Become an expert Estate Sale shopper

Hello, readers! So happy to be joining the Tagsellit team of garage sale experts! Let me introduce myself. I am Ava Seavey, a self-taught master of “garagesaleology”.  I’ve been obsessed with selling at flea markets, consignment shops, garage sales and more for over thirty years.  But, like many of you, I was a bit intimidated at shopping at an estate sale.  But now I find an estate sale to be among the best sources for furnishing a house in high style for less, as well as finding fabulous gifts,  and just about anything else.

I would like you to be able to experience the same thrill that I get at at an estate sale,  but I will start with debunking some myths. First, an estate sale is not necessarily selling off items of someone who is deceased. It can mean that, but it can also be for someone who is relocating, downsizing, divorcing or liquidating a large amount of household items for other reasons.  So, the “creepy” factor does not need to enter into the equation.

Many estate sales are also conducted by professionals who are hired on a percentage of the take. Therefore, they are highly motivated to make sales and are open and willing to negotiate. Do not assume that the professionals are always expert in pricing. I rarely bargain at a garage sale, but generally will at an estate sale.

Another myth is that an estate sale only sells old and antique items. Not true. I have been to many estate sales where appliances, brand new never opened items, contemporary household items, designer clothes, costume jewelry, etc were there in abundance.

Estate sale professionals often accept credit cards in addition to cash, especially for higher ticket items, making shopping all that much easier.

I like hitting an estate sale later in the day, especially if I am browsing. The later in the day, the more anxious the seller is to deplete their inventory and the better the deals.

On, estate sale professionals can advertise their events so that people looking for sales in their area can easily locate these events.  You can find sales that are not necessarily listed in the local paper as they may be the next town or county over, but still close by. You can subscribe to a specific estate sale company if you find one you like and get advance notice of sales by being on their mailing list. Sometimes you can even be invited to a preview before the general public if you are searching for something specific.

Estate sale shopping can be very rewarding. I furnished almost my entire house from estate sales, and no one would ever know it. Plus I have scored some fabulous designer shoes and handbags as well.

So, do not be intimidated by estate sales. Once you get the hang of it, you will experience guilt-free shopping at its very best.  More tips on shopping and selling are on my site at  And I am happy to answer you questions here or on twitter, @garagesaleava.