The Do's and Don't of Estate Sales

I've been around the block a few times...when it comes to estate sales that is. I'd like to think I've learned a thing or two. But I am in no means an expert on these things, and I don't claim to be. I thought I'd pass on some knowledge to anyone who cares. This may be different in different areas, and you may entirely disagree with me. That's okay folks.

Here are some DO's and DON'Ts of estate sales.

DON'T get dressed up to go to estate sales. No one cares how pretty you are, or how nice you dress. Don't wear skirts- you will be digging around in junk. You will get a rash, and a bunch of creepy old men staring at you.  Take that time you would've spent dolling yourself up and get to the sale earlier.

DO eat a good breakfast and go to the bathroom. You can not poop in dead uncle Ernie's potty.

DON'T go to a 'TimeSavers' held Estate sale. They suck and are time wasters.

DON'T express interest in something from across the room. Someone closer to that object will grab it, even if they didn't want it. People suck like that.

DON'T put something down to 'think' about if you want it. Someone else will see you liked it and buy it. Carry the item around with you until you make a decision.

DO try to go to an estate sale on the last day. Most companies mark these days half off.

When waiting in line, DO write your name on the sign in sheet. Your place in line will not count for how soon you are let into a sale.

DON'T go to a sale in Orland Park. It's all housewives shit from Darwin Furniture.

DON'T haggle on the first day of a sale. It's rude and will get you nowhere.

DO try and make friends with the business holding the estate sale. Pick a company or two that you like and become loyal customers. You will be rewarded for your patronage.

Garage sales are filled with shit people don't want. Estate sales have shit people chose to hold onto until the day they died. DO go to estate sales first.

DON'T buy stuff just because it's valuable. Value won't make you like something. On the flip side, just because something is cheap or tarnished doesn't mean you shouldn't buy it if it speaks to you. Surround yourself with things that make you happy.

DON'T shove. And push back

DO bring a vehicle that can handle bigger items.  B and I traded our cobalt for a hatchback specifically for this reason.

DO learn when to walk away. If you plan on going to estate sales regularly, learn how to curate. You will run out of space for things quickly.

DO have fun. Smile more. This is not a competition. Unless I'm at the same sale as you. Kidding. Sorta.

What about you? Any tips or tricks for picking/estate sales/flea markets/etc? I'd love to hear!


  1. Love this post! Funny and so true.

  2. On the flipside, don't buy something because its cheap! haha i have bought so much weird shit because, well, when else am i going to find this weird statue for $1? and my house was starting to look crazy.

    haha im dead at "housewives shit from Darwin furniture"

    1. I did the same thing for awhile too! The 'well, it's only a dollar' is still sometimes hard to resist!

  3. So true. Especially about Timesavers and Orland Park :)


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