How Do I Find Estate Sales in My Area?

by Drew Barton

Estate sales are the ultimate place to find a bargain, but they aren’t always easy to find. Some are not well advertised and some may only have a small sign on the street.

So how do you know where to find them? Some of the best ones could be advertised on the street corner, in your local newspaper’s classifieds, or on Facebook. It's important to always be on the lookout because you never know where they could pop up.

That said, there are several websites and apps that simplify finding the best estate sales in your area. Let's walk through some of our favorites.

Websites and Estate Sale Finder Apps

Estatesales.net

Estatesales.net is the most well-known website for estate sale listings. The estate sale finder tool lets you search for sales by ZIP code or city. Estatesales.net also has a really excellent, easy-to-use mobile app that keeps you up to date on upcoming sales, auctions, and other types of estate liquidations. The app is available for download on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

Craigslist

Craigslist can be hit or miss in many areas, but when it comes to finding sales to attend, there can be plenty of deals to uncover and many chances for lucky rare finds. Keep in mind that while professional estate sale companies may list their sales on Craigslist, it's important to note that garage/yards sales are usually run by individuals.

Facebook

Facebook Marketplace is a goldmine of second-hand treasures. You can also search for “estate sales” in the main search bar. The results will be posts, events, and updates related to estate sales.

Following the Facebook business pages of local estate sale companies is another effective way to stay in the loop.

Nextdoor

Nextdoor is a social networking service for neighborhoods. People share information, advertise services, and sell goods. Estate sales are not uncommon and could be just down the block from your home.

Tips for Going to Estate Sales

Found an estate sale you'd like to attend? If you've never been to an estate sale before, here are our tips for making the most of your experience.

1. Don't second guess yourself

A common mistake people make is waiting too long to decide.

If you second guess yourself, you risk not getting the things you want. If you like it and the price is worthwhile, don’t wait for someone else to buy it instead, but it that same day. While some estate sales will drop in price each day, waiting until the next day is a gamble that many times does not pay off.

2. Don't hide stuff

There are basic etiquette rules at estate sales. These include things like don’t remove ‘sold’ tags. Hiding things so you can buy them later at a greater discount is another no-no.

Rules are in place for a reason and it’s not fair to other shoppers.

3. Take a second trip to find good deals

The contents of a home can be endless, which means what you see on the first go-around may not be everything. Items are often stashed away and pulled out when space opens up.

Stop by the next day and you will see that there is always a new bargain to be found.

4. If you're looking for specific collectors’ items, talk directly to the seller

There is usually more than what you see, so ask if you want something specific. If you are a collector, go straight to a salesperson and ask if they have any of what you are looking for. If they have that type of collectible available, they will either show you where it is or show you stuff that isn’t on display. For example, if you collect baseball cards or depression glass, a salesperson may be able to point you in the right direction.

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