Tuesday, November 26, 2013

My legitimate fear of estate sales

I really am afraid of what happens at estate sales.  Not the part where people are shopping but the part where they are prepping the place.  And it's a legit fear, you guys. I worry about this every time I go.  And I come in on the latter part of the sale, so the fear of the unknown makes it worse.

That makes me all nervous for what happens when a novice company comes in to run their first or first few sales, and might not know what they are doing.

So, here's the deal.  What if they (the team putting the sale together) doesn't want to mess with a box they found in the bottom of the desk drawer so they just pitch it before they look inside?  What if there were Dennison mailing labels in that desk, but only a few left, so they pitch those too (I have to look HIGH and LOW to find those darn things, and very RARELY do I find them around here.  They are so hard to come by.) What if they pitched a bag of crap from the "junk" drawer of the house and there were cool postcards in there that they missed?  Or what if the family tossed them before the team came in? What if there was a Trapper Keeper with a cat on it full of notebook paper from a Five and Dime, but someone's name was written on it in Sharpie and they wrote a to do list on the first page so it was filed away in the dumpster?

You know as well as I do, that when you are cleaning out, PAPER is one of the first things that gets tossed. It's much easier to let go of a birthday card than it is to let go of the present, right?  I know, I do it too.  And I'll be the first to tell you to minimize and live simply and don't keep what you don't NEED.

Before I get to far on my thoughts, here is what I DO know about what goes on when they prep the sale.

  1. Most companies, including the one that did OUR SALE, will tell you not to throw ANYTHING away. People will buy anything. That is true.  I just bought some Play Doh cans from the 70s to use as pencil cups in my classroom. They were buried in a box of molded toys, and yours truly dug to the bottom just to make sure there wasn't a treasure in there...and....BINGO! 
  2. Sometimes even the estate company can overlook things...we found original WWII pictures and letters that were buried in the owner's manual of an old drill my husband bought.  Who do you think wishes they hadn't missed that? 
  3. I've been to several sales where they package little "grab bags" in Ziplocs that have been known to disguise treasures.  That's how I got these awesome slides.  Aren't they great?  They were in a bag of pencils in a little box.  And the picture above shows part of the contents of a Ziploc at an estate a few weeks ago.  Fun!
  4. I DO think that companies are very careful when they prep a sale, but they sure do pile up a lot of trash bags!!  What's in those?  (I've been known to look, people.  Nothing good has come of it yet.)
  5. If you work with a GREAT COMPANY like we did, you don't have to worry about any of this. Whitney is fabulous if you need a company in the DFW area. 
So, does my fear sound legitimate?  Or do I have my heart set on a big box of airmail labels or restaurant receipts that I'll probably never find?  (Wouldn't it be cool to have original Dairy Queen order tickets? These are the things I think about, in case you have ever wondered.)

Do you worry that they throw something away that you might want?  I know we can't take it ALL home with us, but what if they pitched that ONE thing you have looked for several years?   Oh, and what about that BUTLER's CHAIR I posted about on Sunday?  Who is responsible for that oversight, I wonder?

Or, do you worry about something else?  Germs, smell, rats?  Or that the owner of the home will be there, too?  That happens.  My next item on my to-do list is to interview one of them.

Have a beautiful Thanksgiving, my friends.  Thanks for stopping by! 

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