December 23, 2022

Can You Negotiate Prices at an Estate Sale?

Woman holding Sale Pending and SOLD signs

Most estate sale companies make a percentage of the total sale so it’s in their best interest to sell as much as they can.

If your estate sale pricing is too high you won’t sell much and you won’t make much. If your estate sale pricing is too low you might sell everything but you won’t make much.

Most successful estate sale companies find a sweet spot in the middle to maximize profit and sell as much as possible.

Keep in mind that almost every estate sale company has a set discount schedule. It helps move items out the door and gets shoppers back in the door multiple times.

Now, let’s get into more detail about how to negotiate a sale.

What Not to Do at an Estate Sale

Here are a few don’ts if you’re trying to negotiate a lower estate sale price:

  • Don’t walk in the door when the sale first opens and expect to start negotiating.
  • Don’t be rude.
  • If you want to try and negotiate an estate sale price early, be discrete.
  • Don’t switch tags to get a lower price. This will get you banned from a sale.
  • Don’t be afraid to leave a bid on an item, but don’t bid too low.
  • Do not ask for a discount on every item every time you come into the sale.

How to Negotiate Prices at an Estate Sale

Now that you know some of the don’ts let’s look at how you can successfully negotiate a better price.

The best way to negotiate a lower price on an estate sale item is to build relationships. Consistent, pleasant customers who are at our sales regularly have a better chance of getting a deal than some loudmouth stranger we have never done business with before.

Some more do’s include.

Bid on an Item

If you have a price in mind for something there is no issue with you leaving your name, telephone number, and a bid for an item. Sometimes people will ask to leave a bid and end up getting the item right then for the price they wanted. You never get what you don’t ask for.

Come Later in the Day

After the sale has been open for a few hours, you can negotiate a price that is above the following day’s discount. For example, If we close at 4 pm you might come in at 2 pm and offer $85 on an item we have marked for $100. If the next day that item will be $75, we’ll accept the offer.

Do come back a couple of hours before the end of the final day if you want to try and make a bulk price or bundle things. I’ve seen some people get some great deals on items in the last couple hours of a sale. Keep in mind that sometimes families can set reserves on items and we aren’t allowed to go below that price.

Build a Relationship with Estate Sale Companies

Build a positive relationship with estate sale companies that you enjoy doing business with. If we recognize you and you have been fair with us in the past that greatly increases your chances of getting a better price on an estate sale item when you try to negotiate.

Keep in mind that every company is different and may have a different schedule for discounts.

It’s okay to inquire when discounts start and what percent items will be reduced. But, always be polite and respectful when trying to negotiate a lower price on an estate sale item. And be willing to accept you might not be able to make a deal.

There is always more stuff down the road that you can buy!