I love garage sale season! That is really an understatement. I can’t wait every year until the sales start. When I was a kid my mom took me and I hated it. I really thought I would never go to garage sales, as they were for people to buy used things for cheap …….. uh, yeah? Oh how my thoughts have changed now that I am grown.
Now, I do quite well buying and selling, and just about everything, and I mean everything, in our house is from a garage sale. I don’t mean run down, torn, thrown out items. We have appliances, leather furniture, antiques, computer monitors, lamps, chairs, tables, fire pit, tools, camping gear, and so much more. It’s really hard to buy retail, once you buy from sales.
I wrote an article previously about making money from garage sales that gives many of my tips. However, anytime I post one of our treasures on my Facebook page, I always get comments wondering how I find such awesome stuff. Here are few more tips:
If you like newer items, clothing, and baby items, head for the newer subdivisions. Usually they have LOTS of baby items and baby clothes that have hardly been worn, if ever! If you like unique and vintage/antique items, head for the smaller, older subdivisions. These residents have lived there longer and have had more time to acquire and store their stuff!
Anytime is a good time to go to a garage sale. I have gotten great stuff early and great stuff later in the day when I would have thought everything good would be gone. However, this is one situation where the “early bird really does get the worm”. We usually are on our way as the sun is coming up!
Once you have searched Craigslist and decided where you will go, it’s time to get ready! Things to have on hand include:
- Money! I always have $100 on me with at least 25 one dollar bills and lots of quarters and dimes. You don’t need that much, but since I buy to sell, I don’t want to lose a great buy because I have to go get more money.
- If you need reading or regular glasses, make sure you have them. You will be reading marks on the bottom of things. A jeweler’s loop is nice for reading gold and silver marks on jewelry.
- A smart phone is your best tool for researching prices, if you plan to resell.
- When you arrive at the sale, scan around the area and do a quick look before you start looking at everything. I once entered a garage that was full of people. After doing a quick scan, I spied four Budweiser steins on a table that I knew were the first in a series. I made my way to the table as quickly as possible to grab them. They were marked $1 each – Score!! (I sold them for $100 each.) After nabbing those, I took time to look more carefully at everything else.
- If you buy furniture and need to come back and get it later, be sure to get their name, phone number, and the address. You may think you will remember, but after so many sales, it will be hard to remember where you were.
- Check to make sure all pieces are there and that batteries aren’t corroded in an item. Also, if the item is in a box, make sure that it is the correct item, and not just something that was put in a box to sell.
- If there is something that is priced too high and the seller won’t budge on the price, give them your name and number and ask them to call you if they want to sell later. I fell in love with this cabinet, but it was too high. I gave the owner my information and about a month later she called me and gave it to me for FREE!
We absolutely love going to sales. It’s like a treasure hunt every time. Now friends have us look for stuff for them, and we usually find it. We laugh as we return looking like the Beverly Hillbillies with our van piled high. It makes for great memories, extra money, and a house full of fun stuff!
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