Saturday, September 8, 2012
The Young Person's Guide To Estate Sales
A copper colander bought for $18.00. A Wusthof Classic Chef's Knife-retailing for $100.00 plus, bought for $12.00. A set of high quality measuring spoons-$1.00. All bought yesterday at an estate sale.
When I stand in line to get into a good estate sale(and there is always a line), I like to talk to people or eavesdrop on other conversations. Yesterday a woman told me she had been to a sale the day before to pick up some things for her son to take off to his first apartment. What a shame I thought, that the son was not there to shop for himself. What a shame the crowd was short on young people and long on the over thirty fives. What an opportunity missed to pick up quality kitchen ware from pans to corkscrews to spatulas. Certainly a young person lucky enough to have a job and not to have to live with his parents is wise to buy cheaply, but money spent at an estate sale is far better spent than a dollar wasted on cheap stuff at the dollar store. I have never been at an estate sale that lacked a box or basket full of essentials such as soup ladles, spiders, garlic presses, peelers costing next to nothing. There is always a coffee maker, a toaster- for under $10.00. The going rate for a food processor is under $30.00. Kitchen towels for a buck apiece, and nice ones too. High end pasta bowls, salad plates, coffee mugs. There is a reason wise Latino and Kurdish women in Nashville come to these sales. They, like me, are not too good to buy second hand from the estates of rich people.
Let us not be too fastidious to buy used linens from a sale either. If you are unlucky enough to be in the hospital you sleep on well-laundered community linen. Nor are you the first and only to sleep on motel or hotel sheets. I bought a set of Egyptian cotton Royal Sateen sheets and pillow cases yesterday for twelve dollars. Retail would have been ten times that. Nice Martex bath towels for $3.00 apiece, and a bag of washcloths and hand towels by Martha Stewart and Laura Ashley tossed in for free with the bundle you have already bought-I saw all of these yesterday.
Clothing may not be as appealing, especially if you want it vetted by fashion magazines and your peers. But for fashion independents and self assured bohemians, there is hidden platinum among the old lady Republican Committee Woman suits that are so predictable at an estate sale. Interesting hats, mink coats, sequined ball gowns, big name purses. The deceased did not shop at Walmart.
A friend with a truck, and a visit in the waning hours of the sale's last day may bag a sofa, bookcases- big stuff others did not want to cart home, and for more than half off.
Not to mention prints, paintings, candlesticks, neat lamps, vintage luggage, a vacuum cleaner, a box of cleaning supplies.
And there is no tax on used clothing or goods in Tennessee.
Imagine an interesting and eclectic first apartment that does not look as though you wandered into Ikea and bought the same stuff as everyone else.
Young people- Go to estate sales!