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  • Writer's pictureKathy Condon

Palm Springs Garage and Estate Sales

Updated: Jun 28, 2023

Bougainvillea Red Flowers at Base of Palm Trees discovered while exploring Palm Springs Garage and Estate Sales
View while exploring Garage Sales and Estate Sales in Palm Springs

In case you haven't heard, many Palm Springs, California, residents hunt for the perfect accessories for their homes at garage and estate sales. More than one person has arranged her Friday and Saturday morning schedule to stop at sales, trusting she might find a unique treasure.

Palm Springs Garage and Estate Sales Are Different

Estate Sales

Palm Springs is relatively a new town, incorporated in 1938; it is only 84 years old. Thus, it has not been long since these magnificent homes' original owners passed away. Now their heirs may have settled in other parts of the country. The burden of keeping up an estate that may once have been their family home is more than they want to handle in their lives.

With objects chosen from the homes that are meaningful to them, heirs are often left with a house stuffed with things and memorabilia that have no intrinsic value to their modern-day family. Thus, they bring in a professional estate agent to handle the items. Tattoo Mark is an active estate agent who regularly handles sales in Palm Springs.

Experience has revealed that early looky-loos are not allowed. So, if you want to be one of the first to peruse the items, you probably will have to stand in line for a minimum of ½ hour, but more likely an hour for the more prestigious homes. If the sale advertises it will start at 9:30 a.m., that is when the doors open and not earlier.

Tree designed on metal for entrance door saw when going to Palm Springs Garage and Estate Sales
A Residential Door Discovered While Going to Estate Sales Photo by Kathy Condon

Once you are allowed in, the fun begins as you start to explore these Palm Springs estate sales. As a lover of art, my first trip through the house is to check out the art. I have found art is one of the first things people look for, so if you see something, be sure to immediately take it off the wall and claim it as yours. Usually, there is a spot where you can put your chosen items together until you are done "shopping."

If you are looking for a particular item for your kitchen, you might want to head there first. Rooms that are not to be accessed are marked off with tape. But otherwise, you are allowed to wander through the entire home.

This is important. If you see something you want or haven't made up your mind about, keep it in your arms. Many people are following you who might find the item you wanted is perfect for them or a friend, and it will be gone when you return for it.

Take the time to peer into the backyards, even if items are not for sale there. Again, seeing some of these beautifully manicured yards with pools and unique spa designs is your chance to see places you may not have access to in the future.

With decisions made, gather your purchases and proceed to checkout. Cash is king at these sales. Estate sales are often held during the week.

Garage Sales Are Normally on Weekends in Palm Springs

Garage sales typically occur when the house's cupboards and the garage are getting too full of items one does not need or want anymore. Items usually are smaller in size than objects found at estate sales.

Two Yucca blossoms in full bloom discovered when exploring Palm Springs Garage and Estate Sales
Yucca Plants in Palm Springs Neighborhood Photo by Kathy Condon

When I arrived in Palm Springs, my early Saturday morning activity was to explore our many garage sales. A local friend enjoyed researching, so she would discover the locations and put them on a list for our morning adventures. Eventually, she even had the list numbered, so we didn't backtrack.

In the beginning, I was setting up my condo, so I needed everything. We would meet at 8:00 a.m. and were off, armed with water bottles and our hats. I remember running across a waffle iron and immediately purchasing it for $5 because I missed the one I had left behind.

As a jewelry lover, sales with an array of jewelry were always dangerous for me. Like most women, we have to have the right jewelry with the right outfit—just like men need the right tool to make or fix something.

If you are looking for glassware at reasonable prices, garage sales will help you quickly be able to tick things off your list. You might even find a match to a set you already have so you can replace that broken glass.

Tiny dog in a woman's handbag discovered at Palm Springs and Estate Sales
One of the Visitors to Palm Springs Garage Sales Photo by Kathy Condon

How do I control the urge to buy stuff at Palm Springs garage and estate sales?

It is easy to get carried away buying things because they are very inexpensive, and they are calling to you to say, "Buy me!" Thus, I have come up with my guidelines:

1. It has to be arty.

2. It must be a step up from anything I own. An example, I had a stapler but found an executive stapler that exuded class.

With a condo well-furnished now, I rarely stop at a garage sale. However, I watch the ads, and if an estate sale is in one of our exclusive areas, I will often go. It is the only way we can see some of these stately homes and gardens.

Palm Springs garage and estate sales are more prolific during the fall and winter, for summer temperatures are not conducive to standing out in someone's front yard or wandering through a house with all the doors wide open.

For more "inside" information about Palm Springs activities, please sign up to receive my blog updates on the form below.

Kathy Condon in white shirt, bead necklace with short hair.
Kathy Condon Travel Writer and Resident of Palm Springs

Kathy Condon is a freelance journalist and travel writer. She is the Founder of the Palm Springs Insider Guide. Her book It Doesn't Hurt to Ask: It's All About Communication was named Best Book Finalist By USA Book News

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