This past weekend I went yard sale and estate sale shopping.
And I found this.
Guess what it is.
I know you are giggling to yourself at this exact moment in time and thinking that looks like a salt shaker to me.
Hello Captain Obvi.
IT’S SO MUCH MORE.
I saw it on a folding table next to a Christmas wreath and a plastic bag full of corks and a mini cruise ship. Just between us? I’ve never seen anything like it before.
Ever in the history of ever.
I scooped it up and bargained on the price and brought it home and cleaned it up.
This is sitting on my dining room table.
It’s a blue and white cruet set.
There’s a salt and pepper.
And a mustard (that’s missing its spoon).
And an oil and vinegar set with an oil pitcher that still needs to be soaked. It was so dirty when I first got it and I soaked it for two days to get all the dirt out of the inside and the dirt out of the cracks.
There are little holes in the central canister that each of the pieces fits into.
And they all have a label.
There’s also a central spinning piece that sticks up through the middle hole that you can carry it around with (I picture a 1950’s dinner party with the hostesses carrying this around to each person at the table).
I’m cleaning it right now and then I need to put back into the center of the piece.
You won’t even believe what I paid for it.
Definitely less than the cost of a good steak dinner.
I came home and researched it and found this.
A super, super, super identical item for almost $200.
Can you BELIEVE IT?
Now I’m never parting with it. I bought it because I loved it, not because I thought it was valuable. But finding treasures like this is what makes estate sales and yard sales so much fun.
Every time I post a find like this, I get tons of questions about yard saling and how to bargain and where I go and how to discover all the best stuff.
So I put together a little list of how to shop estate sales and yard sales.
The Best Estate Sale Shopping Tips
1. Be prepared
Pack a little shopping kit and keep it in your car.
Here’s what I have in mine:
- measuring tape (in case you have to measure)
- a list of measurements for things you are looking for
- plastic bags (in case you need to wrap up delicate items in your car)
- screwdriver (in case you need to take something apart)
- hand sanitizer (no explanation needed)
2. Think outside the paint
So many times the shape or size or texture of a piece is perfect, but how it is painted throws me off.
As in look away and don’t look back.
I’ve had to train myself to look beyond how it is painted to the actual piece I’m buying.
Paint can be changed.
Incredible, carved legs or a planked top can not.
3. Think groupings
So many times you find a zillion of something that you never thought that you needed.
That zillion could look really amazing all grouped together on a wall.
One time I found all these old letterpress stamps for almost nothing.
One letterpress stamp? Kind of lame.
A zillion of them stacked in a wooden container and hung on the wall? Amazing.
4. Start a pile
I don’t know why. I’m not saying this makes sense.
But I have so much better luck when I start a pile at the checkout.
Maybe it opens up my mind a little?
There’s nothing worse than going back to find something and someone has already picked it up. So sometimes I just put things at the front and decide later if I want to buy them.
But I couldn’t do that if I didn’t have a pile.
5. Always ask
If the price looks a little high?
Ask if this is the best price they have.
Most of the time they are pricing things a little higher just in case you ask.
And the dollar that you save when they come down a little?
You’ll need it for the milk glass container at the next stop. 🙂
Isn’t it the cutest?
I just went into the dining room to tell it hello and so happy I am that it came home to live with me.
What about you?
Do you have yard sale tips or thrift shopping tips I missed?
Amazing shoppers have to stick together. 🙂
PS In case you are a blue and white fan like me, I found a few cute blue and white condiment holders all linked here.
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