Whether you’re looking for a bargain or a rare vintage item, estate auctions are all about the thrill of the chase. The treasures waiting to be discovered are limitless: perhaps a mid-century piece of furniture will catch your eye, or maybe you’ll fall in love with a work of art!
For those who don’t know, an estate auction is a quick and effective way to sell all the items inside a home in one day, whether due to downsizing, moving, divorce, the passing of a loved one, or any other reason.
After over thirty years as an auctioneer, I’ve learned a thing or two about how people can get the most out of an estate auction.
Ready to “rummage”? Here are some tips before you start:
- Know what you want: Are you on the hunt for a one-of-a-kind piece of furniture? Perhaps some rare vintage kitchenware? Many estate auction companies (like mine) will post photos of the items ahead of the sale, so take some time to browse the website before the day of the auction.
- Ask about payment options: Most estate sale companies are set up to take credit cards, but most operate on a cash only basis.
- Do your homework: There’s nothing worse than buyer’s remorse. Make sure you don’t fall so in love with a piece that you end up overpaying. Know the value before running up the price.
- Don’t judge a book by its cover: When it comes to vintage or antique furniture, the bones are what’s important. Pay attention to the silhouette instead of the fabric, which can be easily reupholstered in most cases.
- Get the backstory: Even if you’re at a gorgeous home, don’t assume everything for sale is expensive. Focus on the details: handmade carvings, unique designs and craftsmanship.
- Bring your own manpower: Don’t expect organizers to help you load your purchases. It’s always best to bring your own muscle.
Still don’t feel quite ready to start bidding? Plenty of people attend our estate auctions simply to watch the excitement as the buyers compete for different items! Feel free to join us as a spectator and see the fun for yourself. You may just find this becomes your new favorite hobby.
Written by: Rowlan Hill
Rowlan Hill is the owner of Blue Leaf Estate Auctions in Arizona and has been an auctioneer for over 30 years. For more information on their services, visit 602blue.com.