If you're tired of your basic yard sales, it's time to branch out into estate liquidation sales. Estate sales usually occur when an entire house full of merchandise is going to be offered up for public consumption. Most estate sales are due to the death of the owner, but they can also occur when someone is trying to liquidate their assets, such as due to divorce or bankruptcy. Before you head out to your first estate sale, you should know that they're run differently than most yard sales. Here are four simple tips that will help you have a successful day shopping the estate sales.
Get There Early
When you're shopping estate sales, you need to get there early. Bargain hunters, and professional estate sale purchasers will get their early and stand in line. That's what you'll need to do too. Getting there early will help ensure you a good place in line, which is necessary if they're only allowing a limited amount of people into the sale. It's particularly important for you to get there early on the first day of the sale. This is when serious buyers will show up to stake their claim to the big-ticket items.
Browse the Merchandise
When you go to an estate sale, take the time to browse the merchandise before you make your purchases. This will allow you to see what's available, and what the prices are like. If you see items you want, that are reasonably priced, purchase those items on the first day. However, if you see items you like that are priced slightly higher than you'd like, wait until the last day of the sale, and then go back to make an offer on those items. Most estate sale planners will take offers on the last day of the sale because they don't want anything left over.
Ask About Acceptable Payment Methods
When you shop estate sales, it's a good idea to bring a fair amount of cash, and ask about the payment methods as soon as you get there. While most larger estate sales accept credit cards, some smaller ones will only accept cash. Bringing cash with you will ensure that you don't lose out on a rare find because you only had credit cards on you.
Do the Sniff Test
If you're going to be purchasing upholstered furniture from an estate sale, make sure you do the sniff test before committing to the purchase. This is particularly important if you're purchasing from an estate sale of someone who had numerous pets. The furniture could smell like urine, which can be difficult to remove.
Now that you're going to be attending your first estate sale, use the tips provided here to have a successful shopping experience.