If you are a regular estate sale shopper, you might have come across more than a few changes in the way estate sales are executed since the pandemic began. Sellers have had to make many adjustments to ensure the shopping process is as safe as it can possibly be.

Here are some tips on what you should bring to an estate sale, as well as some common courtesies to practice while you’re there.

Bring Your Own Shopping Bags and Packing Supplies to the Estate Sale

Some estate sale companies no longer provide bags, packing supplies, or sign up pens due to COVID. This is an intentional effort to prevent germs from inadvertently spreading from one person’s hand to another when they touch the same materials.

Chances are, you have at least a few pens and bags sitting around your house. Many Pacific Northwest communities were encouraging people to bring reusable bags when they shopped before the pandemic to help reduce waste, so you may already have shopping bags on hand.

The same goes for boxes and packing tape. If you know you’re looking to buy a large item or something that contains a lot of components — like a china tea set, for instance — go ahead and bring a container to take it home in. At Fruitcocktail, we will use any supplies on hand from the home and may bring some extra packing materials for customers to use, but not every estate sale host will have these supplies.

Wear a Mask to Protect Other Estate Sale Shoppers During the Pandemic

estate sale

Even if your local jurisdiction does not require masks at the moment, it is a good idea and common courtesy to wear one to an estate sale during a pandemic. Any person, whether vaccinated or not, still has a chance of carrying the virus. Wearing masks has been found to reduce transmission of COVID-19, as well as other viruses such as the seasonal flu.

Even if you personally are comfortable without masks, wearing one is a simple way to help other shoppers feel safe.

Be Nice to the Estate Sale Staff

Estate sale staff are people just like you. They are there not only to help the seller to liquidate their property, but to help buyers find what they are looking for. They are more than happy to help in any way they can, as long as you are respectful.

Even if you do not find anything you wish to buy, please follow the rules of the sale, respect the property the sale is being held at, and respect the staff working there. The staff will deeply appreciate your kindness and consideration.

Be Patient

No one likes waiting in line, and sometimes lines might seem longer if the shoppers are practicing social distancing. We all know how frustrating it can be when things seem to be taking longer than they should. The best thing to do in this situation is to just practice common courtesy, wait for your turn, and be mindful of your surroundings.

Showing a bit of patience can go a long way, and practicing it can pay off — especially if it allows you to get the sweet deal you were hoping to snag.

By following these tips, you can help make the shopping process smoother for everyone, including yourself. To be prepared, please bring your own pens, packing supplies, shopping bags, masks, and whatever else you might need to any estate sales you attend, especially during COVID.

Please be nice to the staff and be patient if you have to stand in line. Everyone has had a hard time during this pandemic, and we could all do with being a little kinder to each other!

If you have further questions about our COVID guidelines in regard to estate sales, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Fruitcocktail team.