Tough economic times have led to an increase in estate sales. Once parents pass away, family members choose to have an estate sale to bring in extra money through the liquidation of heirlooms and valuables. Silver and precious metal items are often in abundance at estate sales, and shoppers looking to add silver to their investments can find a great selection and reasonable if not below-mark prices.

Finding Good Sales

There is a bit of a challenge in finding a good estate sale. Driving around and aimlessly searching for signage can lead people to estate sales where a house full of items with no value can be frustrating to dig through. Silver bars may be hidden away or were never part of the sale. If someone seeking to purchase silver from estate sales does some homework, these opportunities can uncover a hoard of silver no one paid any attention to or knew were valued.

Start the search for estate sales online at,, in local newspapers, local penny-saver periodicals, online classified ad sites, and through word of mouth. At times, driving back and forth to work or for common errands can reveal signage posted ahead of an estate sale. Stopping safely and writing down the information or snapping a picture of the sign with a camera or smart phone will add to a list of resources.

Doing Research

Make phone calls ahead of time whenever a phone number is supplied with the estate sale information. Those managing the estate sale may focus their advertisements on larger ticket items like furniture or something the estate sale offers in large quantities such as fabrics, clothing, or any other household item. A collection of silver bullion may not be the focus.

Then there are estate sale moderators who know much about precious metals and they may advertise heavily to move these more pricey items at the beginning of the sale. When inquiring about precious metals, coins, or bullion, ask about the quantity, what precious metals are included in the sale, the pricing, and where the items were minted. Also, find out if there is any documentation pertaining to the authenticity of the collection.

If the timing is right, silver bar investors may show up at an estate sale before any other purveyors of bullion notice the sale. This can allow for a great opportunity to purchase the entire collection. Most estate sales are open to bargaining, while others may have staunch pricing and not be willing to barter.

If you have up to the minute market prices for silver and find a large drop in price right as you are negotiating the purchase of silver bullion, it can provide leverage to offer less than the asking price. With a smart phone or other device in hand, the evidence of such a drop in price can be shown to the estate sale administrator, and a deal struck.

Silver investors can save time driving around by doing research and making phone calls to gather information before embarking on a long day of estate sale shopping. Overall, estate sales are quite hit-or-miss, but can occasionally provide outstanding opportunities.