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September 11, 2013





Something odd happened at the
Estate Sale I previewed yesterday.
Actually, it was more than odd,
it was surreal - I didn't find one
thing I wanted to buy.  At least
not at the prices they were asking.



I'm all about free enterprise and capitalism and making a profit
whenever possible.  And I also understand and appreciate the
need to hire a professional estate sale agency.  But, what amazes
me is the need to mark everything up by at least 50% in order
for the agency to make a profit.



 I consider myself fairly savvy when it comes to flea market and estate
sale pricing and some of the tags were downright ridiculous.  The two
stacks of dishes in the center of the table, above. were priced at $100 -
no markings on the dishes except 'Made in Japan', no pattern name, no
cups or saucers, and several of the pieces were chipped.  Golly.






Like so many items in the sale, this small drop-leaf table was marked Sold
with the name 'Nancy' written on it.  I asked one of the sale agents who
Nancy was and he replied, "My wife."  Hmmmm, what do you bet
this piece will show up in an antique booth by this time next week?




The antique ice chest was also marked Nancy.


Does $30 seem high to you for this vintage
lamp?  It has a chip on the bottom near the cord.
(Guess Nancy didn't need a vintage lamp.) 


I readily admit that LOTS of work went into organizing the sale.
It was professionally done but, again, the prices were just too high.




 Yup, it was marked Nancy.


There were literally hundreds of vintage records
but the prices started at $5 - way too high.



Do you like this lounger?
 You guessed it - Nancy, again.



Isn't this fireplace screen interesting?  Kind of 
reminds me of a 'paint by numbers' picture. 


It was with a sense of disappointment that I left the sale.  I might go back
Sunday afternoon, the last day of the sale, to see if they reduce the prices.
Sure hope Nancy doesn't show up. 

26 comments:

  1. I think that is sad that they have to "sell" all the good things to the sale agents wife...I bet she "bought" everything before the sale, too! Oh well, there will be other sales and you will score big!

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    1. What was most distressing of all was that one of the daughters of the deceased homeowner was there and the look on her face was sad and frustrated. If it were my parents' household of memories I don't think I could be there to see them leave with strangers.

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  2. I've been to those sales too.....it makes ones day not feel so good! I wonder if Nancy paid those HIGH prices for her items??? I'm sure we would all do the same thing being in those peoples shoes but I would have made it less obvious.....Blessings~~~Roxie

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    1. Me, too. The agent should have removed everything that was already sold or spoken for - I should have known something was up by the look on peoples' faces as they were leaving the preview while I was walking in. Frustrating.

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  3. I know a lot of people find things at estate sales, and I have found a few small items, but for me the time that I have to spend driving from place to place to get lucky just hasn't paid off. I still stop every once in awhile and take a peek.
    Patty at Home and Lifestyle Design

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    1. Luckily, this sale was only a couple of miles from our house but I would have been very frustrated if I had driven a long distance to attend the preview. It will be interesting to see what's left on Sunday.

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  4. I have a sneaky feeling Nancy won't have paid top dollar. It sounds like it is a win/win situation for the agents.

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    1. I admit it would be irresistibly tempting to scoop up 'the good stuff' - that's why I feel that estate auctions are the way to go. If the auctioneer's family wants to purchase items in the sale then they can bid like everyone else. I'm going back on Sunday to see what's left and if the prices have been reduced. I feel bad for the family 'cause they'll probably end up having a yard sale to get rid of the stuff that didn't sell.

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  5. This is why I don't even bother. I mean, the idea is there, and many people do find cheap stuff but I would guess a person would find better deals at garage sales. I already don't care for Nancy ;)

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    1. Yeah, Nancy is on my 'spit list'! I've found better bargains at yard sales than anywhere else. Usually the owners just want to get rid of clutter (i.e., treasures!) than to make a huge profit.

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  6. I've been to sales like that. I typically don't get to a sale before the second (or third) day of a sale, so I always miss the good stuff. I did clean up on Sunday, but that was a rare day.

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    1. It will be very interesting on Sunday to see what's left. I really didn't have time to go through the mounds of sewing and craft materials so I'm hoping those will be marked down.

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  7. When you go to an estate sale, you go with the idea that you are going to find bargains, right. Other wise you would shop antique stores. I hate when I set out for a fun day of junk shopping, and the junk is priced out of my junk budget.
    Good luck on your next outing.
    Your blogging sister, Connie :)

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    1. It took me a long time to let my good sense override my excitement at finding 'treasure' at estate sales. Auctions are the way to go - you know right up front who your competition is (that annoying person who just won't put down their paddle!) My favorite are boxed lots of small items. I've bought boxes of miscellaneous stuff for a few dollars each. Fun!

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  8. If Nancy bought them why didn't they move them from the sale already?? I think they leave them there just to make the sale look better. Useless considering they are already "sold".
    Hope you find better pickings elsewhere.
    Cheers
    Lush x

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    1. My thoughts exactly. I thought the whole purpose of a preview was to see what's available, not what's been sold. It would be understandable if the person who bought so many of the items were a family member but to have the 'good stuff' go to the sale agent - that's just wrong. In the long run it will hurt their business.

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  9. I bet Nancy didn't pay the high prices either!

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    1. I'm betting she bundled the items and offered one low price. It was very disappointing and I feel bad for the family. It's hard enough to let memories go home with strangers. When their emotions of settling the estate settle down they'll probably resent the agent.

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  10. The real person to feel bad for is the family of the estate! It's so hard to get rid of everything and then to have a slime ball come in and mishandled the sale is just wrong! Burns my britches! As for Nancy.....one word....karma!!

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    1. You're right - a family can lose out in a sale like this one. One of the daughters was there and I felt terrible for her. As I walked throughout the house so many people were shaking their heads and muttering about the prices. It will be very interesting to see what's left on Sunday.

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  11. NANCY will probably have things cleared out to the bare floorboard when you get back there. It's sad to see that- xo Diana

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    1. The agency had their signs plastered all over the yard and down the street - at least I know to avoid their sales in the future. One word: Auction! It's fast and furious and over much more quickly for the family. And the Nancys of the world don't have an unfair advantage.

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  12. Hmmmm I'm guessing "Nancy" got that gorgeous cabinet for a fraction of the cost of those crappy dishes! Annoying!

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    1. Just about every large piece of furniture had her name on it. At first I thought she was a family member which would be understandable but to know it was the agent's wife - grrrrr. JNR - just not right!

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  13. How annoying! The prices at the estate sales and even the flea market are too high around here too. Sometimes I'll go on the last day of an Estate Sale when things are marked down 50%. It's just ridiculous.

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  14. Ack! That dang Nancy! How discouraging! I feel all mad at her now and I wasn't even there!

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