An estate sale is a perfect place to find the piece that will bring an entire room together. Whether you're looking to score a piece of furniture at a great deal or come across an unexpected antique treasure, an estate sale is the best place to hunt for rare items at unbelievable prices.
The difficulty with estate sales is they often go unnoticed due to limited advertising. While this can increase your chances of scoring the best deals before anyone else, it also means that you may not be aware of the estate sales in your area.
To find the hidden gems and antique treasures your home needs, you'll need to be on the lookout for local estate sales—luckily, there are ways to ensure you don't miss any potential deals. Read on for a list of ways to find estate sales near you.
What’s an estate sale? An estate sale is essentially a means of selling all the contents of a home. They are typically held in the event of a death or other situation that unexpectedly leaves the home vacant. Oftentimes, a professional estate sale organization company will hold the sale, as opposed to family members.
Estate sales are generally open to the public over the course of several days. Differing from a yard sale—where only select items are available for purchase—nearly everything is for sale unless otherwise marked. This way, the homeowner can dispose of unwanted items as quickly as possible. It’s important to understand how estate sales work and it’s a good first step towards finding estate sales near you.
Since homeowners are eager to rid themselves of a full home's worth of items, you'll often find exceptional products at estate sales.
Estate sales and auctions are similar in that their goal is to liquidate the items within an estate. However, they differ in how this liquidation is achieved.
Auctions may take place on-site at the estate, held at an auction house or gallery, or held strictly online. While the pieces at an estate sale are first-come, first-served, items at an auction are awarded to the highest bidder.
Both in-person estate sales and auctions may post available pieces online to supplement their pool of buyers and sell more items.
Though they are fairly common, estate sales can be hard to find. Families and organizations that host sales rarely spend much on advertising, and many go unnoticed to many would-be shoppers.
Luckily, there are ways to stay up-to-date on estate sales in your area. Follow the tips below to ensure you never miss a sale again.
One of the easiest ways to find a list of estate sales near you is to head to a trusted website that regularly posts local sales. Sites such as AuctionNinja make things simple by providing an interactive map that clearly shows where a sale is upcoming. AuctionNinja also comes equipped with filters, so you can locate the best sale for you. Online estate sales and auctions are also listed for a user-friendly site experience.
While it may seem like outdated technology, many families and estate sale organizations are still placing advertisements in the local classifieds. This is particularly true for smaller estates that aren't as likely to draw a large crowd. Luckily, even small estate sales can be home to plenty of hidden treasures.
For those who don't get a physical newspaper, most issues can be found online—classifieds included.
Apart from checking the local paper, it's helpful to keep an eye out for local advertising circulars that may include details on an estate sale nearby. Many cities will put out a weekly advertising paper that includes such details and is usually free at drugstores or local restaurants. You can also often find flyers for upcoming estate sales at flea markets or local antique shops.
Oftentimes when a family is in charge of holding an estate sale, advertising will be less formal; with many electing to put up a few signs around the neighborhood as they would a yard sale.
If you've got some free time, head out for a drive and keep an eye out for signs that point to an estate sale. Residential areas are great places to look, as are downtown streets.
There is often no substitute for word-of-mouth information from those in your neighborhood. Especially for beginners who have little experience with estate sales, advice from a regular shopper can be invaluable.
At your next estate sale, strike up a conversation with someone around you—they may inside tips on where to head next. Those who work at antique stores or local flea markets can also be great resources.
There may be some professional estate sale companies in your area that are planning an upcoming event. Do some research into organizations in your area, and call around to see if they can provide you with any dates or locations. Many of these companies also have an email list of regular estate sale shoppers. Asking to be added to this list can alert you to sales in the future.
Don’t have the time to reach out to individual companies? You can do this easily by locating estate sale companies near you and clicking ‘Subscribe’ on their AuctionNinja profile to get email alerts and communications on upcoming sales and events.
To find the perfect piece of furniture or decor for your home, an estate sale is the best place to look. With these tips, you'll never again miss out on an estate sale in your area. For a list of upcoming sales and access to online auctions, search our marketplace here.
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