6 Things To Look For At An Estate Sale

Estate sales benefit buyers as well as the host family. Through estate sales, buyers are able to acquire high-end antiques at a reasonable rate, and the families of the departed are able to liquidate the estate and put the money to good use. In order to aid both parties in this arrangement, the following list highlights some of the best finds at estate sales. These vintage items are true treasures that might be overlooked in the average estate sale:

Antique jewelry:

Any signed designer piece, or pieces that have a vintage style such as Art Deco, are worth investigating. Popular designers to look for include Van Cleef and Arpels, Cartier and Tiffany. Keep in mind, not all old jewelry is valuable.


Albums are valuable when they are in mint condition and are albums of well-known artists. Big collections are often times very valuable. However, hodgepodge collections of roughly used albums are unlikely to gain much interest. The album currently trending is the Beatles’ “Butcher Block” album. It features England’s fab-four holding beheaded baby dolls. This album cover was so controversial that it was withdrawn and reissued. For those that happen to find this rare album, the pay off is around $39,000.


History, art and photography books in good condition are trending currently and are quite valuable. In addition, first editions from classic authors such as Dickens and Faulker are also valuable. “Ulysses” by James Joyce who was a popular author of the 20th century is worth up to $450,000. Be aware, first editions of recently published books are not near as valuable.


For people interested in coins, the book “The Official Red Book: A Guide Book of United States Coins” is a worthwhile investment. Silver and gold coins are valuable. However, rare copper coins are often worth from $425 to $2,000. Be aware, most silver coins are not worth more than their weight value only silver coins, which are also rare, are wroth more. In addition, never clean coins as disturbing its original surface can affect its value.

Comic books:

Comic books dated between the 1930s and the 1960s featuring the first appearances of popular characters are very valuable. Comics made within the past 20 years are not. The 1938 first appearance of Superman sold at auction for $317,200.


This category is very broad and makes it difficult to determine the value of furniture. The book “Kovels’ Antiques and Collectibles Price Guides” is a helpful investment for those seeking to learn more about valuable furniture. In general, Heywood Wakefield, Arts and Crafts and Stickley mission oak furniture are all valuable. Avoid 1920s and 1930s dining sets made to look like pieces from the 16th and 17th centuries.
The items listed above are just a few examples of the treasures that are often found at estate sales. Other items include antique pottery, glassware, clocks, trading cards and toys. Those who have inherited an estate should look for any of the above items within their estate. Finding these items is much like finding hidden treasure.