Estate Sales as Cultural Practice

Let's use this space to explore the meanings of estate sales, and to share resources about this social and economic practice.

Questions to be discussed might include:
  • Under what circumstances do people hold estate sales on their own, and when do they contract them out to third parties?
  • To what extent are buyers at estate sales conscious of engaging with traces of the dead and with the dividing up, as it were, of a dead person's biography? How do sellers allude to, or deflect attention from, the facts of a recent death?
  • To what extent, as Ruby et al argue in their 1984 film, "A Country Auction: The Paul V. Lettzel Estate Sale", may estate sales be understood as symbolic arenas through which the living say goodbye to the dead?