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Garage Sales

Why Go Garage Sale Shopping?

Why Go Garage Sale ShoppingYou ask, “Why should I go to Garage Sales and buy someone’s items they don’t want?”

I will tell you why I go. I go because I can find almost anything I want.

I buy all my baby gifts at Garage Sales. I just bought a gift for a baby girl. I bought 2 cute outfits, they were brand new with the tags still on them, and I also bought a few baby toys, and again they were new.

I have bought a lot of Christmas gifts. Everyone in my family has received gifts from me that I bought at Garage Sales. They would never know I bought them at a garage sale. I always make sure the items are new or in great condition.

When I buy a gift I buy most of them under $5.00. Here are a few of the gifts and items I have bought for myself…diamond earrings, diamond necklace, double oven, washer and dryer, name brand clothes, entertainment center, 3 desk, leather chair, lamps, name brand candles that have not been burned, gas logs, fiesta ware. I even buy most of my office supplies at Yard Sales.

All of these items where bought at a very low cost. My double ovens which were 4 years old I bought for $5.00. I still have them and they work great.

The diamond earrings cost me $20.00. They are gold hoop with diamonds on the inside and the outside of the hoop. New they cost around $200.00 or more.

I could go on and on telling you all the good deals I have gotten.

How to Save Money at Garage Sales

Garage Sales are a great place to find bargains. From expensive china to scuba gear, you can find everything, and anything you want, at a garage sale. Here are some strategies to maximize your shopping experience and help you get the most for your time and money.

First, know in advance what you are shopping for. When you shop for clothing, have a list of exactly which clothing items each family member needs along with their measurements. Carry a soft tape measure with you. Since items can’t be returned from a garage sale, you don’t want to make any mistakes. When shopping for an item for your home, bring an small sample of the color you are looking for. Out in the bright sun, colors may appear differently so having a color swatch helps.

Equally important to knowing what you’re looking for, is knowing how much you want to spend. Before you go garage sale shopping, know the retail price of each item you are looking for. This information makes it easier to spot a deal. Since it’s so easy to get caught up in the buying spirit, have a dollar amount in mind for what you are willing to pay for each item used. There’s nothing worse than getting home and realizing that you paid more than you wanted to.

At each garage sale, if you don’t see what you are looking for, don’t be afraid to ask. Last month I went in search of a girls 24 inch bike. I inquired at each sale, and at the fourth sale, the lady wheeled out a beautiful Huffy bike from her garage that she wanted to sell, but forgot to set out. It was in great shape and at a great price, but I know if it had been out when the sale started, it would have been gone by the time I arrived.

Go early, or late to sales. This strategy is an easy one. The first ones to a sale get first crack at the good stuff. By attending later, sellers may be more willing to negotiate on price. You will encounter sellers who practically give stuff away just to get rid of it. Make sure you are prepared to shop. By that I mean, know where the garage sales are in advance, so you can plan the best route to take. Bring drinks and snacks, especially if you are taking the kids with you. Have singles and loose change easily accessible so you can buy quickly and move to the next sale. Be sure and wear comfortable clothing, especially shoes.

Here in Florida, entire communities hold their garage sales on the same day. Look for areas in your town that may do the same. Many sales close together helps you maximize your time, and gives you a better chance of finding what you are looking for. I have found everything I could ever hope to find at garage sales. Some of my best treasures include an English riding helmet for my daughter, the first handheld Nintendo video game (now a collectors item), and a set of china for 8 that retails for over $500 (of course I paid significantly less). Now that you know these tips and tricks, you can reel in some great deals too. Happy Hunting!

How to Find Items to Sell on Ebay at Garage Sales

If you haven’t tried garage sales for finding merchandise to sell on eBay, maybe you should explore this option. There is a strategy for getting the most out of your garage sale shopping efforts. Here are a few tips to help you maximize your efforts, and minimize your time investment.

1) Plan ahead. Go to craigslist to look for garage sale ads in your area. More and more people are relying on craigslist for free advertising. Garage sales usually start on Fridays, and the posts on craiglist start appearing on Tuesdays. Check daily for new posts, and keep a list of sales in your area. You can also look at your local newspaper’s website for garage sale ads. The big neighborhoods will usually advertise there. You can find a lot of items quickly if you go to the neighborhood sales, versus sales scattered around town.

2) Go to sales in the affluent parts of town. First, they will have better items. Second, you have no idea of a person’s financial situation and they may be having a garage sale to pay bills.

3) Go early. Most garage sales will start at 8 AM. Arrive early to get the best selection. The earlier in the day you start the better chance you have of finding “good” stuff.

4) Take plenty of cash. You don’t want to have to take valuable time convincing the seller to take your check. Most people have a garage sale for one reason – to make money. They don’t want checks – they want cold, hard, cash.

5) Be prepared. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Take bottled water. Keep snacks in the car. Bring your cell phone in case you find something you are unsure about, you can call your spouse or a friend for their opinion.

6) Don’t be afraid to bargain or make offers. People have garage sales to get rid of stuff. They don’t want to have to haul it all back in the house at the end of the day. Make reasonable offers and be fair.

7) Use the “cash in hand” technique. I do this all the time. Say for example I find something for $20, and think it is overpriced. I inconspicuously take a $10 bill out of my pocket and walk up to the seller. Then, with the bill in plain view, I say, “Hi, I am interested in that item over there. I only have $10 left, would you take that?” Seeing the cash, the seller usually takes it. The idea is to be reasonable. The later in the day that you use this technique, the better it works.

I have some interesting stories about garage sales. I went to a huge neighborhood sale in my community last fall. The woman had all kinds of men’s items – really nice clothing, shoes, golf equipment, sporting goods, and “guy stuff.” I found a really nice pair of Justin lizard skin boots, barely worn, for $5. (These boots retail for about $300.) That was an amazing find. So, I went to pay for the item, and the woman started telling me how she and her husband had a fight and he left town on a hunting trip for a week. She was having a garage sale and getting rid of all his stuff that she didn’t like. I asked, “He isn’t going to track me down and get me, is he?” She just laughed, and said, “Probably not. I might sell his car, too.” Those boots ended up selling for $98 and were shipped to Germany. You might be wondering what to look for at garage sales.

Here are some examples of what I have found, and how much the items sold for on eBay.

1) George Forman grill new in box , $5, sold for $30

2) Hooked on Phonics set, excellent used condition, $5, sold for $68

3) Mary Kay cosmetics, various items new in boxes, paid $1 each, sold for about $10 each (the lady was a Mary Kay rep getting rid of inventory)

4) Oscar de la Renta wool blazer new with tag, $5, sold for $52

5) Wagner wallpaper remover steamer new in box, $5, sold for $25

6) Dr. Martens shoes, gently worn, $3, sold for $47

7) Pampered Chef apple corer/peeler, used with box, $5, sold for $20

8) Men’s Nike Shox shoes, gently worn, $3, sold for $46

9) Yankee 20 oz jar candle, barely used (was lit once and the person didn’t like the scent), $1, sold for $12

10) Lexmark printer ink cartridge, new in box, $1, sold for $16 Look for items new in the package or new in the box. Look for gently used designer apparel and shoes.