Estate Sale vs Garage Sale: What’s the Difference?

Estate Sale vs Garage Sale: What’s the Difference?

Are you a deal hunter?

If you love a bargain on secondhand stuff, you probably never miss a garage sale. But have you ever been to an estate sale? There are significant differences between an estate sale vs. garage sale. Read on to find out where you can cash in on a better bargain.

Garage Sales: How Are They Unique?

Garage sales are the fast food of sales. They’re easy to organize, and they can be spontaneous.

When a household decides to hold a garage sale, they can have it up and running in less than a week. All they need to do is:

  • Choose the things they want to sell
  • Price all items
  • Get a city permit, if needed
  • Create signs and advertisements
  • Display all items in a garage or backyard

You might find out about a garage sale from a Facebook post or a buy/sell website. But let’s face it: most of the time, you learn about a garage sale when you drive by one that’s already open. It’s common to find these sales on Saturday, and they only last for that one day.

If you choose to browse around, you’re contained to the home’s backyard, garage, or driveway. What you see on display is exactly what’s for sale. You can negotiate prices on much of what you buy at a yard sale, which makes this an enticing setup.

What Are Estate Sales?

Estate sales are the gourmet dish of bargain events. They’re planned in advance. Also, nothing in or outside of the house is off limits.

While garage sales are usually informal and motivated by a small need, estate sales are more formal and driven by a major change in life or homeownership. They are the direct result of a foreclosure or a death in the family.

Here’s how an estate sale works:

  • A property is taken over by a bank or the family member of someone who passed away
  • The sale is thoroughly planned often with the help of an estate service management company
  • The estate sale planners take inventory of everything in and outside of the home
  • The sale is planned at least a week in advance, but usually much longer than that to plan thoroughly, and create buzz
  • It is advertised in estate sale databases, newspapers, and on social media

The easiest way to find an estate sale is to keep track of estate sale databases. You can search for upcoming sales by city, state, and time.

When you go to an estate sale, you’re welcome to browse around the whole house and choose what you want. Although you are much less likely to be able to negotiate prices than at a garage sale, you have more of a chance to find quality items at good bargain prices.

Estate sales often run from Friday to Sunday, which also allows for more opportunity to shop.

Estate Sale VS Garage Sale: Which Is Better?

Garage sales are smaller by nature, but they’re more open to haggling. In contrast, estate sales are bigger, longer and highly organized. You’re more likely to find complete sets of everything, and you’re more likely to get your hands on quality items at an estate sale.

If you need more resources about an estate sale VS garage sale, you’re welcome to contact us with your questions. Knowing about the selling process of each kind of sale puts you at a great advantage as a buyer.

Estate Sales Furniture Shopping: A Complete Guide

Estate Sales Furniture Shopping: A Complete Guide

You may be looking for that perfect big-ticket item for your living room but can’t find something that you both like and afford.

Estate sales can be the perfect place to get furniture and other expensive items at a reasonable price. At estate sales, you’re likely to run into exciting, interesting and even rare pieces that you would never find in your local store.

If you’re interested in learning more about estate sales furniture shopping, read on. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know about snagging furniture at a great price.

Make A Plan

A word to the wise: this isn’t the time or place to throw caution to the wind. Estate sales can be competitive shopping grounds, and if you want to use your time wisely, you’ll plan accordingly when heading to a sale.

You can look online to find out where sales are happening near you, and you can easily make a map of where you plan to go. Make sure to browse photos ahead of time so you can see what kind of pieces they offer and to make sure there is something there that you like.

Once you’ve picked out a few sales and items that you’re interested in – don’t dilly dally. The early bird gets the worm, and the early shopper gets that perfect couch. It’s advisable to show up an hour early before an estate sale begins if you want to get your hands on a specific piece.

Bring The Right Tools

If you’re planning to explore the world of estate sales, there are a few things you should make sure to have in your car with you. First and most importantly: cold, hard cash.

You never know what kind of sale you might be walking into, whether it’s home-run or done by a professional service. Many estate sales nowadays accept debit and credit cards, but you never know when you’ll stumble into one that doesn’t.

Outside of cash in your wallet, make sure you have the following: measuring tape and a flashlight. You’ll need these to inspect a piece of furniture and make sure it’s the perfect fit for your living room.

Bring a color swatch as well to make sure that upholstery matches the walls of the room you’re planning to put it in.

Have A Transport Plan

You didn’t travel all this way to find your new couch and stand on the side of the road with it, right?

If you have a truck, that should be your transport for the day. If you don’t consider borrowing one from or enlisting a friend to go with you. Make sure to measure the interior of the truck beforehand to ensure that your furniture pieces can fit inside.

With that, you’ll be off and on your way home with your new furniture.

Estate Sales Furniture Shopping

An estate sale is one of the best places to get amazing furniture at affordable prices. The adventure and thrill of the hunt can make estate sales furniture shopping not only helpful and thrifty but downright fun.

Looking for more advice or information on estate sales? Check out our blog for more.

5 Estate Sale Finds You Won’t Want to Miss

5 Estate Sale Finds You Won’t Want to Miss

Collectors scour estate sales for reasonably priced antiques in great condition.

If you have more modern tastes you may have driven straight by these sales without a passing glance. Estate sales, however, are an excellent place to find all sorts of everyday items at bargain-bin prices.

Ready to get hunting? Check out our list of the best estate sale finds!

1. Large Furniture

Estate sales are fantastic for finding gently used, high-quality furniture. You can often find gorgeous pieces that have been lovingly maintained for IKEA prices.

2. Paintings and Art Prints

Are your walls looking a bit bare? Estate sales are an excellent place to stock up on beautiful artwork for your home. And each sale offers its own distinct collection.

Buying art for yourself at an estate sale is easy – go with your tastes and preferences.

If you are looking to purchase art to flip, you need to be a bit more discerning. Keep up-to-date on current art trends and themes. Do some research on which artists are yielding the most money at auctions.

3. Kitchenware

Estate sales offer a wide variety of kitchen goods for great prices. You can get everything from everyday cooking utensils to vintage collectibles.

Many items will be gently used and look like new.

Don’t forget about small appliances. You can get small kitchen appliances like stand-mixers or microwaves for a fraction of the retail cost. Make sure they work before you buy them!

4. Jewelry

Estate sales are phenomenal places to find amazing pieces of jewelry. And jewelry is often a prominent feature at estate sales.

Prices for estate sale jewelry can range from amazing deals on diamonds or gold, to very expensive for vintage pieces.

5. Books

Estate sales often prominently feature large collections of books. Avid readers will delight in a wide range of titles from paperback pulp fiction to classic novels.

Estate sales are a great opportunity to expand your personal library. You can load up on tons of inexpensive books for less than it would cost you to go to the library!

Sometimes you can even find rare first edition books !

Search for the Best Estate Sale Finds

Estate sales are excellent places to find unique items at low prices. Searching for estate sale finds can be time-consuming, but the effort is well worth it when you find the perfect piece.

Need help stage an estate sale of your own? Contact us; we are glad to help!