Saturday, April 10, 2010

Garage Sale Season

Elbows up's garage sale season! If you know me at all you know that:
1. I live for and love garage sales
2. I consider garage saling a competitive sport (I'm considering making myself a letter jacket for it)
3. I will brag on my garage sale deals to you and love to show guests everything in my house that came from a garage sale
4. I love to haggle over prices and know no shame

I don't know exactly why I love to garage sale. I think it might even be's certainly a family trait. Maybe, I'm just nosy and love to see the junk that people have been storing away in their homes. All I know is that I love the thrill of a good deal and I love to find a new purpose for something that might have been thrown away.

Now, not everyone has the mad skills that I have when it comes to garage saling so here are my top 10 tips:

1. Shop on Thursday and Friday. The sales are pretty picked over by the time Saturday rolls around.
2. Take some time and search craigslist or your local paper for sales. Don't get too crazy. It's not worth driving more than 20 minutes unless your hitting a neighborhood sale.
3. Bring plenty of change and singles. You can't haggle very well with a $20! Also, keep cash on you at all times. You never know when you might drive past a garage sale or spot one on a walk.
4. Try to offer less. It's a garage sale not Macy's! Use phrases like: "Are you firm on your prices?", "Would you take...", "I'll give you...for this.".
5. Look for things to re-purpose. Look at things for their basic shape not their original purpose. I have a sister who is genius when it comes to this. She turned and antique cart into a planter on her front porch. She took an old record cabinet and turned it into an end table that holds blankets. she found an old planter and uses it to store her pens on her desk. You get the idea. See past the junk!
6. Look over things carefully. I can't tell you how sad it is when you get something home and find out it's missing a snap or button. It's worth taking a few extra seconds to look things over.
7. If the seller won't budge on the price and you're not ready to pay that amount, offer to leave your phone number in case they want to reconsider your offer if the item doesn't sell.
8. Give your kids some money to spend at the sales. It's worth giving them $1 to keep them happy and content.
9. Take a friend. It's easier to find things with an extra set of eyes plus, if you have little ones, you can take turns hoping out of the car.
10. Avoid the drive-by. You need to get down and dirty. You can't see what treasures they have from the road. Pull up your sleeves and get in there!

Share your tips in a comment! We can all use a little help!


Tonya said...

I'm not a good garage sale shopper. However, I would like to become one and you gave some great tips. I would love to find some outdoor play furniture for my son! Have a great weekend and a good garage sale week! :-)

LindsayDianne said...

I don't usually do garage sales because bartering is not a big draw for me. However, I totally get the digging through other peoples stuff thing because I LOVE thrift store shopping. At first I just bought things, but I'm becoming a seasoned collector and becoming more discriminating.
My absolute favourite thing to get at thrift store is kids books. I just have this CRAZY love of kids books. If I could have every wall be a bookshelf I think I'd still need more space for words on paper. said...

Just love your blog title...stopping by from the blog party and enjoyed reading on your garage sale tips...I am not a big shopper of any kind, but my family enjoys finding treasures.
Nice to stop by your blog...
Another flawed mom of six, who looks to her Saviour for her strength each day.

Sara Pikaart said...

Don't tell them to go on Thursday or Friday. They'll beat me to it! Seriously, I love the treasure hunt. One more tip, always, always buy lemonade from little kids. It means so much to them.

Natasha said...

I'm glad someone has declared it open season on garage sales. I've been waiting for the season to open. Drove by my first one today - and turned my nose up and refused to get out of my truck and I didn't even have my kids :)

Heather Truckenmiller said...

I LOVE yard sales - I think you might be right about it being genetic. :-) Great tips!

Rose said...

Great suggestions, Jenn. Isn't your Mom a great re-purposer (is that a word)too? A suggestion that I just heard about bartering when in another country, don't have any more money visible in your hand than you are willing to pay for the item. This can influence the price. Might be true at grage sales too.

Unknown said...

O.K. when did you become so blog savvy Jen! :) Love the new look of the blog - I no longer feel old while trying to read the teeny tiny green font. Oh, and I don't garage sale. Can we still be friends? ;)

This is Laurie - not Paige but I'm too lazy to sign in.

Jenn said...

Thanks for the tips! I LOVE tag sales (as we call them!) and flea markets too!!

Great blog!
Hope you are having fun at the BLOG PARTY!

Jenni ("Miss Tutu")
My UBP blog post: How to Make a Tutu blog - hope you will stop by and say hi! :) and Mom Blogger $100 Cash Contest

Anonymous said...

Those sound like good tips to me! I don't generally shop garage sales but I have one every spring. I tend not to budge on price the first day (Thursday) but by Saturday everything is 25 cents! I wrote a post on garage sale tips (the selling part) a while ago.

thediaperdiaries said...

I LOVE garage sales. WE should totally go together.

Housewife Eclectic said...

Thanks for the follow! I just returned it! I LOVE garage sales. I also view them as a competitive sport. I have some of the most amazing things that I cleaned up from a yard sale!

Country Gal said...

Great hints! It really helps in bartering to drive your oldest Suburban and have all your kids hanging out the windows in their oldest clothes. (You may even want to borrow some from a neighbor!) We've gotten some great deals that way! ;)

Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet said...

Great tips! I need to do more garage sale shopping. I usually do thrift store, but only once or twice a year do I do garage saleing.

mel @ the larson lingo said...

This may be totally shocking....I am 30 & I have *never* been to a garage sale! It sounds like I am totally missing out!

Kelly's Lucky You said...

I love garage sales. I agree with your comment that you have to shop early. Thanks for so many great tips. I haven't started yet this year, but after reading your post, I'm excited to go.

I'm stopping by from Friday Follow. I hope you'll follow me back here