Estate sales normally happen when someone passes away or moves away. Most estate sale auctions in Overland Park are run by professional estate sale liquidators, but some are run by the owners or their heirs. No matter what kind of sale it is, the same rules apply regardless. Follow this advice before you head off to the next auction:
Do Begin Searching for Sales Ahead of Time
Tons of sales are going on at once, and you need to be aware of what you want to purchase. Check Google and your local newspaper to see what’s going on in your neighborhood.
For the best selection, attend the sale on the first day as soon as it opens up. If you find something you want, but the cost is too much, come back on the final sale day in the afternoon to get the best possible price.
Do Know What You Want to Purchase
Estate sales are exciting, so it’s easy to make poor impulse buys. Go into the sale with the knowledge that not everything you see there will be a good deal.
Before you head outside your home, make sure that you research the prices of the items that you’re looking to buy. Remember, you probably won’t be able to think clearly and research thoroughly when you’re on the go with your mobile phone.
To avoid buyers remorse, ask yourself these two questions before making any purchases:
- Would I purchase this item if it were on sale elsewhere?
- Am I only getting this so that I don’t walk away from the sale empty-handed?
If you answered “no” to the first question and “yes” to the last question, then it’s time to move on.
Do Anticipate High Prices
It’s very likely you’ll stumble across something that is far more expensive than what you think it should be. Keep in mind that the owner is only selling the things that he thinks will sell, so the prices will not be “give away prices.”
on the other hand, it’s’ equally just as likely that you’ll find items priced far lower than you would’ve expected. They might be high-quality items and in excellent shape, but since they are second hand, the prices should reflect that.
Do Go Early
If you go early, you’ll likely have to get an entry number to wait in line (especially if the sale is being held indoors). Additionally, the organizers will likely limit the amount of people who can be inside at the same time. Therefore you want to be one of the first people inside, in the first wave of shoppers, to have the first pickings.
Do Understand the Payment Terms
This is especially important if you’re making a big purchase. Accepted payment methods will depend on the individual company – some only take credit cards and not cash (and vice versa). Also, if its an individual running the sale, they probably won’t accept credit cards at all.
Do Understand the Pickup Policies
Most sales will let you pick up large items on the same or next day, but still, you should always ask first before paying.
Do Take a Whiff of Furniture and Bed Treatments First
If the owner had pets or an older deceased person used them, they could be soiled with urine, and that will be something you can’t fix. This can definitely be the case since it’s harder for older people to control their bladder. You might be able to make use of the upholstery if you strip it down to the frame and reupholster it. Regardless you should still know what you’re getting first.
Do Ask About Things Without Visible Pricing
This could include lighting, window treatments, kitchen appliances, potted plants, garden statuary, and hardware, as well as anything else without price tags. After all, at lots of estate sales, everything in the home will be removed before being put on the market. Oftentimes the above items will be up for grabs.
Do Carefully Examine Vintage Items Before Purchasing
Antiques and vintage items should be in good condition if you hope to resell them for more money. The policy of most estate sales is that items are sold as-is, and there are no refunds (even if the item is flawed).
Don’t Bring a Big Purse or Even a Tote Bag
If you do, you might be denied entry. Just keep your money in your wallet or front pocket instead. Large storage items aren’t allowed inside because the sale owner will want to prevent thievery of small items from occurring. Unless the sale has lots of staff, it will be too difficult or impossible for them to watch your every move.
Don’t Get Offended About Being Watched While Shopping
By the same token, don’t get offended by a security guard asking to check your receipt before you leave the event. As we said, estate sales are difficult to monitor, and the guards are only doing their job by making sure that there are no unpaid items after the sale.
Don’t Be Shy to Ask for More Information
It can be useful to know the story behind an item before judging its worth. Therefore feel free to ask the owner or the attendants to tell you more about the item. If you’re not sure if the price is worth it or not, you can do a fast online search to learn more.
Don’t Expect to Haggle for Every Item
This is especially true if the sale is run by a company – haggling is likely out of the question. You can always try, but you might not have very much luck. A private organizer may entertain you, but an estate sale company will likely only remove a certain percentage of the price as each day passes. As we said earlier, the best offers usually come on the final day and the last hour of the sale.
Don’t Expect Help With Pickups
Don’t expect any help with the heavy lifting (at least not for free). The ideal solution is to have your own helpers to assist you.