Hi Friends! Iā€™m Natalie Mason. I live in Charleston, SC and I am mom to Sterling 12 , Frances Moon 8 and our mini golden doodle Dolly.



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Estate Sales: I’m Dishing all my Secrets.

Oct 11, 2012

I have been going to Estate sales with my mom for as long as I can remember.  You might be wondering what the difference between an Estate Sale and a Yard Sale is.  Well an estate sale is where everything in the house is for sell and you can walk through the home looking at everything whereas Yard sales are usually just items placed in the front yard.  I am not dissing yard sales but Estate sales are so much better.

If you are wondering how to find estate sales the best spot is to look in your paper. I know in Charlotte and Charleston there are companies that put on most of the Estate Sales and you can get on their email list.  They will email you prior to the sale with the location and pictures of the items for sale.  I am on the list here in Charleston and I get weekly emails.  The sales usually start on Fridays and last thru the weekend.  It is key to get there Friday or good stuff gets scarfed up.  It is also important to get there and get in line before the start of the sale because sometimes they only let a certain number of people in.  If you are not in the first group in you are just missing out on everything.

Estate sales can be overwhelming.  People are usually lined up outside way before they start and then it is crazy town once the doors open.  I love going with my mom because we can split up and divide and conquer.  Big tip is to bring a bag with you.  I always bring one of my recycled grocery store bags that way I can throw items in there quickly and keep looking.  Without a bag your arms will get full fast.  I have seen people carrying plastic bins to cram stuff in as well. 

 There are a few main things I look for at Estate Sales (now that I am writing this,  I am thinking is it a good idea to share all my secrets?  Oh well here you go, the wine is making me feel generous today.


Many estate sales have some great old vintage jewelry that you can score for cheap.  If if a necklace is broken you can easily fix it when the prices are so cheap.  Think outside the box.  Brooches can be remade into necklaces and rings resized.  Here are a few vintage items I scored two weeks ago for a grand total of $15.  I love vintage jewelry because it is so unique.

I looped the large pendant on a chain I already owned and have been rocking the heck out of it.

Two other necklaces I found at an estate sale downtown for $20.  Plus I also scored the Lucite tray for $5!

The necklace on the right is made out of ivory and such a cool piece.

{Dishes & Serving Utensils}

Estate sales are a great place to find random kitchen dishes.  A few weeks ago I found this set of vintage white cookware that you can use for individual souffles and pasta dishes.  Ina gave me the idea for that.  I got 8 dishes for $12.   I am always on the lookout for classic or vintage white dishes because they can match any other serving pieces.

I like to collect Sterling Serving Utensils for entertaining as well.  Here is another score, $2 for this great pair of old servers.  They need to be polished so don’t be judging my tarnished spoons.  Look past the fact that are tarnished.  Silver is so easy to polish and clean up.



Estate sales are filled with incredible glasswares.  Glasses are my weakness.  I think because I love to entertain and booze it up I love to have cute glasses.  Even if it is an odd number of glasses it is still a score.  When I entertain I love to mix it up and use different glasses.  I found these adorable star glasses for $10.  There were only 3 which probably steered most people away but it doesn’t bother me and honestly Matt and I use two of them all the time.

I also love to find pretty pitchers to use for mixed drinks when entertaining.  This beauty was $1!!  I mean it cost less than a bottle of coke.  

Two other things I found recently, vintage crystal ice bucket and martini shaker.  Both were $4.


I am always on the lookout for good coffee table books at Estate Sales.  Normally the books are super cheap at the sales.  Nowadays great coffee table books run $50+ a book and you can usually find them for $10 or less at estate sales.   Don’t judge a book by its cover (literally)- I always remove those cheap paper covers.  I check the spines and covers underneath to make sure they are in good shape.  I look for books that interest me and that match the color scheme in my den.  I found all three of these ivory books at estate sale.  And actually now that I think about it my mom found the brass seashell at an ES as well!

{Concrete Potters} 

Concrete potters can cost an arm at a leg but usually they are dirt cheap at ES.  You may want to bring a man with big muscles to carry though because they can get heavy!  I know my sad pot is empty I am in the process of revamping my potters for fall.

{Random Accessories}
Estate sales are the perfect spot to score random decorative accessories for your home.   My mom found these adorable foo dogs for me at an Estate Sale in Charlotte.  Love them.

Other items to look for are Artwork, and Furniture.    Keep in mind the furniture can always be recovered or painted if you like it and the price is right!  Sometimes you can find smocked kids clothes as well.  And occasionally you can find legit purses.  True story my sister went to an estate sale and it was at the home of an ex-athlete in Charlotte and she score a Louis Vuitton Garment Bag.  Had it checked out it and was 100% authentic.  Moral of the story you can find great stuff at these sales.   Just remember not every sale is great in fact most aren’t, you just have to dig and know what to look for.  I leave plenty of sales empty handed.  But it is the thrill of a good find that keeps me coming back!  So get on the estate sale bandwagon you will be glad you did- especially since I just shared all my secrets!

btw this is so unrelated but Sterling just said to me “Mama you are my favorite girlfriend.”  Melted my heart.
and thanks to my girl Ashley who suggested I write this post!!




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  1. Those glasses are awesome!! Also love your multi strand necklace!

  2. such great finds. Now, how do you find your estate sales? That is the real secret!!!

  3. Georgine says:

    So cool!!! Will need to dig up the scoop so I can get on that gravy train in Charlotte. And what a coincidence, I posted on vintage stores/clothes today too!

  4. So fun. My friend down in Newport Beach has a great eye for this stuff…estate sales, flea markets, antique events…you know it! She can always find the good stuff! I need to hone in on my abilities!

  5. There was an estate sale down the block from us. I'm kicking myself I didn't go. I get there are tons of really good ones here in Chicago. I need to get on a list like you are!!!

  6. Keely says:

    Love, love, love this post! You scored AMAZING pieces! My mom & I shop that same way…divide and conquer! I think yard sales are awkward, who am I to judge what your crap is worth. I like estate sales because the owners are usually not there, and the items are usually better quality. Enjoy the thrill of the hunt! Thanks! : )

  7. PAZ says:

    I remember my mom dragging me around to estate sales when I was little. My favorite ones were when they sold homemade pie!

    I've just recently started appreciating being able to go to sales and use tips my mom taught me so many years ago!

    I LOVE going with her though, because that lady knows her stuff! She can take one look at a piece of furniture or china and tell you what it is and what it's worth!

  8. livingchel says:

    This is such a great post. I added it to my favorites so that I can look back for reference. I've never been to an estate sale, but you can bet that I will be doing that soon. I love the crystal ice bucket BTW!

  9. Such great finds! I wish I was good at this!

  10. Congrats on all your wonderful finds! I love estate sales.

  11. Alicia xoxxo says:

    GREAT post! You have given me a lot of ideas. I bet I could find some pretty cool ES here in LA?
    That is so cute what Sterling said. Melted my heart too!

  12. I've always wanted to check out estate sales! Love the foo dogs!

  13. This is one of my very favorite posts of yours! I went to an amazing estate sale here in Charlotte last year — a Lowes exec was moving cross-country to Seattle and they sold basically everything in their large house (which had incredible and breathtaking furniture and antiques).

    I asked the estate sale company to put me on the email list for future sales and have yet to receive one, boo! I need to start checking our paper for their listings.

  14. Great finds, Nat. I've been to one estate sale in my neighborhood, but I just don't think it's my thing. I'm not good at digging. Probably why I also rarely go to Homegoods or those places.

  15. Dara says:

    I love estate sales, and I'm thinking I need to hit up Charleston to find some goodies over there!

  16. Awesome Post! Thx for sharing! I am going to start going to estate sales!

  17. Kerr says:

    What company handles the sales in Charleston? I would love to get on that email list!

  18. Ashley says:

    Yay for this post! I am a HUGE fan of bargain shopping but have always been intimidated by estate sales. I wondered about the lines out front but now that I'm armed with your tips, I may try one out…gonna need a bunch of furniture for the new place! šŸ™‚ xo

  19. Those are some great finds! The foo dogs and the lucite tray – seriously?! That ivory necklace is gorgeous too!

  20. Great tips, girl! I'm already a big fan of the ES, but I didn't even think about a mailing list and having an actual game plan (c: It's a good thing I live way over in AZ so I'm not the competition (c; And Sterling is just the sweetest little guy, love that comment!!

  21. Hi there, I am Ada – real nice to meet you. I just discovered your blog and I love it, so very versatile. I love the fun, real & funny name of your blog, too. =)

    Love all the jewels featured on this post especially the necklaces. Nice silverware and some fun kitchen stuff, too.

    I think the best thing about blogging is the people "we meet" and all the inspirations and good vibes we get from them. So I welcome you to my blog and please follow me, as I am your newest follower and fan, too. Thank you – I appreciate it.

    Take Care, Ada. =)


  22. Glitterista says:

    Love that brass shell! I adore flea markets and estate sales and have far too many glass options for when I entertain! They're always so charming though, so I can't resist. šŸ˜‰

  23. Jill says:

    you have me inspired to check out estate sales here in STL

  24. Great post, Natalie! Love your finds too! I seriously need to go to more of them here!

  25. I am a huge fan of estate sales. I grew up going to them with my mom, too! We need to get back in to it. Love your finds!

  26. This type of books really very useful for students and for everybody, because by these books we can get the more and effective info about history and increase our knowledge. Really thankful to you for posting this blog. antiquarian books for sale

  27. Gina says:

    I have just discovered estate sales in the past three years and love going to them!! My husband likes going too!! We live in a pretty rural area so we don't have too may here so it is such a treat when there is one!! Loved all your finds! I have a real weakness for dishes and kitchen stuff. Last one we went to we found some boopie glasses that matched somewe found packed away in my mother-in-law's attic after she passed away. I think it's kinda cool to walk through the homes too. šŸ˜‰

  28. So many great tips in this! My husband and I love estate sales. The last one we went to was at a neighbor's home and it was awesome – we found a great record player, we almost purchased it but instead let our best friend purchase it instead. I'm still wishing we would have.

    Estate sales are so much more organized to me too. I always like coming back after a few hours when the cut the prices down too.