What Is Means When An Estate Sale Says They'll 'Honor A Watch List'

Most people are familiar with the term estate sale, but only some understand the nuances of these sales and just how many dos and don'ts there can be. Estate sales are usually well organized and contain several rules and regulations that all customers must adhere to, and sometimes, that includes honoring a watch list made by waiting customers to ensure they are allowed to shop on a first-come, first-serve basis. While garage sales mainly occur outdoors, and consignment shops have a large allotted building for items, estate sales occur in personal homes that aren't always big enough to accommodate large groups of people at once. This is where those rules come into place, and estate sales begin executing systems like signup sheets to limit indoor capacity and keep shoppers flowing in an orderly fashion. 

Not all sales will have a signup process; sometimes, they freeball it. In these situations, they may be willing to honor a watch list created by the customers, which is essentially a signup sheet not initially administered by management, as long as it is constantly monitored. Whether initiated by the estate sale or the shoppers, customers on these signup sheets must remain in the vicinity until their turn arrives. Leaving the location site will drop your name from the list.

What's an estate sale watch list?

Buyers create watch lists because they anticipate specific items they want to be first in line to browse, especially if it's well-known that a particular sale will have a high volume of interest. Not all estate sales will honor a watch list, though, and it's up to customers to familiarize themselves with the rules of each.

An estate sale website often displays the guidelines beforehand, and you can take advantage of any signup sheets available online. The rules at estate sales vary for different properties, and how they're organized often depends on the size of the sale/home. To discover estate sales in your area online and gauge the volume of interest along with any preset rules, visit websites like EstateSales.net and EstateSale-Finder.com. Good old-fashioned Craigslist, other social media platforms, and local advertising are also great ways to stay in the loop. If you notice that signup sheets won't be implemented and they don't have rules against customer-initiated ones, get there early and start your own watch list.