Sometimes there are certain items that you may collect that can only be purchased from an estate sale. Everyone who collects anything knows that you can usually find the one thing that will complete your collection at these sales. There are so many things of value that are auctioned off, but many people assume that besides jewelry and antique furniture, most of it is junk. This couldn’t be any further from the truth. There are several things that are sometimes unique to estate sales, and they end up being the best place to shop for your collectibles.

Antique Dolls

Occasionally, antique dolls can be found in great condition at estate sales. Vintage Barbie dolls can be worth several times what they cost at the sale. If the doll is in its original box, and is in good shape, it will be worth more than if it has been played with. Most of the time, estate sale antique dolls are those that have been collected, therefore have been preserved in their original condition and have been kept safe throughout the years. Some dolls that were made of materials that are no longer available and are in good condition are worth more, so be sure to inspect the doll thoroughly.

Hummel Figurines

Hummel figurines are a series of collectable figurines, made of porcelain, that are based on the drawings of Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel. These are usually originally found in Germany and Switzerland. Most of the figurines in the series are worth between $50 and $100, but there are some that are more rare that are worth as much as $10,000. Usually, if there are Hummels being sold at an estate sale, they are only sold for $10 or less. This is a great place to purchase a collectible Hummel figurine.

German Beer Steins

Another collectible item stemming from Germany is the authentic German beer stein. They usually can be found at estate sales for under $10. Mettlach steins can sell for over $100, so make sure that you don’t purchase a replica for that high of a price. Be sure to research the steins before attending the sale.

Antique Clocks

Antique clocks are another common item in estate sales. Be sure to research clock makers before attending the sale. The name of the maker is usually on the dial, but sometimes you may need to look at the back plate of the mechanism. Usually antique clocks are sold for less than $100 at these sales, but depending on the condition and whether or not it still works properly, they can be worth much more. Most likely, any antique clock will need to be completely rebuilt in order to be used as a reliable time piece.


Glassware is one of the most common items that you will find at estate sales. Usually collectors of glassware are not as concerned with the value as they are about the appearance. Chips and cracks will lower the value of the piece, so always inspect them thoroughly. Feel around the outside and underneath to make sure you aren’t buying a defective collection. This is important for the collection aspect, but also if you are planning on using the glassware.

Sterling Silver

Sterling silver jewelry, servers and flatware are fun items to look for at estate sales. There aren’t typically an abundance of sterling pieces being auctioned off because these are ideal pieces to keep as family heirlooms. But there are usually a few available at most estate sales, even if it is a non-valuable piece of fashion jewelry or a baby spoon or cup. There isn’t much time before the sale for the organizers to inspect the items, so sometimes there will be a valuable piece amid the bargains. Make sure that you know about collecting silver before you attend the sale so that you can find the pieces that are valuable.