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Estate Sale Etiquette 101A Guide to Estate Sale Etiquette

The following is a guide for estate sale shoppers. Make your time visiting our sales more enjoyable by following these basic rules of etiquette.

Estate Sale Etiquette

There are many different things that will help your time spent at an estate sale be more enjoyable both for you and your guests as well as the host presenting the estate sale. The following content is more a guide than a rulebook but might be a good list to print out and bring along with you, should you be visiting one of our estate sales in the near future for the first time or even if you are already a fan of our estate sales but find your experiences not as positive as you would hope they might be. By following these rules, you can be sure to have a fun and profitable time on your future visits and also be welcomed back time and time again to upcoming estate sales we may host.

Sticking to these guidelines will assure a fun and educating experience and forge great relationships for any future sales you might wish to attend.

  1. No smoking: Never smoke on estate sale property. Refrain from bad language and improper volume or tone of voice. Act as if you’re visiting a respected guest, because you are!

  2. Follow any posted rules, and do not leave the premises after you have signed up and your name is on the line list. Enter in the designated order.

  3. Pay attention to parking rules and regulations, and don’t block driveways.No Food or Drink at Estate Sales

  4. Refrain from littering, take anything out with you that you may have brought in, and do not bring in your own food or drink. We usually provide refreshments, which are to be consumed outside the home to avoid property damage.

  5. Avoid aggressive behavior. There’s no need to push or shove. As long as everyone waits their turn there is room for everyone.

  6. Absolutely never touch anything that has been put on hold!

  7. Wear appropriate clothing. If the sale is a “digger” sale – meaning dirty, cramped or junky premises – bring appropriate items like a face mask or goggles, boots, etc. Put your host first and do all you can to respect their needs.

  8. Respect the host by imagining yourself in their situation. Hosts are likely to have suffered a very recent loss. Avoid being argumentative or glib. Disrespectful behavior like that is the easiest way to get yourself removed from our client list.

  9. Patience is a virtue. Regardless of what you’re doing, from waiting in line at a display table to waiting for the bathroom, be patient and things will go much more smoothly.

  10. Do not use toilets inside the home if we have provided a portable toilet outside – which is almost always the case. In the event a portable toilet is not provided, be respectful and leave the household toilet as you found it.

  11. Never engage the neighbors. Imagine yourself in their shoes and think of how invasive it would be to have a crowd of strangers traipsing around next door.

  12. Don’t show up and try to get in early before the sale begins.

  13. Bring your own packing items or baggage. Neither liquidators nor family are required to provide wrapping or packaging services.

  14. Bring cash. The sale is not required to offer credit card services or honor personal checks – unless you have established a prior financial relationship with the family or seller.

  15. Keep in mind that there are no returns. Therefore, it’s up to you to carefully scrutinize every item you’re interested in for imperfections.

  16. For large items, make sure you have some outside help and a vehicle with the capacity to deal with such items. Some companies offer hauling services, but it’s better not to expect it and come prepared.

  17. Come with your own pre-made “sold” tags that include your name and contact information. Do not tag anything you don’t fully intend to buy. Changing your mind about an item you have tagged forces the item to be discounted, which is unfair to everyone involved. We liquidate over 80 houses a year, and people who don’t over-tag are the most likely ones to receive more invites.

  18. Do not discuss prices until your final checkout tally is provided. This will avoid unnecessary time wasting and allow you a chance to discuss possible discounts on your total. No discounts are likely to be given to buyers who continually interrupt the cashier during his or her duties.

  19. Take your stuff as soon as you possibly can to avoid confusion. Leaving purchases on the premises longer than the days of sale will risk loss of the items to donation or to family members.


Following these simple guidelines will assure that we all have fun, get the best out of each and every sale, and hopefully see each other at the next one.

Please call 281-630-3361 today.