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Shopping estate sales is exhilarating! You never know what you’ll find. In many ways, an estate sale is like a giant garage sale. There are items all over with stickers on them and crowds of people waiting to get a fantastic deal. You can find amazing treasures at these sales. You could purchase art prints or even original art. There could be rare books. You might find collectibles. You could find kitchen wares or appliances. There might be valuable jewelry. Nice rugs could be for sale. You might find silver. Furniture is often available. Antiques are a popular find at estate sales.

When Shopping Estate Sales, the Early Birds Get the Worm

To get the best deals there are several tips. First and foremost, arrive early. You may even need to be there an hour before the sale begins. To get the best deals on the best items, you need to show up early. This means you will need to know when and where to go. There are several websites and apps that have popped up recently that can help you find estate sales. Local newspapers often list estate sales as well. Companies that run estate sales often have websites listing their sales. Some estate sale companies, like LAWSON & CO even offer previews, posting photos and information about some of the most valuable items.

Know Your Local Companies

Search online and browse the papers to find out what sorts of estate sale companies are in your area. Get to know them. You can usually visit their website to learn more about the company, see a schedule of their events, and see photos of items that will be for sale. You could even get on an email list for a company that can give you heads up when a sale is coming and let you sign up in advance to save your place in line.

Do Your Homework 

Do some research! Look for information about the sale and what items you may be interested in. A sale has many items, and you want to go in with a game plan. Also find out the selling procedures. Is it an auction style to bid on items, or set price sale? What forms of payment will they accept? Are there additional fees? For larger items, is there a window of time to get back with a truck to pick it up, or do you need to take it with you immediately? These are details you will want to know before you arrive.


Some sales allow bidding and negotiation. Find out if this is the case. If an item is out of your price range, you may be able place a bid. If the item does not sell at its original asking price, you could win the bid and get the item for the price you can afford.


When you are shopping estate sales that are not auctions, you need to gather up the items you want as soon as you want them. Chances are, they may not be there if you try to come back. Large items typically have a tag you can pull off and hang on to so that you don’t have to try to carry it around. Sometimes the host will have an area where you can place items you want to buy until you are finished. Then you can pay for them all at once. Keep in mind, though, that if you place things in this holding space, they will expect you to make the purchase.

Shopping estate sales can be fun. It is like a great treasure hunt. You never know what you might find! LAWSON & CO is an auction house and full-service real estate company that can manage the entire process of an estate sale. Give us a call at 317-745-6404 or visit us at LAWSON & CO for more information or to see where and when you can join us for our next sale!

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