We just hit our first estate sale of the year. And while it was still mid-February, it had me feeling like it was time to get into that estate sale groove again.
While estate sales can be hit or miss depending upon any number of factors including location, size, time of year, prices, and what’s being sold, there are certain things in particular that may make you more successful at finding treasures at an estate sale.
Early birds and late bloomers
Timing can make all the difference when going to estate sales. Over the years, I’ve found that there are certain times that can offer the chance for better buys than others. Of course getting to a sale right at the start might mean you have the option of the first chance buys of the top picks. However, pricing at this point might not be as flexible, and those running the sale may not be willing to negotiate on the sale prices of items. Meanwhile, if you arrive toward the end of the sale, items might largely have been picked over already, but you could pick up some really good deals as those having the sale may just be looking to get rid of leftovers.
In our area, we typically know what areas and neighborhoods are good for estate sales and which ones aren’t. While the upper class neighborhoods might offer more in the way of nice things at sales, they also often come with higher prices. Meanwhile, while more middle class neighborhoods might not have the luxury items that upscale neighborhood estate sales do, they often offer more in the way of deals and antiques and vintage items.
Wheeling and dealing
At many estate sales, there’s nothing wrong with trying to work a deal. Making a reasonable offer is generally accepted at many such sales unless they provide notice ahead of time that they won’t negotiate, and even then, sometimes it might be worth a shot.
Sellers could be looking just to get rid of stuff left to them by a deceased relative, and they may not care much about how much money they get for it. Therefore, making an offer could lead, if not to a deal right away, to a negotiating process in which both sides are satisfied with the result.
And remember, sometimes walking away if the item isn’t something you have to have, is one of the best tactics you have on your side. Moving on to other parts of the sale if a price negotiation isn’t moving in the direction you’d hoped, letting a seller know that your offer stands if they’d like to wait until later in the sale to decide, or even coming back later in the sale to remind the seller (if the item is still there) that you’re willing to negotiation on the item’s price might all be ways to get a better deal. Just bear in mind, someone could swoop in during the meantime to buy the item, so be prepared!
More From This Contributor:
Building a Revenue Producing Blog
I Won’t Be Waiting to Take Social Security
Preparing to Publish My First E-book
The author is not a licensed financial or estate sale professional. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any kind. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.