Well I was. Now I've gone through the harrowing experience I'm feeling quite deflowered. I've wanted to attend an estate sale for some time now since I often shop in vintage shops and know that is where they find most of their inventory.
I was apprehensive about the whole idea of going into someones house and rummaging through their stuff since it's almost guaranteed it's because the poor people have just passed away. It's quite distasteful to feel like a scavenger of dead people's belongings.
That was before I went to this estate sale. Now I can say with all certainty that it was very much like a shark feeding frenzy. People shoving, pushing, grabbing. I was smart enough to go in advance and get a number so I was let in a few precious moments before the rest of the seething crowd. These people were serious.
Once inside the house there was no orderly fashion or sense of decorum what-so-ever. It was a free-for-all. I made my way through the labyrinth of tiny rooms jammed full of people looking for a deal to the jewelry room only to discover that one guy had bought the 3 entire boxes of rings. I think he paid $1,000 cash on the spot, they were $8/ring. Needless to say I learned quickly that decisions had to be made immediately or everything would be gone in less than a couple of minutes.
I managed to escape with the pieces you see below. I couldn't even get close to where the necklaces were. I'm a bit claustrophobic and it was freaking me out to even be in such a small space with so many people. Some super smart person brought their kid…who was almost trampled in the tiny space. I can see now that should I decide to go to more of these I need to toughen up a bit.
I did get one Whiting and Davis handbag for $15. It's the black beaded one. In the end it was such a rush I have a feeling that they may have miscounted and I think I overpaid by $10. I was so frazzled though I just wanted to get out of there.
Have you ever been to an estate sale? Did you manage to find something? Did you find the experience morbid and creepy?
Jamie "ChatterBlossom says
Despite being nearly trampled, you found some great things! Those are really beautiful!
Wow, makes me not want to go to one of these sales. I would hate that. The pieces you purchased are beautiful though, so maybe it might be worth the stress.
Yes they are quite lovely. The woman had great taste for sure.
I was trying to justify to myself whether or not to go to another one of these sales in the future since I literally felt like a vulture fighting over dead meat. In the end though if I continue to shop at vintage stores this is where they get most of their inventory from, the only difference is that I’ve cut out the middleman. The people that owned these items are gone. Those no longer hold any value for them. It did leave me wondering how people will go through my stuff when I’m gone. Will they wonder about the person as I did? Or will they turn around and resell on Ebay in an instant. It’s definately made me think more about my own mortality and the “things” we collect along the way that make up our life.
My Mom is in the Antique business. She really truly loves and cares about all the items she acquires both for her collection and for resale. It actually results in a lot more stuff coming home than it should, and very unique Christmas gifts. The second estate sale I attended with was less of an estate, more of a shack behind one. This one was the roughest one I’ve ever attended. I was (still am) very short, and while this meant I was smaller and could squirm in and out easier, it also meant I could reach much. I spotted a hand shaped turquoise vase two shelves up and attempted to reach for it at the same time a taller lady did. She saw me going for it ad knocked me out of the way (i caught a little bit of elbow to the face too), but in the process she bumped the shelf. The vase came crashing down and split in two. I collected the pieces, looked her right in the face and said “Guess you don’t want it now!” She made a face at me, spun on her heel, and stormed out of the shack with her basket. I glued the pieces back together and it resides on my desk holding scissors as it has since that day 7 years ago. It’s my favorite knick-knack 🙂
Oh my! What a story. I guess I was lucky to make it out without any bruises. I wondered if the estate sale I went to was “abnormal” due to the high amount of stuff they had. Now I know it’s par for the course.
I love that you kept the piece : )
Thanks for sharing your experience.