title card for estate sale basics

Estate Sale Basics

Have you ever wondered what exactly is an estate sale? If you’re like most people you have very little knowledge of this unique bargain hunting opportunity. I had a conversation with Denise Gauger of Antique Chic an estate sale professional to get the top facts and some do’s and don’ts to make any estate sale newb feel experienced. 

man and woman inspecting antiquesFAQ

SH- What is an Estate Sale? 

DG- An Estate Sale takes place when a family needs to liquidate everything from the home.This could be the result of a death, divorce, relocation, transfer or downsizing.

SH- What can shoppers expect to find?

DG- Anything and everything from Steinway pianos to boxes of household items, Furniture, Art, Cars, I’ve sold Dog Kennels, and even a “She Shed”. 

SH- How do Estate Sales differ from Garage/Yard Sales or Auctions?

DG- An auction is a bidding war on an item or a lot of items. An estate sale is organized like a Tag Sale, everything is priced but negotiable. It takes from two days to a week to complete. Prices are usually higher than garage sales especially on the first day or two. 

Do’s and Don’tsroom of antique furniture and decor

For Sellers – 

  • Cost of Estate sales are configured differently depending on who you go with. 
  • Most will have an initial fee such as $500 for advertising, overhead etc, then  60/40, 50/50 negotiable percentage of the profits.
  • Don’t throw anything away. Things that you may not think are valuable can bring big money. 
  • Put everything you want to sell except large furniture and Art in one room. Take     everything you don’t want to sell out of the house. Valuables especially. 
  • Ebay Store: At the end of a sale, if something didn’t sell some estate sale service will be put on eBay for sale.

For Buyers-

  • The first couple of hours is  when you get the premier picks but also not the best for bargains. Last few hours on the last day you will get the best options. 
  • Many estate sellers have a website or a facebook groups or craigslist.EstateSales.net Join and they send you alerts. You can even search for specific items. 
  • Payment Options Cash or check, but a lot take card now
  • Pick Up Policies Have someone to help you move but most sellers will have the contacts of movers to help with moving large items.
  • Best Practices for buying upholstered items and curtains Look for Pulls, Tears, Stains, Smokers, Lift cushions, Measure to make sure it fits needs of your space.
  • What to bring come as you are. Do not bring bags or baskets.
  • Haggling happens throughout the sale, but you will get the best bargains on the last day. Fill a Bag for $5 etc. 
  • Blue Tape System- The sellers will use  painters tape to denote what isn’t for sale.  Estate services have people who watch for thieving.

Source Denise Gauger Antique Chic


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