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Estate Sales – Yard Sales – Home Liquidations – and many more names which describe a family or individual or group of people selling what they can’t use, don’t want, need money so they sell the things they own, etc.
These sales provide you with an opportunity to really buy what you need and what you can’t find elsewhere because it is probably not sold anymore. It is also your opportunity to buy something “real” instead of the pressed paper furniture, plastic made to look like glass, really expensive clothes which don’t last the season, etc. Try the book sections in estate sales instead of the library. For $1 or $2 you can snag really great books and sometimes first editions. Although the first editions may cost as much as $5. And then pass them along for others to read.
How do you live like this?
Instead of shopping at the mall – make a list during the week of what you need and would shop for- at the mall, the big box stores, the discount houses, the really upscale designer original shops, the one of a kind furniture stores – to continue to live well and comfortably.
Look up the sales – usually over the weekend – map them out so you can easily go from one to the other without doubling back – and off you go to this new lifestyle.
Many sales by professional estate sale people take credit cards and some even take checks. When you hit one by owner you probably will need to have cash, although some private sales also take checks.
A real find is the liquidation of an estate which includes all the things the person used in life and now must be ‘scattered’ to others. All the basics you need for your home you will probably find at these sales. It is like shopping all the different departments at the stores you may now frequent and which max out your credit card and ruin your credit. The estate sales will let you live in the same or better style and you will find your credit card bill much reduced and very manageable at the end of the month.
I wanted a bread baking machine, but didn’t want to spend the $100 plus dollars it cost to buy one – and I tend to have very high end taste. I will sniff and look down my nose at anything not well made with less than top quality materials. Especially those items copied from their beautiful, elegant forebears. But I also have a very low end budget so I shopped for three week-ends until I found my bread baking machine. It was brand new, still in the box, still sold at the Bloomingdale’s of the world and I paid $20.
My neighbor was going to a very elegant birthday party and wanted something with lots of bling to wear. She found a beautiful Valentino dress – in her size and with the sales slip and price tag still hanging on the dress. It was beautiful. Not as much bling as she wanted, but it screamed luxury and fit her perfectly. Because she found this at the end of that particular estate sale she paid $18 for a dress with a price tag over $500. She bought shoes to match, at the same sale, which didn’t fit her 9 1/2 feet, but fit my 7 1/2 feet very comfortably. She bought them for me for $5 as a ‘thank you’ for turning her on to the estate sales. She went off to her birthday party beautifully dressed with her old shoes, which still looked great with her new dress.
That goes for every part of your life. You have to be patient, but in the end patience is rewarded as you find that what you want always turns up at one or another sale.
My kitchen is total testimony to this lifestyle. It is fully stocked with every gadget around, none of which cost me over $1 or $2. I profited from our American penchant to buy what we think is really great and will make our lives easier, put it in the drawer or closet and never use it – content with the fact that we have it ’just in case.’ I imagine what the person who owned the gadgets I bought was thinking when they went to the store to buy these items – which at the time they couldn’t live without.
I just foolishly bought two shelving units for my attic – to store an ever increasing stash of clothes (my weakness – probably coming from my modiste grandmother). I bought them brand new from a very upscale hardware store. They cost $120 each for the component parts I needed to put together the kind of shelving that would help me store these clothes carefully so I could reach whatever I needed in seconds. At the very next estate sale I went to, there were several shelving units just like the ones I had just bought. I bought two more at this sale – took them apart – washed them because they were in the basement of the home where I was shopping – put them together the way I wanted them to be and WOW – I had two more units for which I paid $10 each. What a difference. My impatience cost me $220 which would have been much better spent on something else, or given to someone who needed a little lift in life. Having to wash the units didn’t bother me. I took them apart so I could re-assemble them into my storage needs and carefully washed each piece. Since they were very good quality stainless steel and beautifully made – not the flimsy kind one finds in the stores these days – they looked like new when I re-assembled them into closets for the attic.
Now I am looking for glass containers for flour, sugar, rice – all the things that need storage in the kitchen, but elegant storage. I am looking for antique glass or porcelain or any other kind of container which is easily cleaned and looks very elegant to add to what I already have in the kitchen. I don’t expect to pay more than $2 or $3 per container – for a really great one I will go up to $5 so when I get home from the grocery store I can ‘decant’ my primary cooking ingredients into them and have them within reach. Because they are going to be very beautiful they will look just fine on the counters in the kitchen. They will also be home to the organic teas and spices that I love – and it will keep them fresh and constantly used because I won’t have to reach around and behind other stuff only to find them moth infested because they are still in their paper and other kind of containers.
That goes for every part of your life. You have to be patient, but in the end patience is rewarded as you find that what you want always turns up at one or another estate sale.
I think you get the message. Happy hunting – maybe one of our blogs will suggest a way for you to use all of the money you are going to save with this new way of life. It certainly brings ‘recycle’ to new heights.
Ed Note: For the purposes of full disclosure, Bettina Network, inc. manages estate sales across the country. The sales will soon be a benefit to those who belong to Bettina Network’s Lifestyle Community.
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