Posts Tagged ‘Estate Sale Santa Barbara’

How to Find Great Items at an Estate Sale in Santa Barbara


Estate Sales are a guilty pleasure. They provide a great way to rummage through the past and see how people lived, what they collected, and what they loved. It’s a history lesson and a small glimpse of the past. Estate Sales provide a dual purpose. It cleans out a house that desperately needs to be emptied and provides goods for resellers, antique dealers and Ebayers alike. There are items like photographs, postcards, old kitchen utensils, tableware and figurines. Household items like quilts, bedspreads, linens, china, glass and much more can be offered.

It often makes families sad to let things go after the passing of a family member. Once you take what’s important to you, the rest is just stuff, material things. You can’t take it with you and as a family member you can’t keep it all either. An estate sale is a great way to dispose of goods and offer them for sale. While one would like to think that “regular people” are customers of estate sales, the fact is, the majority of people at any given sale are dealers of some sort. As the person hosting the sale, that is an important factor in how items are priced. If you price so that a profit can be made, things will fly out the door. If not, there will be plenty of things left to haul out or put in storage. You may end up having to throw something away that you could have made a few bucks on. I hope you enjoy some of my fun secrets to finding great things at Estate Sales.

Where are the Sales? Estate sales are everywhere. Check all your local papers including the freebies. Some sales will be listed in one paper and not another. New websites are popping up all over the place to advertise sales. You can join our mailing list to receive updates anytime we host an estate sale. There is also a certain classified website started by a man named Craig, where you can find house sales and lots of items for sale. Do your research and you may come across a sale others haven’t seen.

Go Where Others Do Not: Estate Sale companies generally put all the “good stuff” in the front room by the cash out area where they can keep a good eye on it. I find that while everyone is rushing towards those items, be the first one into the basement or kitchen where lesser known or demand items wait for you.

Pick It Up Quick: If you like it and are interested in it, pick it up. If you don’t, believe me when I tell you someone else will. They will have no trouble snatching it out from under your nose.

Get There Early: In our area you have to be the early bird to catch the worm. Dealers wait for hours to get into sales first. While it isn’t always completely necessary in order to get a good deal, it can help.

Get there Late: Don’t think everything is gone the last day of a sale. Prices will become negotiable and what was once about making a profit becomes about clearing out a house. Many companies host bag sales and 50% to 75% off the last day.

Educate Yourself: You can’t know everything about everything, no one can. Pick an area of items you are interested in and learn all you can. For example, all estates have a kitchen. What type of old kitchen items are in demand? Surprisingly, coffee makers, small appliances and kitchen tools can command good prices and shouldn’t be overlooked. I guarantee this isn’t what the average antique dealer is looking for. Obscure areas are best and where you’ll find the least amount of competition. Garages are another great example. Who doesn’t have tools? Find out what tools bring cash and educate yourself on them.

Stay Away from the Obvious: Everyone knows McCoy and Roseville are popular collectibles and they are usually priced accordingly. While everyone else is fighting for the more common and obvious things, educate yourself on marks that aren’t so obvious. Work on learning about good pottery that is unmarked for instance or the maker name that is represented by a symbol. It gives you a foot up on your competition.

Keep it Clean and Honest: There is a lot of bickering, pushing and shoving at sales. Stay out of it and put yourself above it. Getting a reputation as a trouble maker with an estate company will get you banned by all the companies. They talk amongst themselves and spread the word. No item is worth being blackballed or even subjecting yourself to that sort of nastiness. Theft is a common occurrence in some areas. It just hurts the industry and wrecks a good time for everyone.

Be Respectful: Sometimes even though a company may host a sale, family members will come. Keep your opinions to yourself if you don’t like something. No family wants to hear what you think of their Precious Moments collection especially if you are saying it’s worthless junk. It’s just rude and cruel and don’t forget that you don’t know who is listening. You have been invited in to purchase what you are interested in. If you aren’t interested, walk away and thank them for the opportunity.

Good luck in your Estate Sale endeavors. We hope you can use some of our tips to come out on top!

Original article posted on Ebay

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5 Things You Should Look for at Estate Sales

You already know that estate sales are where vintage buyers go to find the “good stuff” — well-priced antiques straight from the homes that housed them. If you’re not necessarily into retro collectibles, you may have driven past sales without a second thought. But, estate sales can be a great place to find more everyday items for a super-cheap price. Some pro tips before you hunt: Make sure to always have cash on-hand, because you’re in for a house-sized garage sale. While estate sale organizers may accept credit cards, you can often get the best deal with cash. If you’re not one to scour Craigslist, sign up for a site like EstateSales.Net, which can send you a newsletter with fresh listings. Ready to get started this weekend? Here’s what to take a second glance at — along with what to pass on. Silverware: The real thing can be pricey when new, but you can often find whole sets for a fraction of the cost. You can also find less-precious (but stylish) sets of everyday flatware for far less than, say, Target prices.
Big Furnishings: Older can be better when it comes to furniture, particularly when we’re talking about pieces like bureaus, tables and shelving units. You’ll generally find solid wood furniture that’s been lovingly kept up at these sales, for what you’d basically pay at IKEA.
Dishware: Whether it’s fine china or a fine piece to eat take-out on, you can find dishes at a steal.
Tablecloths (And Other Niceties): If you ever need to pass yourself off as a more civilized person, here’s where you find your props.
Glassware: Some of us have never paid more than $1 for glasses (or barware). You can find colorful vintage pieces, or plain old pint glasses.
Bonus Tip For The Ladies: Jewelry!
Though we would never come between anyone and their dream 1960s sofa, there are a few things you should generally skip: Big Appliances You don’t really have a chance to make sure they work properly. And, no warranty means no guarantee. Upholstered Furnishings One word: Bedbugs. Though we take a more cautious (paranoid) stance on that topic, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Cookware Take a very, very close look before you tote that darling enamelware fondue pot home. If there’s even a tiny chip, you run the risk of enamel spoiling your cheese heaven. Original article posted on Huffington Post

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Antiques: Where Do You Find All This Stuff?

It might seem like a silly question: where do you find all this stuff? But there’s not an antique dealer out there who ever set up at a show or opened a shop that hasn’t had this query from novice shoppers. They wander into a booth mesmerized by the treasures within, and can’t help but wonder how you put together such an impressive collection of items for sale. The answer most dealers will give you? Everywhere. So if you’re thinking you might want to start a part-time antiques business or develop a sideline selling collectibles to supplement your retirement income, be prepared to work hard finding quality merchandise to sell at prices reasonable enough to keep the business going. These are some of the venues where you’ll compete with others to find the goods required to turn a profit and replenish your inventory:

Estate Sales

The estate sales holding the most potential are those run by family members as opposed to estate-liquidation companies. For one thing, these companies know a lot more about the merchandise they’re selling than the average family does. In fact, they tend to price the merchandise higher than most dealers would in a traditional shop. That said, prices do tend to fall as the sale drags on. Although making the effort to stand in line on the first day the sale will ensure that you get first look at that goods, you’ll tend to get better deals on the second and third days.
Check your local newspaper’s estate sale list in the classified advertising section each Thursday and Friday to locate the sales in your town and consult online listings as well. Better yet, if the operators of the estate sales you attend offer notices of upcoming sales, whether through email or snail mail, sign up to receive them. That way, you’ll learn about local sales even before they’re announced in the newspaper or through online ads.

Garage Sales

It’s gotten really hard to find older things at random garage sales anymore, but you may have more luck at neighborhood sales where several households stage garage sales on the same day. To that end, try to get a sense of which neighborhoods in your area are more upscale; that way, you increase your chances of finding nice things you might be able to resell even if they aren’t extremely old.

Flea Markets

Many flea markets these days are actually outlets for new and imported goods, which means that finding antiques can be challenging—but it’s not impossible. One of the best ways to find out about flea markets (not to mention antiques shows, crafts fairs and the like) in your area that sell mainly antiques is to check online event calendars provided by sites like this one along with other antiques publications. Don’t forget to check the calendar when you travel, too, to find out which markets to hit while you’re away.

Live Auctions

General auctions used to hold more potential for resellers than they do now, at least in many areas. But you can still hit a good one every now and then, especially when they’re estate auctions. The trick is to arrive early to inspect the goods you might be interested in bidding on to make sure the pieces are authentic (nothing stings like buying a reproduction at an auction) and in good condition. Take notes of lot numbers, and determine how much you can reasonably pay for a piece and still turn a decent profit. Use your list to make sure you don’t get caught up in the action and pay way more than an item’s worth. Also refrain from bidding on pieces you didn’t get to inspect if they are selling low. This rarely works in your favor since auctioneers tend to embellish items and don’t always describe flaws accurately. To locate auctions in your area, check your local newspaper or consult a service like You’ll not only learn where upcoming auctions are taking place, but you can sign up to bid online there as well.

Thirft Stores

Some people have great luck shopping at thrift stores for antiques and collectibles. Those who swear by them say to find out the day of the week they stock new merchandise and hit them then. It may also pay off to establish a rapport with the employees at your local thrift stores. Be extra friendly when you drop in, and make sure they have some idea of the types of pieces you’re looking to find. Then, leave your card with them so they can call you in the event items that might interest you are stocked.

Online Auctions

In many instances now online auctions provide a wholesale marketplace for more average antiques, and the rarities are snapped up by eager collectors who will pay top dollar. But sometimes you’ll find a great sleeper if you shop diligently. In fact, in her book Killer Stuff and Tons of Money, author Maureen Stanton writes of one seller she knows who makes a living finding undervalued and misidentified wares on and then turning around and selling them in the same venue. You can even search on eBay using misspelled words to find things other buyers won’t tend to notice. Be aware, however, that this is a time-consuming proposition and you really need to be well-versed in the genres of antiques you’re “working” to make any money. But if you have the background, time and inclination, you can indeed score some great finds this way. Original article posted on About Home

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How To Run An Estate Sale in Santa Barbara


Wondering how to run an estate sale in Santa Barbara? An estate sale is different from a garage sale in a number of ways. First, the goal of an estate sale is to sell most everything in a house, while a garage sale seeks to sell only things you don’t need anymore. Secondly, an estate sale typically runs for a longer period. Finally, an estate sale takes place throughout your home—not just in the garage.

How To Run An Estate Sale in Santa Barbara Successfully

Bringing in the pros. If you are seriously considering an estate sale, you may want to think about hiring an estate sale agent. A professional estate sale manager will charge between 20% and 35% of the proceeds of the sale. For that fee, you can expect an estate sale agent to organize, promote and run the sale from beginning to end. An estate sale manager will itemize and price your belongings, advertise the sale and handle all transactions during the sale. Embrace your inner packrat. As you prepare to run an estate sale in Santa Barbara, resist the urge to throw things out. That old line about trash and treasure certainly pertains to estate sales as well—there’s always a buyer for just about everything. Maximize your estate sales proceeds by selling even the things you think should go to the dump. What not to sell. At the other end of the scale, you should hold back valuable items like antiques and rare items. An estate sale is like a garage sale in one respect: buyers expect to pay pennies on the dollar. You get more profit by selling valuable items separately, in an auction or similar sale. Pricing your stuff. An estate agent will be well versed in pricing most items, but if you’re running a DIY estate sale, take some time to check out local consignment and thrift stores for similar items. Your pricing should be at the same level as thrift stores and just a bit lower than consignment stores on furniture and larger items. Prices should be placed on tags and displayed on each item. Getting the word out. Advertise your estate sale in local newspapers at least two weeks in advance of the sale. For weekend sales, run ads from Friday through Sunday during the sale as well. Make sure to post signs in your neighborhood and at the entrance to your neighborhood. Consider placing signs on nearby roads traveled by commuters. Timing is everything. The typical estate sale in Santa Barbara lasts for a week or runs on two consecutive weekends. Make sure to clearly post the times of your sale in all advertising and don’t be surprised to see “early birds” parked outside your home at the crack of dawn on the day of the sale. Consider posting a steep discount on the last day of the sale to move those last few items out the door. Aftermath. Once your estate sale in Santa Barbara is complete, you can expect a full accounting (including receipts) from a professional estate sale manager. If you’ve held your own estate sale, be sure to keep good records that you’ll need come tax time. Any items left after your estate sale can be divided up into discard and donation piles. Original article sourced from Real Direct

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