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I don't know about estate sales in other areas, but around here (East Texas) the owner of the estate sale company will haul in a huge trailer stuffed to the gills with her items, display the items all over the house, making people assume the items are from the family. 

About two months ago a friend of mine attended an estate sale of a friend's mother.  She purchased a small brooch as a memento.  Later when she showed it to her friend she found out that the brooch was never her friend's mothers, but an item put in by the estate sale company.  She paid $35.00 for something she would not have ordinarily bought for herself.


Is salting a common practise?

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Texas junkin,

I'm glad you posted this. I'm eager to hear from our members.
I have not come across this in New England.... but now I wonder what members have to say.


Hi Texas Junkin ladies!, In my opinion NO! It is never acceptable to do so, under any circumstances! It is unethical, in most all respects!

I've been an estate sale specialist for over 17 years, and am a certified appraiser of antiques and collectibles to boot! Doing such a thing, imho is deceitful to your customers. Without my customer base, ( over 6000 followers now) I don't have a "business"! and most customers that find out that a company has been pulling off this sorta stuff, will soon be outta biz, at least in my "neck of the woods" which happens to be the greater Detroit Metro area of MI.

Few area's are more competitive than mine, Chicago, NY and Some cities in CA. are really the "Big Biz" areas for estate sales in general.

The only exception I would consider, is if other members of the same family wished to include some of their own personal items. In these cases I "color code" items that belong to "sister, brother, cousin" etc. each having their own color, and my customers know this!

It's the same family, and if a sale could use a bit more to attract more buyers to it, then this would be appropriate, but all my customers know this, when they see the colored stickers on items, and I keep lists right at the cash register on which this info is recorded.

I have heard many outrageous practices in various places around the country, and I think they are mostly under served by estate sale specialists. The main problem seems to be that running and owning an "estate sale company" is low start up, cost wise. Also, many places have no laws requiring a company to register, or show any proof that they have the knowledge and experience to "run any business" let alone having a good working knowledge in this field!

This is precisely why I am one of few in my area that is not only bonded and insured, but also am certified as an appraiser , via IRS requirements, and I'm also a member of the BBB !

So, If I were you, I would probably ask for a refund, on the purchase of that item. It is NOT what is was advertised to be, and that is Fraud!

Best Wishes, Vicki


Your reply makes perfect sense.  Here are a couple of thoughts I've come up with as regards an estate sale owner who salts.    There will be an enclosed trailer on site (plastered with their logo) and also, the garage and back yard will be filled with boxes.  Homeowners will have a few boxes they use for storage, but not twenty or thirty (empty).

Thanks for replying.

I have seen that lots of times in my area at estate auctions and sales, I knew a guy, dead now, had a place up north in Michigan, and would have an estate sale yearly, the windows were boarded up he would take the window covering off the home to have the sale,it was in a tourist area, it was a old vict farm house, so he would put up fancy light fixtures, vict furniture, and all the rest and have a sale, locals never went as they don't have any money, but all the tourists did and it went well for him for years he would buy up the end of an estate sale and use that persons name as the person who had passed away

also have had auctioners seed stuff all the time with great stuff to bring the crowds and it goes home with the same people all the time

i go in with the deal of open eye, very seldom do I go to a sale for a memory, it i do it is a certain thing, other wise it is all just merchandise bid up to a point $$$. and will go only 1 more bid if I am off of the number like I said $100. and the other person bid the $100. i will go to $105. and I am done, no sense on just having an item just to have and sell for the same $$ to some one else, unless I am bidding for a friend, then what ever they tell me is the top bid.


Actually, the guy with the Victorian farm house, is a genius.  Only the locals know how devious the guy really is.  A win-win situation.


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