Estate Sales, Appraisals

and Consignments

Iron Horse

(815) 575-1272  |Now ServingCrystal Lake, IL area &Minocqua, WI area!  


If you don't have enough inventory for your own estate sale, we buy Silver, Gold & Coins.

We also buy authentic Civil War Military Items.



Now serving Crystal Lake, Illinois area AND Minocqua, Wisconsin area.

ILLINOIS - Algonquin, Barrington, Bull Valley, Cary, Crystal Lake, Huntley, Lake in the Hills, Lakewood, & Woodstock. 

WISCONSIN - Arbor Vitae, Boulder Junction, Manitowish Waters, Mercer, Minocqua, & Woodruff.​ We must collect sales tax in WI.

Summary of our standard estate sale services:

Debbie is happy to come out to your home for a free consultation. It is very helpful for you to have a pretty good idea of what you are keeping versus selling at this point.

We spend about 2 weeks getting the typical sale ready. We really do care about you & take pride in how we do our job. We're thorough, conscientious, honest, organized, & fantastic at what we do! Our effort & time maximizes your sale's earnings & assures you can rest easy!

We generally run two-day sales that fall on a Saturday & Sunday. Really large estates may require a three-day sale, however.

Our fair commission (all costs) to run an estate sale come out of the proceeds of your sale. There are no up-front fees.

We obtain any necessary permits & advertise aggressively.

We strive to earn our clients as much money as possible, while also assuring the items are priced reasonably enough to move.

Our staff consists of appraisers & professionals specializing in antiques, art, sterling silver & gold, coins, vintage, & contemporary items. We have relationships with many auction houses & know when an item is special enough to send to the right auction house for you. From the common to uncommon, you are in great hands with Iron Horse Estate Sales!

We physically touch every item that is for sale to determine factors such as, but not remotely limited to, age & condition and whether further research is needed to assure we price properly.

We accept all major credit & debit cards (including American Express). This is very important as they are often 1/3 to 1/2 of our sale totals. We absorb all fees to process them. ​ 

​We're happy to provide booties (shoe coverings) for attendees to wear at sale upon client's request.

We hire staff just to be at the front door all day. Many companies do not. The door staff has the job of keeping a head count & making sure that everything that leaves has been paid for: 

> We only allow so many customers in at one time (for liability, safety & security purposes). How many people at one time  depends on factors such as the size of the house, how packed it is & situations like Covid protocols. 

> We use the same door as both an entrance & exit at all of our sales.

Companies who do not use all-day door staff cannot control the amount of people in the house at one time. This is a recipe for disaster, increasing the possibilities for theft, vandalism, accidents, & damage to property.

We do not discount on the first day of sale. We do offer customers the opportunity to submit offers for higher-priced items. At the end of day one, we will go over the day's sales with you, discuss any submitted offers with you, and determine what kind of discounting will be offered for the last day of sale.

What we advertise will actually be in the sale when we open first day! NO ONE buys early! Not us, not new home owners, not realtors, not best customers - no one. No one will be cherry-picking our sales before they happen! ​If the best stuff is sold before the sale, it's not there to be advertised to draw customers to your sale!

We properly staff your sale! In addition to two cashiers & a door man, we staff at least one estate sale professional on each floor of your home (how many depends on size of home).  

Only cashiers come into contact with your money and we use receipt books - providing accountability for every transaction! 
Most companies just stuff money into a waist pouch, providing no accountability. 

We bring in locked display cases that we keep at the cashier for small valuables that are for sale (fine jewelry & watches, coins, fancy pens, etc.). 

We are happy to arrange for a charity pickup of your choice after sale's end for a 501(c)3 tax write off that YOU benefit from, not us.

Your payment is available as early as 5 days after sale's end to no longer than 10 days after, depending on our schedule and your needs.


Don't have enough for your own estate sale?

We often can take many of your items on consignment! We can either place them in someone else's estate sale (with their permission and keep the accounting completely separate) OR we can sell them online or at auction for you. 


We Appraise!

Debbie McArdle is a member of the New England Appraisers Association and complies with all industry standards as outlined in the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), frequently working with lawyers, trust officers, estate executors / administrators, and insurance companies.  

Debbie is also Secretary of the Wisconsin Antiques Dealers Association and President of the Chicago Suburban Antiques Dealers Association.