I am ecstatic that garage sale season is back in my neighborhood again. Usually in spring and summer, garage sales appear almost at every street corner and my family is spoilt for choice.
We love to snoop around garage sales; in fact, it is one of our favorite family outing. Nothing beats the adventure of bargain hunting, discovering pleasant surprises, saving money and meeting nice people at garage sales. It is also a good work-out for us with all the walking/navigation and hauling of goods back home.
A day at the garage sale, especially if the weather is sunny and not humid, will entice droves of bargain shoppers. It is a choatic, noisy and competitive scene. I learned from experience that you have to arrive hours or at least 30 minutes ahead of time, else it is impossible to find any treasures.
To improve your chances of striking gold in garage sales, bring along cash and combine several items to get a better price. If the price isn't indicated, ask the seller how much they are accepting - this gives you a better negotiating position. Also, try things out and ask questions like the condition, year of purchase and specifications.
For those who want nothing to do with garage sales, thinking that all the items are cheap and dirty, it is a real pity. Here are five myths about garage sales which you should not harbor:
1. Stuff At Garage Sales Are Used Items.
This may apply for most items but they are generally in good condition. There are also brand new stuff, some are still giftwrapped and not opened yet.
2. Stuff At Garage Sales Are Dirty.
Again, this is undue worry. Sellers who are serious about offloading their goods will have the common sense to present clean and polished stuff, not caked with dirt and grime.
3. eBay Is Easier.
eBay may be more convenient as you do not need to leave your home and sweat in the hot sun but online items involve longer waits, shipping charges, fraud, and the potential for bidding wars.
4. Too time-consuming.
Actually, in a couple of hours or a summer afternoon, you can cover ten or twelve garage sales. You probably won’t find anything you want at most of these, but every so often you’ll stumble across the perfect bargain. Garage-saling takes as much or as little time as you want to spend on it.
5. Poor Negotiating Skills.
Well, I am not a negotiating genius, nor most sellers. So, it cannot hurt to try and your negotiating skills will only get better with practice.
The bottom line of garage sales are that people have things to get rid of, and your job is to help them. They only want a little money, and that's all you have to give. Garage sales are a smart shopper paradise.
People are always moving and clearing out their closets and garages. You can take redundant stuff off their hands for next to nothing if you know how bargains are made.
Even if asking price is a little steep, haggling for a lower price is common for smart shoppers at garage sales. Remember, sellers don't want to slug the stuff back home, so reasonable offers will always be entertained.
If it is your lucky day, you may even find sellers who give their stuff away for free.