Estate sales offer great deals

HOUSTON Estate sales have always been around, but companies that organize them say the number of browsers and buyers is definitely picking up.

You know how estate sales work, you go into someone's house and pick through what's for sale. However, one estate organizer is taking the leg work out the sales by bringing the goods to one location.

You can find all kinds of stuff at an estate sale. Carol White likes seeing the curious variety of items and the idea of re-using rather than buying new.

"We get probably better quality buying something that is maybe 15 to 115 years old and it's easier than buying something new and wondering if you got your value for it," said White.

The drawback, of course, is having to drive around town looking for the deals, but on Wednesdays the deals are easier to find.

"It's hard to do it on the weekends because I have a lot of other things to do, but if it's during the week or in a place I can stop by then it is a lot easier," said White.

Easier, because the estate sale items are under one roof, tucked inside this unassuming Houston warehouse.

"Opening it on Wednesdays gives everyone a chance to shop. They do not have to schedule a time in competition with a weekend, which is when the majority of estate sales are conducted," said Lyn Huck, an estate sale organizer.

Huck has been holding estate sales for years and she says the warehouse comes in handy for clients who live in high rises or deed restricted areas.

She says lately the bargains hunters have really started coming out.

"It is amazing how the demographics have changed in the last few months because of the economic changes people are realizing they can get really good deals," said Huck.

Jennifer Nicholas has her eyes out for linens, furniture and even vintage clothing as she picks through the offerings.

"You never know what you are going to find and of course you get things at a much better price and a lot of times the stuff is still very usable and unique," said Nicholas.

She can't pass up the values.

"I have told my kids when they move or get ready to go into an apartment, you can totally set up their kitchens for probably $20," said Nicholas.

Estate sale operators generally work on a commission. They get 35 to 50 percent of the money raised. Much depends on the inventory of the house and how much time and effort it will be to set up a house for the sale.

The Wednesday estate sale is off Mullins, but the company has a website here with the address and even pictures of items for sale.

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