They're in line early and have a good idea what they're seeking.
At a recent estate sale in Everett, the line to get in wrapped from the back yard down the driveway. The sale was the first of two, beginning with the husband's belongings.
Bob Husak and Lauren Takores, both from Seattle, were among the early crowd of collectors allowed inside. Husak sells records and helps replenish his stash at estate sales.
"We go every weekend," Takores said.
As she talked, Husak held up an album, noting that one of the wives of Playboy legend Hugh Hefner was on the cover.
"He knows things like that," Takores said of Husak.
Most of the early shoppers at this estate sale, however, were not there for the records.
The belongings were of a couple who had emigrated from Germany. The husband was a pilot in training for the German Luftwaffe during World War II, who later worked for Volkswagen and then for Boeing for 35 years. His wife ran a dress-making shop; her belongings are being sold at a sale beginning May 3.
Chris Foss, of Seattle's Foss Appraisal Service, thought the variety of items the couple owned made for a good estate sale. The appraisal company holds only one or two similarly sized sales each year.
Hundreds of books, many on World War II or military history, were lined up on shelves in the den and filling the garage. One of the rare books on hand: a copy of "Code of Virginia" published in 1860. The book contains slavery laws in Virginia and was published a year before the Civil War erupted. Each of its previous owners had signed the book, which was priced at $200.
Photos from dozens of Boeing Co. plane deliveries filled boxes. A case with Boeing belt buckles sat in the kitchen. German invasion maps from World War II sold for $50 each.
"Boeing (collectibles) we see a fair amount of," Foss said. "Not so much on the Third Reich."
Sorting through a box of postcards, Brenda Treser remarked, "the postcards are going to be in order at my estate sale."
Treser, who lives in Bothell, isn't as serious about attending estate sales as many in attendance. She and her daughter, Rebeccah, have been going to sales for a few years. Mostly Treser looks for postcards from places she has been, tea cups and broaches.
At the Everett sale, Treser found several postcards and an album from the 1962 World's Fair in Seattle.
"Somehow, all this comes home and gets put away," she said.
Marty Fredrickson attends estate sales to pick up items for Odyssey Coins & Collectibles in Everett. The shop specializes in military collectibles. He sees a lot of the same people, those interested in military items, at estate sales around the Puget Sound area.
Fredrickson thinks it would be wrong to make assumptions about the kind of person an individual was based on his or her estate sale. Looking through the Everett man's belongings, "I wish I could have met him," Fredrickson said.
The second part of the estate sale takes place May 3. For more information, go to fossappraisal.com.
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