×

What Products Can be Found at an Estate Sale?

SHARE
estate sale, picture frames, tag sale, flea market, antiques, vintage frames

Are you new to estate sales? If you haven't taken part in an estate sale (or have visited a few, but aren't a seasoned attendee), it may come as a surprise just how much variety there is. It's literally possible to find almost anything at an estate sale. Whether your passion is for 19th Century gravy boats, 1950s millinery, or rowing machines, you may find them all!

Here we take a look at what an estate sale is and how estate sales work. We also look at the various items that you might find when you attend one, either in person or virtually.

What is an Estate Sale?

An estate sale is a sale of high-quality antiques, vintage clothing, textiles, jewelry, collectibles, and other household items. Commonly, estate sales are used to sell off the contents of an entire house, following the death of the occupant(s). Other times, families who are moving or downsizing may have an estate sale to sell off items they can't take with them.

Estate sales are located online and in-person simultaneously, or just digitally. Variations on estate sales include the sale of collections (for example a collection of silver, china, or pictures), and farm sales, which include agricultural machinery, equipment, and accessories as well as conventional house contents. 

Goods in an estate sale may be sold by auction or be priced to be sold for a set sum. 

Many people love estate sales because of the constant variety of items and the chance to pick up a bargain for just a few dollars. If you like the excitement of never quite knowing what you may find, an estate sale is for you.

What Type of Goods Might you Find at an Estate Sale?

In general, estate sale goods vary in age from antique and vintage, right through mid-century modern (MCM) merchandise to contemporary and modern pieces. Below are some of the main estate sale item categories you're likely to find.

Furniture

Anything from retro-60s items to Chippendale chairs, 1930s heirlooms, or modern suites just a few months old. Pieces likely to come up include:

  • chairs
  • tables
  • beds
  • sofas/couches
  • dining room sets
  • dressers

Jewelry

Whether you're looking for high-value pieces, some colorful costume jewelry, or a special designer necklace or ring, you'll probably find what you're looking for at an estate sale. Jewelry may be contemporary, several hundred years old, or anything in between. 

Clothing

There will almost always be clothes at an estate sale, some of which are likely to be decades old. It's common to have clothes that have only been worn for special occasions or garments that have been kept a lifetime, perhaps for sentimental reasons or because they're of good quality. It's surprising how many designer labels you may find. Expect to find bags, shoes, hats, ball gowns, dresses, suits, coats, and more.

Fitness Equipment 

A large number of people purchase fitness equipment to use in their homes, and it's often available at estate sales for a fraction of its original price. Look out for these items:

  • treadmills
  • exercise bikes (stationary bikes)
  • rowing machines
  • multi-gyms
  • free weights
  • cross-trainers

Tools 

Estate sales are great places to pick up tools for less, including hand tools, power tools, garden maintenance equipment and mechanical diggers, mowers, aerators, and similar to keep your yard in great condition.

Small Electrical Appliances 

Craving a De'longhi Cappuccino maker or KitchenAid stand mixer at a discounted price? An estate sale is the place to go. High-end appliances such as Cuisinart or Bosch food processors, Danby wine coolers, and small appliances from leading brands such as Samsung, Ninja Foodie, Avanti, and Braun can all be picked up for a few dollars. 

Holiday Decorations

Many people keep their decorations for years - or even use ones that have been handed down through the generations. If you love vintage Holiday Decorations that offer a nostalgic way of adding a festive touch, you're likely to find them at an estate sale.

Soft Furnishings

Rugs, curtains, bed linen, and textiles can all be found at an estate sale. Ideal for people just starting out, who could do with some linen or a rug or two, it's also possible to find high-end soft furnishings for a few dollars. If you've always wanted a Persian carpet or William Morris curtains, you can frequently find both for less at an estate sale.

Fine Art

If you'd like a picture or two, either for investment purposes or because you want a suitable option for your wall, there are likely to be plenty of choices available. You can find sculptures, pottery, paintings, photographs, and other works by both well-known artists and talented amateurs. Estate sales are a perfect way to get your hands on stunning, original works for less.

Collectibles

Many estate sale enthusiasts are avid collectors of knick-knacks, china, curios, ornaments, or similar. No estate sale would be complete without a few collectibles. Prices vary, and it's also possible to pick up some extraordinary pieces you just wouldn't find in a standard shop.

Kitchenware

Bowls, plates, dishes, cutlery, utensils, pans, flat irons, warming pans, and butter paddles - from the modern to the antique, the common to the obscure, there's plenty of kitchenware choices at an estate sale. 

Garden Furniture and Ornaments

Transform your yard into something truly special with a selection of outdoor furniture bargains from an estate sale. Sales often include items in sheds and outhouses, which in many cases means it's possible to find BBQs, outdoor tools, benches, tables, parasols, dining tables, outdoor furniture suites, deck chairs, and more on offer. 

With so many great options available, it's little surprise that estate sales remain a popular opportunity to pick up anything and everything. Find out more about upcoming estate sales, as well as the best way to get your hands on the bargains!

 

 

Want AuctionNinja in your inbox?
Yes, I want to be on AuctionNinja's exclusive email list! Terms of Service and Privacy Policy apply.
Top Auction Locations

New York

Massachusetts

Vermont

Illinois

Texas

Colorado

Connecticut

California

Connecticut

New York

Pennsylvania

New York

Rhode Island

North Carolina

Washington

Massachusetts

Washington

District of Columbia