“Estate Sales 101” – Finding and Negotiating the Best Deals

In my last post I shared some of my go to apps and websites for finding estate sales in your area. In this post I’ll share some of my strategies for finding and negotiating the best deal once your there.
Tip #1 – GET THERE EARLY FOR THE BEST STUFF

If the sale looks like it’s going to be a “honey hole” then people just like you are scoping it out too! Get there early. More often than not only a limited amount of people will be allowed in at a time and numbers will be handed out. You want to be number 1-10 so you can walk in the door and get the hottest items. If the sale starts on Friday then you should be there if you have your heart set on something. Go on the last day of the sale for the best deals but don’t be surprised if there is not much left.

Tip #2 – BRING A BUDDY

If you have a friend bring them along and tell them “see you later” as soon as you get in the door. It doesn’t make sense for you to stay together and look at the same items. Divide and conquer! Each of you should go in different directions and be on the hunt for the best items. Make a game plan before you go and decide what you are looking for. I always send my husband to the basement and he is as happy as a clam!

Tip #3 – IF YOU MIGHT WANT TO BUY IT THEN HOLD ON TO IT

Move through the space quickly and make a pile of all of the items you are considering. If you pass an item by there is a good chance someone else will pick it up. If you snooze you loose! Typically the people running the sale will hold items while you shop. After you have looked at everything in the house go through your pile and decide what you actually want to buy.

Tip #4 – BUNDLE

Now that you have your pile, try to negotiate a lot price for everything you want. Typically when you are buying a large number of items you are able to get a better deal than pricing items individually.

Tip #5 – NEGOTIATE

Don’t be shy! Dealers are used to negotiating. They will be surprised if you don’t make a lower offer. The worst thing that can happen is they say the price is firm. Nine times out of ten I am able to negotiate a better deal.

Most of all have fun. It is a treasure hunt after all!

Can’t wait to shop at your next estate sale? Visit Lizzie Tish Vintage for over 250 great vintage finds.

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