Estate Sale Etiquette

Estate sales are many people’s favorite pastime. Visiting different properties, happening upon valuable items you wouldn’t find anywhere else, and of course, scoring amazing deals with every estate sale you encounter.

However, there are certain guidelines that a shopper must follow when attending an estate sale in today’s market.

Here’s our guide to estate sale etiquette:

Respect the home

vintage tea set at an estate sale

First and foremost, as an estate sale-goer, you must always remember that you are in someone else’s home and should treat the space and items with respect.

Respect the estate sale team

The estate sale workers are there to ensure that the process runs smoothly, and the sale remains organized.

Do not lose your patience with these workers—allow them to do their job.

Respect the line

Estate sale policies tend to be strict when it comes to respecting the line.

Numbers are normally given so that guests don’t have to stand and wait in a long line. This allows shoppers to reserve their spot in line, without having to physically be ‘in line.’

In most houses, there’s only a limited number of people that can enter and comfortably browse at one time.

The estate sale company can only handle a certain amount of people at a time. So, the first rush—around 30-35 people—will be let in and as they filter out, the guests with the following numbers will be able to enter.

This operating system is necessary to ensure the safety of guests and ease of navigation, so remember to be respectful!

No hoarding allowed

We all know those shoppers: picking up every item that interests you to later make a buying decision.

Well at an estate sale, that type of shopping is not prohibited. The act is called hoarding and although it may be beneficial for you, it’s very unfair to the rest of the shoppers as you effectively remove the items you’re holding onto from the sale.

And we wouldn’t recommend testing your luck… some estate sale companies will make you buy what you accumulate.

antique valuables on sale at an estate sale

Inspect vintage items and antiques

Feel free to check the condition of older or more fragile pieces that are being sold as-is due to their antiquity.

If you’re going to buy a vintage item, it’s important that you are aware of all the possible flaws you’re buying, too.

Don’t shop from the “on-hold” items

“On-hold” at an estate sale should be considered “sold.” These are items that are being stored for a buyer and are not available for purchase.

“Sold” means sold

If you see a sold tag on an item, it means that it is no longer available for purchase. Do not remove these tags—trust us, you won’t get very far once that angry buyer finds out.

Ask questions!

Don’t assume something isn’t on sale just because it doesn’t have an apparent tag. From light fixtures and window treatments to outdoor flower pots and vanity mirrors, it’s not always obvious as to which items are available at an estate sale.

So, do your due diligence and inquire about purchasing the item—there’s no harm and if it is for sale, you just found your latest deal!

At B & F Estate Sales, we know estate sale etiquette. So, follow these tips and you’ll be the perfect shopper at your next estate sale!

And if you’re looking to have one of your own, call us at 954-401-2222 today to learn more about our on-site estate sale services.