7 Tips from a Garage Sale ProI don't know about your neck of the woods but neighborhood-wide garage sales are starting to pop up all over the place here. And I have to be honest - there are few things in life I love as much as a good day of seeking out treasures at garage sales! Most of the furniture I own has been picked up at garage sales, flea markets, vintage shops, or thrifted in some other manner. If you're planning to hit up the local garage sale circuit this weekend, here are 7 tips for being a garage sale champ!
1. Find the hot spots
A lot of neighborhood sales or multi-family sales are promoted in advance in the local paper and on Craigslist. Generally, they include information about the big ticket items available and the hours the sale will be open. Put together a list of a few sales or areas you'd like to target to get started if you're on the hunt for something specific. Of course, it's just as fun to drive around looking for what's good!
2. Go early
This one probably goes without saying, but a lot of the good stuff sells early. That doesn't mean you have to be up at the crack of dawn (kudos to you, if that's your thing), but you definitely want to get mobilized in the morning. By midday a lot of sales will be picked over, and the goodies will be long gone.
3. Wear comfy shoes
If you're in it for the long haul, comfy shoes are a must because you'll be on your feet a good chunk of the day. The same is true if you're hitting up a local flea market. Bonus points for making sure to pack a big to-go cup of your favorite coffee. A little extra motivation never hurt anybody.
4. Pick and choose
There's no need to hit every sale on a block. You can usually tell from street level if a sale has the potential to offer what you want. A sale with a lot of kids clothes, for instance, will often have a lot of kids' toys and books, too. So if that happens to be what you're hunting for, mosey on up!
5. Bring cash
Again, this one goes a bit without saying, but garage sales are almost exclusively cash-only transactions. Bringing cash in a variety of denominations will make shopping easier, since a lot of people won't have a ton of cash on hand to make change, especially early in the day.
6. Be prepared to haggle
Most prices at garage sales are what I like to call "suggestions." There's almost always room to negotiate, especially on big ticket items. If a sale has lot of things you love, you can likely bundle your purchases for an even steeper discount. When in doubt, it never hurts to make an offer! The worst thing that can happen is they say no!
7. Prepare for the weather
Most sales take place rain or shine. If it's a rainy day, you'll face less foot traffic on the hunt for deals, but you'll want to be prepared with rain boots and an umbrella. The same is true if it's sunny and hot! Pack water and sunscreen and dress in layers so you can adjust your clothing as necessary.
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