A Guide to Garage Sales
Posted on Monday, July 18th, 2011 at 5:12 pm
Garage sales are a great place to find amazing deals. First, brush up on your garage sale negotiation skills. Remember, everything at a garage sale is negotiable. If the seller refuses to negotiate, don’t be afraid to walk away.
How do I prepare to shop garage sales?
It can be hard to prepare for a garage sale since nothing is predictable, but that’s part of the fun. A good place to start is by making a list of items you are looking for. Garage sales are great for college students or young people who are just starting out on their own. With a little searching, I was able to completely furnish my first apartment with garage sale deals – and for a fraction of the price it would have cost otherwise!
After you’ve made your list, decide what your maximum budget for each item is. This will help you negotiate and avoid overpaying when you find what you are looking for.
Lastly, before you set out shopping, check the newspaper ads and websites such as Craigslist for garage sale listings. Many sellers advertise a day or two ahead of time, so you can get an idea of what they are selling and where they are so that you can map out a route.
How do I know if I am getting a good deal?
A general rule of thumb for garage sale shopping is that you should never pay more than a third of the items original retail price. For example, a chair with a retail value of $30 should cost no more than $10 at a garage sale. Of course, you will have to use your own discretion to evaluate the condition of the item. Don’t waste too much time at overpriced garage sales – there are sure to be better deals elsewhere!
As far as electronics, you won’t be saving any money if it is broken or breaks right after you buy it. There’s no guarantees or warranties with garage sales, so don’t spend more than you’re willing to lose on garage sale electronics. If there’s a power outlet at hand, ask if you can plug the item in before you purchase it.
I’ve personally found that garage sales offer some of the biggest savings on items such as furniture, kitchen supplies, home decor, clothes, books, and toys. Garage sale shopping can be a lot of fun, especially when you find something you love at a great price. Happy bargain hunting!