Here are some more of my tips to start collecting for FUN & $$$. This is a hobby that is rewarding in fun and putting a few extra dollars in your wallet. Have a great day.


I have learned there are two types of ESTATE SALES. The first is the large upscale sale which is conducted as live auction. You have to register to get a bidding number like a regular auction. These auctions normally take checks and credit cards, besides cash. There is a preview time generally 1-2 hours before the auction starts.

Spend time looking over the objects you are interested in obtaining with a sharp eye.If you are into coins, jewelry, or glassware take a magnifying glass or loupe to check for the fine details. This will enable you to find company marking and dates. It also help in spotting cracks or chips in glass ware and figurines.

The second type of estate sale and my favorite kind is known in the Midwest as TAG SALES. Normally an ad is placed in a local newspaper in the classified ads. This ad will list a few of the general items that are being offer at the sale. The time that numbers will be offered is also listed. This is normally 1 hour before the sale will start. Get to the sale location earlier than the stated time to get your number, just join the crowd. Getting a LOW number is very important! The lower the number means getting into the building sooner. Once you have your number, then get something to eat and drink.

Items for sale are marked with a price. The first group in the house gets to pick up and buy any of the items FIRST. That is why getting the low number and being in that 1st group is so very IMPORTANT. My experience has been this can be a very crowded and competitive activity. Have a working flashlight and magnifying glass are important tools at these sales. The storage areas in attics, basements and garages my not be properly lighted to see what is in those areas very well.

Once you are in the house check out EVERY room, closet, and drawer. Go through the basement, garage and attic as well. You really never know for sure where a special item you are seeking will show up. Take some bags to help hold onto whatever you pick up. Ask the folks holding the sale the main location for the items you are interested in buying. Time is very important to get to the item you want before someone else gets there and buys up what you are looking for. I normally seek out costume jewelry, which draws a crowd so I have to know where to head as soon as I get into the house.

Prices on the items are normally reasonable and even cheap in some cases. This really varies especially if it is a sale where the children are trying to get rid of mom & dad's things. These folks just want this part of their lives behind them. Generally speaking at tag sales you can do a little negotiating on price especially if you by a number of items. Some sales reduce the prices to 50% off after a certain hour into the sale or the 2nd day of a 2 day sale. Normally most of the top quality items a gone by the 2nd. Day but you never know if your type of items got over looked.

Even though you are a collector, do not overlook everyday items in the kitchen or office, Scotch tape, envelopes, double AA batteries , tags, etc. These are items come in handy when you get back home. I have found jewelry cleaner and silver polish that I use to clean up old costume jewelry I have in my collection.

If you sell any of your items at an auction house, ask them what items other than what you have that people are looking to buy. This give you ideas as to what to look for on you next TAG sale outing. Get the items of your main interest first, but check out the other items later as you go thru all the rooms.

The KEY for tag sales is getting a LOW NUMBER! Be sure to get a good road map of your area to save you time getting to the location of the sale. That will be a huge help in getting to the location in plenty of time to get that LOW NUMBER!

It is much EASIER to AQUIRE items for your collection than it is to sell those items to pay for your hobby. Younger people that are use to the Internet e-bay type auctions may work out o.k. If you live in a small town far away from a large city e-bay type auctions is a valid option. Normally the rest of us use e-bay etc. for selling un-needed items we want out of the house.

Have a great day of hunting for YOUR treasures.

Here are a couple articles with more tips on COLLLECTING. Topics coverd in more detail include: where to shop, Flea Markets, Estate Sales (tag sales) and live Auctions. Different options for selling items to cover expenses and maybe even make a few bucks. Any comments about this article or future articles e-mail me.

My 2nd article on collecting as a hobby is at

My 3rd. article on collecting as a hobby is at

Look at the photos of my best finds over time that I have named GOLDEN NUGGETS!


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UPDATED 09-21-12