Shopping at an estate sale can be an advantageous method of acquiring rare and value antiques. In a snapshot, an estate sale is typically where the contents of a home are being sold. In some cases a homeowner may have passed away or the owners are downsizing and moving to another home. Either way, the sale of large volumes of possessions is a must and these sales can present many interesting discoveries.
When visiting an estate sale, there are many opportunities for buyers to make purchases on collectibles and antiques, often priced at reasonable sums. While there are certainly instances where items can be highly overpriced, estate sale buyers will want to learn some important strategies for shopping these sales in order to maximize their experience.
Top 3 Ways to Shop at an Estate Sale
1) Prepare a List
Typically, many collectors who are going to estate sales will already have certain purchases in mind. However, estate sales may also attract more spur of the moment shoppers that will make purchases based on items that simply have caught their eye. The ideal situation however, would be to make a list of the specific collectibles and antiques you have been on the hunt for. This not only helps minimize the amount of time you spend, it will also prevent overspending and the amount of unwanted items you end up walking away with and perhaps regretting later.
2) Create a Budget
There are many situations where setting a budget can help serve an important financial purpose and shopping at an estate sale is definitely one of them. If your goal is to try and save money versus overspending, a method of achieve this could be to only take a certain amount of money with you and this will help you to avoid making purchases higher than your set price limit. In other cases however, some estate sales will require that a credit card number be left at the point of registration – and this will be used for any payments. With this said, exercising diligence and sticking as close to your budget as possible is still a valuable reminder when shopping an estate sale.
3) Take your Time
Not rushing into purchases is always an important tip whether you are shopping at a retail mall or at an estate sale. Taking your time to inspect any antiquities you are interested in purchasing, is a smart move that will help to ensure you don’t live to regret this new acquisition. If items are chipped or damaged in any way, that are not perhaps immediately evident, then this can decrease the overall value. Even if a collectible or antique is in good condition, it is still important to take your time contemplating if it is worth buying, based on your interest level or with its resale value in mind.
Overall, shopping at an estate sale can be both an enjoyable and a profitable experience. Setting some guidelines to help you make more knowledgeable decisions can improve your chances of making purchases with more long term value – not to mention personal satisfaction.
At Antiques Trove, a large part of our business includes managing estate sales. Additionally, we attend these sales in person and acquire a variety of rare antiques and collectibles. If shopping at estate sales is something that has sparked your interest, please feel free to check out some of our upcoming estate sales or participate in one of our online auctions.