Here’s a great tip when it comes to gift shopping for your loved ones: estate sales. With a little luck and a bit of planning, you can find all kinds of great deals in one place—a good estate sale is the ultimate in thrifty one-stop shopping.
Mother’s Day is coming up in May, so how about showing mom how much you appreciate her by gifting her with a something unique? How about a lovely porcelain bowl, Fenton glass, or a vintage brooch? Looking for presents for the men in your life? Think power tools, antique appliances, or baseball cards.
Some finds need to be fixed up and shown a little love, so if DIY is your thing, get ready to dive in with tools and paint! Not into getting your hands dirty? That’s alright, many items at estate sales have been gently used.
Whatever you end up going home with will be personalized and unique, not something from a big box store. And just think, not only are you helping your bottom line, but the planet as well, by re-using and recycling!
In an age of planned obsolescence, all electronics eventually die or get replaced. So what to do with with those no-longer-useful gadgets? Recycling is a great idea, but up-cycling is even better. How about turning an old floor radio into a mini bar or an old TV set into a funky book shelf? Vintage typewriters, phones, record players and cameras add an element of the retro and unexpected to your home. For more ideas and inspiration, take a look at some of these boards on Pinterest.
Styled vintage suitcases have been popping up in decor magazines and chic storefronts for a while now, and it’s easy to see the appeal. Well-worn and traveled luggage conjures up all sorts of images in the mind–exotic locales, romance…adventure. The great thing about these popular pieces is that they are still fairly easy to find at estate sales, and that they offer all sorts of decorating possibilities for your home. They can be stacked in corners and simply used as storage or they can be painted and re-purposed into coffee tables, nightstands, and even medicine cabinets. For more ideas, see the DIY video above.
Love shopping for vintage clothes, retro items or household goods? Adore going to thrift stores and flea markets? Well, what you may not know is that a lot of these re-sellers often find their unique treasures at estate sales. Unlike garage or yard sales which are filled with cast-offs in bad condition, estates are often down-scaled due to unforeseen circumstances. That often means that the things for sale aren’t items people no longer want— they’re things they can no longer keep. This makes a big difference in value. The wonderful thing about estate sales is that they offer a glimpse into someone else’s interests and life, giving those finds you end up bringing home a new layer of meaning.
The old saying still rings true: “One person’s junk is another’s treasure.” That is why it’s best to let professionals decide what to save and sell, or what to get rid of. Never simply assume that your possessions are not valuable enough for an estate sale. There can be very good cash in everyday household items, plain furniture, daily dishware, and even things like old and rusty tools. It is amazing what people will buy—everything from post cards and matches to car manuals and weight training equipment. And again, when in doubt, consult with a professional.
If you’ve been thinking about selling your own or a loved one’s possessions, consider doing so through an estate sale. To begin with though, find out if the stuff even warrants going through such a process. So, find a reputable estate sale professional to give you a valuation. Sites like estatesales.net let you locate firms locally. You’ll want to be sure any company you select carries liability insurance. Also, ask for references you can check before making any kind of commitment. Above all, do not throw away anything! Sometimes, what may look like junk to you may be a treasure to someone else. Estate sale staffers are trained to know what is collectible and can assist you in determining what to discard or donate.