Items to Purchase at Estate Sales

It’s no secret that buying used can help you save money. Not only estate sales but estate auctions may offer a full property loaded with everything imaginable, ranging from gently worn vintage to new-in-the-box.

If you want to find estate sales or estate auctions online, search for estate auctions near me. You will find several sites near you where you may explore, buy, and bid on stuff.

Sure, you have to wait in line to get first dibs on the discounts, and bargaining for a better price isn’t as simple as garage sale shopping. However, estate sales provide the opportunity to find a variety of fantastic items that you can either utilize in your home or sell for a profit.

Paintings and prints of art

Whether you prefer oil paintings or art prints, estate sales have a plethora of possibilities in this category. With each sale you visit, you’ll find a one-of-a-kind assortment of art. This includes everything from regional favorites like Hudson River School landscapes and Texas wildflower paintings to art prints of well-known classics.

Buying for your own usage is simple; simply select what you like to complement your décor. Acquiring art to flip entails purchasing to satisfy current market demands. Keep up with trendy collector themes like Art Deco and Mid-Century Modern. Keeping track of which illustrators are now fetching the highest prices at auction and searching for their work at estate auctions can also pay off handsomely.


This is a vast field with numerous alternatives. From kitchen utensils you can never have enough of, such as spatulas and serving spoons, to vintage pyrex and saucepans, estate sale shopping can easily furnish a full kitchen on a budget. Many of the things will be brand new or almost new, requiring only a quick clean-up before being put to use.

Don’t forget about the kitchen collectibles. At sales, items like ice cream scoops and cookie cutters can be found for a reasonable price. If you’re going to flip them, look for unique variations and unexpected forms. To a collector, those will be the most valuable. Larger goods, such as cast iron pans and cookie jars, are also popular. Basically, if it goes in a kitchen and is kitschy or retro in appearance, there’s someone out there who will buy it from you for a profit if you buy it at the proper price.

Small Appliances

Most people have an appliance graveyard, which is full with gifts and impulse buys that seemed like a good idea at the time. Look for these new-in-the-box items at estate sales if you’ve always wanted to try drying your own food or making your own frozen yogurt. You can buy them for a fraction of the price you’d pay for them new. Even if they wind up in your own stash of kitchen scraps, the money you spent to try them out was a lot less.

If they’re in good working order and the cords aren’t torn, old kitchen equipment can be interesting. All useful small appliances from the past have some worth, but passionate collectors of vintage electric mixers, toasters, and blenders seek out uncommon types the most frequently. An original box can also add value, especially if it features appealing drawings from another era.


Huge bookcases brimming with titles ranging from non-fiction coffee table books to classic novels can be found at many estate sales. For the enthusiastic reader, these can be a gold mine, with typical hardcover and paperback novels selling for cents on the dollar. You may really buy books for less than the cost of a library visit. Some of them, on the other hand, may be worth significantly more than their initial purchase price. This also applies to children’s literature.

The word “first edition” is recognizable to most people. It can be a huge score if you find a book that is in its initial printing and is priced like a regular secondhand book. When enormous numbers of books are included in an estate sale, this does happen from time to time. Don’t forget about second editions, as some of them are worth a lot more than you might think. Even coffee table books might be a picker’s paradise if they include popular celebrities or pop culture issues.

Of course, there have been reports of people bringing an estate sale book home and discovering money tucked inside by the previous owner. It doesn’t happen very often, but it can happen, so double-check your purchases before putting them away on a shelf.


Jewelry is plentiful at many estate auctions, whether you’re looking for a small vintage ornament for yourself or designer pieces to sell. Prices for gold and diamonds might be quite low, while designer products and rare vintage costume jewelry can be rather expensive.

One exception is that the quality of karat gold, gemstone, and pearl jewelry is frequently at the discretion of the sale’s proprietor. Buyer beware if you have to determine on the spot whether anything is a good offer. Because there are always a lot of people yearning for these items, you may have to wait in line and bump elbows to see them as they are displayed one at a time from a showcase..

If the costume jewelry is of a good quality, it can be sold alongside gold and diamond jewelry because the prices are comparable. However, if you’re lucky, all of the pieces will be packed separately, allowing you to comb through them on your own in search of designer gems.

Topics for Discussion

The most enjoyable part of going to an estate auction is seeing all of the oddities that people have amassed over their lives. Many are trip souvenirs, while others are merely ordinary stuff from another age.

Are you a fan of all things Asian? You might be able to discover a substantial Buddha statue to complement your home or yard. What is the best way to decorate a study? Perhaps a vintage typewriter or a map of your hometown will suffice. The diverse finds found at a good sale will never cease to astound you. Many stores now offer online previews so you can get a sense of what you’ll want to look for first when the doors open.

Come back later in the sale if you’re ready to take a chance that no one else will pay full price for your heart’s desire. Many estate sale owners reduce prices by 25% on the second day and 50% on the last day. If you come back for a second look at something that was first overpriced, it may become more reasonable.