Find Buried Treasure at Estate Sales

16 Jul

Shop in style at estate sales.

Every good bargain hunter knows the difference between garage sales and estate sales. Personally, besides when I was trying to furnish various college apartments, garage sales do not interest me. Why would I want to get up at 7am on a Saturday and in search of other people’s used and abused cast-offs? This seems ridiculous to me.

One day, while living in Shadyside, a fancy pants Pittsburgh neighborhood, I saw a sign for an estate sale. I had no idea what this involved, but since the signs led to a giant mansion on the classy end of my street, I was intrigued enough to find out. I walked in this amazingly beautiful mansion, and saw that it was filled with shoppers, much like myself, and the staff of an estate sale company. Everything in the house was for sale,
but instead of having to schlep through boxes in a suburban driveway, each room in this house was a like a new store for shoppers to casually browse through.

Obviously, I was immediately hooked after my first in-mansion treasure hunt. At first my friends thought it was weird that I got up on Saturday mornings to go shopping in a recently deceased, elderly person’s home. But it didn’t take long for curiosity to get the better of them, and they sunk to my level, and loved it! Pretty soon, they were the ones asking me when the next sale was, so they could tag along.

All estate sales aren’t winners, even in the snazziest houses, but here’s a few rules to abide by to help narrow down the ones worth dragging yourself out of bed on a Saturday morning for:

1.)    Make sure it’s an actual estate sale, and not just a garage sale in disguise. People are sneaky with that. A suburban family holds a garage sale in their driveway, which is not even remotely the same thing as an estate sale.

2.)    Take the area of town into consideration. Half the fun of going to estate sales is to go inside the big, beautiful houses. If you go to a sale in just an average neighborhood, don’t expect the glam factor to be there.

3.)    Another reason to only cruise the estate sales in the snazzy parts of town is obviously the quality of the items. If you’re like me, and constantly on the prowl for the designer deal-of-a-lifetime, this is an amazing place to go searching.

4.)    Go early. Getting up with the roosters on a Saturday morning is no fun, I’m not gonna lie, but you’ll miss out on the bargains if you don’t. Anyways, you’ll get an adrenaline high to keep you going all day, when you’re handsomely rewarded with all of your sweet bargains.

5.)    Shop with an open mind, not a focus. The best deals are found when you’re not looking for them. If you bust into an estate sale looking for one specific thing, you will likely be bored quickly and will leave unsatisfied. Instead, go in with the attitude that you’re up for anything, take your time digging through the buried treasure, and you never know what you’ll find!


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