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 toriancobweb.blogspot.com/2008/11/out-about-in-antique-malls.html” 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!

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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 Endless Yard Sale 2008

Kelli of A Rendez Vous with Style recently emailed:

“Dear Antiques Diva,
I just turned on HGTV and saw a new show beginning called Endless Yard Sale 2008. It’s not just any “yard sale”, it spans across 5 states and there are some amazing deals on antiques and more. I thought maybe it would spur some interesting ideas for your stateside AD readers.”

Thanks for the excellent tip Kelli! The Endless Yard Sale 2008 is hosted by Steven Lee and Elyse Luray as they shop the world’s longest yard sale, a 630-mile treasure hunt through five states, to discover who’s buying, who’s selling and how to score the best deals. They are hard-core yard-salers dead set on scoping out incredible steals and then Elyse appraises them for the viewers. And at the end of the show, they reveal two dramatic room makeovers using yard-sale finds in a TV show fit for a diva!

Airtimes:
Oct 12, 2008 8pm ET/PT
Oct 13, 2008 12am ET/PT
Nov 21, 2008 9pm ET/PT
Nov 22, 2008 1am ET/PT
Dec 28, 2008 5pm ET/PT

Happy Viewing!

The Antiques Diva™
(with a little help from a friend, Kelli Djulus, Wardrobe Stylist Extraordinaire)