Non-Sketch Estate Sale Resources
August 12, 2010 6:03 AM   Subscribe

What is the best resource for finding out when and where estate sales are happening?

My mother and I would like to attend some estate sales this month. Most of the estate sale websites I've found on Google either look sketchy or are sporadically updated. Is there a particular website or circular that might have timely, legitimate information?

If this helps any, we're in eastern Mass and are particularly looking for sales in the Medford/Malden/Winchester/Melrose area. I am interested in hats, costume jewelry (particularly Bakelite), and old books and records. My mother is more interested in housewares.
posted by pxe2000 to Shopping (9 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
In my area, I find most estate sales advertised on craigslist.
posted by bolognius maximus at 6:05 AM on August 12, 2010

My parent's neighbor runs an antique store and does estate sales. In fact, a lot of the stuff for the store comes from estate sales. If the antique stores and pawn shops in your area don't do the sales themselves, I'll bet they have a pretty good handle on when they happen.
posted by theichibun at 6:22 AM on August 12, 2010

You might try setting up a Google alert for

"estate sale" medford OR malden OR winchester OR melrose

and then have it send you an email whenever something new is posted. Or set it up as an RSS feed, maybe--same result.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 6:27 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

From my experience, estate sales are advertised differently depending on the person running the sale. In this neck of the woods, the main vehicles for the ads are the local daily newspaper, free weekly suburban newspapers and Craigslist (all three can be searched on-line). Sometimes the people who run the sales are Internet and social media savvy, sometimes not.

Your best bet is to go to a sale and talk to the person running it (usually the person by the cash box) about finding out about future sales. They will often have an e-mail list or even a Facebook page that you can sign up for.
posted by Otis at 7:15 AM on August 12, 2010

Down here in Virginia, I check Craigslist, local newspaper classified ads, and when I find a local Estate Sale company (either via the Yellow Pages, a sale I've been to before, a lucky driveby, or from friends), I get on their mailing list (email or postal). I've also found estate sales via corkboards in the front of antique stores/malls and in country grocery and convenience stores.

Be warned: There's a group of people who like to categorize their yard/garage sales as being estate sales to jack up the prices and draw folks in for things that won't be what you are expecting. I tend to find better things at pure, unvarnished yard sales - and at better prices than at those faux estate sales.

You also may enjoy auctions ( is the best centralized place to find 'em that I've found; there's nothing like it for estate sales, sadly) - I've found some fabulous things at little country auctions (but if there is something you are interested in, you might be there for hours. I generally bring my knitting, a book, my phone, etc.)
posted by julen at 7:33 AM on August 12, 2010

Have you tried the Yard Sale Treasure Map google maps mashup?
posted by Morrigan at 7:39 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

Local classified ads. In my locality there are a few companies that run most of the estate sales. You can be put on email lists or check their websites.
posted by JJ86 at 8:29 AM on August 12, 2010

I have a feed in my Google Reader for estate sales. Search the Craigslist "for sale" section for "estate sale" and copy and paste the resulting link into the "add a subscription" section of Reader.
posted by emilyd22222 at 10:51 AM on August 12, 2010

Take it from me -- I ran an estate sale blog for a year and still go to them pretty regularly -- go to and sign up for their email alerts. You can get all the estate sales in your area, within a radius of miles you choose, week after week after week. Plus pictures! And descriptions! And more! It's a great service.
posted by Work to Live at 11:10 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

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