Estate sales can be treasure troves for conscientious buyers. There are many different types of estate sales, ranging from your typical "yard sale" variety put on by your next door neighbor to the upscale versions hosted by professional auction houses like Christie's and Sotheby's. Regardless of where the sale is taking place, the best ways to shop them remain the same. There are some hints and tips that the insiders use to get the best deals on the most popular items. Here are some suggestions to keep in mind when planning to attend an estate sale.
In situations where the estate sale is hosted by professionals, there will usually be a viewing ahead of the opening of the sale. This gives the attendees the opportunity to know which items will be up for grabs and to study what their actual values may be. Some auction companies will give out catalogs days in advance of a sale so be sure to ask if one is available. While you should have some idea of what you're looking for before you go, also keep an open mind and an open eye for unexpected treasures that may jump out at you along the way.
Because estate sale items are always sold "As Is", be very sure of what you're buying before you lay your money down. Inspect the items from top to bottom and from the inside, out. Chips, cracks, refurbishments and defects or alterations of any kind can greatly reduce the value of an item. You could easily pay more for an item than it's worth due to its condition if you fail to properly inspect it before making the purchase.
The same holds true for markings. Most reputable manufacturers will have their own branding mark that they put somewhere on the item. Be very careful that the mark you are seeing is authentic and not a reproduction. Reproductions are rarely worth even a fraction of the value of an original piece and you could end up losing a lot of money on a counterfeit item.
Do not be afraid to haggle over the price if you think there is room to do so. Sellers want to move these items quickly, but also want to ensure a profit. You want the item, but also want the lowest possible price. Decide what is the absolute most you will pay for an item and offer the seller a significantly lower price. If he responds with a higher price, it still should be around your target. If he accepts the significantly lower offer, even better!
Of course, the longer the estate sale goes on, the more likely the sellers will be to make deals. For this reason, the last day of the sale is the day you can expect to get the best deals. By that time, most of the original items will be gone and what's left will be picked over. However, you are likely to get the remaining items at a fraction of their originally marked prices and perhaps even a couple "Buy one, get one free" offers as well.
Looking for great estate sales in Washington, DC and the surrounding area?
Four Sales, Ltd.
is the number one estate sale company in the area. They feature sales or auctions every weekend. Visit the website for dates, photos, details and directions for upcoming sales, and be sure to sign up for their mailing list to be notified about future sales. Distributed by
SEO 2.0 Services