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Shopping an estate sale

Everyone loves a bargain. And one of the best places to find them is at an estate sale. So how do you get the most for your money?

Estate sales are a great way to catch a glimpse of how a life was lived, find vintage items, and of course, the deals can be incredible.

Lloyd Gordon is one of the country's top estate liquidators. It's his job to make sure everything in the home is sold.

Gordon says, "There are two really good times to shop at an estate sale. For the serious shopper, you want to go in very first. You get first pick of everything in the house. Then, you want to come again on the very last day when we want to get rid of everything that's left and the prices are really low."

According to Gordon, the prices on the last day of an estate sale can be slashed between 50 to 90 percent, which can fuel a bargain-buying frenzy.

"I have literally had cases where people have gotten into a fistfight over a bowl in a kitchen," he says.

Gordon also adds another important bit of information to keep in mind.

"When [you] come to shop at an estate sale, it's not a store and it's not a garage sale. [You're] coming to somebody's private residence. A lot of times the family is there," he cautions.

While there's no harm in negotiating, Gordon says lowball offers can be insulting.

"This woman comes up to me and she goes, 'How much?' and I said, it was $350, you can have it for $50. She offered me $35 and I threw her out," says Gordon.

Gordon recommends making a reasonable offer in order to get something at a good price.

"There is a balance between a fair price for the estate and a fair price for the buyer and that's what you want to aim for," he says.

Reputable estate liquidators have a following, so find the premier liquidators in your area. Not only will they be handling the best estates, but you're more likely to get better value for your dollar.

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