Hi Friends and fellow junkers. We are so glad it’s Friday and time for some weekend picking. Do you have fun junkin trips planned? Speaking of picking, we have a special guest on the blog today. Her name is Kathy Goodson. She taught school for 32 years. Now that she is retired she has two antique booths and a blog to keep her busy. You can check out her blog here. Her booths are located at Just Around the Corner in Lincolnton, NC. She was kind enough to do a blog for us on how to find, study and attend and shop estate sales. We are excited to share it with all of you. So if you are ready let’s get started. Enjoy!
JUNKIN 101 Where do you find your treasures? I have two antique and collectible booths that I am always on the hunt to fill. I find most of my items at estate sales. If you are new to treasure hunting at estate sales here are some of my best Junkin 101 hints for you. Look at these treasures I found at a recent sale!
In my area estate sales are the goods from a person’s property who has passed away or is no longer able to live in the home. These sales have the largest potential for great finds as they will contain a lifetime of collections. I like estate sales better than auctions as the items already priced. Rule 1 – Research the estate sale before you go. I useEstateSales.net to find sales in a close range to my home. You can find it and similar sites online, or you can download the mobile app for your iphone or android. Once you find a sale, study the photos they have posted carefully. Most items will be pictured but many times box lots can still hold hidden treasures. The site will also have a handy GPS link to the address which is usually not given out until Thursday before the sale in my area as sales are usually on Fridays and Saturdays.
I like to take screenshots of things I’m interested in and try to determine where they are located on the property so I can get to them first. In the screenshots below I spotted Shiny Brite Christmas ornaments (love them), and I determined they were in a bedroom area. In the second photo, I spotted galvanized buckets. Those seemed to be in a basement or block outbuilding.
Luckily my husband goes with me so I can go for the Shiny Brites and he can go for the buckets. As you study the photos think about what you would be willing to pay for the items you like. I sell a box of Shiny Brites for $10-$15 depending on their style and condition. If they are priced $4 or $5 dollars I will get them. I also want that little red flocked reindeer but I won’t pay more than $2 for it. There seems to be a table there so maybe there are more items on the floor I will want to check out. I also saw some interesting things in the kitchen. There’s jadeite bowl that was reproduced recently so I am not sure of its age but I would pay $10 for it. A fair price on the buckets would be $5 or $6 dollars each. Some other items I saw in the photos I may want to include a blow mold Santa (hot item right now), a red speckled enamel bowl, harvest enamel bowls and a great farm table.
Rule 2 – Prepare for the sale the night before by finding some large bags to put your stash in as you shop. Wear flat shoes and comfortable clothing appropriate for the weather. I also carry a small tape measure and a magnifying glass. I keep a small flashlight in the car to use if needed because basements and storage sheds can be dark. If you like to buy glassware, grab some newspapers to wrap your purchases in too. Carry your money and cards in your pocket and leave your purse behind. Most dealers take a debit/credit card, but be aware there may be up to a 3% charge to use plastic.
Rule 3- Get to your chosen site early. Most estate sale companies give out entry numbers at 7:30 or 8:00 if the sale begins at 9 am. But the line starts earlier than that. We usually pick up some breakfast to eat as we wait after the numbers are given out.
Rule 4- When the sale begins be sure to look around as you head to your favorite items. Remember, there are always items that are not pictured that you may want. Check the prices quickly on the items you were hoping to get. If they are in the range of price You decided was fair put them in your bag and head on to the next items. Other shoppers will take what you want if you do not move fast.
Rule 5 – Most estate dealers have a holding area with boxes for you to put your intended purchases. Be aware that sometimes people will “shop” these boxes while dealers are distracted helping others. That’s why I carry a really big bags which I will put in the holding area when full.
Rule 6 – After you have chosen your favorite items, and you are sure your picks are secure in the holding area go through the property again. You never know what you might discover. Items priced under $200 will usually be half price on day two. Even the higher priced items will be at a reduced price on day two. At an hour before the end of the sale on the last day, items that are left will be greatly reduced. So think about what you want, and start the process over the next day. If you are lucky item you want will still be there and be half price.
Rule 7 – Think out of the box while researching the photos and while on the site shopping. We bought a washboard at one sale and an old soda crate at another. My talented husband put them together and made a wonderful cabinet.
So remember those Shiny Brite ornaments, the blow mold, and the buckets? Well, we were numbers 3 and 4 to this sale, and we got all of that and more. I did not get the table or the jadeite bowl, but I found lots of great junk that will look fantastic in my booth. I do so love vintage Christmas. So that brings us to
Rule 8-The most important rule to remember is ….. Always buy what you love and have fun JUNKIN.
Thank you, Kathy for sharing your junkin pearls of wisdom with all of us. We really appreciate you taking the time out of your day to be a guest blogger.