Saturday, May 15, 2010

Garage Sales

Do you shop at garage sales?  I will admit this is a very hit and miss job.  So many sales I unload my two year old . . . we walk around the shop for about a minute and realize there is nothing there for us.  But, on occasion I have days where I find something so wonderful it makes those "misses" all worth it.  In the past two weeks I have had two such hits! 

Find #1 and Tip #1== Shop at the end of the sale.  If you know when the sale is going to end then show up just before they close down.  They are wanting to get rid of everything then and prices are almost free!  I got all of these clothes for my son for $2.50 (it was $2 a bag for the clothes and then one outfit was not included but it was only 0.50 itself)
Find #2==Prelit, over 6 foot, remote controlled, white light and colored light Christmas tree $25.  No tips on this one, I didn't even attempt to talk her down in price (broke my own rule).  This is an over $300 tree for $25 in near new condition!!!

Tip #2-Know what you are looking for.  If you drive by and see nothing that looks like kids stuff (no swingset in the yard, no toys at the sale) and you are looking for clothes and toys for your kids then keep driving.

Tip #3-Research.  You can often find garage sale listings in the newspaper, Craig's list, or on your local TV stations classifieds.  See what people are listing for sale and arrive EARLY if you see something listed that you are especially interested in.  (Toddler beds, pack and plays, swingsets . . .  usually are sold in the first few minutes if advertised properly)

Tip #4-Know what cash you have.  Don't talk someone down in price and then hand them a huge bill to break.  Have small bills so that you can say "I have a $5 . . . can I get all of these items for $5?" 

Tip #5-Tell the kids before you go how much money they have to spend and give it to them.  Nothing can ruin your trip worse than a child begging you to buy trinkets at each stop.  Give them a set amount of money and they can spend it however they want during the shop.  If they don't spend it they can save it for next week.

Tip #6-Always ask for a lower price.  (the one I broke with the tree)  They can always say no  . . . but they may surprise you and say yes-especially late in the day or on a hot or rainy day.

Tip #7-WALK AWAY!!  If you don't like the price they are willing to settle for then walk away.  No returns on garage sales so don't make a big purchase you will regret.  You can always go home and research and then come back . . . if it's gone then it wasn't right for you anyway.  :-)

What tips do you have for people headed to garage sales?  Any advice you can give?

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