“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.

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.


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!


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.


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.


“Estate Sales 101” – Tips for Newbies

imagesSo you want to start attending estate sales and hunt for bargains? In my next series of blog posts I will discuss strategies for finding the best sales, how to negotiate the best bargain and when you should attend.

Here is the question I am most commonly asked.

How do you find out about estate sales?

There a a lot of ways to find out about the next great estate sale. Here are a few of my “go to” resources to keep up to date.

Both www.estatesale.com and www.estatesales.org  will allow you to search by zip code within a set mileage radius. They feature listings primarily from estate liquidation businesses that pay a fee to have their sale promoted on the site. Because of this, you typically find well run sales and lots of photos of what you can expect to see at the sale so if you have multiple sales to choose from you can plan in advance on what you will hit first.

Craigslist is also be a good resource but I prefer an aggregator app like Yard Sale Treasure Map that will pull estate sales and yard sale listings from a variety of media and aggregate them into one convenient location. You can search by radius and select the day of the week that you are going to go and the listings will be at your fingertips in an easy to navigate map! Just click on the pin and you can get directions to the event in Google maps. Thinking of hitting a number of estate sales or yard sales? Select the ones you are interested in and the app can create a route for you to follow. What a great tool!

Look for my next post on Estate Sales 101  – “How to Negotiate the Best Estate Sale Bargain”

Can’t wait to start shopping? Visit Lizzie Tish Vintage and I’ll share some of my finds with you!

5 Must Visit Group Shops in Northern New England


I never met a group antique shop I didn’t like – tons of treasures all under 1 roof. I have been to group shops all over New England as I am a lifelong treasure hunter. Here are a few of my favorites that are not to be missed!

#1 – Laconia Antique Center – Laconia, NH  www.thelaconiaantiquecenter.com

UnknownWho couldn’t love a group shop that is an an old department store building that still has a working lunch counter? The Laconia Antique Center is located in a former Newberry’s Department Store built in the 1950’s. You can enjoy breakfast or lunch or have an ice cream at the counter while listening to the jukebox. There is no better way to set the mood for a day of antiquing with over 150 dealers in 22,000 (yes 22,000!) square feet.

 #2 – A Well Kept Secret – Kingston, NH www.awellkeptsecretantiques.com
UnknownThis place is close to my heart and close to my home so I am a frequent flyer! In addition to over 90 dealers this place knows how to treat their customers. Lots of sales and more often than not there are home baked goodies out on the counter. There is an interesting mix of antiques, vintage and “grandma’s attic” type goods. Hard to classify everything as antique here. If you are looking for a stuffy, highbrow shop this won’t be your cup of tea! They recently turned one of their floors into a space for handcrafted items which disappointed me but I’ll still be visiting – if not for the vintage items it will be for the cookies!

#3 – Vintage View Antiques – Haverhill, MA  www.facebook.com/VintageViewInc

11796330_733333476813196_3277750805166583740_nThis shop is fairly new but it is growing quickly. Honestly, I am drawn to any antique store that is in an old brick mill building – I just can’t resist! I grew up in a mill city and I’m oddly comforted when I’m surrounded by old brick walls – go figure!

The proprietor is lovely and always helpful. I love when they have an occasional outdoor flea market as it is a great opportunity to snag some bargains. Their storefront is also quirky and always evolving – just like me!

#4 – Canal Street Antique Mall – Lawrence, MA https://www.facebook.com/pages/Canal-Street-Antique-Mall

11894662_10153692431144101_7224492136430597100_oYeah, I know, another mill building… but in the Merrimack Valley in Massachusetts it doesn’t get any better than this place! Over 50 dealers in 18,000 sq. feet of glorious mill space. Free appraisals on Wednesdays. Unlike a lot of other group shops, this place has a good amount of furniture too. Like industrial? You can usually find a good amount of this trendy look. This shop in located in my hometown  – a mill city on the Merrimack River. I’m always on the hunt for Lawrence memorabilia and this place never fails to satisfy.

#5 – Mill 77 Trading Company – Amesbury, MA www.mill77.com

183188_165704436814643_2275505_n Mill 77 is a fun mix of antiques, vintage and upcycled decor. Several things about this shop make it qualify for my top 5 list:

Epic Yard Sales – Several times a year they host yard sales in their parking lot and rent table space for only $20 bucks! You’ll find lots of part-time pickers who are looking to unload their treasures at a bargain price!

Branding – I appreciate good branding and marketing and Mill 77 does a good job promoting the shop and keeping customers informed.

Free Popcorn and Coffee – The popcorn keep my daughter happy while we shop and the coffee keeps me alert so I am sure to spot a bargain!

I spend lots of time hunting! What do I do with all of these treasures? Share them with you of course at Lizzie Tish Vintage!