Estate sales are odd birds. While it’s not Neiman Marcus, it is still a shopping experience and at Sophia’s Estate Sales, we strive to make the experience as pleasurable and pleasant as possible. Yes, you the customer must be quick to grab your desired items and you want to bargain for a better price, but that is no excuse for being impolite (most customers are lovely but a little boorish behavior from the few can ruin the experience for everyone). That being said, here is a little estate sale etiquette:
Please wait patiently
There is a line at the beginning of every estate sale. Now, every company handles this in a different way; at Sophia’s Estate Sales, we do a list. Other companies just have everyone line up, while others pass out numbers. Please be familiar with that company’s policy and follow it. We limit the number of people in a house for a reason: safety! We do not want you to trip and fall, get injured or break something. Bring a coffee and chat with the people around you whilst you wait your turn, and we will strive to get you into the sale as quickly as possible.
Please read signs
We put up a lot of signs for your benefit, like price lists, the day’s discount, marking areas that are off limits, warning of hazards like uneven stairs, the locations of items, and they are printed on bright neon paper so they are easy to spot. Please read them.
Please go through items calmly and neatly
We literally spend hours folding linens, hanging clothes, arranging items so that they look attractive and are easy to see. Please don’t be like the Goops and toss sweaters on the floor, fling earrings down wherever, rifle through piles with nary a care. Please put unwanted items back where you found them as neatly as possible or hand them to a member of my staff.
Please say “please” and “thank you”
Please be polite to myself and the staff. We want to help you and answer your questions, and being really nice just may get you a better deal.
Please make all purchasing decisions before going to the cashier
We realize that at estate sales the items are used and frequently not in optimal condition. Please check your items for chips, cracks, stains, etc before putting them in your basket and going to check out. It really holds up the cashier line if you are changing your mind about half of your items at check out.
Please wait patiently, again
There can be a line at check out and you may be holding a single $5 item and have a $5 bill ready. Ask nicely if you can cut in front of the lady with three garbage bags full of clothes, but you may just have to wait. We try and move check out as quickly as possible so it won’t be long.
And thank you
Thank you for taking the time to read this. We want our estate sales to be fun for everyone and a little kindness and gentilesse from all of us goes a long way.
Since 2015, Miss Sophia and Sophia's Estate Sales has been Chicago's premier estate sale and appraisal company.