Buying Coins At Local Estate Sales: A Shopping Guide For Collectors Of Estate Sale Coins

By Christina Goldman

What Is An Estate Sale?

An estate sale is generally a liquidation of physical assets from a home. Usually this is done after a death in the family, but that is not the only way you can have an estate sale. If you are in possession of a residence or piece of property containing personal belongings, you can call an estate sale. Some examples could be a divorce where community property cannot be split or someone relocates to a new job and has to move light. Normally these sales are handled and moderated by a liquidation firm. They handle all the sales and business dealings. All you need to do is collect the proceeds at the end.

Advantages Of Buying Collectible Coins At Local Estate Sales

Like anything else, buying coins at a local estate sale can be advantageous.


1. A lot of estate sales contain many years of collecting and hoarding by the owners. Thus, there can be some real treasures available if you know what to look for. This is not always the case, but people have acquired valuable coins in this manner.

2. The good thing is that you will be able to purchase the item then and there and carry it home with you. No waiting for shipping, the associated costs of shipping or the danger of the item being lost or stolen in transit. Just about all coins at estate sales are sold on a “cash ‘n’ carry” basis. You buy, you fly.

3. A big advantage to buying coins at an estate sale is you are buying from another collector. So the pieces in that collection will probably have been well taken care of and quite possibly in mint condition. The experienced estate sale coin buyer has a good idea what to pay for those coins. If you happen to run into something you aren’t sure of, you can call a friend with a computer to do a little research for you on the spot. There’s no need to “buy blind”, as they say.

What To Watch Out For When Buying Coins At Local Estate Sales

There are a few things to lookout for when buying coins at a local estate sale. Here is a short list:

1. Avoid “treasure chest” type offerings. Like in eBay, some sellers will toss a few coins into a box or bag and call it a “hidden treasure” or something along those lines. It doesn’t take anybody very much time to throw a bunch of worthless coins into a container and call them valuable.

2. Any items that are described with large adjectives are avoidable at all costs. Coin collectors usually don’t speak with words like ginormous, giant or massive when talking about their coins.

3. If the seller is offering a bonus for buying certain coins, DON’T DO IT. It is more than likely a piece of junk that the seller wants to dump on the buyer. Remember that all sales are final at estate sales, so once you pass cash, it’s yours to keep! Buy smart!

More times than not, some precious or valuable coins can be found at local estate sales. Just be informed and ready to snatch up the treasures you may find!

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