How Much Is My Antique Worth? Here Are 3 Sure-Fire Ways to Find Out!

How Much Is My Antique Worth? Here Are 3 Sure-Fire Ways to Find Out!

Do you have an old rocking chair that used to belong to your great great grandmother? What about an antique china cabinet that you found at an estate sale? These can act like focal pieces to bring interest into your home.

But if you’re trying to clean out your home or get money fast, you may be considering selling these antiques. That is if you can sell them for the right price.

“So, how much is my antique worth?” That’s a great question! But the answer isn’t so simple – it depends on a variety of factors, like age and condition.

Do you want to know how you can discover your antique’s worth? Keep reading to find out.

1. Do Your Own Research First

You should start by doing your own research. This can come in many forms. If you have a family heirloom, ask your family members if they know what period it’s from or if there’s an interesting story behind it.

If it wasn’t passed down through family members, see if you can find tips on discerning real antiques from fakes. There are probably a few key details that will let you know if you have a genuine antique or a replica.

You may also hit the internet and do an antique value lookup. See what other people are selling similar items for. You won’t be able to get an exact number from this method, but it should help you find a ballpark figure.

2. Get it Appraised

When learning how to find out what an antique is worth, you’ll probably read a lot about antique appraisers. This is the best way to get a real and knowledgeable answer. It’s their job to evaluate your piece and do an antique value lookup if needed.

You may find that their price differs from what you found on the internet. Remember, things like cracks, restorations, blemishes, edition numbers, and manufacturing year can all play a part in how much your antique is worth. You can always take it to another appraiser for a second opinion if the number seems too low.

3. Contact a Specialist or Collectibles Dealer

Do you have some niche or collectible? Things like baseball cards, comic books, or war memorabilia may be taken to a specialist or collectibles dealer.

They have expertise in the specific antique you have and know more about the niche market you’ll be selling it to. They’ll be able to give you a good price range and tell you more about your item.

How Much is My Antique Worth?

So, you’re still left with the big question: “how much is my antique worth?” Pinpointing an exact price on your own can be hard. The best way to determine worth is by doing an antique value lookup at home to get a ballpark figure. Then, get it appraised or take it to a specialist for a more exact number.

Did you find this article helpful? Check out our blog for more great articles like this.

How to Know When It’s Time for a Professional Estate Appraisal

How to Know When It’s Time for a Professional Estate Appraisal

Is that painting you found in the closet worthless or worth millions?

While it’s rare for someone to find something that is worth millions in an estate, knowing the value of things is important because finding things that are worth thousands is not all that rare.

Getting an estate appraisal is the only way you can know for sure how much the items in a home are worth. And, contrary to popular belief, they aren’t just done after someone has passed away.

Keep reading to learn a few reasons as to why you may need the help of an estate appraisal expert.

Purchasing Insurance

In many cases, an official estate appraisal is needed before securing insurance. When looking to get a valuation for this reason, it’s important to make sure you’re using someone with the right credentials.

Most insurance companies will only accept an appraisal from someone that has been authorized by the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). Always ask about this before hiring someone.

Dividing Assets

When someone passes away, and the will states that the assets are to be divided between heirs, it can be difficult to know who gets what or how much everyone will receive.

This is where a professional appraiser comes in. They can provide a fair market value for the estate contents so it can be divided equally between parties.

If the assets are to be sold to provide an inheritance, this valuation should only be considered a guide as there’s no guarantee the items will be sold for that amount.

Donating to Charity

If you have valuable items that you’re looking to donate to charity, you will need to have them professionally appraised first. This will allow you to write off the full amount on your taxes.

Alternatively, some people choose to donate entire estates to charity because it’s far more straightforward and faster than going through the selling process. However, to get a tax write-off, you’ll need an appraisal.

This is another instance in which you will have to be especially careful about who you hire. The IRS may investigate any item that has been appraised for more than $50,000, so you want to know the person you’re hiring is giving an accurate valuation.

Having an Estate Sale

Whether you’ve inherited a house filled with unwanted items or you are merely liquidating belongings, an estate sale is a great way to earn some money while getting rid of things you don’t want.

However, if you want to know what the values of items prior to an estate sale you can hire someone to appraise the estate.  This will help when deciding what the family may wish to keep or sell.  Maybe you would want to keep an item if you knew it was worth $5,000.  An estate inventory or valuation also known as an estate appraisal is a great way to determine that very question before an estate sale process begins.

How to Schedule Your Estate Appraisal

Now you know the reasons behind why you may need an estate appraisal. It can be done for insurance or donation purposes, or to find out the value of items to execute a will or sell everything.

If you’re ready to have an appraisal of your estate done, check out our website to learn more.


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!

How Do Estate Sales Work? A Beginner’s Guide

How Do Estate Sales Work? A Beginner’s Guide

What if you were sitting on a fortune and you didn’t even know it? With the power of an estate sale, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” can be very true. But you have to know how estate sales work if you want to get the treasure at the end of the sales rainbow!

Estate sales can be mysterious and confusing, both for those attending them and those who are hosting them. Knowing how these sales work is critical to making the most of the experience.

Keep reading to discover our guide that answers your question: just how do estate sales work?

More Than a Garage Sale

The first rookie mistake that most people make is to think that an estate sale is the same as a garage sale. After all, both of them center on selling items from around the house that you no longer want.

However, an estate sale is much larger in scale than a garage sale. It involves selling more items and ideally reaching a far larger market.

This makes the estate sale pretty intimidating for those who are hosting it. That’s why it’s important to figure out if you want to hire any professionals to help manage it.

Should You Hire Professionals?

If you’re hosting an estate sale, hiring professionals will make it much easier. However, it comes at a price: many professional companies will take a commission on any profits that you make.

That makes many people wonder if it is worth it to hire professionals. The honest answer: it depends, as there are a number of pros and cons.

The benefits of hiring professionals include getting more buyers. This is because they have existing networks of interested buyers as well as the experience necessary to market your estate sale to others. On top of that, they can help you value items and find alternative avenues for selling items of very high value.

We’ve already covered the main con of hiring professionals: having to pay a commission on whatever you sell. You may want to do the estate sale on your own if you have a large enough network of potential buyers and you are willing to spend the extra time organizing and marketing your estate sale.

Secrets of a Good Estate Sale

Whether you hire pros or do it yourself, there are a few surefire secrets to a successful estate sale. The first step: don’t throw anything away!

Many people try to combine hosting an estate sale with doing some spring cleaning. But if you focus too much on cleaning, you might end up throwing away something that could have brought you a tidy profit.

Don’t forget to keep family members in the loop. If you end up selling a beloved family keepsake that someone else thought they had a claim to, it may kick off years of family drama.

Make sure you have a Square reader or some other way of accepting debit and credit cards. The math on this is simple: the more ways people can pay, the more you’ll get paid!

How Do Estate Sales Work? The Bottom Line

Now you have an answer to the question “how do estate sales work?” Here’s another question, though: do you know who can help you with your own estate sale?

At Prestige Estate Services, we are the ultimate authority in successful estate sales. To see how we can boost your profits, reach out and contact us today!

The Top 3 Things to Look for at Estate Sales

The Top 3 Things to Look for at Estate Sales

You never know what you’re going to find at an estate sale. Much of it depends on the recently deceased’s tastes.

Not everyone enjoys Asian inspired furniture or artwork. There’s also no guarantee the items are in great condition.

But you also never know what types of treasures are hidden you might find. Often, there are a few gems to find and if you’re really lucky, it’s priced much lower than buying new.

Of course, that only works if you know what you’re looking for. To help you become a professional shopper, here are the top three things to look for at estate sales.

1. Art Work And Prints Are Among The Top Things To Look For At Estate Sales

One of the best things to buy at estate sales is art prints. You’ll always find a unique selection at every estate sale.

Oil paintings are among the top antiques to look for at estate sales. Stay abreast on which themes are the most popular amongst art collectors.

Find out which illustrators are worth the most amount of cash at an auction and look for their work at estate sales.

If you’re looking for yourself, find what you like that compliments your decor.

2. Vintage Toys And Games Are Great Estate Sale Finds

If you’re looking for antiques to purchase, look for old toys and games. The toys you played with as a kid are often worth a lot of money now.

Toys such as Legos are worth a lot of money. Especially Legos from the Star Wars line. Actually, anything Star Wars related has value, even action figures released now are expected to hold value in the future.

Any toys from the 1980s, especially ones with their own shows like “My Little Pony” is worth a lot now that nostalgia is high. Even board games are worth a good chunk of cash these days.

Look for toys and games in pristine condition that are still in its original box. It’s worth more if it’s never been opened.

3. Kitchenware Is What Sells At Estate Sales

One great estate sale find is any type of kitchenware. No matter what you end up buying, you’ll always get a better deal than if you buy it from any store.

That’s especially true for small kitchen appliances. Some vintage brands like Sunbeam are now collectibles.

If you’re looking for yourself, you can find tons of old china and fancy glassware. Most of it doesn’t have much of a market value anymore but some of it like Royal Crown Derby still does.

Look for brand names as they still can fetch its original value. Kitchen antiques to look for at estate sales include Pyrex, cookie jars, and cast iron pans.

Anything that’s unique, kitschy, and catches someone’s eye is also a great purchase. Either you’ll enjoy it as a conversation piece or someone else will pay good money for it.

Hosting Of Your Own Estate Sale

Perhaps you’ve recently lost a loved one and are finding it difficult to sort through their things.

We understand how hard that process is. We’ve helped many people like you through the process.

Sometimes, the hardest part is just getting started. Click here to learn what your first steps are.

5 Popular Collectibles That Are Gaining in Value

5 Popular Collectibles That Are Gaining in Value

You may not think some of the collectibles, antiques, or toys you have now could be valuable. But the truth is, they might gain more value in the years to come.

Some of the collectibles we had as children are helping those who thought ahead to cash in and make some money.

Keep reading for a list of popular collectibles that are gaining in value.

Popular Collectibles That Are Gaining in Value

If you have any of these, keep them around and cash them in later. If not, you’ll want to think about making them your next investment.

Knowing how to sell your collectibles will also help you make the most profit. Do plenty of research before placing your valuables on the market.

Comic Books

Comic books aren’t solely for kids. They’re perfect things to collect that will be worth money in the future.

If you have comic books from days gone by, or newer ones, in great condition, do some research on the value. Anything that is a first edition will most likely sell for a good price. Keep an eye out for comics with a characters first appearance as well.

Christmas Decorations

We all have hand-me-down Christmas ornaments. Ornaments that came with instructions to remember who’s side of the family owned them.

If you’re not as nostalgic at others, you could sell them at an estate sale for a pretty penny. Glass ornaments from Germany are the most valuable. But there are ones with handpainted details that can also make a profit.

Valuable Jewelry

What we’ve always called costume jewelry is gaining value at estate sales. You can find all kinds of pins, necklaces, and earrings that you might have seen family members wear.

If you have a stash of vintage jewelry someone passed down to you, try appraising it to see how much it’s worth. Gemstones aren’t the only pricey jewelry anymore.

First Edition Books

When you come across old books at garage sales, they’re usually piled together in a bargain box. If you find a first edition, hold onto it.

Older and more popular books will sell for the most profit. Signed editions are also a plus.

There’s no guarantee for all books and how well people will receive them. But there are websites where you can find the precise value of your book.

VHS Tapes

These items, intrinsic to some of our childhoods, are now seen as vintage products.

VHS tapes may not be modern entertainment anymore. But they have definitely gained value. These collectible items are exactly what people are looking for to rewind time and have a piece of the past.

When looking for treasure in the dusty storage room, look for rare items. Collectors editions and controversial material will also be on the list of valuables.

Buying and Selling at Estate Sales

You can find popular collectibles that are gaining in value at estate sales. You’re bound to find treasure if you search hard enough.

Antique appraisals are perfect for antiques or collectibles you believe to be valuable. Read “What You Need to Know About Appraisal Services” for more information.

How Does an Estate Sale Work? Tips For Finding the Best Deals

How Does an Estate Sale Work? Tips For Finding the Best Deals

You never know what you’re going to find at an estate sale. Some people even make a living out of searching for rare and unusal items at estate sales.

But, how do those people find such great deals? Are they just lucky, or is there some skill involved? How does an estate sale work?

While there is some luck involved, there are also some estate sale tips to follow that will help you find incredible deals on unique pieces.

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know to find the best deals while shopping at estate sales.

How Does an Estate Sale Work?

Before we get into finding the best deals, let’s look at how estate sales work.

When the majority of someone’s belongings need to be sold, an estate sale is held. Often, these happen when someone passes away, and their family sells everything they owned.

Although a family can hold an estate sale themselves, it’s often an outside company that comes in to take care of this process for them. The company then gets either a portion of the sale proceeds or else a set fee.

As a buyer at an estate sale, all you have to do is go in, find what you want, and buy it. But, getting the best deals will take a little more work than that.

Tip 1: Do Your Research

Many companies will allow you to take a peek at what’s available in their upcoming estate sales. This will help you choose which sales you want to go to since there will likely be a few going on at the same time.

On top of researching the companies, you may also want to research a few items to be on the lookout for. Some items that can turn you a big profit are rings, watches, and antique furniture.

Tip 2: Get There Early

Estate sales operate on a “first-come, first-serve” basis, so if you want to make sure you get the best stuff, you have to get inside first.

Some people line up several hours before the doors open, so arriving even a few minutes before the start of the sale could put you surprisingly far back in the line. When lining up, be sure to be curteous to the other people.

Tip 3: Know Where to Look

What you’re looking for will determine where you want to start. If you’re looking for jewelry, for example, you likely want to begin at the checkout table of the organizers, since small valuable pieces are usually kept their watchful eyes for security reasons. But, if you’re looking for decorative pieces, the living room might be a better starting place.

Although not everything will be where it was when the owner had it, many times, items have simply been moved out into the open so buyers can easily find them.

Tip 4: Have a Plan

If you’re just looking for yourself, then you’re free to spend as much as you want on items. However, if you’re looking to make some money from your purchases, then you’ll need to know how to sell them.

Do you have a booth at an antique store where you can sell them? Will you be listing them on online? Or do you have a buyer lined up who requested specific items? Knowing how you will sell items in advance will help you understand how much you can spend.

Your Next Step

Now that you know how does an estate sale work, you can start going out and getting some incredible deals.

Check out our list of upcoming auctions to find great deals at estate sales.

5 Tips for Buying Antique Jewelry at an Estate Sale

5 Tips for Buying Antique Jewelry at an Estate Sale

Are you a jewelry collector? Did you know you can sometimes find beautiful and unique pieces at estate sales?

Items at estate sales are usually priced to sell, so they provide an excellent opportunity to find quality pieces at a reasonable price.

If you are interested in checking out an estate sale on the hunt for antique jewelry, check out our five tips to ensure you end up happy!

1. Research the Seller

If you can see some pieces ahead of time, be sure to do some online digging. This is especially true for any online estate sales.

Be careful if you research a piece and find the seller is offering multiple of the same article. In such a case you can usually assume it’s not a real piece of vintage jewelry.

Check any available feedback for the seller. This can tell you a lot about if other customers have been satisfied.

2. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

You likely will never regret asking too many questions about an item or sale. When possible, speak with the seller to investigate a piece you have your eye on.

A good question to ask is how they came to acquire the piece. Stories like family heirlooms or a purchase from another estate sale are usually good signs for the piece being authentic.

Honest sellers will be happy to give you as much information as they have, including remarks on the condition and age of the piece.

Be sure to have a look at our list of the top dos and don’ts of estate sales.

3. Check for Patina on Antique Jewelry

Vintage jewelry should look just that, old. When buying antique pieces, you want to see some signs of aging. Always look at any prongs to see if they look worn and check out the enamel.

If the enamel looks new and barely touched, the ring or bracelet is probably not hundreds of years old, regardless of what the seller says. Patina should be present to at least some degree on old pieces.

Check every angle of the piece, not just the front.

4. Be Familiar with Maker’s Marks

When buying jewelry at an estate sale, look for a maker’s mark. Antique jewelers usually left a signature mark one very piece they made.

You can easily research online well-known jewelers’ marks. Use this information to match up any marks you find while shopping at the estate sale.

5. Evaluate the Price

The saying “If it sounds too good, it probably is,” definitely applies when shopping for vintage jewelry. Be cautious of any pieced priced at an extremely low point.

If a piece is genuinely antique and high-quality, the article will not be selling for cheap. For example, if you find an antique ring with a mark priced under $30, be sure to do extra investigating.

Snag Your Perfect Piece

With these five tips, you are well-equipped to find the antique jewelry of your dreams. Whether you are looking for a ring, bracelet, or necklace, you never know what you will find at an estate sale!

If you still have some questions about a specific estate sale, please contact us, and we would love to help!

10 Do’s and Don’ts to Know when Shopping at Estate Sales

10 Do’s and Don’ts to Know when Shopping at Estate Sales

Since this is your first time going to an estate sale, you may want to know what to expect and how to prepare for the occasion. Luckily for you, we’ve got you covered.

Here’s a list of ten tips for estate sales that you should follow before you start buying.

Tips For Estate Sales

You can find some amazing deals with the right strategy. These are our top do’s and dont’s for buying from estate sales.

Do Start Looking for Sales Ahead of Time

There are a ton of estate sales going on, and you want to be prepared and know what you want to buy. Search the newspaper and Google to see what’s going on in the neighborhood.

Do Go Early

The early bird catches the worm, or in this case, it gets first dibs on cool stuff. Get in line early, especially if the sale is held indoors. Organizers may limit the number of people who can be inside the house at any given time, and you want to be one of the first to gain entry.

Don’t Take Your Purse or Backpack

Most estate sales won’t let you in if you have a large bags or a backpack. The best way to go is to take a wallet (or even a fanny pack) to carry your money and any relevant notes you may have.

Also, having extra pockets is great for carrying a small flashlight and some hand sanitizer (because you don’t know what that vase has been through).

Do Be Ready for a Price Shock

There’s a good chance that you’ll find something that costs far more than you think it should. Remember that the owner of the items isn’t selling unwanted goods, so not everything will come with a thrift store prices.

Conversely, you’re also likely to find prices way lower than you expected. High-quality and well-cared-for pieces, but since they are still second hand, way below retail.

Don’t Be Afraid to Do a Fact Check

Learn about the backstory of an item from the owner or one of the attendants. If you’re not sure whether the price is actually a good deal, do a quick online search to find out.

Do Look Everywhere

And we do mean everywhere. Spaces like the garage, basement, and attic are almost always searchable and full of good stuff on sale. If an area is off-limits, it should be marked as such.

Do Remember to Be Polite

This should go without saying, but in the middle of a sale you may forget your manners and feel the need to bare fangs.

Make sure you know the rules of the sale and be kind to the workers and shoppers, and everything else should fall right into place.

Do Bring Cash or Credit

Most estate sales will accept cash or credit, but will not hold items for later payment, so be sure to remember the card you’d want to use, or stop by the bank to grab a couple of bucks first.

Do Know How the Pickup Policy Works

If you come across some cute furniture, you’ll want to know the pickup policy before you buy.

In some cases, you have to take the item with you once you purchase it, but sometimes the owner will let you come back later with a bigger vehicle.

It’s also a smart idea to bring a friend or two to help with the heavy lifting.

Don’t Buy Just to Be Buying

If you don’t see anything you like, that’s fine; you don’t have to buy anything. There will always be another sale.

Contact Us

If you need help finding the next estate sale or are trying to plan one of your own, Prestige Estate Services are the professionals you need to call.

We can help you with everything about the selling and buying process to get you the most out of your sale.

Check out our page to get tips for estate sales, estate auctions, and appraisal services. Want to talk instead? Reach out to us and we’ll be sure to get back in touch.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Prestige Estate Services
2201 Kipling Street, Suite 101
Lakewood, CO 80215

Estate Sale Finds: Top 3 Items to Look For at Estate Sales

Estate Sale Finds: Top 3 Items to Look For at Estate Sales

Do you go to estate sales and wonder what items have the best value? Do you often feel overwhelmed questioning what you should be looking for?

There is some estate sale finds that you should not pass up (and some you should!).

Keep reading for the top 3 items that you should look for at an estate sale.

High-Value Estate Sale Finds

Whether you’re looking for items to sell, something to give as a gift, or an article to keep for yourself, there are certain things you should be on the lookout for at estate sales.

Because estate sales might happen after an owner’s death or because a homeowner is downsizing, you might get some great deals as those putting on the estate sale need everything to go. Here are three things to look for:

Sterling Silver

People don’t usually get rid of silver items because they think it might have value some day. Look for things such as baby silver spoons, serving dishes, flatware, and candlesticks.

If you know what to look for in sterling silver, you might find some high-value pieces. Pay attention to the sterling hallmark, which is impressed on the silver and includes the maker and date. Know what you are looking for ahead of time and bring a smartphone or have someone standing by to look up the value for you.


Glassware is a common item found at estate sales. Some collectors focus on certain producers or glassware from specific time periods, like the Depression.

If you want to shop for high-value items or those to resell, you should have a plan of what you are looking for. If you’re merely looking for glassware for your personal use, you only need to be concerned with style.

It is important to inspect any glassware for cracks or chips, though, whether you want to sell it or have it for personal use.


Estate sales can be excellent places to find unique, solidly built furniture for a steal. These pieces can be used as-is or refinished to be used in your home or re-sold.

Wingback chairs, demilunes, settees, curio cabinets, and buffets can all be found at estate sales and can often be purchased for a great price. Antique furniture is much sturdier and robust than contemporary furniture in many cases.

One thing to remember, though, is that if you are buying furniture at an estate sale, make sure you have a way to get it home.

What Will You Look For at Your Next Estate Sale?

Now that you have an idea of some the things you should be looking for at estate sales, it’s time to start planning your strategy. What will you look for at your next estate sale?

Estate sale veteran or new to it all? Check out our website for upcoming estate sales and lots more useful information on how to successfully navigate the world of estate sales and locate the most valuable estate sale finds.

Prestige Estate Services
2201 Kipling Street, Suite 101
Lakewood, CO 80215

Top 5 Benefits of Hiring Business Liquidation Experts

Top 5 Benefits of Hiring Business Liquidation Experts

When you start a new business, you’re probably thinking about all of the good things. Unfortunately, for many business owners, those good things eventually come to an end.

The sad fact is that only four out of 100 businesses last for 10 years. For the other 96, they will need to hold a business liquidation sale.

Business liquidation is when a company is forced to sell off their property, assets, and inventory so they can pay off all of their bills. And while it sounds like something that shouldn’t be too hard, hiring a professional will go a long way to making everything more manageable.

What follows are just a few reasons why hiring a liquidation professional can make a stressful time a little more bearable.

You Get Experienced Help

Business owners should know that experience is one of the most valuable characteristics anyone can have. When you have someone with experience, you can rely on their knowledge to see you through uncertain times.

And what qualifies as a more uncertain time than selling off your business assets?

The fact of the matter is there are so many things that you need to keep tabs on when you’re liquidating that it can be very intimidating to do on your own.

Think about it. You have decor, office furniture, machines, and tons of other things that you want to make money on, so having an experienced partner can make the entire process easier.

Professionals Find Buyers

If you want to make the most of your business liquidation, then you need people who are willing to pay. This can be difficult to do on your own.

Professionals, however, know where to find buyers. They have established connections that can help you mine for people willing to take away your assets and your inventory, giving you the cash boost you may need.

They’ll Figure Out the Best Sale

Before you start liquidation, you need to decide which type of sale you’re going to do.

Are you going to sell on the internet only? Maybe you want to host a retail sale, i.e., a “going out of business sale.” Or using a dealer for a consignment-style sale would be best.

Each type of sale has its pros and cons, and hiring a professional will help you figure it out.

Professionals Have Timing

Just like with anything in life, timing is everything. If you hold your business liquidation at the wrong time, you stand to lose the chance of making the money you need.

This doesn’t only mean the time of day. The day of the week, the month, and even the seasons can have a profound impact on your sale. Professionals can tell you the best time for getting top dollar.

They’ll Set Business Liquidation Value

Professionals will help you will determine how much you stand to make and help you price items accordingly.

This will not only take some of the pressure off you, but it will also prevent you from making pricing mistakes and earning less than you could.

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking at liquidating your business assets, don’t try to do it alone. Look for professionals who can guide you and help you get the most from your sale. Get more information about our services today!

Prestige Estate Services
2201 Kipling Street, Suite 101
Lakewood, CO 80215

Purchasing Antique China Cabinets: What You Need to Know

Purchasing Antique China Cabinets: What You Need to Know

No dining room is complete without a focal piece that exudes refinement. Many homes find that piece in antique china cabinets. Local estate sales are great places to find the piece you’ve been searching for.

Estate sales are more elegant than their garage sale counterparts. Items are often already appraised and ready to go!

Before you purchase a china cabinet there are a few things you should know.

Look for Fun Features

Antique china cabinets do not have to be clunky space-wasters. Look for fun features that provide the storage and functionality you want with the style you crave.

Common features may include:

  • Adjustable shelves
  • Mirrored back or shelving
  • Interior lighting
  • Locks
  • Hinged doors

Consider the state of your own home. Do you have small children? If so, locks may be a feature you’d like to look for. Looking forward to changing your antique china cabinet with the seasons? Adjustable shelves can be easily moved to accommodate decorations, dishes, or any other item you’d like to see on display!

Double-Check You Have Space

Before you pour your coffee into a thermos, slip your shoes on, and head out of the door, measure the area you envision an antique china cabinet.

Spatial awareness is hard to guesstimate. Don’t come home with a gorgeous antique that doesn’t fit the space. Take the time to measure the best place for a china cabinet and bring those measurements (and measuring tape!) with you.

Measure the height, width, and length of the space and determine the best size range. When you’re measuring include dining room tables, seating areas, walkways, and anything that may hinder a large antique.

Prepare for Wear and Tear on Antique China Cabinets

Being an antique, items are old and may come with its own frailty. You may be charmed by its rustic value but if you think you will spend more out of pocket to get the china cabinet looking its best than it costs to purchase in the first place, it’s worth taking your time to find a china cabinet that requires less maintenance.

Before you sway near antique wood with oil or duster, check out this article to determine the best cleaning products for your antique.

“The thing to remember,” says expert appraiser Karen Keane, “is that the finish in a piece of wood either adds to its value or takes it away.”

That being said, small nicks and dings can be easily tidied up with some care, patience, and elbow grease.

Find Your Next Focal Piece

Prestige Estate Services has been helping homeowners in Denver sift through their old belongings and find homes for their beautiful antiques! Our dedicated team of compassionate people helps others through what can often be an emotional process.

We are devoted to helping others eliminate clutter while also giving people the opportunity to grab some beautiful antiques for themselves. Our estate sales occur regularly and are great places to find inspiration.

Find your next focal piece at one of our upcoming estate sales!

Prestige Estate Services
2201 Kipling Street, Suite 101
Lakewood, CO 80215

Estate Sales Colorado: 4 Valuable Items to Buy

Estate Sales Colorado: 4 Valuable Items to Buy

Estate sales offer an opportunity to step back in time and purchase items you just can’t find in stores today. They’re also filled with unique and interesting items that make for great conversation pieces.

Aside from the fun of going to estate sales, they’re an excellent way to get valuable items at great prices. If you’re a collector of antiques or a niche collector looking for something you’ve never seen, a surprising find is always possible.

It always helps to have a good idea what you’re looking for beforehand. This way you can do a little research on an item and hopefully narrow your options down.

If you’re unsure what you want your next purchase to be, we can help. Before you search for “estate sales Colorado” in Google, consider these four valuable items for your next purchase.

1. Artwork

The great thing about artwork is that there are a number of options. From old prints to framed oil paintings to sculpture, the possibility of finding something unique is very high. Estate sales are also perfect if you’re into regional artwork from Colorado.

They’re also great for finding a piece of artwork that fits perfectly in your home. Or, if you’re looking to make a profit, old artwork has the potential for huge increases in value. Just make sure you do your homework.

2. Silverware

Not only is silverware timeless, it’s potentially valuable depending on the type. Instead of paying a hefty price for a brand new set of silverware, why not look for something that has a little more character.

You could also look for a full monogrammed set, which increases the potential value. It also tells a story. Why buy an overpriced, new set when you could get something unique.

A great thing about silverware is that it can be cleaned, so there’s no reason to pass up a set because of a little tarnish.

3. Books

If you’re a book lover, you need to look into the estate sales Colorado has to offer. They can be great places to find a treasure you’ve never seen before.

Another advantage is you can find books at shockingly low prices. Many people don’t think books hold value, but if you find a first edition in great condition, it could be worth quite a bit.

Many estates have huge libraries, so you have lots of options. Everything from fiction to non-fiction to memoirs could possibly appear at a single sale.

4. Jewelry

Antique jewelry can be extremely valuable, and it’s also one of the most unique things you’ll find at estate sales. And again, your options are vast. Everything from vintage to designer pieces are out there.

It’s important to know what you’re looking for and have an idea of its value. Expect to have to make a quick decision, because high-quality jewelry goes fast at estate sales. And sometimes great, custom jewelry sells for very cheap.

Estate Sales Colorado: Find Your Next Treasure

Whether you’re looking for something specific or just in it to see what’s out there, estate sales are both entertaining and potential investment opportunities. Next time, do a little research and seek out one of the items discussed above.

We provide a full range of estate sale services, including hosting and appraisals. Contact us today to learn more.

Prestige Estate Services
2201 Kipling Street, Suite 101
Lakewood, CO 80215

Finding the Value in Family Heirlooms: When to Hire Estate Liquidators

Finding the Value in Family Heirlooms: When to Hire Estate Liquidators

Finding the Value in Family Heirlooms: When to Hire Estate Liquidators


Every family has one. Maybe it’s a lamp that has been around since as long as anyone can remember. Or perhaps it’s a piece of art that your Great Uncle picked up on a trip to the west.

Family heirlooms can at times be confounding. They hold a place of sentimental value, or at the very least family history, yet do they also have any monetary value?

These two sides will eventually need to be weighed when you become responsible for those pieces. You may then need to decide when to hire estate liquidators.

Assess Your Options

If you have an estate, large or small, that you are ready to liquidate you have three potential options to do that.

Garage sale. Estate sale. Auction (online or live).

Each of these is a valid way to sell items, but they all carry challenges.

If you hold a garage sale, you’ll be spending a lot of time in preparation. You’ll also be at the mercy of your own knowledge. Many people who hold garage sales underprice items they are unfamiliar with, and overprice those they have an attachment to.

You could sell through an auction house, but they are often selective about the items they will take.

Sure, you could sell online (and many people have made a career out of this). But do you want to deal with taking photos, posting items, tracking payments, shipping, and so on?

Estate Liquidators Make Things Easier

An estate sale is a preferred option for many because it brings in the experience of estate liquidators. They have a unique mix of sales and marketing knowledge that they can call on to help you find new homes for family treasures.

What Is This?

Estate liquidators have a varied knowledge base. They’ll be able to help you know if that piece of art from your Great Uncle is an amateur copy, or will pay for your next vacation.

Sunday Sales

They also know when to host a sale and where to advertise to get the maximum crowds at the door. The good estate liquidator knows what areas will tolerate a day before the sale walkthrough to get people excited about what’s there.

How Much?

Most importantly, they are pricing experts. They not only know how much something is worth, they know how much it’s worth in your area.

Since they are managing sales weekly, they’ll be aware that something like a teacup is a hot item right now, and that they can charge full price for it.

The Path to Success

If you want the liquidation of your items to be successful, you have to let it be. Too many times, homeowners spend their time arguing with estate liquidators over small things.

Separating emotion from reality when it comes to grandma’s taffy twirler can go a long way towards a successful sale for everyone.

When you are ready to discuss your estate, we’re here to talk.

Prestige Estate Services
2201 Kipling Street, Suite 101
Lakewood, CO 80215

How to Spot Quality Antique Hardware at Estate Sales

How to Spot Quality Antique Hardware at Estate Sales

They say that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. But with estate sales, the things we would throw away become a treasure for everybody.

For some people, their old item is just a keepsake. But for others, it can be a lovely antique… and antique hardware adds wonderful appeal to any restoration project.

As much as we dislike it, there are people who will try to pass off new items as antiques. However, that’s no reason to stop looking. At Prestige Estate Services we carefully catalog all items appropriately, and anything listed as an antique is an appraised antique.

You’ll find plenty of wonderful items if you follow these tips.

What Is The Aesthetic?

One of the most important things to look for in antique hardware is the aesthetic. There are a few reasons why this is such an important element of an antique product.

The first is using it in your own home. You may want to use your furniture as a standalone item, or you may want to take an old skeleton key and repurpose it as decor.

Either way, you can gain valuable information by taking a look at an item. Picture it in your home, and see if you’re interested in making it a valuable part of your life.

Is It Rare Antique Hardware?

Rarity is an important element in any antique. The best items on the market tend to have the most value simply through their scarcity. In the hardware world, this means looking at the exact brand of key or padlock you’ve been sold.

There is more value in rare items, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get something more common. If you think something is beautiful, then it’s a worthwhile purchase.

That being said, older things are less likely to survive. This means that the rarest antiques tend to either have been produced in smaller quantities or be much older in years. And either way, this is amazing news for collectors.

Check The Condition

The condition is an important part of valuing an antique. A piece of hardware can be incredibly old, but if it’s also decayed, it does not have the same value.

That is why it is crucial for you to evaluate the condition of any antique hardware you get. While the romantic story behind an item may be wonderful, its present reality may not be.

Is It Real?

Of course, the most important part of an antique is its legitimacy. It’s incredibly common to find fake antiques, and this can be bad news for collectors.

There have been plenty of people to make big bucks by fooling unsuspecting collectors. While we hope that the people around us are too good to commit antique fraud, it’s always possible that they’re fooling you.

That is why buying from a reputable company provides peace-of-mind that any antique you pick up is legitimate.

Find A Good Estate Sale

The most important way to get great antiques is by finding a good estate sale. And if you live in the Colorado area, we can help.

We only work with trustworthy and qualified people who have something genuinely valuable to give our customers. We don’t trade in junk or fake antiques.

So if you want to get something old and lovely, contact us to learn about our sales.

Prestige Estate Services
2201 Kipling Street, Suite 101
Lakewood, CO 80215

Unique Ideas for Re-purposing Antique Vanities

Unique Ideas for Re-purposing Antique Vanities

There are some items from the past that are meant to stay there (orange shag carpet, anyone?), but some antiques are maintaining their relevancy.

Collectors and home decorators have fallen in love with antique vanities of late, sparking a new trend in home design. They’ve found plenty of ways to give new life to old pieces that are perfect for just about any space.

Take a look at some creative ways you can repurpose furniture into an antique vanity to suit your design style:


Turning vintage dressers into antique vanities has become a favorite among DIY-ers. The resulting product adds warmth and opulence to any space, dressing up even the most outdated bathrooms.

Plus, with ample drawer space, opting for a dresser as a bathroom vanity not only adds function but also practicality.

However, keep in mind that depending on the layout of the dresser, you may have to resize or eliminate some of your drawer storage to make room for the plumbing.


With similar benefits as dressers, vintage desks can create an upscale vibe in your bathroom without spending a fortune. Desks with drawer space give you room to hide all your important toiletries without the clutter. Add a tufted stool that slides under the desk and you’ve got a dream dressing room.

Turning Old Funiture Into Antique Vanities

As one of the top design trends of 2017, transforming an old desk or dresser into a vanity might be the piece your bathroom has been missing. At a time when consumers are ditching big box stores in lieu of unique pieces, opting for a DIY vanity project can give you the perfect look for your space.

It’s easier than you might think:

First, you’ll need to gather dimensions to figure out how much space you have to fill.

From there, you can check out estate sales, flea markets, or trade listings to scope out your options.

Once you find your perfect piece, be prepared to put a little work into it. A few hours of sanding may give it the smooth-as-butter finish you crave. If you’re opting for a rustic look, you might consider aging or weathering techniques.

Painting or staining your vanity can ensure your new piece matches the rest of your decor. Sealing your work will help your vanity stand up to water challenges so it will last as long as your taste in style.

Once you pick out a sink and fixtures, you can have a custom countertop made to tie your look together (if necessary).

Installing the fixtures and connecting the plumbing in an existing bathroom is often a DIY job. However, if you’ve never done it before you may save yourself time and hassle by hiring a professional.

Add a few accessories, like a toilet paper holder or towel bar, and you’re done! You’ll be able to enjoy your one-of-a-kind antique vanity with minimal work – and a much lower price tag than having one custom made for you.

Wrap Up

If you’re looking to add character to your bathroom, antique vanities can help you get the look you crave. Check out our blog for more home decor trends and ideas.

How to Restore Antique Mirrors to Their Former Glory

How to Restore Antique Mirrors to Their Former Glory

If you’re a fan of decorating your home in vintage styles, you likely have at least one antique mirror. There’s something about the rustic charm that adds so much to the look of a home.

But sometimes antiques need a bit of love to look their best. In fact, the restoration process part of what makes antique hunting so much fun!

As anyone who has ever restored an antique can tell you, you’ll want to make sure you know what you’re doing. Your antiques deserve the best treatment, so make sure you’re cleaning them the right way with the right material.

First, A Very Important Question

Before doing restoration work to any vintage or antique item, ask yourself this. Does the item have significant value as an antique? Or is it simply a beautiful old piece that will add charm for everyday use?

This is important is because restoring an item with antique value might actually decrease it’s worth.

If you answered the latter, then restoring your find will add value by turning it into practical piece of décor, and even adding resale value.

1. Remove the Mirror Lens

The first step in restoring your antique mirror is perhaps the most difficult. You’ll need to carefully, and we do mean carefully, remove the mirror lens from the base.

This can be done with the use of a small knife or screwdriver. Gently place the tool between the lens and base, and pry around it. It may take some wiggling, but eventually, it should pop loose.

Now, set the lens aside, grab some glass cleaner and a lint free cloth, and give the mirror a quick clean. If you don’t use a lint free cloth, you run the risk of having a smudged or streaky mirror lens.

2. Clean the Surrounding of the Base

Now that you’ve set aside and cleaned the lens, it’s time to spend some time giving the base a bit of TLC (Tender Loving Care). Make sure you know beforehand what type of material your base is made of.

Different bases, such as wood or metal, are going to need different cleaning materials.

If you’re looking at a wooden base, your job is quite simple. Grab a bit of furniture polish and start cleaning it with a cloth.

A metallic base will require a bit more care.

It’s always a good idea to consult an antique specialist before beginning the restoration process. They’ll be able to point you to the right type of chemical cleaner and tell you what to avoid.

In general, however, you’ll take the silver remover and soak the base. Once it’s had a bit of time to soak, start scrubbing away debris.

Make sure you have the proper gloves and eyewear. Antique mirrors may contain trace amounts of mercury, which is harmful to the human body.

3. Paint Your Base

Now that your base is stripped, it’s time to make it look good as new. Grab some base coat and black reducer and lightly paint or spray your base evenly.

Once your coat has been distributed and you’re satisfied with the color, spray a protective coating around your base. This will keep it looking better, longer.

Both your spray and protective coating should have recipes on their labels. Make sure you read them beforehand and mix the proper ingredients.

4. Put Your Lens In

By now your mirror should be looking as good as new! After you’ve let the base dry, you’ll be ready to pop the lens back in.

Remember, be careful. Antiques are quite fragile.

Restoring Antique Mirrors: Wrap-Up

With the right amount of patience and care, your antique mirror will look as good as new in no time. Be sure to read all warning labels and wear protective gear accordingly. Now all you have to do is enjoy your gorgeous antique!

And whether you’re looking to buy a new mirror or sell one, we’d love to help. Contact us today and let us help you find an antique that you’re bound to love.

We hope to see you at our next estate sale!

5 Tips for Shopping Denver Estate Sales

5 Tips for Shopping Denver Estate Sales

Denver Estate sales are an amazing way to find rare and one-of-a-kind items, antiques, home decor and furniture at great prices.

Estate sales occur when a family wants to sell every item in an entire home. They are the perfect opportunity to find those pieces that you just can’t find anywhere else.

But before you go shopping, make sure that you’re prepared. That way, you can get the most out of your estate sale experience.

Read on for five tips that will make you an estate sale shopping expert.

1. Research Beforehand

Avoid buyer’s remorse by researching items you’re interested in before buying.

If you have your eye on something, a quick search engine inquiry will give you an idea of the appropriate price for the item. Do a little comparing online before making a purchase. This way, you can make sure that you’re comfortable with what you’re spending.

2. Ask for Paperwork

Don’t be afraid to ask to see paperwork for a backstory on pieces that you want to know more about.

Depending on your experience level when appraising items at Denver estate sales, asking to see paperwork for pieces of interest could be a game-changer.

Luckily, owners of large estates often do keep records for each large purchase that they make. Checking out this paperwork will give you some great insight before making decisions on what to buy.

3. Don’t Judge a Chair by Its Upholstery

Don’t let unattractive upholstery prevent you from seeing the beauty (and quality) beneath.

But how can you tell what’s worth reupholstering, and what’s not?

Generally speaking, older pieces of furniture are usually well-made and better quality than their modern equivalents. Solid wood and coil springs can be good indicators of a piece that is worth re-upholstering.

When deciding on a piece of furniture which would require re-upholstering, keep one thing in mind. It can cost between $100-$1000, depending on the size.

4. Plan Ahead

Here’s how to plan ahead before heading out on your next Denver estate sale adventure.

Make a List

If you’re looking for specific items, make a list beforehand.

That way when you arrive, you won’t forget to look for anything. You can ask someone on staff to point you in the right direction if needed.

Know the Schedule

Getting to estate sales early is necessary for getting the best pieces possible.

Make sure that you know the exact hours and days of the estate sale you’re going to.

Although prices tend to go down as days go by, the best items also get snapped up quickly. Getting there early, and making multiple visits may be necessary.

5. Travel Light

When going estate sale shopping, bring a small purse or wallet along.

Large bags are often checked at the entrance of estate sales.

To keep all of your personal items safe and on your person, bring only what you need.

Time to Go to Some Denver Estate Sales

Now that you’re prepared to make the most out of your estate sale shopping, it’s time to get out there and find some great goodies!

And if you have any questions along the way, feel free to contact us.