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EstateSales.NET Blog

Listed below are various articles about estate sales, estate sale companies, and our office that we hope you find interesting. If you have any questions regarding the content on our blog, please feel free to give us a call or e-mail us. We answer the phones between 7am and 11pm Central time 7 days a week.

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Name that Glassware!

Are you a Professor of Pyrex? The Queen of Fire-King? The Titan of Hazel Atlas? The President of Federal? A...really knowledgeable person in regards to Glasbake? Prove it. Searching For a Company Looking for a company to conduct your sale? Go to our Hire a Company page to find a company in your area. Find a Company Get Notified Sign up to receive free email notifications of estate sales in your area! Subscribe Now ...

DIY: Costume Jewelry Tree

If I had a Christmas tree, I would light it with vintage bubble lights, just like the ones we had as kids, when my siblings and I would race them to see whose light would start bubbling first. Then, I would hang ornaments from the box my mother started when I was born—the one she added to each year so when I moved out, I would already have meaningful ornaments for my tree. Isn’t that precious? But I don’t have a Christmas tree, because I have pets that can't be trusted. A giant dog who doesn't know his own size, and a cat whose personal mission in life to destroy everything I love. (That's right, Seamus. I'm onto you.) So instead I’ve put together a festive holiday topiary that acts as an homage to the vintage baubles I long for from Christmases past. And there’s no tedious clean-up afterwards. And my pets can’t reach it. And it’s all possible thanks to—you guessed it—estate sales. This year, I’m classing up my home and the holidays with a costume jewelry tree...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2017

We just wanted to take a moment and specifically wish the estate sale companies on our site a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Many of us are taking off to spend time with family and to reflect on the past year. There are now over 10,000 estate sale companies on EstateSales.NET. You all are amazing. We hear over and over again about how professionals like yourselves handle very emotional situations with grace and poise. We made a quick video to highlight your accomplishments. I'm not sure how "Flubber of Words" got put on my title, but I think it was earned. ;) ...

Collecting Lionel Trains

Header photo courtesy of Pace & Hong Auctions Trains are an undeniable emblem of the holiday season. From tracks laid ‘round the base of a tree, to the popular book The Polar Express , the chug of the engine and that unmistakable whistle indicate a shipment of halcyon memories of Christmases past pulling into the station. And it was all engineered by one man with a great idea. Joshua Lionel Cowen (born Cohen), a businessman, inventor, and marketer, convinced toy store owners that model trains would be the perfect addition to their store windows. America's fascination with railroads, combined with the train's main job of delivering goods (i.e. toys and gifts) made the department store display the perfect medium for Cowen's playful industrial art. Though they were initially intended for display only, shoppers very quickly caught on that electric trains would make great gifts, and soon enough a tradition was born. Cowen knew he had something special on his hands, and he built a century-spanning business on the wonder of railroad technology...

Collecting Vintage Buttons

I bought a Mason jar full of buttons from an estate sale over a decade ago. I don’t know why. Mason jars were not yet the “thing” they so clearly are today, and I had absolutely no use for the buttons themselves. I didn’t sew. Or craft. Or even wear a lot of clothing that utilized buttons. But I was drawn to them. The jar. The colors. The possibilities. So I bought them, and set them on a shelf where they sat quietly, bringing me joy with their mere existence. Occasionally I would add to it if I came across a small lot at a sale, but mostly the jar collected dust on a shelf next to an equally-dusty Christmas cactus, ignored but not unloved. According to Jerry DeHay, a longtime collector and board member of the National Button Society , I am a “closet collector.” This, he said, is how many button collections begin. Not with a bang, but a shrug. His wife, too, was a closet collector for years before finally coming out, buttons in tow, ready to learn more about these tiny treasures. And eventually, she pulled him into the fold as well...

Vintage Kitchen: Rosettes

I love searching for kitchenware at estate sales. My greatest weakness is Pyrex. (I recently found three covered casseroles—two of them with promotional patterns—for two dollars each. That was a very exciting day. But I digress.) But a close second is vintage gadgets . From hand mixers to aluminum ice trays, I adore the early technology they employ. And occasionally you'll come across a gadget you’ve never seen before—one that introduces you to a new or exciting food, or a new way of making something. I mean, just think of the excitement someone will feel when, 50 years from now, they discover your old “zoodle” maker. Or the “egg cuber” you received as a white elephant gift. “Oh, what a crazy, simple time 2017 was,” they’ll chuckle. “So quaint.” So when I came across something called the Handi Hostess Kit on the third day of a recent estate sale, there was no way I was going to pass it by...

Strike Up the Band: Find Brass and Woodwinds at Estate Sales

We’ve talked about what to look for when shopping estate sales for a secondhand piano . The effort and expense that goes into buying one, bringing it home, and making it playable can be overwhelming but rewarding. But estate sales are not only a great place to find instruments that may or may not ultimately serve no other purpose beyond holding houseplants and adding a little class to a room. It’s also a great place to find smaller, more manageable instruments. Why, you could equip an entire marching band with instruments you find at estate sales! You could sign your entire family up for music lessons and start a 4th wave ska band called Redheaded Superman. Or maybe put on your own rendition of The Music Man , and really bring “Seventy-Six Trombones” to life. But first, of course, you need the trombones . And the cornets (whatever those are). And horns of every shape and kind...

Getting Crafty with Estate Sales: Halloween Edition

The big box stores have had their Halloween decorations out for a few weeks now. And who can blame them? It’s only the best holiday of the year. Sorry, Arbor Day. And now that it’s October, I can finally start decorating my home without fear of being that house. (You know the house I’m talking about.) But rather than displaying the same ghosts and ghouls as my neighbors and paying premium prices to do so, I prefer to harness the power of estate sales. Not only can you frequently find vintage decorations (and, of course, materials for Halloween costumes ), but they're also a great opportunity to get crafty. Here I’ll share just a few easy projects you can make your way through on a cool October afternoon. Spooky ceramics Estate sales frequently carry ceramic figurines, some that are, or at least at one time were, highly collectible. My mother and grandmother, for example, collected Hummels . I, as a child, had a shelf full of Precious Moments ...

Mining Estate Sales for Uranium Glass

When hunting for treasures at estate sales, a black light can be incredibly useful to have. Yup, the ultraviolet light you had in your college dorm is good for more than just illuminating your Grateful Dead poster and reminding you about the mustard stain that didn’t come out in the wash. It can also help you identify different glassware. Most notably, it can help you identify glass containing uranium. This sounds much scarier than it is, and precisely as cool. Uranium glass is a popular collectors’ item, and with good reason. This magical glass can come in a variety of shapes and forms—from dinnerware to decorative vases. It is black light reactant, glowing a bright green when near the proper lighting. And while it does emit low-level radiation, it’s generally believed that it’s not enough to cause bodily harm, or to turn you into an X-Man. With the exception of some early 20th century pieces, most uranium glass contains no more than 2% uranium oxide—often much less...

Shopping for Pianos at Estate Sales

I’ve long considered picking up a piano at an estate sale . I have room on my front porch, and a daughter in whom I should probably try to nurture some sort of musical ability. That’s what good parents do, right? We tried violin lessons, but it got to the point where both she and I wanted to throw it right out the window rather than fight our way through practice sessions. If we’re going to try again, the piano seems like a good and logical next step. It’s too big to throw, plus, it will really class up the joint. So I’ve been searching, waiting for the right piano to fall from the sky and into my lap—or rather, to make an appearance at a nearby estate sale (because that first option would hurt). Maybe a former music teacher is downsizing in order to move to a smaller home. Perhaps an heirloom piano has been passed from one family member to the next, and the buck finally stopped. Maybe some young, smart, and beautiful content writer bought one for her child, who quickly abandoned it after a few weeks of half-hearted practice...

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