Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Handy Dandy Tips: Going to Garage Sales

And here were are with part two of my tips on garage sales, this time from the perspective of a buyer. So let's just dive right into things, shall we?

1. Dress the part.

The most important thing to remember, and the one that is just basic common sense, is to dress for the weather. Watch a weather report the night before. Simple, right? Wear something comfortable and shoes that you can walk around in for some time comfortably. You can't go wrong with sunscreen, either.

Second thing to remember, and this might seem a little iffy, but it works: Wear your "poor" clothes. I know, sounds a little shady, right? I don't mean you have to look like a slob, but you honestly can't go wrong looking just a little shabby. Here is the thing: when you roll up in your Lexus wearing something that is visibly pricier (something branded, for example, nice jewelry, looking super "put together") people are not going to be as willing to negotiate their prices with you. If you look like you can afford what ever it is they are asking, why should they be willing to go any lower?

2. Do your research.

There are a few ways to do this. Craigslist is probably the simplest method these days. Not everyone lists their sale, but it is usually good for a few leads and sometime people will post pictures, that way you have an idea what it is you can expect. You can also check the classified ads in your local papers. Some places will now actually have these online as well.

3. Carry plenty of change and small bills.

This just makes things easier for everyone.

4. Be willing to haggle.

I can impress this enough. You won't know if they will go lower if you don't ask. The worst they can say is no.

5. Shop with a partner.

This has a number of benefits. They can watch out for sale signs while you drive. Swap lists of what you are each looking for. Two sets of eyes are better than one. Sometimes they might spot something that you have  missed. It's helpful.

6. Have some idea of what you are looking for, and what you are willing to pay for it.

Make a list if you have to. This way you are less likely to overspend when you are caught up in the moment.

7. Take a cooler... and a first aid kit!

This might seem silly, but it's nice to have along. Drinks, snacks, whatever keeps you going so you can do more shopping!! And a first aid kit may come in handy. You never know when someone might get a cut, or a splinter (or have their hand slammed in the car door, long story).

These are just a few basics, if you have any other tips and tricks please share them below in the comments!

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