Opinion: 6 Things You Shouldn’t Buy at Estate Sales
Estate sales can be a treasure trove of vintage and antique finds, but not everything is worth bringing home. As a seasoned estate sale shopper, I’ve learned to avoid certain items that may not be worth the risk. Here are six things you should avoid at estate sales, according to vintage shopping experts Jess Ziomek and Jessica Lev.
Avoid anything upholstered because you never really know what lies beneath the surface. Upholstery items like sofas, chairs, and even mattresses can contain debris from the previous owner’s life, hidden pests, and unsightly stains and smells. Not to mention, removing upholstery or buying new fabric can be a costly venture.
2. Baby Items
While vintage baby items like strollers, cribs, and high chairs can be dreamy, they may not be up to modern safety standards or may have been recalled. Babies are particularly vulnerable to choking hazards and lead paint, which may still be present in vintage baby accessories. Ziomek even advises against accessories involving sleep, which can be especially dangerous.
Vintage electronics like televisions, typewriters, phones, and radios may have sentimental value, but they may not actually work anymore. Unless you’re prepared to do some rewiring, it’s probably best to avoid vintage electronics altogether. Ziomek recommends testing them before purchasing, but even then, the risk may not be worth it.
Games and puzzles can be a fun vintage find, but they may be missing crucial pieces. Unlike electronics, you can’t always tell if a game is incomplete right in the middle of an estate sale. Ziomek advises only purchasing games and puzzles if you can confirm that all the necessary pieces are present.
5. Big Ticket Claims
Don’t believe everything you hear at estate sales. People running the sales may claim that a piece of property is incredibly valuable, but it’s important to approach these claims with skepticism. Lev recommends being wary of anything that seems too good to be true or comes with a steep price tag without any real value to back it up.
Art is a tricky item to purchase at estate sales because it’s difficult to determine its real value without a professional appraisal. Even if you have a good eye for art, it’s important to do your homework and research the artist and their work before making a purchase. Additionally, unauthorized reproductions may be mislabeled as authentic art, so it’s important to be cautious when buying art at estate sales.
– Estate sales are typically organized by companies and individuals to liquidate a household’s contents after a death, relocation, or downsizing.
– Vintage and antique items add character and depth to any room they grace.
– Estate sales offer a unique opportunity to see how vintage and antique items look in a home setting.
While estate sales can provide a lot of unique and vintage finds, it’s important to be selective and cautious about what you bring home. From safety hazards to incorrect valuations, there are a lot of factors to consider when shopping at estate sales.
In conclusion, estate sales can be a fun and exciting way to find vintage and antique treasures, but certain items are better left behind. Rule out upholstery, baby items, electronics, games, big ticket claims, and art, and you’ll be well on your way to estate sale success. Happy hunting!