For many different reasons such as a death in the family, transfer of a job, or downsizing, estate sales are held. Many of these are conducted by professional estate companies, who carefully organize and manage them. Still others are put on by the owners of the property, or by those that have inherited it. There is certainly a similarity with the goods one typically finds at yard sales, whether it’s an estate sale in Atlanta or elsewhere, but normally at estate sales, one will find some finer pieces available. This being the case, usually one will notice prices that are higher in general than those charged at traditional yard sales.
You should be aware however that you can certainly find some great deals, at estate sales, on some outstanding pieces. Take a look at the following list for our best advice of just what you should and should not do when you get yourself to an estate sale.
GET TO THE ESTATE SALE ON DAY ONE
For the very best choice of available merchandise, you should make the effort to attend the sale at the starting time on the very first day. Should you discover something you really like, and the price for the item is too high for you, make certain you return on the sale’s final day, in the afternoon.
EXPECT BIG CROWDS AT AN ESTATE SALE
At an estate sale, particularly if it is held indoors, you should expect to have to wait in line. Many sales will place a limit on the number allowed in at any one time, and many antique collectors and dealers frequent these sales. Exercise patience, and you will finally receive your chance.
DON’T CARRY LARGE BAGS INTO AN ESTATE SALE
A tote bag or huge purse is something you do not want to bring with you. They may not let you in, if you do. Organizers make every effort to make certain that shoppers do not take the opportunity to steal any small items. It is usually not possible, unless the staff is very large, to properly guard everything on display.
EXPECT TO HAVE SECURITY AT AN ESTATE SALE
Do not take any offense if you are asked to show receipts for purchases made, or if security is closely watching you as you walk around the premises. Estate sales are not at all easy to properly monitor, and the staff hired to do so truly has their hands full.
HAGGLING CAN ONLY GET YOU SO FAR AT AN ESTATE SALE
Keep in mind that if the estate sale is managed, don’t expect any haggling to go on the first day. Of course, you can make an offer if you choose to, but you probably won’t get a positive response. Offers may be considered by private owners, but sales companies have their own process where they will usually reduce items a certain percentage every day of the sale it remains available. This is why the best deals are obtained in the final hour of the sales last day.
FIND OUT PAYMENT OPTIONS BEFORE YOU ARRIVE AT AN ESTATE SALE
Before you commit to a large purchase, do not hesitate to discuss payment terms. Some companies take cash only, while some are set up to take credit cards as well. In the case of private owners, they will usually never accept credit cards.
WHAT IS THE PICK UP POLICY AT AN ESTATE SALE? FIND OUT
Make certain that you ask what the pick-up policies are. Usually, on the same day you can return to pick things up, but sometimes it is the following day before you can pick things up. Be certain to find this out before you pay any money.
IF YOU PLAN ON PURCHASING LARGE ITEMS, BRING SOME EXTRA HELP WITH YOU
You shouldn’t expect to get any help from anyone when you have to load something you have purchased. A lot of times people are just too busy to help, and at other times there are various insurance restrictions that may apply that prevent them from being able to be of help.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO SNIFF THINGS OUT
Before you buy anything upholstered, give it the smell test. Very often, particularly if the sale involves a deceased person’s things, a significant urine smell will be present. These pieces could still be saved if they are reupholstered, but you want to know these things when you make your purchase.
NO AREA IS OFF LIMIT UNLESS A SIGN SAYS SO
You should not feel any discomfort going through the home’s more private areas such as closets, basements, and bathrooms. If any of these areas are off limits, signs will be posted indicating that.
IS THE BACKYARD PART OF THE ESTATE SALE?
Inquire whether or not there are sale items in outbuildings, backyard, or the garage. These areas are simple to overlook when one is so focused on the house.
FOUND SOMETHING YOU LIKE? INSPECT IT THOROUGHLY
Before you purchase them, carefully check the condition of vintage pieces and antiques. Merchandise is usually sold “as is”, so it cannot later be returned.
CHECK THE ESTATE SALE COMPANY’S WEBSITE
For professionally managed sales, check the website of the estate sale company. Very often sale merchandise will be listed in the week prior to the sale, and very often photos will be shown as well. Be sure to look at the reviews for each company you consider. Read some of our Atlanta estate sale reviews. For more about Lott’s Treasures Estate Sales in Atlanta, visit our profile page on Estatesales.net by clicking here.