Estate Sales: The Thrill of the Hunt

Do any of you frequent Estate Sales, or is it just me?  I’ve been to a handful or so in the last year, and I have to confess that I can’t get enough of them.  In fact, this may be a new addiction – uh oh!

For me part of the fun of an Estate Sale is the hunt.  Not knowing what I might find – peeking and peering around in search of things that I consider treasure.  Treasure, for me, includes vintage photos, buttons & notions, and linens.  I look for inexpensive crafting supplies for my at-risk art journaling students.  I’m now looking for more jewelry and findings that I can make necklaces with, and have also been known to pick up a vintage mini tart mold or two.
Do I need any of this stuff?  No – these items are purely recreational, and are intended to appear in some of my creative projects.  That said, collecting and creating keep me out of trouble, and it’s a relatively inexpensive form of entertainment all things considered.*

Example: on a recent Saturday morning I visited two Estate Sales, and had a few hours of fun looking around.  My purchases for the day totaled $10, and I ended up getting four vintage photos (including one in a frame), one handkerchief, a knitted baby sock, two doilies, a thread spool holder, metallic thread, a vintage star cookie cutter, and two clipboards.  The next bit of fun is figuring out what I’ll make some of these items into. :]
Do you have any tips or tricks when it comes to shopping Estate Sales?  I’m curious about whether or not folks like to go on Friday when the sale first opens (for the best selection), or if they prefer to go on Saturday when prices are often half off.  I’d love to hear about your Estate Sale tips and tricks, and what you like to look for when shopping, so please post a comment if you can.
Happy Hunting!
Warm regards,
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  1. Posted February 21, 2013 at 10:51 am by Jo Murray | Permalink

    Estate sales, opportunity shops, lawn sales…I’m addicted to all.

  2. Posted February 21, 2013 at 12:48 pm by Melody | Permalink

    I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one. :]

  3. Posted February 21, 2013 at 3:46 pm by Carol | Permalink

    Here in Australia we have garage sales, opp shops, collectible/junk shops but my favourite is the local tender centre. You put in a bid and the highest bid wins the item. I look for old rusty tools, tatty boxes that hold jumbles of jewellery … And winning the item is a thrill. My house is of course, now filled with rusty junk but I love the hunt.

  4. Posted February 21, 2013 at 4:06 pm by Melody | Permalink

    Fun! Do you use your finds in art, or do you just like to collect and display?

  5. Posted February 21, 2013 at 9:24 pm by bev b | Permalink

    OOOOO, estate sales are my favorite!! I’m not a morning person and anyone knows I don’t need more stuff, so I opt to go around 12 or 1…when things are half price. I figure if I’m not seeking something particular, getting up early, paying “full price” and having to deal with pushy people, I’d rather sleep in! And sometimes I walk out with free stuff too!
    I’ve learned to always ask for the deal – it never hurts – and be patient and look at and under EVERYTHING. Good luck and have fun!

  6. Posted February 21, 2013 at 11:20 pm by Melody | Permalink

    Great tips! Thank you for sharing them!

  7. Posted February 28, 2013 at 6:47 am by Evette Rice | Permalink

    I plan on going to one this weekend. It is 4 days because of the large amount of goodies. My problem is that I am in a wheelchair. If I have a list, I will send my hubby in to check things out.

  8. Posted February 28, 2013 at 11:28 am by Melody | Permalink

    I understand the need to send hubby in to scout around – it can be rather cramped! Good luck on this weekend’s sale – I hope you find many reasonably priced treasures!