Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Yard Sale Tips

Here are some tips for making "garage saling" fun and worthwhile: 1. Keep a list of things you are looking for that you *know* you need or want. Often I�m looking for certain garden equipment, kitchen utensils, tools, etc. that I can live without until I find a good deal. 2. Find a good route, in a fairly affluent area, and follow the route and signs along the way. I don�t mean for this to sound snobbish, but I have often found the best quality items in more affluent areas. Generally speaking, clothes, toys, and other items are in great condition because they have a faster turnover as they replace their inventory more often. You�ll save gas by following a particular route once you�ve found an area you like rather than driving in all directions. 3. Get to know your prices, just as you do with your regular shopping. For example, I would never pay over $.25 to $.50 for a paperback book. We won�t go much higher than that. Some people are clueless about what to charge because they haven�t been to garage sales. You can find wonderful deals, or you can find things way overpriced. If I stumble on one where the items are really high, I usually walk away pretty quickly, unless they have something I�m extremely interested in purchasing. 4. Polish your negotiation skills! This is the best place in the world to practice negotiating. There are different ways to negotiate, and sometimes you can get a *feel* for how flexible the people are with their prices by listening to others making offers. I use one of two approaches. I will either say, "Are your prices negotiable? If so, what is the lowest you would go on this item?" The other approach I will use is to simply offer a certain amount based on what I am willing to pay for an item. If I have alot of items at one yard sale I will figure in head what it would be at their price and then will ask them if they would take so much for it all. Like for example - I found 7 pairs of AE & A+F jeans that would fit my husband which they had for 3.00 a pair so I asked the lady having the sale if I bought them all could I have them for 1.50 a pair!! She said yes!! All you have to do is ask - All they can do is say no and most of the time you will be very happily surprised. 5. In addition to items on your list, look for things that will make nice gifts. Keep a list of those people you need to buy gifts for and any particular interests they might have. You can find wonderful jewelry at low prices. I�ve often found board games in *like new* condition, or still packaged in the original shrink wrap. If the game has been opened, take the time to make sure all pieces are there and things look new. I also have found books in new condition for gifts. Garage sales are great for finding *specialty* gifts that might fit a particular person�s hobby or tastes. 6. You can sometimes find great deals on clothes. Go before school starts to pick up name brand clothes for your kids at low prices. 7. If you have an expensive car, use a different one for garage sales. If you drive up in an expensive car, or wearing flashy jewelry and fine furs (yeah, right!) there goes any leverage for negotiating. 8. Look for block sales. These are great because you can park your car and walk to several at once. Many areas hold annual yard sales and we track those. 9. Don�t be afraid to ask for something you might be looking for but don�t see. My husband always asks sellers if they might have any video tapes they want to offload. Many people say "just a minute," disappear into the house, and shortly we are walking away with a box of tapes we just bought for a song. 10. If you enjoy doing crafts and making gifts, garage sales are fantastic for finding craft supplies. I have found countless items such as yarn, embroidery thread, cross stitch material, stitchery kits that have never been opened, scrap material, silk flowers, lace, shadow boxes, frames, etc. I have also found many supplies for my painting hobby which makes it much more cost effective. 11. Tools, camping equipment, outdoor and indoor furniture are always available at yard sales. This can be a cost effective way to pick up what you need at prices you can afford. I would personally tend to stay away from electronic items since I don�t know much about them. If we find something that either my husband or I are pretty sure we can repair, we might take a chance if we can get a real bargain. 12. We always look for items we can resell to make a profit. We used to resell things at garage sales or through want ads. Now we have Ebay! We have made a lot of extra money over the years doing this. 13. To avoid filling up your own house with more clutter and items you won�t use, always ask yourself if you will be able to use the item you are purchasing, give it as a gift, or resell it for a profit. In my earlier days, I accumulated too much stuff just because I couldn�t resist great bargains. I have become much more picky with all purchases, including my yard sale finds. 14. Budget a certain amount per month for garage sales. Keep the money in an envelope so you will have cash for your purchases. If you buy items to give as gifts, then you might add some to your garage sale funds from your gift fund. There�s always a way to do some creative financing here. I keep a empty coffee can in the kitchen where all of our change goes. That is a great fast way to add up some garage sale money. Plus the people having the sales always need change. 15. Do research on ebay for what is "HOT" so you can be on the lookout. 16. Get the local newspaper on thrusday or friday and really map out your route - That will save you time and money in gas. 17. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. Bring your own snacks and bottles water. 18. And the most important tip------ Have plenty of small bills and change!!!!!!!!! 1

Monday, August 27, 2007

$3 Billion Dollars!!!!!

That is what is estimated to be the amount that the American people spend at yard sales each year!! Wow ! That is a huge amount considering that yard sales do not go on year around. That is a ton of money. I hope that when I have my next yard sale some of it comes my way!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

This was a Great Yardsale Weekend!!

Me and my hubby spent friday and saturday going to yardsales!!
We found some great things.
I found 4 new American Eagle shirts for my son, 2 new pair of shorts, and a Magic the Gathering card set for a whole 25 cents at one yard sale and spent a total of 2 dollars!!!!!
We went to another yard sale and I got a Hall China Teapot with nothing wrong with it for a whole 25 cents.
My hubby got our 11 month old son a Leappad learning pad for 2 dollars. It also came with one book.
I got my daughter 3 shirts at one yardsale that are real nice and only 1.00 for all of them.
I know I am forgetting alot of stuff. We got so much and hardly spent any money.
It was so much fun. It was so weird no yard sales for so long and the few there have been priced really high , and then BAM all of a sudden hundreds of yard sales and priced like they were when I was a kid in the 1970's!! All of the yard sales we went to were priced so low. 10 cents was the norm. We got a stack of movies on dvd for 2 dollars!!!! new ones too.

I hope this is something that will stick around.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Garage Sale Smarts

I have participated in neighborhood garage sales and worked at church rummage sales. Both were enjoyable experiences and I learned things from them. One of the things I learned was how to spot an experienced shopper. You can tell these people the minute they walk in the door. Entertainers would say these shoppers "worked the room." You can work the room by following these shopping tips.

ARRIVE EARLY. Years ago my husband and I participated in an eight-family garage sale. Though the sale started at 8 a.m. people started lining up at 6:30 a.m. By starting time the crowd was huge. The first people in line got all the good stuff.

BRING A LIST. Your list should include the things you are looking for and the sizes people wear. Note other sizes as well if you are shopping for a group. Put a star by your top items. Stick to your list and resist impulse buying unless you find a bargain too good to pass up.

SCAN THE STOCK. Experienced shoppers circle the room quickly to see what is there. Signs may help you do this. Items should be displayed in categories if there are no signs. Make a bee-line for the top items on your list.

LOOK FOR BRAND NAMES. I was working at one rummage sale when a determined woman came in the door. She went through the clothing like a lawn mower through grass. In less than 15 minutes she had filled a huge box with designer clothes. After she left we tallied her purchases and found she had purchased $300+ worth of clothing for $50.

BUY IN BULK. Another church rummage sale shopper said he was buying clothes for an orphanage. We did not know if this was true, but sold him dozens of children's shirts, slacks, and socks at below bargain basement prices.

CHECK WORKABILITY AND PARTS. A lamp with a broken socket will not do much for you unless you are an electrician. Test electrics to ensure they are in working order. Also check games and puzzles for missing pieces.

LOOK FOR BOOK/VIDEO BARGAINS. Garage and rummage sales often have cheap books and videos. These items may be sale priced, such as five paperbacks for a buck. Cook book collectors may find vintage books at sales. Avid readers may find classics and best-sellers.

INQUIRE ABOUT SPECIALS. Many church rummage sales have specials just before closing. My church has a $1 all-you-can-fit in a bag special one hour before closing. Many shoppers come early, check the stock, do not buy anything, and return for bag special.

GET THE DATE. Churches have regular garage sales. Ask the cashier when the next sale will be and note it on your calendar. The family across the street from me has a garage sale every July. Experienced shoppers know this and watch for their ad. Garage and rummage sales are lots of fun when you use your shopping smarts.

Copyright 2007 by Harriet Hodgson


Harriet Hodgson has been a freelance nonfiction writer for 28 years. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and the Association for Death Education and Counseling. Her 24th book, "Smiling Through Your Tears: Anticipating Grief," written with Lois Krahn, MD, is available from http://www.amazon.com A five-star review of the book is posted on Amazon. You will find other reviews on the American Hospice Foundation Web site ("School Corner" heading) and the Health Ministries Association Web site.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

ONline Garage Sale

I found an actual online garage sale. YOu can list your items that you have for sale or trade and then if someone sees tham and wants them they can reply.

ONline Garage Sale

Monday, August 6, 2007

Can One Man's Trash Really Be My Bedroom Decor Treasure?

You've probably never thought about recycled furniture as home decor. In fact, you might be disgusted by the thought of someone picking up your old furniture when you set it out on the curb for trash pickup. However, if you think about it, furniture is recycled all the time, with pieces being sold in garage sales or sent to Goodwill and other charity services for those who are less fortunate. If you are working with a small budget, a garage sale or a second hand store can actually be a great place to find your newest bedroom furniture item or decorative piece for the foyer.

Actually, if you think about it, all antiques are technically recycled, but because they often have a ridiculously high value attached to them, people don't see them as used. The same can be said of some second hand furniture, which you can even update yourself if you want to make it "like new", still costing much less than a new wrought iron bed or wood dresser. If you spend a Saturday or Sunday shopping garage sales and yard sales in your area, you could probably furnish an entire house for the cost of one or two new pieces, and just because the units you buy don't match doesn't mean you can't work with them.

For example, maybe you buy a TV armoire that is in nearly perfect condition at one yard sale, but it is a shade of brown that doesn't match your living room at all. At the next garage sale, you find a great storage ottoman, but it is olive green, which not only clashes with your current living room d├ęcor but also with the couch you just bought. You can go to a fabric store and purchase enough fabric in the color of your choice to recover both items or to even create simple slip covers that can be removed and washed for both items. Overall, with the cost of the two pieces used and the material, you've probably spent less than you would have on just the ottoman had you bought it brand new.

The same is true of wood furnishings. Perhaps you need to get an additional nightstand for your bedroom, and everything you have so far is cherrywood. Yet, at a second hand store, you find a piece that is the same style as your current shelving for a very low price that has an oak finish. It is quite easy to buy some sandpaper and apply a coat or two of cherrywood finish to a sanded unit, and the cost difference from buying a new unit is definitely worth the time.

So, next time you start thinking about how crazy some people are for buying used bedoom furniture, think twice about how crazy you may be for turning down the opportunity to purchase something that you can update yourself and save an outrageous amount of money. As the old adage says, one man's trash really is another man's treasure.

Ben Weissman writes articles about Affordable Modern Beds, Discount Bedroom Sets and Interior Design. You'll find more Decorating Ideas at Home-and-Bedroom.com Make your bedroom into a personal retreat!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Yard Sales This Morning

I actually got up early this morning and went to the five yard sales that were in our local paper. I got 2 like new outfits for my baby , got him some great toys, my daughter got some great like new aeropostale jeans for school and they were only 25 cents a pair, She also got some great 1980's style red flats, and some great shirts. I even got me a couple of pair of jeans. I got my son a couple of movies, a baseball, and a basket ball hoop for his bedroom. A small one. I think we did pretty good and even had a little bit of my 20 dollar budget left over.
It was way too hot though. We were all soaking wet with sweat by 8 o'clock. 97 degrees!!
Tomorrow we are getting up for my daughters high school dance teams yard sale.
Another HOT day!