Category Archives: Buying at an estate sale

Selling some types of taxidermy at an estate sale could be a no no!

Recently Estate Sales News spoke with a Maryland estate sale company that held a sale in late June.  We reported on that sale in Bryans Road Maryland and posted video footage. A piece of the video is featured here to show some of the taxidermy. The estate sale included mounted ducks, pheasants, some vintage carved ivory and some vintage tortoise shell.

The DNR (Department of Natural Resources) from Maryland reviewed every photo that the estate liquidator had included in their estate sale listing. Even though the taxidermy foul were from decades ago as was the ivory and tortoise shell they were told they could not be sold and had to be returned to the estate heirs.

When I attended the 2013 Estate Sales Conference in St. Louis MO. held by in March of this year they had a guest speaker on day two of the conference from the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Selling old or vintage ivory, tortoise shell and many kinds of taxidermied fish and wildlife is now not allowed or heavily scrutinized in many states. California is another state where taxidermy mounted items are being reviewed. Many other states are also becoming involved in the sale of what they consider endangered species. The fines for selling these type of items in Maryland is in the thousands and higher. This is a fairly recent development that Estate Sales News wanted to make sellers, buyers and estate sales companies aware of. Keeping you informed is our priority.


Estate sale for Navy WWII NCDU (SEAL) – Guns, Coins, 60 years of collecting

Estate Sales News traveled to southern Maryland to a town named La Plata to report on a living estate sale for William Dawson who served during WWII and was in the Naval Combat Demolution Unit (NCDU) class #001. NCDU was the original WWII designation (snorkels and K-bar knifes their only gear!) It morphed into UDT (underwater demolition teams) and President Kennedy in 1962 reconfigured and renamed them Sea Air Land teams (SEALS). Mr. Dawson is the last surviving member of this first class. Sue Ann Dunford and James Douglas O’Dell wrote a book “More Than Scuttlebutt – The U.S. Navy Domolition Men in WWII” about this class and group.

Mr. Dawson was a Fireman in Washington until his retirement and he collected newer firehouse and fireman related collectible.

There is a wide assortment of items at this sale, but one of the most interesting and involved items of this sale is the rifles, shotgun, hand guns and pistols.  These guns were not used when Mr. Dawson was in the Navy. They were used for hunting and target practice.

We asked Estate Escape to explain their procedure for the sale of these weapons. The rifles and shot gun are affixed to a wall with a tie and a zip tie around the hammer of each weapon to prevent them from being fired to protect the public and staff at the sale. They allow only one person at a time to exam the guns and only allow 4 people in the room with them. This sale also has ammunition for these guns. The ammunition can be sold immediately on site, while the guns may not. In regard to the hand guns following Maryland State Police instructions a buyer must fill out 3 forms to purchase a hand gun at the sale. The hand gun remains with the estate. Estate Escape arranges an appointment with the buyer to meet them at the Maryland State Police post where he or she presents the 3 forms filled out along with a valid drivers license and a carry permit. All of this paperwork is documented and sent to the Federal Firearms and Licensing Board for proper transfer which can take up to 60 days.  The gun does not transfer from Estate Escape until approximately 10 days after the process has been filed. The rifles and shot gun require 1 form to be filled out and can be released a couple of days after the sale and is done by appointment with Estate Escape.

This sale also includes an original document signed by President Calvin Coolidge, Navy memorabilia, a nice collection of silver dollars and other coins, a parachute, knives of various sizes, buckle collection, mid century and vintage furniture, art, vintage clothing, holiday items, lots of tools, costume jewelry, celebrity photo collection, lots of general household and the list goes on. To see the entire sale from Estate Escape on CLICK HERE.




News worthy estate sales? chandeliers, celebrities, gemstones, pizza

Estate Sales News has been traveling around the country to report on news worthy estate sales. We travel to these various cities and states to be an informative resource for perspective sellers and buyers.

We scour the Internet on a daily basis looking for unique estate sales. Once we have seen a listing we then look for any reviews we can find of the company. We don’t want to publicize an estate sale company that has bad reviews or unresovled issues with the Better Business Bureau. When we feel confident that the company is untarnished we call and speak to them about the sale and their business. If that interview goes well we book a plane reservation and car and travel to the sale prior to the first day of the sale. We want to be able to video the sale as staged in it’s entirety.

We have included some videos of sales we have already reported on perchance you did not see them and as examples of what is a news worthy sale for Estate Sales News.  From the sale held in Reseda, CA. conducted by Crown City Estate Sales in early June where 100+ chandeliers and thousands of prisms were sold off from a retired lighting dealer, and the Los Angeles sale conducted by Again L.A. Estate Sales also in early June where there were thousands of unset gemstones and minerals from a retiring gemologist or the estate sale of Gordon Farmer who had been featured on American Pickers or our report just yesterday on the estate sale of Chef Carl The Pizza Gourmet a PBS TV star of the 1980’s.

There are many good and great estate sales across the country. We are looking for the unusual, the well known person or celebrity, large collections in the hundreds or thousands so our readers can enjoy these unique sales whether or not they can attend and become more informed consumers or clients.

It’s Friday so it is also the start of another weekend of great estate sales so happy shopping.

If it’s Friday, it’s the start of another weekend of estate sales

Estate Sale signEven though we are in the heat of summer estate sale liquidators are working hard getting sales conducted all across the country.

Many times the homes, condos or apartments they work in are not air conditioned. This makes the work very difficult and taxing. Especially when you are working with lights on. If you have to bring down items from an attic it is even worse.

A lot of estate sale companies will work more days, but shorter days to prep a sale in the heat. That is a very acceptable practice. They usually will try to bring in stand alone fans for their comfort and the comfort of those attending the sale.

During extreme heat like most of the country has been experiencing tempers can flare easily. It is important for everyone, buyers, sellers, and estate liquidators to take a breath. has thousands of sales listed and you will also find sales listed on and

Here is a sampling of the sales across the country you may want to check out.

In NEW JERSEY – Toyota vehicles, Kubota tractor, mower, loads of power tools Click here

In FLORIDA – Vintage hats, gloves, purses, belt buckles, and stockings Click here

In ILLINOIS – High end, bronzes, lucite sculptures, baccarat Click here

In TEXAS – Barns full of rustics, antiques & collectibles Click here

In CALIFORNIA – West LA estate sale with lots of vintage items Click here

Wishing you successful happy hunting.

Estate Sales News – introduction to film camera collecting with video

Estate Sales News is pleased to have as guest author William J. Madden, amateur photographer and photographic collector. We have included a video by Michael Adams, a camera collector to introduce you to the world of film cameras.

Estate sales are great places to find vintage cameras and lenses, I don’t think I have ever been to an estate sale that didn’t have at least one camera of some sort in it.  There are many types of camera collectors, some collect nothing but amateur cameras ( like Kodak Brownie’s), other collectors look for the high  end vintage cameras like Nikon and Leica.

I started out with a Kodak Brownie camera for photos, then a Kodak Brownie 8mm for movies and then eventually went to a Minolta Super 8 movie camera.

Some collectors look to buy every single model of a particular camera maker and never use them, they just display them, while other collectors buy cameras to use for their everyday photography (yes, many photographers still use film in this digital age!!).

Attending an estate sale this weekend? Be prepared

estatesalesnetToday is the start of another weekend for most estate sale companies across the country and if you are planning on shopping at some here are some suggestions for a successful hunt.

Look up on the Internet on sites such as or where sales are in your area.

Map out a route starting with the sale you are most interested in first. Be sure you have a map or navigator with you and preferably pre-programed for the first sale. You should bring along cash, maybe a couple of checks and your credit card. Carrying a small bag or pouch is usually best. Don’t forget to bring a magnifying glass or loop. It is helpful to put some newspaper, paper bags and a box or two in your car in case the sales you attend do not have sufficient wrapping paper.

You might also want to bring some handwipes with you in case you touch anything dusty or dirty or your wrapping with newspapers.

Remember our previous discussion on estate sale etiquette and happy hunting.

What’s selling in estate sales – Koi Fish, Macaws, mowers, cars, tools…

MacawsEstate Sales News is consistently monitoring estate sales for a variety of reasons, but today we want to talk about some of the current items coming up for sale.

In August in Lemont, Il. there will be 200 Koi fish for sale along with 7 Macaws. Unusual, very. Click here for a link to the sale listing on

In another week in Lebanon, NJ a Toyota car, Kubota tractor, Cub Cadet mower and loads of tools will be for sale. Click here for a link to that sale.

Coming up the first weekend of August in Greensburg, PA a sale will have a Ford conversion van, a Kabota tractor with plow and a Case 1530 uni-loader. Click here for a link to that sale

These three sales feature many other items. It’s always interesting to see what’s selling and Estate Sales News is your resource for news and information on the estate sales business nationwide.

Koi fishUni-loadervehicleKubota tractor

Multi generational estate sale in Bryans Road MD, Civil war to WWII

Yesterday before leaving for Florida we interviewed Kayleen Edwards owner of Estate Escape who is conducting an estate sale at 5660 Fenwick Rd., Bryans Road, Md, a multi-generational sale taking place starting today for four days. It is an extremely interesting sale with items from the early 1800’s to present day. The home facing the Potomac River has 11,000 sq. ft and the collections are spread out so we took several small video clips for you to view. Click here for the link to the sale.

This sale features antique furniture, antiques, pin-up calendars, a 35 star flag from the seperation of Virginia and West Virginia, military items from the Civil War to WWII, Indian blankets and many other items, vintage purses, clothing, books, vintage and collectible fishing equipment and lures, a collection of Maryland license plates, china, glass, vintage Christmas, and more than we can say.

Ms. Edwards started in business about 10 years ago apprenticing in Knoxville TN and relocated to Maryland starting her own business about 4 years ago. She says she “built business on honesty, trustworthiness, and reliability and going the extra mile”. “I love what I do and I want client and customer satisfaction and don’t feel like I work, I enjoy the history and my job” said Ms. Edwards.


Green your decor with estate sale finds and repurposing – DIY video

A few weeks ago Estate Sales News featured a china cabinet from the 1960’s that had been repurposed by my daughter and son-in-law into a 21st century lighted display cabinet. We wanted to share this DIY Network video on repurposing bedroom night tables.

Besides the savings you usually obtain at an estate sale you also help the planet by “going green” with repurposing. A sort of double dipping so to speak.

You can repurpose anything from chairs, tables, lamps, beds, sofas, to patio furniture, china (break it up and set it in grout in place of tile) to jewelry. You are limited only by your imagination. Check out Pinterest for great ideas and assistance.

Estate Sale Sellers and Buyers – What you should expect

Carol Madden, Editor, ESNEstate Sales News has been visiting sales across the country and speaking with different liquidators not only at sales we have visited, but conducting interviews by phone. We are constantly gathering information on the estate sales business.  I’m hearing the same refrain over and over concerning estate sale sellers and buyers so let’s do some bullet points to see if we can assist.



  • Decide before you hire an estate liquidator if you consider them to be knowledgeable.
  • Make sure you feel they will do a professional job.
  • Discuss with them the items of value you have and see if you are in agreement and what they feel are fair prices.
  • Once you have done these things and hired a company, remember you have hired professionals let them do their job, to price and sell your items. Liquidators have enough problems with today’s buyers and it is very unhelpful to have sellers wanting to raise prices. Remember you did your research, interviewed them and made a decision – you hired them to sell.


  • When you attend an estate sale, this is “not” an auction. The items are priced just like in a retail store. These items belong to a seller, not the estate sales company.
  • Don’t ask an estate sale company to cut their price as soon as the door opens. This is offensive.
  • If you don’t want to pay a price for an item ask if they will take a bid.
  • Remember estate sales companies have been hired by the sellers, are being paid by the sellers and are not working for you the buyer. Their job is to get the best possible price.
  • Negotiating is part of the process, but done in a courteous and fair manner.
  • Most estate sale companies have some kind of structured discount process based on the number of days the sale will be conducted. Ask if they do and what it is.