Are Tools A Good Estate Sale Buy? What You Need To Know

Purchasing valuable items at an estate sale, like furniture, décor, and tools for your home, is a great idea. It's similar to shopping at thrift stores, except you're buying items from someone's home directly. There's nothing more exciting than seeing a stranger's home, how they decorated it, and ways you can incorporate some of their pieces into your abode. If you're in the market for new tools, especially high-quality ones, you can find some great options at an estate sale. Garages will typically be stocked with tools, storage containers, and lawn equipment. Of course, if you're looking for something specific, you won't always get lucky at an estate sale. However, if you don't mind rummaging through boxes, you can find some interesting items for almost a fraction of their original price.

The downside to buying tools at estate sales is you won't always get them in perfect condition, but they'll work enough to get the job done. Tools are often more affordable at estate sales because they're not valued as much as furniture or artwork; the sellers won't make too much money off of them. Plus, they're harder to ship to places, especially if the owners aren't going to use them. Sometimes, sellers will fill boxes of tools and sell the entire box for a single price to get rid of everything in one go. If you're shopping at an estate sale for the first time, there are a few things to remember.

Do your research ahead of time

If you're in need of new tools but don't have anything specific in mind, check out an estate sale to see what they're offering and look around to see if anything catches your eye. However, if you need something specific, it's best to research beforehand to know what tool model you're looking for and what it's usually worth. A great way to save money at an estate sale is to check out a few different sites, like eBay, Craigslist, Poshmark, or other online thrift stores, first. Doing your research helps so you have a few different prices in mind to compare to what's being offered. You want to avoid overpaying for something that you could've bought cheaper online.

Some folks will try to sell their tools for an incredibly high asking price, thinking that someone will buy them. You want to avoid big rip-offs at an estate sale at all costs. For instance, one person went to an estate sale and claimed a 30-year-old tool chest with dents, rust, and non-working drawers was listed at $2,100–a price he knew was too much via The Garage Journal. If you're going to an estate sale for the first time, take a friend who knows about tools to offer some insight.

The best tools you can find at estate sales include hand tools, such as hammers, shears, saws, knives, and other gripping tools. They're easier to fix since most of them will need a little sharpening. On the other hand, power tools can be tricky, but they can make phenomenal purchases as well.

Check the power tools to make sure they work

Before purchasing power tools and comparing prices, make sure they work. Plug them into an outlet and turn them on. Estate sales will have power tools sitting in boxes for years without using them or forgetting they stopped working, so it's always crucial to plug them in for a second to make sure they work. It doesn't hurt to run out to purchase a small gas can for tools requiring gas to check if they work properly as well. You don't want to buy something, then take it home to find out it doesn't work the way it's supposed to. While gas and oil tools can be challenging to test, do as much as possible to ensure you get the best use out of it. To verify a power tool works, look for common name brands you know so that if you need to request a user manual, you'll know who to request it from.

Plus, if you recognize brands you know, you'll have an easier time knowing how to use them, even if they're a new tool you've never owned. While you won't be able to test power tools physically, it's vital to know how to use them prior to buying them. Ask the seller to give you tips on how they work. Don't underestimate estate sales; they can offer incredible tools for a bargain price.