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As I was driving to the gym this morning I noticed an estate sale sign posted on one of the main streets. People seem to use estate sale or garage sale signs interchangebly these days and although the objective is the same, there are quite a few differences. When I think of an estate sale, I envision nice items of value being sold or actioned off. "One man's junk is another man's treasure" is what comes to mind when I think about garage sales.
Here's the definition of both sales:
An estate sale is a sale to dispose of a substantial portion of the items, owned by a person who is recently deceased, or who must dispose of his or her personal property to facilitate a move. Downsizing and divorce are also some reasons why an estate sale might be needed. Estate sales require skill and knowledge of a professional to sell the bulk of a household.
A garage sale also known as a yard sale is an informal, irregularly scheduled event for the sale of used goods by private individuals at their home. Garage sales are held at the seller's home to quickly get rid of used household or personal items (furniture, tools, clothing, etc.) at bargain prices.
The key difference is the structure of the sales and the items that are offered for purchase. At an estate sale you may not have as much bargaining power as you would at a garage sale. The quality and type of items at a garage sale will differ significantly from what you will find at the estate sale. No matter which one you plan to attend make sure you arrive early to get the best stuff.