Category Archives: Buying at an estate sale

A New Concept And Company – Lofty.Com – Can Assist Estate Liquidators

At the 2014 Estate Sale Conference in Memphis there was a room devoted to vendors that could assist estate liquidators and one of them was They offer a unique service that can be used by estate sale companies and others. Estate Sales News is featuring this guest article on this new concept and company as an item of interest.

The article below was written by John Maher an Evaluations Expert of a new online resource, provides a free virtual evaluation service and sales venue that can assist estate liquidators.

Founded in 2012 by Harvard Business School graduate Mark Lurie, Lofty is an expert-reviewed marketplace for Fine and Decorative Art, Antiques and Collectibles that provides free evaluations based on digital photos. Every item on the site has been identified and virtually evaluated by a member of Lofty’s Expert Network, which includes auction house specialists, qualified appraisers, and experienced dealers. 

Mark was inspired to develop Lofty when a friend asked for help selling a few prints and some 19th century silver she’d inherited, and he realized how difficult it was to sell potentially valuable items online with confidence and ease. eBay was the obvious option, but he didn’t know how to accurately describe the items or where to set prices. The pieces in question weren’t valuable enough to take to a large auction house, as the cost and effort involved in shipping and preparing them for sale likely would not have been worth the prices they would have realized. Prompted by this apparent gap in the art market, Mark set out to create a site which would allow anyone with access to the internet to confidently sell their art and antiques online.

Lofty does not sell the entire contents of an estate, but it can serve as a useful tool for estate liquidators looking to sell one or several objects that might perform better if exposed to a broader market. Chinese ceramics, for example, may only realize their full potential when offered to the Asian market, and paintings by well known artists may achieve much higher prices when offered on a global scale to eager collectors made aware of the sale online at

Estate liquidators have a highly complex job on their hands each time they sign a new client, but grossing the maximum possible profit is always one of the business owner’s primary responsibilities to the estate owner. While years of experience can give estate liquidators a good knowledge of an item’s worth, having a trusted expert provide additional insight and giving your item more extensive publicity may result in a higher price obtained and a better result for the seller

You can visit their website,

What’s Hot And What’s Not At Estate Sales?

At the Estate Sale Conference in Memphis a few weeks ago there was a lot of discussion amongst estate sale companies about what was and wasn’t selling in their areas.

Mid-Century Modern seems to be the most popular with general antiques being the least desired in the discussions. This is not to say antiques do not have value, they just aren’t what the majority of the public is interested in at this time.

Estate sales like any other businesses experience cycles. Your editor remembers when oak furniture from the 1900-1940’s was hot, mahogany furniture from the same period took over the number one spot from oak and now mid-century modern. At one time Victorian furniture was flying out the door and anything with marble was stickered sold shortly after the door would open. This is generally not the case today in most areas.

As buyers and times change so does what is selling at estate sales. 20 years ago clothing from the 60’s and 70’s was more likely donated than sold, but now vintage is hot.

One of the reasons preferences are changing are the age of the buyers. Baby boomers in most instances are at a stage of life where they have most of the things they want except for collectors. The groups buying at estate sales tend to be 20-40 year olds. Of course every community, county, state, and section of the country is different, but estate sale companies take this into consideration when pricing their sales.

Estate Sales – What’s Happening?

Estate Sale signAs we begin this Monday estate sale liquidators across the country are busy with consultations, staging, pricing, and getting ready for another weekend of sales.

Some are also wrapping up the loose ends at this past weekends estate sales.

One of the vendors at the Estate Sale Conference was selling shrink wrap equipment for use at estate liquidations. The gentleman was kept busy all three days of the conference so whether you are in the east, mid-west, south, or west don’t be surprised to see shrink wrap being applied. A safe way to protect and in some cases show case valuable items.

In southern California and in Florida the tents are up in the driveways to facilitate check out and provide extra space in the property. This requires extra help to make sure all items are accounted for, but it certainly does speed the process and help with the congestion that can occur as you pay for your merchandise.

Buyers take note that more and more estate liquidators will not allow purses or bags on the initial walk thru of the property. Your editor has left her bag in the car locked on several occasions. Don’t approach a sale in a confrontational state of mind.

A buyers tip for attending sales going back to our article on buying etiquette several months ago stay focused on what you are looking for and don’t get concerned with what has sold. Don’t miss your opportunity to find a treasure wasting time with another person’s purchase. Stay focused so you don’t miss anything.




Estate Sale Friday – Ready, Set, Go – Tips To Help

It’s the end of the first week of March, spring is coming and the estate sale calendar is filled.

Just take at look at the various estate sale listing sites and they are filled with liquidation sales across the country.

Many of you are all ready on the road in the east this morning heading to your first estate sale stop.

Hopefully you have a print out of the sales your going to, a GPS with you (hopefully you input your target addresses before leaving your home), boxes and packing materials for the purchases you carry back, and of course, cash, check or credit cards and make sure you have some ID with you if they accept a check.

The estate sale companies have been hard at work getting ready for you so today go out and find those treasures, bargains, and estate sale finds.

Olympic Games Start Friday – Shop Estate Sales For Gym Equipment

With the start of 2014 and all the ads appearing on television for the different diet programs, the start of the Olympic Games in Sochi brought to focus the ability to create your own home gym and save shopping at estate sales.

home gym 






workout equipment







Whether you are preparing for a marathon, just want to drop a few pounds or stay fit and healthy shopping for gym equipment at an estate sale that is in good condition can provide you with real savings. Several sales in the next two  weeks have workout equipment for sale. The two photos above are at two of these estate sales. Check out EstateSales.Net, and

Valentines Day And Estate Sales – Shop And Save

Vintage ValentineValentines Day is only 11 days away. You could go out and spend a portion of your week’s pay on roses or candy or you can surprise that special someone in your life with something different that you purchased at an estate sale.

Just perusing, or there is a wide variety of items out there for sale prior to February 14th. Jewelry (fine and vintage), handbags (including designer), crystal, porcelain, art, designer clothing (at affordable prices), fur coats, and specialty items such as  vintage valentine cards, vintage barware, and the list goes on.

Not only will you probably save money, (and in many areas sales tax), but also you will demonstrate that you took the time and thought to find that special gift. Candy and flowers are a phone call or quick stop and shop away, but attending an estate sale says impressive.

Take a look at the sites listed above and see if there is an estate sale near you with something for that special someone. You could be an estate sale star!

Huffington Post Suggest 5 Things You Should Buy At Estate Sales

Estate Sales News features an RSS feed from the Huffington Post and today they featured an article on what they consider to be the 5 things you should buy at estate sales and the 3 items they suggest you should not. Here are their recommendations.

The 5 items they recommend are:

  • Silverware
  • Older big furnishings, i.e, bureaus, tables, and shelving units
  • Dishware – fine china or everyday
  • Tablecloths and what they call other niceties or decorative items
  • Jewelry  for the ladies, fine or costume

They suggest you refrain from buying upholstered furniture, big appliances, and cookware.

Estate Sales News recommends that whenever you attend an estate sale you look at the overall conditions of the property. If you spot mold we suggest you reconsider the purchase. You will have to decide on whether the contents were well kept and if the house, condo, or apartment was kept clean and then make your own decisions.

Click Here for the link to their article.



Estate Sale Friday And Super Bowl Weekend

football score boardThe last Friday in January and hundreds of estate sales begin today. Many estate sale companies are concerned about the impact of Super Bowl weekend.

The Super Bowl doesn’t take place until Sunday. Yes, for many Americans it has become an all day party day, but for many other Americans the daytime part of Sunday will be like any other Sunday. There will be people attending church services, others grocery shopping, catching up on something as simple as laundry and for those that attend estate sales if there is a sale in their area they will attend. Sunday estate sales tend to open a little later in the morning and close a little earlier in the afternoon.

If you are conducting an estate sale this weekend this was an opportunity to utilize the “keyword” Super Bowl in your newspaper, internet, and social media advertising. Keywords especially on the internet attract search engines. For example an internet ad could say “watch the Super Bowl on the 42 inch flat screen TV that you can buy at our estate sale Friday”.

Being innovative when competing for attention whether it is a big event, competitor, or weather is key for the professional liquidator.



News Media Reports Christmas Shopping Is Down – Not At Estate Sales

presentFrom CBS News to USA Today the media is reporting about lackluster Christmas shopping at major retailers. Reports state although prices have risen in the last year wages for most middle class have not. Most of the reports conclude that shoppers are either cutting back or in some cases cutting down on the amount they are spending.

This is where the estate sale shopper is ahead. Most estate sales have not seen price increases or very little over the last year. With the exception of high end antiques, designer pieces, and rare or unique items prices at estate sales are in most areas very stable.

Estate salers also know when they shop at estate liquidation sales, most (not all sales) will have a last day reduction ranging from 20%-75% depending on the company, sale requirements, and location.

From all the reports Estate Sales News has received shopping is brisk at estate sales. Good value for your dollars and there is still one weekend of estate sales left before Christmas.

We have received reports that many sales in the northeast and midwest had to cancel or close early this past weekend because of the winter storm, but in most cases they are scheduled this weekend.

Be sure to check out EstateSales.Net,, and to see what’s happening in your community this weekend.