Saving Money at Estate Sales Tip 1: Be Nice!

Aug 26, 2013 by

There are a lot of simple ways to save money at Orion’s Attic estate sales. We have compiled our favorite eight tips and share them with you here, one at a time. We’ll publish the list as a whole when we’re done so you can pin these reminders to your fridge and save some bucks the next time you join us at an estate sale. Drum roll please … here’s Tip No. 1.

Estate sales are best when we all get along

1. Be kind. Think of every pearl of wisdom you’ve heard about the value of kindness: “You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar” and “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” They’re all true when it comes to shopping at estate sales. It actually pays to be nice at Orion’s Attic estate sales in Northern Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C.

Despite the overwhelmingly obvious nature of the notion that it doesn’t serve a shopper’s interests to be rude to the people they’re trying to buy from, you would be shocked – shocked I say – by how many people fail to use the kill with kindness strategy.

Put yourself in our shoes for a moment. Estate sales are a ton of fun to operate but they involve huge crowds of people pouring through a house and calling for our staff from every direction. We’re running around trying to address every question and do everything we can to serve our client by emptying the contents of a home in two days. We’re carrying heavy furniture out the door, wrapping delicate items, making change, running credit card transactions, answering tons of questions, and trying to make shoppers the best deals we can within the confines of doing what’s right for our clients. Throwing a $1 item on the pay counter and saying “You have to give me this for fifty cents,” is not the way to endear yourself to us. We don’t “have” to do anything and we’re not fond of shoppers making demands rather than requests.

Conversely, a shopper who approaches us with a $200 Tiffany-style lamp and a smile is likely to have much greater success this way: “I really love this lamp. Would you consider $150 for it?” We also see a lot of people on the first day of a sale who recognize that prices on the second day will be discounted. They ask, “If this $1,000 table is still here tomorrow, would you accept $500? We’ll get our kids to carry it out so you don’t have to.” Our answer to that question is usually going to be “yes.” If it’s an item that we know is difficult to find a buyer for, we might accept that offer even on the first day.

We love working with nice people. We’ll either accept those offers or start a polite negotiation process. There have been many occasions in which people have treated us with such kindness that we have given them a discount they didn’t even ask for or thrown in a little something extra in their bundle (see rule No. 2). Happy shoppers make for loyal shoppers who are going to do business with us for a long time.

We have been very blessed to see that every sale we have run has largely been packed with friendly, considerate people. We’d like to think it’s just because we do all we can to provide, fun, up-tempo, service-oriented sales and because shoppers like Won-ok and me. Hopefully that’s the case, but maybe people are simply smart enough to use tip No. 1.

We can live with that!

Want to find out about our next estate sale? Sign up for our e-newsletter on the home page of our Web site at www.orionsattic.com. Know someone who needs an estate sale? Contact Chris today.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *