Guide to Good Finds

The other night I had a friend ask me about a specific piece of furniture in my house and where I got it. Oddly enough, I didn't have an answer for her because I couldn't remember at what estate sale I bought it. This happens more times than not, and after a look through my house I realized I have 5 pieces of furniture that didn't come from an estate sale or a good antique haul. Crazy, huh?

Here's the big question though, how did I find all this quality furniture/home goods digging through others peoples junk?

I've found my most quality items at Estate Sales around town. I will typically happen on a sale and if I like the quality of the items I will make sure and get added to their email list. There are times I have gone to a sale and left thinking "this stuff is so over priced" or "there was nothing but junk". It happens, but for every amazing sale you will probably hit 3-5 duds. 

Lets talk tips. 

1. How to find great sales

Like I said above, getting added to email lists (assuming you check your email) is the easiest way to stay on top of your favorite sales. The newspaper is also another great way to find local sales. In some areas there are websites dedicated solely to publishing local sales.  

2.  Discounts at Estate Sales 

If you love a piece and cant part with it BUY IT RIGHT THEN otherwise I always wait until Saturday, which around here is 50% off day at most sales. Since I'm not in search of anything specific, I have found myself waiting until Saturday to show up to a sale. That being said, if I was looking for something specific I would go on the first day a sale opens (typically Thursday), this helps you get an eye for the quality and price of the items and decide if full price is in your budget. If not, you can check back the next day (typically 25% off) to see if its still there. 

Also, dont be afraid to barter, a lot of the time companies are wanting to get the items gone on the last day. Your offer could very well be accepted - plus the worst they could say is no.

3. Quality, especially in furniture

One of my most favorite things to look for at sales is furniture. I got this dresser along with a night stand and full bed frame for $125 on the last day of a sale. I knew I wanted to refinish it so any blemishes to the finish didn't bother me. When I pick furniture I always make sure to get pieces that are solid wood and in decent shape, solid wood being key. 

Outside of furniture, my next favorite thing to grab at sales are quilts. You can get some amazing vintage quilts that are hand sewn at sales. I have, personally, never spent more than $30 on a quilt. These are something I always buy on 50% off days and will sometimes barter down even further. This quilt was made purely out of flour sacks - heart eyes. Flour sack cloth is my most most most favorite fabric ever. During the depression flour mills realized women were making clothes for themselves and their children out of the sacks they shipped flour in. Soon the mills started incorporating flowers and prints on the sacks and the idea of using feed/flour sacks as fabric boomed. You can find some timeless prints in feed sack fabric and it is my most favorite fabric in quilts. 

4. What else should I look for?

Accessories are also easy and fun to grab at Estate Sales. I have walked away with anything from an old fan to picture frames to bookends to dog bowls. Seriously. That Mackenzie Childs dog bowl set (below) was $9 and retails for $30 a bowl!

So what about those who don't want to drive all around town seeking out sales? Where should they go to find great things?

In Tulsa we have quite a few great indoor markets you can scour - some a little higher end than others. 

River City Trading Post is probably the most popular (and affordable) indoor market in Tulsa 
The Market is a great place for home decor items but don't expect tons of vintage 
My Papas Barn in Broken Arrow is always a great time and a fun place to peruse

My favorite Estate Sale Companies in Tulsa:
B&Js is so great and most often local... plus they post a ton of pictures pre sale!
Nelson Aaron Estate Sales is guaranteed to be at a fabulous Tulsa home. These are always high quality sales but at times come with a high price tag
Tulsa World Estate Sales - this is seriously the easiest way to find what sales are near you. I check this every weekend to see whats happening.

Invaluable also just posted their guide to great finds in various cities

What are your favorite ways to get great deals? Any tips?

1 comment

  1. That dresser is GREAT! I've been on the hunt for one just like that for a few months now after seeing pics on pinterest of one being used to display cake at a wedding! They're surprisingly difficult to find! Great tips!