Beginner’s guide to Estate Sale treasure hunting


Those of you who are not familiar with an Estate sale, or a Tag sale, it is a broader concept of garage sale in which everything in the house is liquidated, mostly due to downsizing, moving, divorce, bankruptcy, or death. As sales of used items are growing more common with help of Ebay and Craigslist, estate sale is becoming increasingly popular. Not only it is good to be able to purchase valuable vintage items for low prices, it also is a fun pastime to hunt unexpected bonanzas. Here are some tips for estate sales newbies.


1. Be on mailing list to get up-to-date information
Different from garage sales, which is hosted by individuals, estate sales are offered only through companies. Being on each company’s mailing list enables you to get up-to-date information of nearby estate sales, so search for desired website and get on board!

2. Preparation doesn’t hurt
Once you list yourself on a company’s mailing list, you will get some pictures of items to be on sale. So before you go hunt for treasures, search online to learn about the history of items. You can get some sense about price on Ebay – this is essential since pricing at Estate sales can be too high or too low sometimes.

3. Digging onto certain area can lead you to fortunes
If you focus your purchase on narrowed category of items, accumulated know-how and experiences may give you insights to discover real treasures.

4. Think carefully
Of course, the first day is the best day to find some good items. However, it is hard to lower the price since there are more competitors for listed items. As the estate sale has to be done within three or four days, however, you can lower the price up to 70% discount as the sales near the end. What to keep in mind is that there is no guarantee that item you wish to purchase is left until the last day, so think carefully.

5. Cash Only
Most sales are for cash only and return or exchange is not available. Some companies put expensive items on hold, so ask them.

Original document available from
Translated by Heewon Kim