Recent Estate Sale Finds

A couple of weeks ago I was driving through the neighborhood fairly early in the morning and noticed a line up of people outside a residence. That seemed unusual, and then I noticed an “Estate Sale” sign. Since I’d never been to one, I was curious and pulled over to check it out.

Despite being a member of The Compact and trying to buy used whenever possible, I’m not a huge garage sale enthusiast, simply because I just don’t need that much stuff, and I’m trying to declutter as much as possible. I did find this tile table at a garage sale right next door to our house after keeping an eye out for such an item for several years.

But Estate Sales had always sounded interesting to me, and I headed into the modest tract house to see if there was anything I needed inside. Well, anyone who’s ever been to an estate sale would probably agree that seeing a lifetime accumulation of someone’s possessions scattered around their home with price tags attached is a pretty sad scenario. This was obviously a very old couple, judging from the amount of clothes from decades past, including fox and mink jackets. Oh my. Not really my thing.

So I stayed just long enough to spot about ten wallets on a dresser, all of them brand new with price tags. Apparently this woman had a wallet fetish. Since I’ve needed a new wallet for about five years, I was happy to pay $2 for this one. And there were lots of picture frames to choose from, something I’m always in need of because I like to give photos as gifts to family and friends. I paid $1 for each of these, for a grand total of $4 for items I won’t have to worry about breaking The Compact to buy new.

Have you ever been to an Estate Sale?  What kinds of items have you bought? Did you find it to be an emotional experience? Please share your thoughts in the Comments section.


  1. says

    Hi Angela. Nice finds. I found a nice Kate Spade wallet at a thrift shop for $4. I don’t care about the brand, just liked the design and my old wallet was in terrible shape. I can’t imagine the retail value!

    Despite being an avid thrift shopper and swapper, I’ve never been to an estate sale and don’t stop much at garage sales either. But I love there are all the options for secondhand. I did find a beautiful writing set for $4 at a garage sale. I should stop at them more!

    • Angela says

      Catherine, I had been keeping my eye out at thrift stores for awhile and hadn’t found anything. It’s because I’m super picky about the wallet design- it has to have the checkbook ledger and plenty of room for cards and other things. This one was “good enough” in terms of the aesthetic, the design was just the type I like.

      I think estate sales are usually advertised and I doubt I’ll go again unless it pops up like this one did. Any kind of shopping just creates more “wants” for me for things I don’t really need. At this point, my goal is to declutter and save money for travel and retirement.

      thanks for your comment!

  2. Pam says

    I love to go to garage sales! My girls and I go all the time. In fact, this past weekend, we picked up 10 items of clothing for .50 each. I have been to a few estate sales. Most of the time I don’t find much. I did go to one that had stuff galore outside on the property. A lot of neat old stuff, great for shabby chic. I found a couple of great old colored glass windows and hung one above my bed. Anyways, sometimes the estate sales are just fun to explore.

    • Angela says

      Pam, 10 items of clothing for 5 bucks sounds like an incredible deal. If I needed clothes, I would take the time but I’m still working on paring down. I have bought infant clothing at a garage sale before. The items were barely worn.

      A colored glass window above your bed sounds beautiful. I’ll bet it makes patterns all over the room in the morning. What a great way to start the day.

      Thanks for your comment!

  3. Marie-Josée says

    Great finds Angela. I love picture frames as well and have tried getting them through free-cycle without any success. I’m not a garage sale affecionado either. Glad you finally found a wallet – it’s nice!

    • Angela says

      Thanks Marie-Josee! I managed to find a beautiful picture frame at the Goodwill recently when I needed a frame for a photo my husband took of my dad and I on the beach. The frame was perfect, and I’m really proud of the find! But generally I haven’t had much luck at Goodwill for frames and it’s one thing I will stop at a garage sale to look out for.

      Thanks for commenting!

  4. says

    We don’t do many yard sales, garage sales, flea markets, or estate sales . . . any more. I’m more interested in de-cluttering than in adding clutter.

    But when you find something that’s been on your “wish list” for a while . . . at a great price . . . YAY!

    We watch a show called “Cash & Carri” ~ Carri is a “treasure broker” who throws Estate Sales. She also has a retail store . . . Re-Purpose . . . where she sells consignment items, re-purposed items, etc.

    It’s tons of fun to watch the treasures . . . without having to pull out our wallet!

    • Angela says

      Yes, I’m with you- more interested in decluttering than acquisition. that stage of life.

      But yes, there are always a few things I’m looking out for, and those are nice to find.

      Cash and Carri does sound like good vicarious fun!

      Thanks for your comment!

  5. Mairsydoats says

    Until last weekend, I had also never been to an estate sale… On the way home from the farmers’ market, I endangered my produce by following the signs to an estate sale down the road (and around a few corners) from my house. For the $21 I had in my pocket, I left with a comfy wooden chair (been on the lookout for awhile), a bread machine (wanted to explore possibly making my own bread without spending all weekend doing it but hadn’t had any Freecycle luck), three dinner plates in exactly the colors I’ve been looking for, two pickle forks, a teaspoon in one of my favorite patterns (Queen Bess II), a splatter screen (forgot to move it from my last apartment), four cotton napkins, again, in just the right color, and three hand-crocheted pot holders. OY! I’d have spent all $21 on the chair. And I’m in love with my dinner plates (Pier 1 faux fiestaware). :-)

    • Angela says

      Oh my gosh, what an incredible haul! I’d say it was well worth “endangering your produce.” :)

      Good luck with the bread machine, and congrats on the comfy chair that’s been on your list. Thanks so much for sharing your finds with us.

  6. says

    I have been to quite a few estate sales; in general I find the prices much higher than at yard sales and it’s rare that I’ve bought something at one. If you were in the market for higher-end items like good quality wood furniture, they’d definitely be worth checking out though. I am a pretty hard-core yard sale shopper, going out almost every Saturday during the season which runs roughly April-September here. I tend to buy mostly clothing, books (mostly non-fiction reference type stuff or books my library doesn’t have) and gift-worthy items (i.e. stuff still in brand-new condition for which I have a specific recipient in mind) at yard sales these days. Yard sale shopping can definitely result in a whole lot of clutter if you don’t have good enough impulse control, but I am pretty selective about what I buy :) Plus, i admit it, I enjoy rooting around in boxes of stuff on the off chance of finding something super cool, lol.

  7. says

    On Sept 24, 2011, I posted pictures of my yard sale and estate sale finds, bargains. The $1 stapler was a deal and something I have wanted and could not afford full-price. The USA bowl was a steal. It will hold eggs from my 3 hens. The hand-painted Christmas serving dish is a need and a want.

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