Published: September 10, 2015
Zachary Gold is the proprietor behind The Bargain Bus (www.bargainbusnyc.com or 718-543-1112), a service offering daylong, estate sale shopping tours, with round trip transportation from New York City or a location to be determined (for private tours), visiting multiple professionally run estate/tag/moving/garage sales in Westchester and Fairfield Counties. Aimed at New York City residents but open to anyone, guests can hop aboard the bargain bus for the day to check out the best of estate sales in the suburbs. Trips are scheduled every Saturday and seating can accommodate up to 14 people; lunch and snacks are provided. Group rates and private shopping tours are available.
Where did you get the idea to do this?
I grew up working for Great Expectations Estate Sales, where I worked with my dad, Daniel Gold. We realized most people in New York City don’t have cars but the flea markets and thrift stores in the city are so well attended that we figured people would want to get out of the city to visit estate sales also.
Tell us a bit more about your background in the antiques business.
I worked at Great Expectations moving furniture, helping customers and pricing items. My father and I have always enjoyed buying and selling items, which is how I put myself through college. I specialize in electronics, gym equipment and antique furniture. My dad always had a knack for antique instruments, tools and just about everything else.
Your dad is a part of your business, yes?
A huge part! He is the whole reason I got involved with antiques and estate sales and we work together every day promoting the business.
Is it mostly for people who live in New York City?
It is totally aimed at people in the city, although I have had people come from the suburbs.
Where do you take your passengers?
We have done about eight tours of varying sizes so far since we started up in the spring. We have stayed in Westchester and Fairfield Counties since that’s where I grew up and worked, so I know that area the best. I have not done New Jersey yet, but have gotten requests to run a tour there as well as Long Island. I plan on expanding, but want to build a following with a consistent customer base first.
What are some of the most interesting objects bought by people on one of your tours?
Tough question because everyone is looking for something different. My favorite purchase of a Bargain Bus shopper was an antique bacon press, which you can see on our website’s blog. The most profitable thing I personally bought on the bus was a weight machine for $150, which I sold for $3,000 after some shipping and storage costs.
How do you curate your tours and choose where to go?
I base our trips around three of four professionally run estate sales in the most upscale neighborhoods in our destination. I contact the estate sale companies running those sales for photos and to get an idea of what we’ll see and put the pictures and info up on our website. We also stop at anything interesting that we see along our way, such as small private garage sales, tag sales and more, where shoppers can often get the best deals.
How long do the tours last?
The whole day! We pick up at 8:30 am and 9 am and don’t get back until around 5 pm. Shoppers get a complimentary lunch, snacks and drinks. Spots fill up fast though, so reservations through our website are recommended.
What are some of your upcoming tours?
We have tours every Saturday as well as a special event coming up September 19, where I am partnering with East Village Vintage Collective, a new vintage shop that opened in August with two floors of vintage clothing, books, vinyl and more. The tour will actually leave from their shop on East 12th Street instead of our usual spot. We will then head up to Westchester and I am anticipating the bus will be full.
Are you planning to do more collaborations in the future?
I am definitely looking to do more. We did this as a one-time thing at first to get the ball rolling but I envision partnerships with all kinds of secondhand businesses in New York City.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm