An Estate Sale Weekend

Two days ago I had a post office run to drop off orders and afterwards I popped into my neighborhood thrift store. I have gotten used to the fact that it is busier than it was years ago, but for the second or third visit in a row, I didn’t find anything to buy. While it will always be a go-to place because it’s so close and I have found amazing things there, I know I need to expand my hunting territory, especially since the flea market has been rained out two months in a row! Estate sales are popping up all over the place so I headed to one about four miles away.

Friday Mini Haul

It was a 3-day sale that had just opened an hour before. I’m not quite sure why they are having it for three days–it was not a packed house and quite light on the “smalls.” Alas the most interesting bits were priced too high for me, but I poked through the house several times and in the garage and ended up with a modest, motley bag of things for $15.

This floral shirt jacket is made from a polished cotton by Roos of California circa 1950s/60s. I believe it is the type of garment the lady of the house would wear while tending her flower garden. It is sweet as can be and in nice condition. (Listed for $48.)

Interestingly Dolce & Gabbana has quite a few pieces with a similar bold blowsy rose print, mostly with a dark background, but not all.

I snagged these two cardboard verb wheels in the garage–one is dated 1933 and the other 1937. I had no illusions they were valuable, but certainly quirky and something I had never seen before.

Found another vintage filet lace tablecloth. It has a few small stains, but nothing egregious. Would look pretty on a bed too.

The garage had a few books and I thought this 2002 edition of this NASA book might appeal to someone. Over half of the book is photos of planes.

And I definitely grabbed this 1953 edition of “Walt Disney’s Treasury: 21 Best-Loved Stories.” The cover has wear, but the inside is clean.

Listed for $38. SOLD! Well, that didn’t take long!

Saturday Teeny Tiny Haul

This estate sale (five miles north of me) was publicized as mid-century and loaded and it was, even on the second day. Tons to look at. Amazing, amazing pieces. But yowee prices were $$ to $$$ and sadly they weren’t willing to deal today. Apparently, according to the estate sale company, the owner is very particular about what she wants to make for each piece. But interestingly I discovered this estate sale company is run by a woman who also has an antiques business, which could also explain the antique store prices on items.

I did find a couple of things and could have found more but I had an upcoming appointment and had to leave sooner than I wanted.

My favorite find was this tiny antique sterling silver trophy engraved 1915. From the Eleanor T. Flinn School, Tuesday Afternoon Class. Recipients were Hilda Elizabeth Leisy and Charles Holden Prescott Jr. And by golly Charles may have become a bit of something in the scientific community!

It was fabulous and even at $35 it has meat on the bone…but I’ll keep this for a while.

I couldn’t resist some 1960s/1970s cookery booklets I found in the garage. Cookbooks are slow sellers, but quirky ones do sell and these are so fun and reminiscent of that time.

And this vintage book on Aida from the Metropolitan Opera was worth a gamble for $1.

This vintage mini silver-plated jug (with rattan-wrapped handle) and saucer is by Elizabeth G. Webster & Son, International Silver. This one is atypical because it has a hinged lid rather than the more common pull-off one. Needs a good polish and clean up, but is otherwise in good nick!

Paid $10, will list for $40.

So no great scores at either sale and not a lot purchased, still both were fun.

TIP: If a sale’s items are priced too high for me to resell, I’ll focus more on their books to find my profit. Many estate sale companies don’t spend as much time researching and pricing books and will offer them for $1 or $2 each. I look for quirky subject matter, vintage art books, limited editions, etc.

My Estate Sale Routine

  • While most estate companies accept credit cards or online payments, not all do. I come prepared with cash and my check book.
  • I like to bring my own bag to collect items as I shop. I have used “Hold” tables before at sales, but find they are not secure. Years ago I went to put something in my box on a hold table and found some guy pawing around in my stuff. Yes, folks have been known to swipe things off hold tables.
  • I don’t bother going early, signing up and waiting for hours anymore. Done with that. Done with the crowds and getting pushed or blocked. And I always find things after the first-comers leave.
  • I usually reserve price negotiation for second and third days of a sale.
  • I rarely Google things while I’m there. I know that might seem misguided, but I rely on my intuition and knowledge. If I feel that uncertain about something and its price, I leave it behind.

If you’ve never been to an estate sale, put on your skates and go! You won’t regret it.

Happy hunting,



  1. I had that crepe cookbook. It came with a crepe pan (rather a useless thing, messy, an upside down frying pan as I saw it!) as a wedding gift. I think. It was a present at any rate. 1975 sound right? That would have been a wedding present.

    Liked by 1 person

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