Glass cabinet with china

When I’m appraising antiques at my events, I’ll always have at least one person tell me as I review their item that they purchased their item while shopping at an estate sale. Read three real estate sale stories from my appraisal events. Audiences always inch up on their seats with excitement and anticipation. My immediate reaction is quite different as I look at the item. Of course, every item from an estate sale has a story–a story which the item often reveals is not true. I’ll share more of those stories in a future blog post.

Now I’ll share three tips which reveal the real story about estate sales. Do you like to shop at estate sales? Are you thinking of hiring a person to organize an estate sale for you? You’ll be surprised to learn that …

1. Estate Sale Dangers


The family of the deceased lost more money and wasted more time than they had to by selling through an estate sale. Estate sales can be costly in terms of percentage given up to the estate sale organizers and security personnel costs to prevent property theft. What happens if somebody hurts themselves falling down the stairs while in the house for the estate sale? Sure, you are covered for a water leak, but a sale open to the public? Don’t forget to double check your home owner’s insurance policy.

2. Is it from the Estate?

A shopper of an estate sale item always thinks that he got a better piece than he really did and that the piece is worth more than he paid. People think because it is called an estate sale that the piece is somehow better. Most people don’t know that many estate sales have additional objects added to them that were not from the original estate. Resellers will sometimes pull their inventory from their shops to be part of the estate sale. Some call it marketing, I call it fraud. Make sure you get documentation and proof for the item you are purchasing. Watch video where I explain pricing at estate sales.

3. Better than a Yard Sale

I often joke that estate sales are no different than yard sales except the owner isn’t around to make change. That is actually a very true statement. We make the mistake of thinking that an estate sale has better items than a yard sale does, but that is not the case.

Do you have an estate story to share? Did you buy a piece at an estate sale? Maybe you have hosted one? I want to hear about it. Please share it on Facebook or email it to me. I’ll include it in a future post. Plus, don’t forget to share this with somebody who shops or is hosting an estate sale.