Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Estate Sale Haul and Behind The Scenes

This past Saturday morning, like many Saturday mornings, I went to an estate sale.

Many of you may wonder where people who sell vintage clothes get their stock, and one source that I use a great deal are estate sales...in case you aren't familiar, an estate sale is a sale held by a private, professional company  of the entire contents of a person's home, including their furniture, clothing, housewares, and everything else down to the cleaning products under the sink (not kidding) and the potted plants in the backyard. Most of the time, this person has passed away, and the estate sale company is hired by the family to help. Sometimes families attempt to do this themselves. Sometimes the person has not passed away, but has just moved to another home such as a relative's or residential care facility (this is technically called a "living" estate sale). Many people get estate sales confused with  regular old garage or yard sales and boy oh boy, they are definitely not the same!!

These sales get started very early in the morning and, here in L.A., there is usually a huge line (sometimes 100 people or more) by 8:00am. The first person in the door gets the best stuff so many people (myself included) get there at the crack of dawn to stake out a spot in line. I sometimes wait for 2 hours or more, in the cold, sitting on someone's porch or driveway. It can actually be kind of fun to talk to the other people in line...frequently they are other dealers like me, and every dealer has their specialty. There's the record dude, the sterling silver guy, the old musical instrument man, the young guy who looks for vintage toys...I love it when there are mostly men 'cause then I know I'll have the ladies clothes to myself! This rarely happens, though...usually there are a handful of other gals and we all stand around sizing each other up :-)

Things sometimes get rough! A lot of people make their living this way so they are dead serious. Dead serious enough that at a recent sale there was a big fight and someone threatened to get a gun, and the police were called! Crazy, huh? Thankfully I skipped that one:-)

Well, it's a rather cutthroat bit of business, and getting up in the dark at 4:30 a.m. is never fun, but the early bird truly does get the worm. Check out some of my "worms"! Hehe!

just part of my "haul" including some gorgeous bags
 Look for some of these finds to show up in my Etsy shop very soon!

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