Our First Estate Sale

Jun 02

Our First Estate Sale

We went to our first estate sale on Mother’s Day. I was nervous about attending. I’d never been to one before and didn’t know how to go about bidding or anything else. But I wanted to do some sourcing so I visited estatesales.net and found a few sales in our area. We were limited to the days we could attend, so I needed a Sunday or Monday sale. Monday sales are few and far between – most are on Thursday – Saturday or Friday – Sunday. I found a Sunday sale in San Marcos, about an hour away from us on the road to Austin. Here are a few things we learned during our first sale.

Parking may not be right at the location. We found the house fine, but we had to park further up the street, being careful not to block any driveways or mailboxes. The driveway of the house was kept clear for people who had bought furniture and needed to be able to load their vehicles. Bring something to carry your purchases in because you may have to walk a block or more to your car.

Dress for the weather and unfamiliar ground. It was a beautiful day, but it had been raining over the weekend and the area where the box lots were kept outside was very muddy. The tables had a large tent over them, but since people had been walking around the tables now for three days the center of the yard was a muddy mess. I was wearing sandals and needed my husband to pull me out of the mud before I sank too deep. I saw one woman there in rain boots. She had the right idea. I should have worn my tennis shoes.

People are helpful and patient. We weren’t sure where to go when we first arrived, but we found some ladies sitting on the back porch with numbers, so we simply asked what we needed to do. There were employees wearing company T shirts, but they were running around and carrying things. But the ladies told us where to go inside where we registered for a number and signed in. The women at the registration desk answered our questions and explained how the process worked.

The bidding goes fast! We wanted to bid on box lots. We’d walked around the tables as much as we could with the mud and found some interesting things. There was a lot of old electronic items, walkmans and such, but they were damp from the rain. We looked at some of the dishes but we already have some Wedgwood listed and it hasn’t sold much. We were looking for the unusual or the interesting. When the bidding started they first started at $100 for the entire table. No one took it so he started going $20 box, $10 box, $5 box. I was waiting for the $5 boxes, but it never came. So after waiting about three rounds and seeing some of the things I had my eye on get picked off one by one, I bid $10 the next time around and won a box of my choice. Then Scott bid and got two boxes of his choices for about $10.50 each. This took place in about five minutes.

People want to make a deal. In the box of suspenders I’d picked up, there was a large seashell. I didn’t know what to do with the shell, but the lady behind me asked if I wanted to shell or the suspenders. I told her I wanted the suspenders so she offered me $5 for the shell. I took it and she gave me cash then and there.

We didn’t stay long after that but it was a good outing for our first auction. I want to be able to go back again and one day be able to buy an entire table to sort through at my leisure. We ended up with a box of suspenders and two boxes of various kitchen utensils. Some of them we’re keeping for ourselves and some we’re going to clean up and list. The sale got me excited about selling on eBay again and I couldn’t wait to start listing that Monday. We finished up the day with lunch at the new In-N-Out burger that opened on the east side of San Antonio.

If you’re thinking about attending an estate sale or auction, stop thinking about it and just go. It was a great experience and I can’t wait to do it again.

Have you been to an estate sale or auction? What are your tips? Let me know in the comments or get in touch on Facebook or Twitter.

***June is Lipedema Awareness Month. Remember to visit the Fight Lipedema T Shirt Campaign to support me and fellow lipedema sisters with health care needs.***



  1. Such great tips- I haven’t hosted or been to one in a while, but what you said is true!
    Southern Elle Style

  2. I haven’t been to many estate sales, but loved the ones I’ve attended.

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