28th Sep2011

6 Tips for Going to Estate Sales

by Dinah Wulf
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6 Tips for Going to Estate Sales

Estate sales are great places to get inspiration and find your next DIY project. Rare finds including vintage pieces and antiques are the best pieces to repurpose, collect, salvage, or display in your home. A great online source to find Estate Sales in your area is Estatesales.net.  This site offers photos, maps, and directions. Other sources are Craigslist and your local PennySaver magazine. Here are a few tips.

1. Bring cash. Many sales accept cash only, and if you don’t have cash, maybe you don’t need it anyway!

2. Get there early, kinda sort of but not really. A lot of people feel the need to get there hours beforehand in order to get first pick, however the first day of the sale is very competitive. If you get there later, usually you have more negotiating power. Also, if you come on the last day, items are usually marked down significantly.

3. Go there with heightened sensitivity. Estate sales are often conducted by someone who has lost someone that they love and the items they are selling have meaning to the seller.

4. Don’t forget your measuring tape and your own shopping bags.

5. Be nice. When negotiating, don’t play hardball especially if it is early in the day. They will say “no”. Simply ask, “Can you tell me your best price for this.”

6. Have fun and be patient. It may take a few sales to get used to.


Other DIY Tips and Tricks:


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Dinah Wulf
Dinah is a craft, home décor, & DIY Blogger for www.diyinspired.com, an eco-friendly site promoting repurposing through reinvention. She has a Master of Arts Degree in Speech Communication from California State University Fullerton. Formerly an educator at CSUF and business owner, she now is a full time writer, Curator for Style Me Pretty Living, 3M DIY Expert, and a member of Martha’s Circle. She has blogged for multiple websites including Fix.com, Earth 911, Home Made Simple, and Sprout Online and has been published in a few magazines and ebooks. Her website, DIY Inspired has been recognized by Mashable, Parenting.com, and Buzzfeed.
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2 Responses to “6 Tips for Going to Estate Sales”

  • Kuks Barrera

    I would mark “love it” if there were such a facebook button. I have always wondered about the negotiating aspect of estate sales. I’m glad to read both your “Be nice” and “heightened sensitivity” hints, as these were the areas that have kept me from attending anything like this. Now that I know a little more, I’m a lot less intimidated. Thanks!

  • Thanks!! Let’s start going to some together!!! I bet the sales near you are AWESOME…

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