Last updated on July 12th, 2023 at 08:25 pm

The terms estate sale, garage sale, yard sale, and moving sale tend to get jumbled around and used across different sizes of sales. Although all refer to selling items due to downsizing, moving or someone passing away, they are in fact different. Although you may have a lot of items to sell, it doesn’t always mean that an estate sale is the best option to liquidate. Here are some tips on how to differentiate between an estate sale and a garage sale and how to determine which option is the best for your situation.

Quantity Matters

An Estate Sale typically includes selling the majority of the items in your home. This is why estate sales are typically hosted in the home. This is a common choice when someone passes away or is downsizing from a large home to a small apartment or care facility. Typically estate sales are hosted inside a person’s home with the entire contents available for sale, including antiques, collectibles, mid-century era items, and general household items found in closets, drawers, attic, garage, etc.

Estate Sale

A Garage Sale usually involves the sale of a mix of home, garden, clothing, and possibly furniture items and is typically held in a yard, garage or driveway. Garage sales are great options for people who need to get rid of some items after spring cleaning, are moving from one house to a similar size home, or are cleaning out as children grow up and grow out of items. Garage sales general include non-antique furniture and general household items.

Assess the Types of Items You Have to Sell

Estate Sales should include higher value items such as high-end furniture, fine and vintage jewelry, silver flatware, china, vehicles, antiques, and collectible items. If you have a home full of items to sell and are unsure about the values, a phone or in-person consultation with an estate sale company is a great way to help determine if you should pursue planning an estate sale.

Garage Sales include an assortment of items, typically less valuable than those at estate sales. This can include but is not limited to clothing, kitchen items, bedding, kids’ toys, tools, etc. If you have many items that you feel can go in $1, $5, or $10 bins, then a garage sale is probably the best choice for you.

Donate, Donate, Donate!

After you determine if an estate sale or garage sale is the right option for you, it’s important to have an exit strategy for items that do not sell. If you have an estate sale, your estate sale company will evaluate all the items that you have and can provide suggestions on what to donate and even where to donate it.

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