Find Great Items At A Low Price By Going To Garage And Yard Sales
Garage Sales 101, How To Have The Perfect Yard Or Garage Sale.
What You Should Do If Your Having A Yard Sale
First of all don't run an ad in the newspaper saying " yard sale 7 A.M. Oak Tree Lane Saturday morning " Instead say something like the below.
Yard Sale, 7 A.M. Saturday Morning At 2212 Oak Tree Lane which turns off west fifth street behind the old Cherry Hill Mall. Watch for my green signs in the neighborhood. Phone Number 000-000-0000 Call if you get lost.
If you run the second ad you will get a lot more customers. People will know exactly where to find you. I use a cell phone number in the ad. People can call if they need better directions. I record a voice mail with directions to my house and I often mention a great bargain or two that I have for sale. I put up distinctive green signs with arrows pointing the direction to go. I will get 50 - 75 percent more customers than the people who run the first ad.
Don't assume because you have lived at 2212 Oak Tree Lane that everyone knows where your street is. Give very good directions if you want all the yard sale shoppers to show up at your house.
If its cool weather I make plenty of coffee and I offer free coffee with disposable paper cups. I do anything and everything to get people out to my house for my yard sale which are usually large hits. Price everything and divide clothing by ages, sizes, and male or female. If I bought a white microwave 12 years ago for $40 and I sell it Saturday morning at my yard sale I usually sell it for $7 in excellent clean condition or $5 if it has some wear. Price your items to sell and you will have a much more successful yard sale. And always have plenty of change. You don't want to loose early morning sales because you have no change for a $20.
Find Great Items At A Low Price By Going To Garage And Yard Sales
Their really is a lot of truth to the statement that one man's trash is another mans treasure. And you would probably be really surprised at some of the items I've found at Garage and Yard Sales. It surprises even me at what some people will just get rid of. I've bought everything from priceless hand-carved ivory boxes to U.S. Presidents signatures. And yes I've made a lot of money off some of these items.
A lot of what I buy at yard sales and tag sales I buy to resell. I refurnish old furniture and I tell the person right up front that I'm going to have to redo the item before I can sell it. This way I quite often get the item at a lower price this way.
Buy Your Local Newspapers On Fridays.
What I do is start out each Friday by purchasing the local newspapers as soon as they become available. I then set down and go through the yard and garage sales in each paper and decide which ones really interest me. I then go to the car and enter the address of each yard or garage sale into my GPS device. This way I can always find the yard or garage sale and this way I beat the competition and get there first.
Use A G.P.S. Device To Find Your Yard Sales.
On Saturday morning I go right down the list and go to each garage or yard sale that sounded interesting to me. By using the GPS device I can go to any yard or garage sale and I no longer have to wonder where 312 Apple Lane is. My GPS device takes me right there on Saturday morning. If your going to be going to garage and yard sales on a regular basis I would strongly suggest you purchase a GPS device as soon as possible. It will greatly improve your garage and yard sale experience.
Start Your Yard Sale Day As Early As Possible For The Best Results.
If you want to find the best items you should start out as early as possible. I usually start out at around six a.m. and yes I carry a flashlight so I can get a better look at what people have to offer. Now you won't find people as ready to negotiate prices early in the day but if you are looking for particular items you stand a better chance of finding a particular or hard to find item earlier in the day. The later in the day it gets the easier it will be to get people to negotiate on the prices.
Have business cards printed up with your name and cell phone number. You can give these to people who you've made an offer on a particular item. I'll usually say something like here's my business card with my phone number. I would like the big screen T.V. but all I can give is $300.00. They may be trying to sell it for $500.00. Many people call me later in the day and accept my offer. It works at least a third of the time or more.
I Always Offer A Lower Price
If I find a blue widget at a yard sale selling for $10 I'll walk around a few minutes and if the blue widget is still setting there I go up to the person having the yard sale and say you know what. I really like that blue widget but I only have seven dollars left to shop with this morning. Nine times out of ten I leave with the blue widget. So it never hurts to make a offer.
Make A Offer And Leave Your Phone Number
I keep a supply of little pieces of paper with my phone number on each piece of paper. Quite often say an old antique bed is for sale at a yard sale and they are asking say $100.00 for the bed I'll say to the person having the yard sale. You know I would love to have that bed but I can't give but $75.00 for it. Let me give you my phone number and if you don't sell it and would consider taking $75.00 for it give me a call. A lot of the time I get a call either later that day or in the next day or two.
If You Find A Great Yard Sale Ask When They Are Having Another Yard Sale
If you find a really great yard sale ask when they are going to have another yard sale. Quite often I'll give the person having the yard sale my phone number and ask them to call me when they decide to have another yard sale. I have a lot of people who call me every time they have a yard sale and I buy a lot of great stuff this way.
Offer To Buy Several Items If They Will Offer A Lower Price
Quite often I'll go early to a yard sale or tag sale and say if I buy these five or six items would you consider giving me a lower price. Quite often I'm buying to resell the items and a lot of the time people will cut the price in order to sell multiple items. It never hurts to ask.
Buy For Other People
You can ask your family and friends what items they are looking for and when you go to yard sales and flea markets take a list of what they want to buy with you and buy items for people you know that will repay you for the item or items. Mark the item up a dollar or two for your trouble and expenses. You could even turn this into a small business if you wanted to.
Items To Take With You When You Go To Yard Sales
1. A good strong magnet will let you know quickly if an item is really silver or if it's only silver plated. Keep in mind that if a magnet will pick it up then it really isn't gold or silver. Magnets can't and won't pick up gold or silver. Keep in mind that charms on bracelets or necklaces may be gold or silver while the bracelet or chain is not. So be sure to check carefully.
2. A good quality magnifying glass will let you read any inscriptions or small print easily. I have one that goes in a case on my belt and it has really helped me. You want one that offers the option of turning on a light if possible. This will make things a lot easier to see.
3. A cloth measuring tape will let you determine the waist size of pants or you can measure a table or cabinet to see if it will fit where you want to put it once you get it home. If the tag is missing you'll need a cloth measuring tape to determine the size of for instance pants.
4. I keep several good ropes and bunji cords in my cars trunk to be able to secure items to get them home. I often ball a couple of big rolls of twine and keep them and a good pair of scissors in my trunk. This way I can always secure my items until I get them home. Keep several strips of red cloth in your trunk to tie on items sticking out of your cars trunk.
5. When I'm buying items especially items I plan to resell I write down what the item is and what I pay for it in a small pocket size notebook. This way I can look back and know if I've made any money on my purchase.
Those are just a few tips but they will make going and shopping at flea markets and yard sales a lot more fun and will make your shopping experience a lot more fun. Being prepared always makes things easier.
Having A GPS System Is Very Important
I can not stress enough how important it is to have a G.P.S. system so you can find those hard to find yard sales. People should give you proper directions to their address but many people don't. If your having a yard sale don't always assume that everyone know where Blue Lizard Lane is. Most people don't. So give a major near by street or road and tell people how to get there from the nearest major street or road. And always unless local laws don't allow it put up lots of signs. Just be sure to take them down later.
If you have a GPS you can take the newspaper the day before and program in the list of addresses where you want to go in the morning. Be sure to familiarize yourself ahead of time so you know how to use the GPS system and can program it quickly.
Going to yard sales can be a lot of fun. You never know what your going to find.
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The Early Bird Gets The Worm
Yes indeed the early bird does get the worm. If you can get to yard and garage sales as early in the day as possible especially if you are looking for a particular item or items. And even early in the day don't be afraid to try to negotiate a lower price. Especially if you are buying several items from the same seller. Say to them if I take these five items what is your lowest price. You will find that most people will offer you a lower price.
Try Your Best To Negotiate On Yard Sale Prices
Unless the person has yard sales on a regular basis you should find the person willing to negotiate on the price. If not and you really want a higher priced item leave and come back later in the day. Quite often the second time around the person may be willing to take a lower price.
Always take plenty of small bills and change with you to yard and garage sales. You don't want to be standing there at 6 a.m. with $12 worth of items and all you have is a twenty and the person holding the yard sale has no change. So yes always be prepared with plenty of change. Quite often I'll keep $40-$50 in fives in one pocket and I use this money to make lower price offers on some items. Say the item I want is selling for $70.00. I pull out my $40.00 in fives and say man I would love to have it but all I have is $40.00. I can't tell you how many times I've made a great buy this way.
I had a supply of business cards printed up with just my first name and cell phone number. This way if a person has a item they are selling but they want to much for it I tell them that I would love to have the item but the most I can give for it is a certain amount. And I give them one of my cards telling them to call me if they can't sell the item at the price they want. Over the years I have been able to buy many items this way. Some of them at great bargains.
Make A Yard Sale Journal
I take a little book with me and if I find a great yard sale I write it down in the book. I also give one of my little cards to the person having the yard sale and I tell them to give me a call if they ever have another yard sale. This way I know about some great yard sales before anyone else.
Always Insist On Seeing Electric Or Electronic Items Plugged Up And Working
You can usually find some really great clothing buys at yard sales. Be sure to take a flexible tape measure with you in case you need to check sizes in items of clothing with out tags. Be sure that if you buy electronic items that they work before you leave a yard or garage sale with them. If they don't provide a way for you to plug up an electronic item there may be a problem with the item. If its electric and you can plug it up I almost always insist on plugging it up to see if it works. You would probably be surprised how many times over the years I have asked does it work only to find it didn't when I ask to plug it up. If they won't let you plug up an electric item leave it there. If they know it works and they want to sell it they will provide you with a way to plug it up.
Do you like garage and yard sales? Why not post your comment below now. And thanks for taking the time to read my hub page.
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© 2011 Thomas Byers