Friday, April 22, 2011

Tips for Estate Sale Shopping

People love to shop estate sales because it gives them a chance to see into other people’s lives – plus you can get some great deals! Estate sales offer just about everything – they’re normally a way for people to get of the contents of a whole house, so buyers can find everything from kitchen supplies to window treatments. Because there is such a wide range of items, estate sales are popular with eBay sellers, antique dealers, and individuals. Check out these tips to help you shop successfully.

Don’t miss your chance. Other shoppers won’t have a problem grabbing something that you’re looking at, so pick up items you’re interested in immediately. You’ll always have the option to put it back later. It’s also a good idea to bring a mesh bag with you to carry all your items.

Focus on lesser known items. Popular brands and collectibles will be priced higher. If you can learn about valuable items that aren’t as easy to spot (such as items that don’t have the brand name marked obviously), you can get better deals.

Start in the basement. Most companies that run estate sales will place all the “nicer” items near the checkout station so they can watch them. Most buyers look at those items first. By heading to the kitchen or basement first, you’ll be able to avoid the crowds and have a better selection in those rooms.

Wait to shop until the last day. Not everything will be gone by then, and the best part is that sellers will become more willing to deal with you because they want to get rid of the items. You can score great deals by waiting until the last day – often up to 75% off.

Respect the family and their items. Even if you think everything you’ve seen is a piece of junk, there’s no need to say it. You never know who is listening – family members and close friends may have decided to come to the sale. Be nice and thank the sellers for giving you the chance to look, even if you don’t choose to purchase anything.

It’s also very important to be honest and polite. Many people push and shove and fight over items at estate sales. No item is worth causing a fight. Becoming known as a trouble maker can also cause you to be banned from future sales – estate sale companies share information on people like that so don’t get put on the naughty list!

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