What Should I Bring to an Estate Sale?

file000495818648Estate sales can offer some highly lucrative opportunities for deal-seeking buyers. From antique jewelry and watches to entertainment memorabilia, guitars and electronics, the possibilities are endless. If this is your first time attending an estate sale, though, you might be wondering what (if anything) you need to bring. Don't worry, because we're going to cover the basics of estate sales and what buyers should bring in this blog post.


Don't leave your smartphone in the car while attending an estate sale. If you happen to come across a potentially high-dollar item and want to perform a quick price check, you can do so on your smartphone. Performing a quick Google search for the item takes less than a minute and will likely reveal its current fair-market value. Just remember to keep the flow of traffic moving through the estate; otherwise, you may anger other buyers who are waiting for their turn to check out the items.


Most estate sales have a strict cash-only policy. If you show up with a credit card or check, you could be forced to turn around and go back home to pick up cash. And by the time you return, the item you wanted to initially purchased may already be gone. To prevent this type of heartache from occurring, remember to bring cash to the estate sale.

Knowledgeable Friend

If the estate sale you plan on attending has a lot of artwork, autographed memorabilia, music instruments or other niche-specific items, try to find someone who's knowledgeable in the respective field to accompany you. It's often difficult for inexperienced buyers to distinguish between an authentic and fake or replica piece of artwork. A professional collector, however, can tell the difference simply by looking at them. If the person needs a little coercing to accompany you, try offering them a flat fee, such as $150.

Truck or Van

While to necessary in all estate sale trips, if you plan on  purchasing furniture, televisions or other large items, you'll want to bring a truck or van with you. You can only fit so many items in the backseat of a car, restricting your ability to purchase goods at an estate sale. With a truck or van, however, you can haul away all sorts of items, regardless of their size.

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