Unexpected Essentials You Should Bring With You To An Estate Sale

Different types of estate sales offer different experiences. If it's one curated by an estate sale company, it might be cleaner and more organized, like what you'd expect from a nicer thrift shop. If individuals are conducting a sale, you may have to dig through a junky garage or a dingy barn to find a treasure. Either way, there are some things to consider bringing with you because you can't count on them to be provided by estate sale proprietors. These items range from tools for smart shopping to supplies for getting all your finds home safely.

For instance, if you find a perfect appliance or large furniture item, you can't carry that around while you continue shopping, so bringing Post-it notes and a pen can be a good idea. That way, you can write "sold" on one of the notes along with your name and slap it over the price tag. This will reserve it while you find an estate sale employee to let them know you're buying the item. However, before you even get to that point, you should use the tape measure you tucked into your bag to ensure the item will fit your space since returns aren't usually accepted as estate sales. There are also several other useful tools you'll be glad you took along with you.

Shopping tools you'll definitely use at an estate sale

One thing to keep in mind is that some estate sales don't allow you to bring in large tote bags or backpacks. Snagging valuable estate sale items is much easier if you go in prepared, so find a small bag where you can stow your essentials to avoid being turned away at that door. A clear stadium bag can be a good choice if you have one.

One of the essentials for estate sale shopping is a jeweler's loupe or a small magnifying glass to examine marks on everything from jewelry to porcelain. That will help you determine whether it's a valuable find or a dud to leave behind. Be sure to bring your smartphone with you, too, so you can look up any unfamiliar marks and brands and their values while shopping. You'll also need that flashlight built into your phone from time to time when examining items in dimly lit areas.

If you know the estate sale will be grungy based on the ad, gloves may be in order so you can dig around to see the good stuff better. Think about bringing a small brush to remove dust and cobwebs, too. Paint brushes work well for this purpose. You'll also be happy you have one to avoid tracking debris into your car.

Don't forget the bags, boxes, and snacks

As a rule, you can't count on estate sales to provide you with materials you'll need to take your haul home, so you'll have to bring those with you. One to consider is a fold-up reusable tote bag handy for getting items out of the sale and to your car without a fumble. If you don't have one of those, a couple of plastic grocery bags with handles can serve the same purpose. You'll also want to bring cardboard boxes or a plastic bin with bubble wrap or paper to pack your breakable finds. Sometimes, estate sales will hold your items at the check-out table while you retrieve them from your car.

After all the shopping and stowing, you can use the wet wipes you brought to clean up before having a snack and a beverage you wisely packed for your estate sale shopping trip. Think that's not necessary? Between standing in line to get in, thoroughly shopping a sale, and getting packed up, there's a good chance you'll be hungry and parched. Go prepared with all the essentials, and you'll have a great estate sale experience.