Better Bring a Truck

Old treasures take on new life at estate sales.

For fabulous finds at negotiable prices, get yourself to an estate sale. Unlike a garage sale, an estate sale is typically a whole-house sale of high-quality contents, hosted by a professional liquidator in a vacated home. That means there’s plenty of merchandise of all kinds from which to choose.

“Business is unbelievable right now because older people are downsizing,” says accredited appraiser Lynn Magnusson of Magnusson Estate Sales, a family business in Harding Township (973-425-1550). “Many of our customers bring their trucks, and some drive thousands of miles.”

Magnusson’s team makes each estate sale an event by serving light refreshments, sometimes providing live music and always helping customers load their cars. “We can make just about anything fit,” says Magnusson.
For weekly estate sale schedules, visit estatesales.net, where you’ll find photos of home contents for sale by Magnusson and other reputable Garden State liquidators, including Liberty Antiques, April’s Estate Sales, Central Jersey Estate Sales, Aunties Estate Sales and Two Sisters Estate Services.

Here are Magnusson’s tips for finding estate-sale bargains:

Estate sales last one to three days, typically Friday through Sunday. For the best selection, come on the first day. For best prices, return on the last day.

Be prepared. Arrive with an empty vehicle and bring boxes and blankets to protect your finds.

Feel free to ask about the origins of a favorite piece.

Don’t hesitate to negotiate. If your offer isn’t accepted, leave your phone number.

Bring cash. Some liquidators accept credit cards or local checks, but cash will get you the best deal.

It’s fine to arrive a few minutes before the sale, but early birds should respect private property. Don’t camp out in the driveway or peer through the windows.

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