Mapsco and a GREAT ESTATE SALE! I adore estate sale shopping, there is nothing like it. Garage sales are tables set up on my neighbors lawn, but an estate sale is so much more. The sellers fling open all of the windows and doors and they are ready for business. Ladies, get your engines revved up, it's time to start digging...and I do mean DIG! Digging through closets, cabinets, drawers and big boxes just sounds like a good time to doesn't take much to keep me happy!

The Do's and Don'ts of Shopping an Estate Sale

Do look for estate sales ahead of time.
Search on Craigslist and in local newspapers. Don’t rely on driving around the neighborhood, as you’ll probably arrive too late in the morning to get the good stuff.
Do get there early, but don’t stress yourself out if you’re not the first in line.
Most estate sales begin at 8:00 or 8:30 in the morning of a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, and the most hard-core shoppers are there at least half-an-hour before.
Do bring cash.
This tip goes without saying, but there have been a few times when I’ve arrived at an estate sale only to realize I have just $10 in my pocket. Sometimes, if you see something you really love, the organizers of the estate sale may hold it for you while you go to the ATM, but there’s no guarantee this will be the case.
Do set a limit on your spending.
While you can get great deals for cheap, you don’t want to blow your monthly grocery budget.
Do have a few items in mind, but be open to others.
At an estate sale, there is so much to look at that you may feel overwhelmed, and having a few items in mind can help you to focus your search. I head to the dishes! However, be open to that perfect item that you may find while browsing.
Do be prepared for sticker shock.
Not everything at an estate sale is a good bargain, and prices are higher than at typical thrift stores and garage sales. Keep in mind that the family or the owner of the items is looking to make some needed cash on the sale. If the sale is run by a company that specializes in organizing estate sales, prices will be higher as they want to make a cut of the money too. If it’s not a good deal, just don’t go for it.
Do consider coming on Sunday.
Usually, most of the best stuff is gone by Sunday {the second or third day of the sale}, so prices are typically marked down by 50%. You’ll have to rummage, but you just might find that perfect, overlooked vintage dress in your size.
Don't buy for the sake of buying.
If you don’t see something you really like, don’t buy anything. There will always be another estate sale.
Don't overlook diamonds in the rough.
Just because it’s covered in a layer of dust doesn’t mean that colorful Pyrex bowl won’t be gorgeous when it’s cleaned up. Learn to look for the beauty underneath the dirt.
Don't buy something with flaws.
If something is broken, chipped, or otherwise flawed, it may not be reparable, or it may not be worth your while to repair it. Of course, there are exceptions, like the awesome Herman Miller lounge chair that just needs a few screws to be as good as new.
Don't be pushy.
It’s always annoying when shoppers in search of a deal are rude and cutthroat. Be courteous. If someone is looking at something, it’s off-limits until they step away. It becomes especially important to be polite if the estate sale is crowded.
Don't be rude while haggling.
While there generally is a little room to discuss the price of an item, typically prices have been set at a level the organizers think is fair. If they’re not budging, let it go, and come back on Sunday when prices are lower and there’s more room for bargaining.
Do have fun!

Estate sales are not just the domain of antique collectors and dealers anymore — lots of regular people are finding hidden gems. It’s a great way to give new life to an unwanted item.
Find a local estate sale and let the hunting begin....'ll be glad ya did!


the domestic curator ~ ronda


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