The Art to Garage Sale Shopping

In case you weren’t aware, this Saturday is National Garage Sale Day. Even without the official recognition, August is a major month for neighborhood garage sales as everyone wants to get rid of excess items before summer ends. Make sure to get a notepad and start hunting through the Craigslist ads to find the best sales tomorrow! In anticipation, I have a few tips to help you grab the best deals this weekend.

Plan Ahead

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(Seriously, prepare your vehicle the night before if you’re planning to haul furniture home from any garage sales….)

If you’re going to hit up the yard sales tomorrow, get your car ready tonight. Make sure you have plenty of room in your trunk and clean out the rest of the vehicle if necessary. Also – do yourself (and the sellers) a favor: make sure you have cash available. If possible, try to get small bills as some sellers might be limited throughout the day.

Be Strategic With Your Timing

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The two best times for garage sale shopping: early in the morning and late in the evening. Use this to your advantage – if there are any sales you absolutely want to check out, make sure to hit those ones up first thing in the morning. And if you find an item that hoping to get a better deal on, stop by before the sale closes for the night… assuming that it is still available, you may be able to purchase for a much lower price.

Negotiate With Kindness

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Remember the saying that you get more bees with honey than vinegar? If you find an item you like but you’re less than thrilled with the price: remember the human. Try striking up a conversation with a seller about the item’s history and create a personal connection. Also, be fair with your offer – try not to suggest lower than 20% off unless there’s obvious damage or major issues. If you have multiple items, you can ask if the seller would consider a “package deal”-type price for the lot. But more than anything, be polite. Don’t be afraid to walk away if you can’t settle on a price but treat the sellers with respect.

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Freelance writer. Equestrian. Fueled by coffee. Lover of luxury fashion, college football and used bookstores.

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