For a few month's now I've been looking into Estate Sale's. I started checking out tips and reading some personal experience's online. The people that have been going and doing these for such a long time and the decorators that are in and on a mission and know what they're doing. Plus not to mention going and rooting around other people's things- seems sorta sad. All of these reason's have kept me from actually taking the plunge and going to my first Estate Sale.....Until Now!
I found a piece online that I just was dying for the moment I saw it. So, I reluctantly thought I would try and call to inquire about the item before the estate sale started (thinking who ever I speak to is going to scoff at me because I don't know the "rules" and how these work). I immediately told the lady (from the company handling the sale) that this was my first estate sale. She replied with - OH, we call you guys virgin's! You could tell she was smiling on the other end of line (That was the "okay this lady's cool!" for me) I asked her questions so that I didn't commit any No-No's at the sale. She was very nice and informative and even let me come look at it before the sale started and with no one there! I got to experience the Estate Sale environment without the Professionals and their elbows- Awesome! I went back the next day with my partner in crime (my mommy) and picked up my prized possession.
I was told it's from the 40's or 50's. I met the owner's daughter and she said her mother will be very happy to know that she met the person the piece went to. I told her how much I adored the Secretary and it would be very well taken care of.
The lady from the company handling the sale -was very sweet on the phone and for the first look but when I went back to purchase and pick up my item- she was a cranky pants! I'm guessing it was because it was getting close to the sale date and she looked a little overwhelmed. I still tried to be as nice as possible. I was just so excited about my kill that - No one could could ruin this buzz! Overall this was a great "virgin" start!
Estate Sale Tips
Arrive with cash in hand since not all estate sales accept credit cards and personal checks.
Bring your own shopping bags and wrapping materials.
If you are seeking something specific, do your homework first. Know the average retail price so you can spot a great bargain when you find one.
Flip items over. Antiques are generally embossed with a name, so this is good practice when trying to find that hidden treasure.
Don't be rude- I'm sure the nicer you are the better deal you may be able to get.
Even though you may be scared to ask a question- don't be. You never know unless you ask.
Show up at least an hour before the sale starts. They will give you a number and they usually only let a certain number of people in at a time.
First day is full price. If you go on the last day prices are discounted and they are more likely to take an offer. BUT- if you see an item you really want it may not be there the last day. You have to decide how bad do you want it?
Here's the link that I stalked. All you do is put your zip code in and it gives you Estate Sales happening in your area. http://www.estatesales.net/.