10 Tips For Shopping Estate Sales

The world of estate sale shopping is quite an amazing one! The thrill of walking into a new sale where there is a treasure trove of unique *and discounted* items to be discovered is one we will truly never tire of. But in today’s world of online shopping, knowing where to begin and how to navigate estate sales can be a bit overwhelming at first. Our expert team here at Assisted Carefree Moves has been managing estate sales throughout Tampa Bay since 2012. So, let us provide you with a few very helpful tips that will ensure you get the most out of your estate sale shopping experiences!

1. Plan Ahead

First and foremost, you will absolutely feel less overwhelmed if you take the time to check out the sale beforehand rather than walking in blind. Most estate sale managers will add their upcoming sales to their own website or website listings like estatesales.net. In our case, we add our upcoming sales to both! Save yourself some time and check out the sale listings beforehand. You’ll be able to see photos of sale items, read the details on these items and get an overall feel for what to expect at the sale. Assisted Carefree Moves posts all our upcoming sales right here!

2. Arrive Early

Estate sales have become pretty popular over the years and there is almost always a line at the door on opening day. If you have something you’re really hoping to score or want first dibs of one or more of the unique items inside, be sure to arrive early and also be prepared to wait in line. You’ll be surrounded by estate shopping experts, so don’t be shy- take this time while waiting to chat with fellow shoppers and gain some knowledge from the pros!

3. Give Yourself Ample Time

There are typically A LOT of items to look through at estate sales. It can feel a bit overwhelming at first. So be sure to carve out a good amount of time in your schedule when planning to attend a sale. To get the very most out of your shopping experience, you’ll want to take your time, browse through all of the sale items and don’t forget to hit every room…there is always something unique to be discovered!

4. Take Time to Dig

On the same note of setting aside a good amount of time to attend the sale, don’t forget to take the time while you’re there to DIG! Of course, all of the bigger estate sale items will be easy to locate but closets, garages, cabinets and bins are notorious for housing a ton of amazing hidden gems. Don’t be afraid to get in there and you’re sure to score some really cool finds!

5. Travel Accordingly

Be sure to bring a vehicle that will be able to fit all of your new amazing estate sale purchases you’re going to find. This includes clearing out space in your car before heading out to the estate sale…and if you’re bringing friends- decide beforehand if you’ll all be able to fit yourselves and your purchases in the car on the way home. If not, think about taking more than one vehicle.

If you do end up in a situation where you are unable to fit your new estate sale purchase in your car- our team at Assisted Carefree Moves offers a few solutions. We can hold your item if you need to go and get the proper transportation and we also work with a few movers who will be happy to quote you their fee and help transport your purchases.

6. Know Your Measurements

If you are in the market for a new piece of furniture, appliances like a washer & dryer or refrigerator, artwork or any other bigger sale items- be sure to measure first, shop second! Get all of the proper measurements of where this new item will be going in your home so that you don’t end up with something too large or too small to fit the space properly. Trust us- this is one tip that is often overlooked and will save you a whole lot of time and hassle in the long run!

7. Bring Reusable Bags

This tip is for all of the environmentally-conscious estate sale shoppers out there! Shopping at estate sales and second-hand shopping, in general, is already doing a world of good for our planet. It creates less waste, reduces landfills and decreases overproduction…so applaud yourselves for that. If you want to keep the ball rolling- bring along some reusable shopping bags and packing materials to take home your smaller purchases!

If you do end up at one of our sales and do not have bags for your items, no need to worry! We do have recycled plastic bags and some boxes on hand to help you get your new treasures home.

Shopping at estate sales and second-hand shopping does a world of good for our planet. It creates less waste, reduces landfills and decreases overproduction!

8. Go Back on Day 2 and 3 for Discounts

Found an estate sale item you can’t live without but it’s a little out of your price range…or just looking for some extra great deals? Go back to the estate sale on the second or third day (if they have a third day)! This is typically when estate sale managers discount sale items. At Assisted Carefree Moves’ estate sales - our discounts can be anywhere from 50%  to “make offer”! This is where you’ll find that patience is a virtue…but also be mentally prepared that there is a chance the item you’re wanting gets snagged at full price on the first day.

9. Sign up For the Email List

Never miss an estate sale again when you sign up for the company’s email list. You’ll be the first to know about all upcoming sales and what you can find at these sales. But, you’ll also get exclusive access to appointment booking, special offers and more! If you’re located in Florida, sign up for our email list here!

10. Have Fun and Be Kind

Finally, the most important tip of all - have fun and be kind! Exploring estate sales is a joy and nothing stifles that magic more than a grumpy shopper or customer tiff. Remember that it is supposed to be fun and spark joy. Happy treasure hunting!


We hope that you found some helpful advice and estate sale inspiration from our team here at Assisted Carefree Moves. Robin and our team have been dedicated to helping families in Tampa Bay with their home transitions for many years. We are certified professional estate liquidators, nationally recognized senior move managers and accredited experts in home transition, downsizing and move management services. We host amazing estate sales throughout the gulf coast of Florida and we hope to see you at one of them soon. Learn more about us here!