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Six Best Estate Sale Shopping Tips

Shopping at an estate sale is one of the most exciting experiences you can have. From unique treasures and antiques to meeting new people and gaining design inspiration, estate sales have a way of connecting us with history.

In a world of big-box stores and online shopping, navigating the unique world of estate sales is your entry to a treasure hunt, in real time! This is why Blue Moon Estate Sales has compiled a list of tips to assist you in buying smarter and enjoying the journey of finding hidden treasures.

Arrive Early

Don’t be fooled, estate sales are a competitive market. Arriving early will solidify your spot in line and guarantee a better chance of snagging popular items. Additionally, when you arrive early you’ll have the opportunity to chat with other early birds who could potentially keep an eye out for items you’re looking for—you might even find a new estate sale friend to attend future events with.

Bring Cash

A majority of estate sales accept credit cards, but cash is still king. Carrying cash, including an assortment of smaller bills to avoid making change, will help you purchase an item quicker. Cash is also appreciated by the estate sale host as it allows for a timely transaction.

Ask Questions

 There may be an interesting story about how a piece of furniture was acquired or where an antique vase came from—appreciate the conversation. Professionals hosting the sales can help you find one-of-a-kind items and can guide you as you peruse the home.

Be Respectful

Most, if not all, estate sales take place in someone’s home. Though you may view a purchase as something new to you, it’s important to be mindful that there is likely sentimental value and history behind items for sale. Be respectful of boundaries and attend with positive, mindful manners. As tempting as it may be, resist the urge to enter rooms that are blocked off or ask about items marked “NFS” (Not For Sale).

Mind Your Measurements

Before arriving at an estate sale, be sure to measure areas of your home that you’re looking to furnish. Whether you’re in desperate need of some new drapery or collect antique picture frames, having those dimensions prior to arrival will save you a headache later. Store the measurements in your wallet or phone and carry a small tape measure in your car just in case.

Travel Light

You aren’t going on an overnight trip, so there’s no need to pack like it. Depending on the estate sale, large purses or backpacks may not be allowed inside, so keep in mind that minimalism is best. Bring your essentials—wallet, keys, phone—and store them in a convenient and small bag. Besides, you don’t want to be lugging around a large tote while browsing for new-found treasures.

Be Sure To Bring the Essentials

When you attend an estate sale, there may be a few unorthodox items you hadn’t thought to bring—until you’ve already arrived and it’s too late. From large furniture to small trinkets, you’ll want to be prepared for anything, which is why we suggest keeping the following items at your disposal when you visit your next estate sale.

Bubble Wrap

If you’re planning on purchasing breakable items, bubble wrap is a must. This prevents fragile items from damage, keeping their value the same from start to finish.

A Small Light

You never know where an estate sale will take you or how well lit the space will be. Whether you venture into the attic or basement, you’ll still want to properly inspect your potential purchases for cracks and chips. Having a small light handy can help you navigate dark spaces and take a closer look at more delicate pieces.

Magnifying Glass

Smaller, more intricate items often have tiny details that can be hard to see. By carrying a pocket-sized magnifying glass in your purse, you can inspect these high-value items without straining your eyes.

Comfortable Shoes

Walking is inevitable when you attend an estate sale. Though your outfit may be better complimented with a pair of strappy heels, practicality is key. Wear a pair of comfortable shoes to walk around in and tackle narrow staircases. Your feet will thank you later.


There’s no telling how long you’ll decide to explore at an estate sale. Having a quick snack such as granola bars, crackers, or trail mix in your bag will keep the hunger at bay—giving you more time to shop.

Packing Bins

Depending on what you plan to purchase, keeping a few packing boxes or small bins in your car will make transport quicker and safer. Utilize the bubble wrap mentioned earlier to wrap fragile items and then stack them in a packing box for quick transport from your car to your home. You’ll no longer have to worry about potential damage from items moving around the cabin.

Be a Customer at a Blue Moon Estate Sale

If you’re looking for an estate sale in your area but aren’t sure where to start, check out Blue Moon Estate Sales. Our friendly hosts will answer any questions you have about specific pieces for sale and ensure your experience is memorable. Visit us here to discover a Blue Moon Estate Sale in your area.