5 Reasons Why Estate Sales are actually THE BEST
Written by Callie
Most people when they hear “estate sale” probably start picturing a smelly house, old moth eaten clothes, and antiques that will cost an arm and a leg. And those people are WRONG! Well, maybe they’re a little right sometimes the houses do have a distinct old home smell to them…but they’re WRONG!
The three of us have been going to estate sales since we were kids. We grew up with a mother that had a booth at an antique store and loved rummaging through other people’s crap. And when we were kids we hated being drug to these things. It was usually in the summer and mom and her friend would spend way too much time at each place and it would take ALL DAY LONG, when we had other important kid things to be doing like playing.
But now that we’re older and wiser we love going out early on a Saturday morning (or even better when you have a Friday off and go then!), grabbing some coffee (or a soda for me and Brenna) and spending the morning hopping from sale to sale.
I think the thing that really made us change our minds about estate sales was when our mom started putting them on when we were in high school. People would contact Mom and say someone passed away or is moving out and wanting to get rid of almost everything in their home. Over the summer Kenzie and I would tag along with mom to these houses and help her pull everything out of the cabinets, clean it all, organize it in a way people would want to spend time there and shop, and then sell it all over one weekend. It’s a lot of work and started out as just a way for us to make some extra money but turned into a fun activity that the three of us really enjoyed and were able to spend time together. After college Brenna quickly hopped on this band wagon too with us and was at almost every sale with us.
So here’s the reasons that estate sales are actually the best and way underrated:
It’s not a garage sale
A lot of people think that garage sales and estate sales are the same thing and they so are not. Jason, the husband, thought this when we first met. He thought estate sales were dumb and he would never find anything he liked (you know, manly man things). And guess what, we showed him the light. He doesn’t love them like we do but he does understand them now and that estate sales mean the person is trying to clear out their whole house! So you’ll have kitchen gadgets, and dirty garage things, bedroom furniture, tvs, computers, literally anything that is in a house, they’re selling. So they’ve got a bit of everything for everybody.
It’s quality shit
This one kind of goes along with it not being a garage sale. So at garage sales it’s just all the crap that people don’t want anymore thrown out on the lawn. At estate sales you can find name brand furniture, electronics, sometimes even really fancy clothes and it’s all marked way down because the goal of an estate sale is to just get rid of everything. We’ve seen some really fantastic things at estate sales.
The prices are as low as you’ll ever find them
So like I said above, the goal is to get rid of things. Most estate sales are actually put on by a company that the family hires (because again it’s a lot of work and sometimes it’s too sentimental for a family to go through everything). These types of estate sales will still give you a good deal but the ones you really want to look for are the ones put on by a family member or friend because chances are they won’t know the worth of some of the items and that’s where the real deals are.
It’s great people watching
My estate sale people watching experience mainly takes place from being behind the counter all day long, but even when you’re just a shopper the people watching is good. You get a very wide range of people going to these sales. You’ve got your antique store dealers, the ones that come in super early on Friday morning (no joke they will line up before we even make it to the house to open up) and come in and know exactly what they want, get it and get out. Then there’s the lingerers. These guys will come in and stay for upwards of two hours, looking at every single item, they’ll form a giant pile and then checkout and leave. But then they’ll come back 3 hours later and do it all over again. Sometimes they’ll even come back a third time. There’s the collectors, that only want one thing, books, buttons, designer clothes, angel figurines, there’s something for everyone. There’s the thieves that try to make you slip up on your counting or switch tags when checking out, the chatters, the people that buy what I think is the most useless things (think facial tissue crocheted holder), the tool guys, the vintage hipsters and the gold mongers (they will spend hours at the jewelry table with a loop trying to see if we missed a piece of real gold and marked it way low. Jokes on them though, going through the jewelry and finding the real stuff is my favorite part and I haven’t missed a real piece yet).
You never know what you’ll find!
Of course you’ll always find the basics, kitchen knives, grubby wrenches in the garage, bedside tables, and couches. But then there are the rare and awesome things. We’ve found a patent for a diaper from the 1940’s, a really awesome vintage wedding gown, power tools that Jason had been wanting, and an old flag from back when it only had 43 stars on it!
So there you have it, 5 reasons why estate sales are actually the best. Now of course not every one you go to will be this great, there was one day mom, Kenzie and I went out sale-ing and every one we went to (about 6 of them) was absolute crap. But it was still a fun day! We got out of the house, drove around town and spent quality time together. So if you’ve never been to a sale before I highly suggest you go and check out what they’re all about! Who knows, maybe you’ll find your next favorite thing there!