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April 5, 2009

Hitting An Estate Sale – And Learning a Lesson

estate-sale-travel-005This fabulous basement is from the estate sale that Hubs and I went to on Friday.  He took the afternoon off, so we decided to do a little driving around Bay City.

The house we went to was built in the 50’s, and all of the upstairs was updated. The only part that was still in its original glory was the basement.  Apparently they had a soda-fountain set-up down there, but that was mostly purchased by the time we arrived.  The stools are fabulous, by the way, but they were only taking bids on those. Sigh.

estate-sale-travel-012Which brings me to my lesson learned.  I guess I didn’t really know how estates sales worked before, but I do now. Apparently, at least here in Michigan, you get there as early as you can on the first day and you get a number.  People are let into the house in number order, and they are allowed to buy whatever they can get their hands on.  When the numbers are all gone, it is a free-for-all. Most of the good stuff is scooped up in that first hour or so, so you had better come early.  We got there around noon for an estate sale that had been running since 10:00 a.m.  Almost ALL of the 50’s stuff was snatched up.  Gah!  I hate it when I decide something is cool, and then all of a sudden it becomes a trend!

Oh well. Hubs and I still got a few cute things.  The first one was this adorable vintage candy tin with a little duck on it.  I thought it was a sweet addition to my Easter decorations. I especially like that he is reading a little book that says, “Flying Manual”.

estate-sale-travel-014Another thing I picked up was a bunch of linens and fabric. They were all scrunched into a box in the basement, and they gave them all to me for $4, which was really nice.  And I am glad I got them, because the basement was having a real water problem while we were there, and these needed a rescue!

I got two Easter dish towels (I must have Easter on the brain), two tablecloths (one pastel stripe and the other the green fish), and about a yard of vintage fabric, which is the piece on the far right. So a pretty good haul for $5.

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4 Responses to Hitting An Estate Sale – And Learning a Lesson

  1. Sara in AZ Reply

    April 5, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Really cute finds from the Estate Sale! I love, love, love old dish towels. Our Estate Sales work the same here in Az. Only some do the number thing and some just make you line up early and you have to stand there in that same spot for an hour or so 🙁 That is almost why I like the auctions better because at least you do not have to get there so horribly early to get anything good. At least your sales seem to start at a more reasonable hour – at 10am. It seems that all the sales here start at 7 or 8am. There was this one Estate sale that had some old 60’s ceramic bathroom mermaids for sale and I just had to have them. The sale started at 8am. This was a place where you just stood there in line. My husband and I got there at 6:30 am and were the 2nd ones in line!!! That meant we had to get up at like 5am to get ready and get over there. So we stood there in line for 2 1/2 hours – but we did get the mermaids! I do not see how people can do that for every sale though, I am just not an early bird and I definitely could not do that for every sale.

    P.S. I will send you pics of my Heywood table too.

  2. 50s Pam Reply

    April 5, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    You know, over the years I have decided it’s not worth it getting up early. There is always MORE MORE MORE coming out of these houses. It’s almost funner to see what’s left toward the end…what treasures others missed or, what is left that is still not appreciated. Even using this strategy – my house is crammed to the gills!

  3. RetroRuth Reply

    April 6, 2009 at 9:36 am

    Wow, Sara! Those must have been some mermaids! Props to your Hubs for coming with you to stand in line. Mine loves estate sales, but he probably would have gotten too antsy! 🙂

    You are right, Pam. I missed all the big stuff at the beginning, but I still got some nice linens and stuff. It was interesting to see what people didn’t want. There were so many beautiful old buttons, and a lot of nice artwork that people weren’t even looking at. And you are right, there is always MORE!

  4. sablemable Reply

    April 30, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    I’ve never been to an estate sale, so thanks for the tips, Ruth!

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