Estate Sale Shopping Online

Estate Sale Shopping OnlineEstate sales are one of my FAVORITE things. I am lucky enough to live in an area with a lot of estate sales, but I haven’t always had a lot of luck. And as the years go by, life seems to be getting busier and busier (anyone relate?). I once spent every Sunday afternoon browsing flea markets, but these days I am lucky if I get to go once or twice per season.

That said, I’ve become a big fan of shopping for vintage online. And if I’m being honest, I think I am finding more special vintage things since I started shopping online, due to more ability to be selective, compare and choose my absolute favorite pieces.

I recently discovered Everything But The House, an online estate sale marketplace, and they are sponsoring this post today. At first glance I was pretty impressed, but after really shopping on the site for the past few months, I am HUGE fan. I have found some super unique things for really great deals. So today I’m going to share some of my best finds with you as well as five tips for estate sale shopping online.

Estate Sale Shopping Online This wicker bed tray is one of the more wacky things I’ve purchased, but I just had to have it! It makes me feel like I’m running a tiki-themed bed and breakfast, which makes me smile so much! I can’t wait to use it for birthdays and special occasions.

Tip 1. Keep a running list of keywords. 

This is absolutely essential. To find the best and most special pieces, you’ll need to check back often. On EBTH new sales start every day and they only last a few days! Lately, a few of my key words have been baskets, quarts or crystals, vinyl, holidays, Halloween, brass and Moroccan rugs (as you’ll see below!).

Keep a list of things you are searching for and be patient.

Estate Sale Shopping Online This little collection of Elvis 45s is one of my favorite finds!

Tip 2. Be selective. 

There is no reason to rush! Be picky and you’ll find the most amazing pieces. When I was in my 20’s, I loved to thift and go to flea markets, but I wasn’t picky enough. I’d buy things and not use them and end up donating them later. No more!

Now I only shop for things I have a place in my home for and I only keep a couple of continual collections (like records, my rainbow glassware and crystals).

I was raised a “sale shopper,” so it’s still challenging for me to pass up a good deal. But being more selective has helped me to love and appreciate the things I purchase more!

Estate Sale Shopping Online Tip 3. Always remember to factor in shipping. 

EBTH charges actual shipping costs. So it’s important to keep it in mind when shopping. A lot of the best deals I’ve gotten were crazy steals, where the shipping ended up costing more than the item itself. For example, the first thing I ever bought was a set of 16 classic holiday records for only $7! The shipping was around $10, but when I factor that in it’s still a good deal—only about $1 per record!

When you set your bidding limit, be sure to mentally factor in the price of shipping.

Honestly, I feel like most of the time it’s all or nothing. Either I get outbid like seven times or I’m the only one who bids (which is AWESOME!).

Estate Sale Shopping Online
Estate Sale Shopping Online This The Supremes record I found on EBTH is one of the most beautiful vintage records in my collection. Aren’t those colors nice?

Tip 4. Always measure. 

When it comes to things like crystals, baskets and other home decor items, size really matters. You can’t always tell from the photos how large an item is, so it’s important to always measure.

Below, you can see probably my #1 favorite EBTH find so far: a GIANT quartz crystal point (on top of the cocktail books). It’s SUPER large and heavy. I ended up snagging it for $20 and it’s now one of my favorite things in our living room!

Estate Sale Shopping Online

Estate Sale Shopping Online
Estate Sale Shopping Online Here are a few pink glasses I added to my collection recently. I always get outbid on pink glassware, but I finally got a set of six matching glasses!

Tip 5. Check back often 

This is a marathon, not a sprint. Shopping for vintage online is best done in a regular, small doses. Checking in once a week or so will yield the best results.

Remember that these items are coming from real people’s homes like any estate sale. So one week you might not see much, and the next week you might strike gold!

This is especially important if you are shopping for something really specific.

Estate Sale Shopping Online This vintage Moroccan rug is one of the best things I have found so far. I won it for $130 and it’s large! I have seen so many crazy deals on EBTH (one last tip is to always check the “popular” page). Everything from diamond rings, to cars to amazing vintage furniture and all the cute vintage housewares you can ask for.

Just like a real-life estate sale, it can be extremely random. It’s always a surprise.

I hope this post was helpful to you! If you have any questions, let me know in the comments. xx – Elsie

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.

  • Great tips! If anyone’s looking for cool and unique items, check out my vintage shop too at themustarddandelion.com!

  • Way to fuel my already bad thrift shopping habit… but I already see a few designer pieces on there that are a must have.

  • how much was it to ship the rug..or more importantly, how was it shipped to you??
    that would be a deterant for me…and I’m in need of a good rug 😉

  • This is something I would have never thought of doing!! Thanks for the inspiration. And all of your finds are amazing 🙂

  • My husband has a SERIOUS addiction to online estate sales. I have once said: “….if you bring another mid-century piece of anything into this house so help you…” which is crazy because I love mid century modern furniture!

    Best deal so far: THREE Milo Braughman glass etageres for $4.00.

    EBTH has some verrrry delicious things. Love the breakfast in bed tray! Yum!

  • I never knew this could all be done online, I always thought it was done in person at auctions! The glassware is so pretty but I’d love to see if I could find some cool storage solutions for kids rooms!

  • Love this kind of posts, please keep’em coming!

    But now I NEED to see your beautiful bookcase, I remember how it looked when it was dark wood. Please a detailed post on how it looks now, desk included 😉

  • I was just at an estate sale today! I bought a wicker chair that was $40 but I was able to get $5 off. It’s in great shape, no holes and it’s sturdy. Was that too much? My problem is I don’t know what’s too high or just right. I did score a crock for $4 so I guess that makes me feel better if I overpaid for the chair.

    • Personally, I think vintage is worth what you would pay for it new (if it’s in new condition). So I’m sure you’d pay that same $40 for a wicker chair from Ikea…. see what I mean? I don’t think it all has to be, like, $1 to be a good deal!

  • I love that you discovered EBTH!! I loved it for years (my house is basically furnished by EBTH) and I actually work for them now! It definitely takes some digging, patience, and knowledge to find exactly what fits your needs, but the deals can be amazing! Especially if you find a sale nearby so you can pick it up from a warehouse. Money saver!

  • I love shopping on EBTH! If you’re lucky enough to find something that’s local and can pick it up yourself, you can really get a good deal.

  • Thanks for the tips! You guys always have the best style! I’m for sure going to check out online estate sales now!
    -Kristin

  • What are your tips for cleaning a second hand rug? Do you just pay for the dry cleaning or is there something beyond vacuuming you do yourself? I just bought a rug off Craigslist and while I love it, I’m not sure exactly how to give it a complete clean before using it. Thank you!

    • I don’t like conventional dry cleaning because of the chemicals (there are green cleaners, but I haven’t found one in my area yet) and I have dropped off rugs before where it felt like they did nothing. So I only buy rugs I can clean myself.

      With all the moroccan rugs I have bought I didn’t feel they needed any cleaning, but if I have a spill or something I do spot cleaning.

      xx!

  • i have been a shopper of ebth for about a year. and you are so right about the shipping. it can be very high. but it is worth it if you find something you love and you know it is not available retail anymore or ever again in some cases. that is something i remind myself about when i see shipping charges higher than the price of the item. this could be the only chance ever to get this item! these are good tips, if ther is any other sites you know of i would appreciate hering about them.