6 Things You Should Buy at Estate Sales

estate sale
estate sale
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Whether you’re well versed in estate sales, or just curious about them and want to experience one or two for fun, you have to make sure you don’t buy useless stuff. After all, we all have our own clutter. We don’t need to add more to it by getting even more worthless items in our house.

Yet, these sales can be a lot of fun and extremely useful if you know what to buy and how to buy it. But since you are entering someone’s house and you can snag almost anything that has a price tag on it, it gets to be a bit confusing and overwhelming easily. This is why we have gathered all the best items you should keep an eye out for when you go to estate sales.

Be it that you are looking for things for yourself at an extreme discount or you’re looking to sell some items further in order to make some extra cash, we have got items for all these categories!

Let us know if you’re a frequent estate sale goer or if we just made you intrigued enough that you may hit one up this weekend!

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15 thoughts on “6 Things You Should Buy at Estate Sales”

  1. Several of the items were repeated in the article, but most of them are valid suggestions. We have also bought older furniture, some of which needed a little bit of restoration, but it was still a great deal. Estate sales usually mark everything down to half price on the last day.

  2. Good tips! I find estate sale prices higher than yard sales, but the vintage things are worth it. My mother used to take us to farm auctions in Pennsylvania, where she found many wonderful old things. I have those towels, quilts, glassware, china, kitchen gadgets, china closets, marble top chests, East Lake furniture, etc. now. Mom bought and sold antiques, as did her mother. I had a flea market thrift store and loved identifying and selling great things. Vintage Christmas decorations sold well too. It’s hard to find auctions in Tampa Bay where I am now, so estate sales are it!

  3. Dont forget toys. I have made a good bit of cash buying pedal cars, dolls, action figures, and dolls. Oh and make sure to look for lp records and figurines.

  4. we go to as many estate sales, as able…don’t travel out of state or too far across state…lack of time. Do enjoy going with in 30+ miles & especially closer. They are great fun& being nebby!!

  5. Some things not to overlook at estate sales.
    1. Clothes. Men’s 100% Cotton dress shirts, starched on a hanger for $2. Many times name brands. I’ve gotten women’s clothes that were hardly worn for next to nothing. I have golf shirts from famous courses. Tommy Bahama. Polo. Tommy Hilfiger.
    2. Shoes. Personally I like Merrells. Nothing like getting a pair for $4, unworn.
    3. China/Dishes-They practically give it away. I know a vendor that tosses it after a sale. This is the paper plate generation. The old stuff is nicer than new. Don’t put gold or silver trim in the microwave. LOL
    4. Craft Supplies. Many times you can get things very reasonably. I’ve seen people score things like quilting supplies, yarn, etc. Personally I’m into jewelry making.

  6. I used to hit all yard and estate sales every weekend. Sadly, I can’t do it anymore and I miss them very much. My husband used to go to them with his male friend. Since I can no longer drive, I have to depend on him but he won’t take me. 🙁

    Frugal American should have added restaurant sales to the mix. I was at one and got all my dishes, mugs, bowls and meat platters plus the silverware at one that went out of business. If I had the room and money, I would’ve bought some of the appliances/equipment.

  7. I am what you may call a “Estate Sale” Addick. I search for sales through the week for Estate and Garage Sales. I copy the information off line and organize them by day if sale. I have been doing this for years. When my Grand children were young, I found some Great deals on good toys that would have cost many times what I paid for them.
    This list gives me a chance to eliminate sales that are primarily old clothing. Most of those sales are selling close for small children. It also gives me a chance to organize ware the sales are so I don’t have to double back on myself. That saves Gas.
    I Never carry a lot of cash so I limit my spending, but I have a credit card for that special item arises. These sales Not only have good used items, some may need some TLC, but you can find Brand New items that have never been opened. If you are like I am, I get material and other supplies for craft projects for pennies of the cost.
    Start early for your gift shopping and put them away for later. If you or someone you know collect of any kind, you can find them as well as normal everyday items.
    Sometimes the house is more interesting than what is in them.
    It is a Treasure Hunt. Have Fun

  8. I consider myself a well seasoned estate buyer. I always purchase cleaning supplies! They are usually not expensive and you can get great products to have on hand for every occasion.
    I’ve found incredible artwork, jewelry, tools, clothes and just fun stuff. It’s seriously like a treasure hunt since you never know what you’ll find. I get high when I enter a great estate sale!

  9. sixty years ago my first business was a second hand store. I had trainning in electronics from the navy but I found no jobs for repairing radios or TV’s. So I started a second hand store in Detroit. We had no shortage of poor people so I had plenty of customers. It was my Mother who streched my Dads wages to support our family and many that were in need in the neighborhood. We never new who would sit at our table for a meal. They never went home threadbare. My Mother worked wonders with her treadle singer sewing machine. She would pick up a rag and see potental for a serviceable piece of clothing. My sister was voted best dressed girl in high school. never needing to ware the same dress twice. So many people came in with kids that wore their clothes out. Jeans at the knees. she would take the worn out ones and make large patches for each knee that would match , looking like it was to be part of it. we would buy these worn out ones back for a nickel each and sell the patched ones for a quarter. other stores sold the jeans for a dollar. With kids growing so fast we saw the same pants several times before they were part of the patches. the people could then buy other clothing with the remaining seventy five cents. which they did. pricing these close reasonably and recycling them insured steady customers. I would buy broken TV’s from the auctions. I knew that people would try to buy tubes to repair them first before tossing them out. Many had two or three new tubes in them which I used to repair others. I would get ten or fifteen TV’s for a dollar because no one wanted them. I would usualy get two or more to work and I sold them cheap for around ten dollars they never lasted long. other appliances were also hot items. unlike todays were repairable. We are now a throw away society. our trash mountains grow ever larger. somehow people think they must have things with all sorts of bells and whistles. When you make your next purchase ask yourself how many of those buttons do you use? That one sitting on the table at a garage sale might just work well enough for your needs. Does the designer shoes make you a better person? does that designer coat keep you any warmer? many are found on the tables at garage sales. dont be afraid to argue that fact at a too high price for a designer product. Tell them if it is so great why are they selling it? Other than clothing, tool’s are a good bargan. a hammer head with broken handel can be repaired that single wrench replacing one lost within your set, or providing that “extra” one you need for the nut of the same size to tighten that nut and bolt. learning how to sharpen a saw instead of buying a new one and removing a bit of rust will sell at double its price. even looking for seeds for next years garden are worth it. A third of the cost and with more in the pack than at the store is a treasure. ( knowing they will grow in your area is knowledge of value ) Books that instruct on home repair are worth their weight. kids books in good shape keep young ones busy and entertained at times you need that personal time. My main rule is dont expect to find treasures, they will find you. trading skills you have for repairing things you see at a garage sale for an item they have will benefit both of you. buying something broken to teach your children how to repair things is the smartest time spent. Well I have rambled on long enough. Rule number two travel the sales for pleasure not profit. enjoying life makes you live longer————– I, Grampa

  10. And don’t forget to research the thrift stores in your area. I have purchased a least 1/2 of my clothes at thrift stores – Chico’s, Norstroms, etc. Cashmere sweaters, Karen Scott, Lapis necklace.
    For Estate sales – use a map to see where the sale is located. Match estate sales and garage sales to one or 2 areas so you don’t waste time. And don’t forget to bargain!

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