How to Negotiate at a Garage Sale
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How to Negotiate at a Garage Sale

Posted on Saturday, June 4th, 2011 at 4:12 pm
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The first thing you need to know about garage sales is that everything is negotiable, so don’t be afraid to offer less than the seller’s asking price. You can optimize your bargains by following a few simple steps for negotiating at garage sales.


  • Timing matters. If you arrive early, you are more likely to find the best items. However, there is a catch to arriving early because the sellers won’t be as eager to negotiate. Later in the day, sellers will be much more willing to lower their prices on what’s left. It really depends on what you are looking for. If you are looking for something specific, it is probably beneficial to start early. If you are just searching for the best bargains possible, hold off until later.
  • Gather all the items you want to buy and then approach the seller when they are not busy. Sellers are generally more willing to negotiate on a group of items. If they are busy with other customers, they aren’t going to want to take the time to negotiate at all.
  • Start your negotiating by offering a lower price than what you are willing to pay so that you have room to bargain. A good place to start is around 50-60 percent of the seller’s asking price, but of course this varies from item to item. If you start too low, the seller might shut down and be unwilling to negotiate with you at all. You’re the best judge of the situation.
  • If the seller doesn’t accept your offer or make a counteroffer, ask them how low they are willing to go on the price. If this price is in your budget, great! If not, ask them if they would be willing to lower the price later in the day if the item hasn’t sold.
  • Smile and stay friendly, even if your negotiating isn’t going as well as you hoped. Seller’s will be much more receptive to your offers if they like you.


Negotiating at garage sales can take some practice, but with a little patience you will be walking away with great deals in no time. Good luck and happy bargain hunting!

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