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Pam Kueber’s 8 Tips for Shopping Estate Sales

Want to learn how to furnish your home with 50s decor? Use these 8 tips for shopping estate sales.

1. Get there … whenever.
Resist the pressure to be first in line, so that you don’t end up with stuff you don’t want. Plus, getting there later means more room for

2. Do a fast walk-through.
Go through all the rooms and scan them fast, to see whether there’s something you want to grab right away.

3. Check the hotspots.
Attic, basement, garage, closets: The greatest treasures—the odd, the forgotten, the vintage clothing—may be hidden away there.

4. Check the perimeter.
Draperies, rugs, and wall or door decorations and fixtures may not be in high demand, so you might have the field to yourself.

5. Pack your supplies.
Bring your area measurements, a measuring tape, towelettes to clean your hands, and cash.

6. Don’t be a jerk.
It’s okay to negotiate, but be nice. Respect the folks running the sale, and remember the homeowners whose lifetime of treasures you’re sorting through—it’s good karma.

7. If in doubt, don’t buy it.
Or wait a day and see whether you still want it. No regrets—there’s always another sale.

8. Take your time.
Enjoy your free tour of this historic house, and look for all the little touches that make it so special.

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