Monday, May 26, 2014

Garage Sale 101

Have you ever gone to a garage sale and just struck out? I have! 
Over the last few years, I have really honed my garage sale-ing skills 
so that striking is a rarity.

Here are my fool proof rules for success at any yard sale.

1. Scout
Thursday and Friday afternoons check Craigslist for 
Yard Sales, Estate Sales, Moving Sales, and Garage Sales. 
And look for signage in your area.
Pick several sales in ONE area that you would like to attend. 

Why it works? Driving all over town to various sales takes time and gas money. 
The best goods go first and since you can't be 10 places at once, pick several places that are closer together.

2. Dolla, Dolla Bills
Get Cash the night before. No more and no less than you want to spend.
Get $1s if possible so that you don't have to worry about change.

Why is works? Unless you are at an estate sale, most people do not take checks or cards. You also have more negotiating power when you have exact change in hand (I'll explain below)

3. Get Amped!
You've got to be there early to get the good stuff so I generally swing by my favorite coffee shop
and wake up while perusing the first yard sale.  
Speaking of...
Get there RIGHT when they open. 

Why it works? The good stuff goes first. Earlybirds stress people out. An annoyed seller is less likely to cut you a be respectful, and don't get there before they advertise the start 

4. Stalk. 
Have a list of items you are looking for. Walk through the yard sale several times. If something catches your eye, look it over and then keep walking (this will help with negotiating later). 

5. Negotiate 
Before you make an offer, decide on the maximum price you are willing to pay (and stick to it!). 
Make an offer. Garage Sales beg for you to negotiate. 

  • Don't hover around the item you REALLY want to purchase. You'll seem desperate. Take a walk through the sale while you think about the purchase.
  • Sometimes having the cash in hand, and literally holding it out while you say "I'll give you $3" is too enticing for the seller to decline, and you will not even have to meet in the middle
  • Remember: the worst that happens is someone tells you no. 
  • If you are purchasing multiple items, try to ask for a single price for the lot. "I'll give you $20 to take all of this off your hands"
  • Be complimentary of the item, the seller's home - whatever you genuinely like - and tell them.
I hope this helps you in your yard sale-ing adventures!
I'd love to see what you find! 

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