It is the season for hitting up weekend sales, and our garage sale tips are sure to help you find those amazing hidden treasures in the bins and boxes at your neighborhood sales! Years of successful yard sale and garage sale shopping means we know all about finding just the right things at the right prices. There are often unusual or unique pieces that are far more valuable to you than the person selling them. So, we have compiled some tried and true garage sale tips to help you make the most of that weekend sale event!
Garage Sale Tips For Finding Hidden Treasures
Ask questions before going to the sale. In the days of social media, more and more garage sales are bing advertised in local classified groups or on sites like Craigslist. While you will still find a lot of garage sales being advertised in your local newspaper, you need to make sure to check social media as well for the best sales happening each week.
If you can contact the person holding the sale, one of our best garage sale tips is to ask them detailed questions in advance. Many are more than happy to answer your questions because it makes it more likely you will purchase at their sale.
• Ask detailed questions about specific items you’re seeking.
• Ask about pre-sale options if you pick up before the garage sale begins.
• Ask about bulk purchase discounts.
• Ask about model numbers, any known issues or even quality of items you see listed that are of interest.
These simple questions can not only help save you time on your garage sale trip day, but they can potentially lead you directly to what you want!
Shop higher end neighborhoods. We all have that “nice neighborhood” in our area that you know will have some of the higher end products available in their garage sales. This is the perfect place to go to find better products, but also it is a great place to grab unique items of value. If you are looking for name brand clothing, electronics, quality furniture, or even appliances, this is the place to begin.
When looking at higher end neighborhoods, you will often find prices a bit higher than other garage sales. The key to getting a great deal is to make an offer, and if it is still out of your price range, make note of the end of the sale time and date. You can then give your name and number to the person holding the sale letting them know you will be happy to come back if the item does not sell and negotiate a lower price. Or simply pop back in and double-check before the end of the sale to try again. Many great items are easy to get at lower prices when you end up going by at the last-minute. Nobody wants to bag or box up leftover items at the end of a sale.
Use your smartphone for research. So, you aren’t sure if something is as valuable as you are hoping? Perhaps, you have found a plate, glass, or piece of jewelry that looks like a great heirloom piece, but you don’t want to buy if it isn’t. What better way to find out than to grab your smart phone and do a bit of hands-on research. Taking a moment to use Google and look up images and information on how to spot real versus fake items is a great use of your time and can either save or make you money. In fact, this is one of the best garage sale tips for modern-day shoppers.
Take your time and look at every piece. Ideally, a garage sale will have things neatly organized on tables or racks, but we all know that isn’t the case. Sometimes you pull up to find a bunch of boxes on the ground stuffed with random items. It is frustrating, but it can be well worth your time to sit down and dig through those boxes. In fact, the hidden treasures of a garage sale are often truly hidden.
Plan to have time in your schedule to do more than just pull up and skim what you see easily from a distance. Even if it doesn’t look promising, get out of the car and walk through to look closer. There are many times those cluttered tables that look like junk have just what you are wanting tucked underneath the ugly old ceramic figurines.
Go with a list in hand. If you know you are looking for something in particular, take a list with you. Garage sales can get overwhelming fast. They can also be a place where you find yourself sinking a lot of money unexpectedly. Those great deals can add up quickly, so when you shop without a list, you put yourself out there to splurge and create a budget problem.
Create a list of specific sizes, needs, brands, and ideas you have for projects. This will help you to keep your focus as you sort through everything from clothing to books. You may also want to take stock of closets before shopping. This will help you to notice if you have a lot of items already on hand that you need to avoid looking at when you see on sale. Some people can accumulate a rather extensive collection of shirts, jeans, dresses, or even purses in no time from garage sales. If you don’t need something and are on a budget, then keep it off your list and away from your shopping plan.
Go with an open mind. One of the best garage sale tips taught to me by my grandma was to go to sales with an open mind. She always saw ways to repurpose items. I imagined it was out of necessity in her early years, and out of habit in her later years. She could grab an old dress off a rack that nobody would want to wear, and take it home to rip apart for quilting, or to make a cute apron with using some ribbon and lace. She used an open mind and always looked for not just what items were on the table at a garage sale, but what she could make them into when she took them home.
These garage sale tips are just a few things to keep in mind this year as you head out for your first sales of the season. Remember to think outside the box, keep plenty of small bills on hand for buying little items, and to ultimately have fun!
What are some of your best garage sale tips? Feel free to share them below!