Yard Sale Tips That Will Save You Money


My friends.


Today our last garage sale of the year.


I may soil myself in excitement.


We have had a yard sale all but two weekends since July. Even for the most hardcore bargain hunter, that’s a LOT of sale.


It had been slightly lucrative, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say the Saturday morning garage sale hunt has lost some of its luster for the Craigslist crowd.
Apparently the cultural generation would prefer to see photos while sitting online and communing with the computer than actually get out into the resale trenches, arrive at a yard sale early, and potentially miss a rare find because there weren’t enough tag words associated with the prize.


Who knew?


Spending the weekends outside has given me an appreciation for our mountaintop weather. This morning we will start the day at a balmy 40 degrees.


Have I mentioned I’m a wee bit happy to be ending the yard sale?


Now we’ll have to break everything down, and three mobile carports of goods will not break down easily. But we are motivated.


I’m not one to let all my yard sale knowledge go to waste, so I guess this may be the best tip to give you my tips for successful bargain hunting and sponsoring.


1. How to figure pricing. The best way to figure the pricing for that stunning velvet painted Elvis wall hanging (or any other treasure you’re likely to find) is to estimate it’s price at purchase. Immediately cut that price in half. Now consider the condition of your prize – excellent? good? poor? broken but usable? Adjust your pricing accordingly. We tend to price things at about 80% of initial value. Because we have a ridiculous amount of stuff and if someone shows interest in anything, we want them to go home with it!


2. Bargain. Good bargaining banter can be quite fun but most of us are used to buying our items in the store and the cashiers tend to frown on a haggling mentality. At a garage sale you can play with this. Go back and forth with the seller, offering tidbits about why your offer is better than theirs. It’s purchasing using amplified words and it can be fun! The only time I’ve ever been bothered by this is when I said something was worth $40 (remember, that’s already at 80% off initial value!) and the buyer offered $2, then threw the item to the ground and stomped off when I said, “No.”


3. Talk to the Seller. If you’re looking for something in particular, talk to the seller about it. We have loads of stuff in storage we haven’t gotten out yet – when someone tells us what they’re looking for we can often match them up with an undisplayed treasure. Plus, as you know, I’m a big fan of talking to people you wouldn’t normally approach – it’s an excellent way to gain appreciation for others and get new ideas!


I would like to give more points but the ruffians just erupted from their room. Which means I must be a mom, then a last-chance yard sale maven. What a life!


Do you have any good garage sale tips?

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3 thoughts on “Yard Sale Tips That Will Save You Money

  • October 30, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    Yeah- now you can sleep in on the weekends! Oh yeah, the kids- darn.

  • October 30, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Aw, man. I missed it! What are you going to do with everything now? Can I come peruse before you chuck it all?! I’m just sure there’s something I can’t live without!

    • October 30, 2011 at 8:20 pm

      Oh, and a tip: My mom always says, “You can judge the sale by the sign!” Basically, if the sign is well made and easy to read, it’s more likely to be a good sale than if it looks like the person didn’t take any time to make it look good. Often, it’s true! 🙂


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