Estate Sale Shopping Tips

The console table was found at an estate sale for $70

Estate sale shopping has become a favorite activity for TJ and I over the last year or so. It is an affordable and sustainable way to decorate, as well as a way to get some inspiration from some beautiful homes. Most sales run Friday-Sunday, usually with discounts on Saturdays and Sundays. Some of the best deals can be found on Sundays, as most houses offer 50-75% off by then. However, some houses also tend to be very picked over by the last day. Since we are in pretty good practice with it now, I thought we would share some of our top tips for estate sale shopping.

The 2 green Wedgwood pieces were found at a sale for about $10 each

Start on estatesales.net
TJ and I had stumbled on our first few estate sales from signs on the road. But I heard about estatesales.net from a TikTok and it changed the game. Simply enter your zip code or city and the site brings up a list of all of the sales going on with addresses, hours, and photos of what is included. It also lists online only sales and auctions. When we lived in Charlotte, there were usually about 4-5 sales going on per weekend (although I would think that might have been affected by the pandemic). But in the Atlanta metro, there are more like 20-30! So we usually narrow down to about 5-7 after looking through all of the photos. The photos aren't everything, you don't always know what you're going to find. But it is helpful to keep an eye out for what you are looking to buy. We both look for furniture, but TJ usually looks for musical instruments or more historical pieces like glass insulators. While I look for blue and white pottery, silk scarves, bags, jewelry/watches, and fabric. 

Our kitchen table was found at a sale for $100

Map out where you want to go
We sort the list by distance and map out all of the addresses. It's also important to note the hours, most start between 10-12 on Saturdays and end between 4-6. So this might affect the order you would go in, depending on what time you get started.

Wear comfy shoes and bring snacks
At least if you go to as many sales as we try to in the same stretch, I recommend some sneakers. I usually also keep some snacks in my bag and a bottle of water in the car.

Bring a tape measure and dimensions
If you are looking for a specific piece of furniture, bring a tape measure with you and have dimensions in mind of what you need. I have a note in my phone for sizes that would work for tables, art, etc.

Brass polishing, the brass ginger jar and the mother of pearl box were both found for $10 each

Keep logistics in mind
Estate sale companies do not deliver or arrange for any large pieces to be taken to your home. We actually have walked away from a few pieces because we both drive sedans. But there are options! Home Depot and U-Haul both have vehicles available to rent. And people are usually very helpful in bringing furniture out of the house. But another option (we were told about a sale) is an app called Dolly. It is basically Uber for small moves or furniture delivery. You can book someone with a vehicle, or just some extra muscle. We got my dresser from a sale in our neighborhood, so we had someone from Dolly come help TJ walk it down the street. But that was definitely a unique situation!

I found these blue and white pieces at the very first sale we ever went to, for about $20 total

Oh, and follow the rules! Just be courteous: follow the parking signs, don't open any doors that aren't part of the sale, and wear a mask if they are requested. Happy shopping!

Thanks for reading!

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