Do you go through a garage sale slump during the winter?
Winter usually slows down my secondhand hunting. Garage sales won’t pop up again until the weather warms, but estate sales are still happening. Don’t overlook these sales. They’re actually my favorite kind of secondhand sale.
If you’re not familiar with estate sales, they’re a way of liquidating the belongings of a family or person, so everything in the house is for sale. Room by room, all of the items from towels to beds to muffin tins are tagged and sold.
If you haven’t been to an estate sale before, I can see how it might be a weird experience. You’re basically going through someone’s entire life. But if you can get past that, these sales have some advantages.
Looking for specifics
If you need a specific item (I needed a muffin tin, for example,) you have a pretty good chance of finding it. I also find that estate sales are great places to find tools. I’ve purchased everything from hammers to boxes of screws for next-to-nothing.
Half off days
Most estate sales begin discounting all of the items after one or two days. Estate sales often run Thursday through Sunday. On Saturdays and Sundays, all of the items are typically half off. On Sundays, it could even be 75 percent off. This works out well for me because I can’t usually go to estate sales on weekdays any way.
Every time I visit an estate sale I beeline for the basement. I’ve found that if you’re willing to dig, basements are where you can find the best stuff. Why? People overlook it. One time I found an all-wood four-shelf bookcase with pretty details that wasn’t even priced. The estate sale workers hadn’t noticed it. They sold it to me for $10.
Scoping out furniture at estate sales is my favorite. I skip the items at the front of the house. Estate sale companies typically move the most-pricy items to the front (usually in the living room). This is also true of jewelry and other valuables. I’m looking for the cheap stuff, so I search in the nooks and crannies that other people miss. Often this is the garage. I found a beautiful dresser at an estate sale gathering dust in the corner of the garage. It needed some work, but that’s the kind of furniture I want! I got it for $35 and now it holds my T.V. in my living room.
Last weekend after a yoga class and a stop for coffee, I spotted an estate sale on my way home. It had a few too many tchotchkes for my taste. And I’m saying that as a self-proclaimed tchotchke lover. It was tchotchke overload. Still, I found a few treasures.
Here’s what I found:
-White deviled egg plate: $1.50
-Half dozen muffin tin: $1.50
-Mini baking pan: $1
-Garden twine: $0.50
-3 postcards: $1.50
I got all of my treasures for a meager $6.
I have a thing for vintage postcards. I’m going to use the two Christmas postcards for scrapbooking. I’ll hang the deer postcard as art somewhere in my home.
I seem to use twine for just about all of my projects, so for $0.50, why not?
The deviled egg plate, mini loaf pan and muffin tin were all baking tools I’d been wanting. All of these items still had the tags or labels on them, so they’d never even been used. Score!
Check out my past weekend finds!
I’d love to hear about your secondhand finds. What’s the best deal you’ve ever scored? Tell me about it in the comments.