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Online tools make it easy to find good estate and moving sales. Here's how to catch the best of the local offerings.
Your Smartphone Can Keep You Posted.
Do a search for find garage sales near meand you'll immediately see online apps that work on your phone to tell you about yard sales and estate sales in your area. These even show you the photo albums, lists of major available items posted by sellers, and routes to the sales.
Use the app you like to set up a free, weekly alert. You can request a listing of all sales within 10 miles of your home.
Except for a few weeks in the winter, you'll get more listings every week than you can possibly plan to hit in a weekend. Choose about three sales within five or six miles of each other, and hit them all in one foray. If one is so-so, another may be just what you wanted.
Extra Weekend Time? Hit the Sales!
We're big fans of local estate sales, and here's how we make the most of them:
Weekend events run by professional estate sale companies are more expensive. All items have price tags. But the professional sellers managing the sale often have permission from the homeowner to bargain.
What Are the Top Estate Sale Finds?
Top finds are chairs, tables, and desks. Estate and moving sales are fabulous for offering older furniture. Well-made furniture can last generations. Focus on pieces 20 years old or more. Worn upholstery or mildly scratched wood can usually be renovated.
Estate and moving sales can also be the source of beautiful dishware and like-new kitchen gadgets. Some are treasure troves of Tiffany lamps, fireplace tools, useful touches for home offices and gardens, or vintage albums.
Meet People. Appreciate Their Stories.
The early bird is overrated. Get the best bargains on overlooked finds late in the sale schedule. It's a less hectic time, and a time when sellers are most willing to let their hair down.
Hear seller's stories, appreciate their life changes, and, if it feels right, you may be able to pitch in with a little moral support.