Like regular department stores many garage sales carry a massive collection of used items, including housewares, clothing, and furniture. There are thousands of garage sellers around the world. Most of them are operated by individuals and charitable organizations.
Shopping in garage sales can be exciting, but how can you be sure of securing the best bargains?
Here are 10 tips for finding great bargains at garage sales.
1. Negotiate, But Be Respective.
Utilize a handful of simple negotiation tactics; by doing this you may be able to broker a cheaper price.
- Be ready to walk away. If the seller asks for $70 for an item, don’t offer $10. Being unrealistic will make the seller develop a bad attitude and the deal may turn sour. Instead, offer a reasonable price, such as $40, and negotiate from there. If the seller doesn’t agree, pretend to walk away- this may cause him or her to reconsider. If the seller won’t budge, walk away.
- Look poor: Don’t show up to a garage sale looking shabby, but don’t dress in your fancy clothes either. Keep it casual. Many sellers will ask for more if you look like you can afford more. Also, bring small bills so that you will not feel awkward presenting a $100 when you just bargained to get the price down to $20.
2. Check Out Listing Sites
Visit sites such as craigslist or Yardsale.com, which compile lists of garage sales in any radius. You can also download apps like Yard Sale Treasure Map or Garage Sale Rover that will help you plan for shopping by following Saturday’s agenda right from your phone or tablet. The Apps also let you sort through items by categories, such as furniture, antiques baby clothes alongside their prices, making it easy for you to find the items you need and at reasonable prices.
3. Time It Right
In addition to negotiation tactics, good timing is also very important to acquire a low deal.
One of the best times to visit a garage is early in the morning (The Early Bird Catches the Worm), just as the sale starts. High value items such as furniture, TVs, and stereos will probably be sold within the first few hours, so it advisable to get there early if you’re looking for these items. We often run into people that do home staging at these sales collecting items to use in clients homes. They tend to get there early so make sure you do too!
Late risers don’t have to give up on finding great garage sale deals (Night Owl Cleans Up). Visiting the garage sale somewhere between 10am and 3pm means that you will find items dropped in price by 30% or even more. Sellers are likely to reduce the prices as the day wears on, they wouldn’t want to put unsold items back into their storage. CDs, clothes, and books sell best at this time of the day.
4. Bring The Right Tools
If you are shopping big-ticket items like household tools, speakers, and laptops, carry your phone or tablet to Google their models to ensure whatever you’re buying is genuine and worth the price.
Carry tools such as rope to secure larger pieces to the car, measuring tapes, and screw drivers for disassembling any large items.
5. Think Beyond Your Immediate Needs
You might find seasonal decorations and great gifts, so acquire them while the price is right. Shopping Christmas lights or ornaments in June might feel a bit odd at the time, but when December comes, you’ll be glad you acquired them in the summertime. Kid’s toys make big sale items; this could be your opportunity to acquire cool birthday gifts for your kids at cheaper prices. You can also find collectible items or earlier versions of toys like you may collect like the very popular Shopkins. Garage sales are a great way to expand any collection you or your kids have.
6. Start a Collection
Don’t inquire about items piece by piece, gather a small collection and ask how it costs for all of them. Garage sellers love to sell items in bulk; chances are that you may end up bargaining a great deal by buying in bulk, rather than single pieces.
7. Form a Strong Relationship
Don’t just hang around- approach the seller and start a conversation. Find out from him of her about the items you are interested in, and when they were acquired. Establishing a refined connection can make acquiring a deal much easier.
8. Know Exactly What You Are Looking For
Make a list of the items you are looking for. This will help you avoid frivolous purchases.
9. Shop Wealthy Neighborhoods
It is likely that wealthy neighborhoods will sell high-end items at pocket-friendly prices. Who knows? You might find gold there. Literally.
10. Don’t Spend More Than You Had Budgeted For
When you run out of cash, then it is the right time to go home and not the ATM.
More Garage Sale Tips
Here is a video with some more garage sale tips from our friends over at The Better Show.