Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Estate Sales - A Love/Hate Relationship..

Norman Rockwell
Good old Norman knows exactly how I feel when exiting an estate sale..beaten, bruised, but elated ;)

Estate sales and I have a love hate relationship.  I love the items I find there and the history that comes along with them, but I hate the crowds, the rude, disrepectful behavior and the feeling that I don't have time to really soak everything in and take a good look around.

My feeling about an estate sale is this.. someone lived in this home, loved these things and is no longer around to enjoy them.  I'm sure they would be delighted to know that their items are going to someone who will cherish them and find a good home for them.  I like to think about how I would feel if it was my grandmother's home or the home of a beloved friend and try to treat the situation accordingly.  I know that the relatives rarely attend the estate sale, but that doesn't matter to me. It's important to me that I am giving the previous owner the proper respect.  I will not push, cut in line, snatch items, argue with other shoppers or the folks running the sale.  I like to think that when I leave I can do so with my dignity, knowing that I have kept my own little set of morals intact.

Now I understand that some folks see estate sales as a challenge.  I've heard people argue that this is how they make a living and if they aren't pushy about it, they'll lose out on an item.  I can see this point of view (as long as they aren't being physically pushy, or acting in an underhanded manner and stealing items from another customer), but for me, if I get an item this way, it's like bad karma.  I like to learn the story behind an item, if possible.  See how the person who owned it cared for it.  Was it in their closet, or in their attic packed away?  Are there items with it or around it that tell it's tale?  And most importantly, do I love it?  Will someone else find it special and want to give it a home?

I'm sentimental and I genuinely love what I do.  I think that comes across in the items I sell.  If it means I have to work a little harder or wait a little longer to find the perfect things for my shop, then so be it.  I think in the long run, everyone benefits from items that have been carefully and lovingly curated.

Hugs and Smooches,


  1. Lovely post - the context of seeing vintage things in the home they belonged to is really my favorite part of estate sale-ing :)
    thought I'd pass along our site, - its an easy way to find estate sales in your area and get email notifications about new sales.

  2. Already get notifications from you ;) It's a great resource!

  3. I agree. Karma will bite you in the a$$ so be very, very careful. Keep those blogs coming. I don't really seek out estate sales, and I could never put my finger on why. Now I know!

  4. Well put. My husband won't go to estate sales for that very reason.

  5. My husband actually handles them much better than I do. His mom used to drag him to them with her when he was a kid, so he's an old pro ;)


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