Spring has sprung & the first wave of Garage Sale season is upon us! I’m so excited! I just love hunting for treasures at garage sales, yard sales, rummage sales… whatever you want to call them. This weekend I'm kicking off the season with a big annual church sale that will be 100% children's clothes, toys, books etc. It will be fun!
When Dan and I first started dating (years ago), he was skeptical of my Saturday morning adventures. I don’t think it was till much later after we were married that he came to fully appreciated my thrifting efforts. I would point to some cute outfit at the mall, and say “Oh, I got one of those for $1.” After looking at a few of the price tags in the stores, he was convinced it was a good thing. Now, on occasion, he and Willie even go with me and we make an outing of it.
Here’s Will (you can see him if you look closely, I promise) sitting amid the bargains from just one morning’s effort last summer. Almost everything was name brand. It was all just like new, and I spent less than $20 for the lot.
So are you excited now too?
If this is going to be your first year trolling the streets for bargains, you might enjoy some advice from an old pro such as myself. If you are also an old pro when it comes to tag sales and the like, maybe you will be able to add some good tips of your own.
My Personal Rules for Garage-Sale Shopping:
- Know where to go. (ads from the paper may help guide you, or maybe you know of a specific neighborhood you like)
- Set a budget & stick to it.
- Know what things are worth TO YOU. It doesn’t matter what the seller might have paid for it last year. What do YOU consider a fair price?
- Inspect items carefully - there is no return policy
- Only buy what you have room for. (Don’t be like those scary folks on Hoarders. If you don’t have room to store it, and can’t use it now… don’t buy it. It’s that simple.)
- Be very careful of baby equiptment that looks rickety or dated. There could be a recall.
My Personal Rules for having my own Garage-Sale
- Pick a good location
- Price everything clearly (I just hate it when nothing is priced, and they say to "make an offer". I'm not much for bartering, so I usually just leave empty handed.)
- Price everything reasonably (So you paid $40 for that Nike running suit? Sorry, but nobody shopping at your sale cares. If you want more than a couple bucks for it now, sell it at a consignment shop.)
- Put an ad in the paper or post on Craigs List or similar on-line posting site. Be specific
- Put up signs (for those who don’t read the paper and don't go on-line)
- If you are selling anything that requires batteries or electricity... make some available so your customers can test items like radios or mechanical toys
Most importantly, whether you are selling or buying... remember to have fun, be polite and don't give up if you have one bad outing. Next week might just offer you the mother lode!