Guest Blog – Estate Sale How To’s & Etiquette

A Quick Note From The Diva:

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Today’s Guest Blog is written by my friend tomas-and-round-top-texas-antiques.html” target=”_blank”>(and Name Twin) Toma, author of the” target=”_blank”>Victorian Cobweb blog. I call her “The Estate Sale Diva” for her knowledge is so extensive and her list of local contacts so impressive that she earns the title of “Diva of the Month” or as we say here in Holland, “Diva van de Maanden”! She has only recently started her blog, but has already received rave reviews as she lists dates for fairs & sales in the Midwestern and Southwestern parts of the USA. I’m proud of you Name Twin Toma for what you’ve started – keep up the good work!

Ta Ta From The Antiques Diva and Hello From Victorian Cobweb!


Victorian Cobweb writes:

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Of late I have had so many people ask me, “What is an estate sale?”, “How do you do estate sales?”, “Do you take a number every time you come?” and “How do they work?” For Antiques Diva Readers, I will try to dispel some of the mystery surrounding one of my favorite pastimes!

Usually in your local newspapers or county shoppers, estate sales will be listed in the classifieds under garage sales, for sale, announcements, estate sale, etc. The ads will usually list the company’s contact information, sometimes not. Sales will be hosted by family, friends or sometimes a church, but most will be hosted by an Estate Sale & Liquidation company that is made up of professionals with extensive backgrounds in antiques and appraisals, estates and liquidations. (Stay tuned for another blog on how these professionals get the estate ready for sale.) Some companies will do early sales prior to the actual published start of the sale. It all depends on the company and the contracts with their clients.

Typically, estate sale ads will read: “Numbers will be given at 8 and sale starts at 9″……this is when you will want to be there. If it say’s 8am arrive around 7:30 (or before) to be one of the first to get inside the house. Numbers are only given the first morning for the first couple of hours. This is to keep the influx of people at a minimum for safety and obviously theft. Your main goal is to see the contents of the house, so you have an idea as to what’s there. I hate to miss anything, so I go slowly through the rooms looking closely at everything. If it is a really full house I will go back several times over the course of the 2 or 3 days the sale is going on, as you invariably find more goodies. And as things are sold the company will rearrange and fill in – it’s all a part of the marketing and set up.

Some people like to come early – early bird gets the worm- some come late. I look for what I think is the best sale out of the listings for any given weekend and then make the others as I can. Also, look through the ads for garage/yard/tag sale for more treasure stops along the way. I prioritize the sales in order of importance, then distance from each other – the best first then distance. Get to know the people hosting the sales – get on their email or call lists – ask questions – don’t be afraid to see if you can come early (they might just let you – you never know). Let them know what you’re looking for. If they know that you are a serious buyer you’ll be one of the first they call when they run across something you’re interested in.

Usually, the first day is full price, afternoon of the second day is 25% off, and the last day is 50% off. Most sales will also take offers on items. Don’t forget your manners – drive safely, be courteous of the neighbors lawns, etc., don’t park in others drives or block them. Always remember this I supposed to be fun, take a buddy and make a day of it.

I once went to a sale that was hosted by the church of one of their dearly departed. The lady that had passed had willed the entire house and contents to the church. Let me tell you that was a rather different Sale! I had heard a rumor that the first day was only for the members of the church (the ad in the newspaper had not mentioned this – but being nosey and curious I went anyway) I walked in and was doing my usual perusing of the goodies when someone asked me if I was a member of their church! The thought crossed my mind to lie as I had seen a number of treasures that I coveted, but I didn’t really relish the thought of being damned to hell over a trinket, so I meekly tucked my tail, said “No” and walked out lest lightning strike! I came back the following day when the “public” were allowed only to find my treasures gone!

Another pretty strange sale was when I was in line waiting for the doors to open and a lady came out with a large bowl and asked us to draw a piece of paper out – each piece had a number on it – the number you drew was when you got to come in the house! So if you got there first and you picked #37 – 36 people went before you! Argh! One guy took a peak as he drew his slip of paper and the lady banned him from the sale! Boooo! Needless to say he was rather furious at the whole mess as were most of us. Several left and some of us stayed. Heck, we were already there and had waited that long so why not stay for the whole show!

I hope this has helped in some small way to dispel some of the mysteries of going to Estate Sales!
Thanks Antiques Diva for letting me write to your readers!

Happy Treasuring,

Victorian Cobweb

The Two Toma’s and The Round Top Texas Antiques Show

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>While you know me as The Antiques Diva™, my friends and family call me by my given name, Toma. It’s an unusual first name and when introducing myself to a new friend it always requires an explanation – “My parents were expecting a boy and were going to name me after my grandfather, Thomas”. Fortunately I have a healthy self-esteem and figure that my parents lucked out in getting me rather than a rotten little boy called Tommy! But imagine my surprise when last December while visiting my father in Durant, Oklahoma I stumbled upon another lady named Toma! Before meeting her, I thought I was the one and only!

Over time, The Other Toma began reading my blogs and before long we became modern-day pen pals, discovering that not only were we name twins but that our interests and hobbies were strikingly similar! She’s an Estate Sale Diva with an incredible network of fabulous haunts in the Midwest USA for antiques, vintage and just plain junk! Lucky for you, she has recently started a blog called” target=”_blank”>Victorian Cobweb giving estate sale advice and telling readers about tips and treasures in her “neck of the woods” in southern Oklahoma!

Today she posted such a fabulous tip that I couldn’t let it go unnoticed by Diva Readers! Sadly I’ve never been to this fair, but next year I’m thinking “The Two Toma’s” should do the fair together – Diva Style!


The Antiques Diva™

P.S. Should you know another “Toma” please do email me – We might just start our own club with all our exclusive name twins!


Victorian Cobweb writes:” target=”_blank”>Fall Round Top Texas Antiques” target=”_blank”>

Just around the corner is the antiques show of the year for the South Central Region of the United States and……….I’ve Never Been! I’m talking about Round Top – Texas that is. Opens September 30th and closes October 4th this Fall, the Sprtop.jpg”>ing dates are March 31st to April 4, 2009. So mark your calendars and dust off your walking shoes because this is the biggest show this side of the Mississippi!

top.jpg”>top.jpg” border=”0″ />It started about 40 years ago by an enterprising little lady by the name of Miss Emma Lee Turney and her company Antiques Productions in the old Round Top Rifle Association Hall. The Round Top Antiques Fair, Round Top Folk Art Fair, Antique Annex, Carmine Dance Hall and Show Tent are still the biggest and best shows of the whole fair that has grown to include small towns in the area; Round Top, Warrenton, Carmine and Shelby, plus smaller shows along the way.

Dealers start setting up as early as 3 weeks in advance…. so early shopping would be the ticket to the treasures!

If you are making plans to go this year, keep in mind this late in the year you probably won’t be able to find lodging very nearby (especially considering all the evacuees from Hurricane Ike). But plan now for next spring and fall.

Happy Treasure Hunting!

The Other Toma – at Victorian Cobweb