Who doesn’t love grabbing a bargain at a garage sale? Whether you’re looking for some vintage vinyl to add to your record collection or hunting through kitchen sections for the best cookware brands, here are five top tips to help you secure your next unbeatable bargain.
Plan in Advance
By planning in advance, you can hit a few sales in one day and maximize your chance of finding the best bargains. You’ll be able to see which sales are more popular and which sellers have the types of items you’re hoping to acquire. If you have a friend or family member willing, have them come with you when you visit to help choose the best spots and pick up bargains.Inspect the Items Before You Hand Over Your Cash
Don’t just take someone’s word for it that an item is in good condition and worth purchasing. Remember, the seller is trying their best to get rid of the item, so they may not always be truthful.
Before you buy anything, test it out to ensure it’s in good condition. Take note of any obvious signs of wear or damage, and ensure that there aren’t too many flaws for the price. If buying clothes, check the tags to see if the size has been changed, and beware of fake tags that can mislead you about the origin of the items. For things like cookware, inspect the item thoroughly, looking for nicks, scratches, and other damage.
If possible, bring someone who knows what they’re doing and has a strong eye for detail to help with the inspection process.
Be Prepared to Negotiate
Bring your bargaining skills to the garage sale, and be prepared to negotiate when it comes to these deals. If something catches your eye but might be overpriced, sit down with the seller and ask if they would be willing to lower the price.
Many people don’t negotiate at garage sales because they’re afraid of being seen as rude or cheap, which is understandable. But if you’re just shopping around, it’s not rude or weird to ask the owner to reduce the price.
The best trick for negotiating is to make sure you know the market value of the items you want before going into the garage sale. That way, you can be ready with counteroffers. Garage Sales Tracker has average costs for most garage sale items.
Shop at the Right Time
The best times of day to grab a bargain at a garage sale are either early in the morning or late in the afternoon. By going first thing in the morning, you’re less likely to encounter crowds. As a result, you’ll have a better chance of finding treasures before others snap them up. If you’re shopping for larger items like electronics and furniture, it’s best to get there before other shoppers arrive.
Meanwhile, shopping later in the day means you’re more likely to encounter a 50% off bargain as sellers try to get rid of their remaining stock.
Keep an Open Mind
Were you visiting a garage sale for clothing but spotted a sound system for sale? Just because you didn’t plan on buying a sound system doesn’t mean you should walk away. You could grab yourself a bargain and flip it for a profit. The same applies to anything you might find, which is why the best advice is to always keep an open mind.
Garage sale shopping is a fun way to spend a weekend. So, check online for garage sale apps and websites to help you discover your next bargain.