- Personal Finance
How to get the best deals at car boot and yard sales
Car boot sales and yard sales are very common in many parts of the world. They provide the seller an opportunity to get rid of unwanted stuff and the buyer to get almost new or good condition items for a fraction of the original price. As a buyer, you can save thousands of dollars a year if you shop from car boot or yard sales. Over the years I have purchased many expensive items for next to nothing. I have bought most of the stuff I needed for my baby during the course of my pregnancy and all my toddlers toys have been bought used. Just this week I have bought a baby swing for $10, a play kitchen for $1 and a scanner for $2. Branded infant/toddler clothing sells for something like $.50 a piece. Why pay full price for clothes that children outgrow within a matter of months? What better place then a yard or car boot sale to find vintage and rare discontinued items? Have I convinced you? Well let me share some of my secrets of how to get the best deals at car boot and yard sales.
- Know what you need - If you are looking for something in particular, make sure you have the dimensions, shades, samples etc. You do not want to be caught wondering if this is going to fit or look right. You may want to equip yourself with measuring tape so that you do not need to rely on the seller or your eyes.
- Ask for what you need- The car boot or yard sale seller may not have had the time to unpack all his items. If there is something you need, ask because you may be surprised at what lies in the boxes.
- Go early or late - The early bird catches the deals but the latecomer gets all the discounts. I recommend going early to check out the good deals. If you like something that is out of budget, you may want to return towards the end of the sale to see if it has been discounted. It usually is, because the seller usually doesn't want to have to pack his stuff back up!
- Haggle - Rather then paying for each item, ask for the total price when you have finished shopping. Having purchased more then 1 item, you are in a better position to haggle and bargain. The seller will not want to lose a bulk buyer and is more likely to give you a discount.
- Make offers- If you do not like the price the car boot seller has come up with, make a counter offer. Do not be embarrassed or worry that your offer may offend him. You never really know how much he has overshot the price!
- Rummage - Get ready to rummage. Do not expect to walk through a car boot or yard sale without touching and sifting through things and expecting a bargain. Bargains often need to be found. They are sitting hidden at the bottom of piles or boxes.
- Check out the crowd - When you enter the car boot or yard sale check out where the crowd is focused. The "good" sellers usually draw the largest crowds.
- Dress simply - At the car boot sale, try to blend in. Keep your expensive bag and fancy branded clothing at home. Very often a seller often gauges what you may be ready to pay by your appearance. Appear well off and you get the fancy price!
- Be comfortable - A morning at a yard or car boot sale can be very long and tiring if you are going through piles and boxes and are not comfortable. Wear trousers and flat shoes and take drinks and a hat if its a hot day.
- Act passive - Even if you come across the item you have wanted for ages at a too good to be true price, do not grab it. Appear passive. Hold it in your hand (you do not want another buyer to grab it) and act as though you are thinking it over. You may even want to have a "pretend" discussion with your partner who may appear to discourage you from buying it. At this point the seller may offer a discount to encourage you or you may want to place an offer and the seller will be more likely to accept in order not to lose the sale.
- Take your own bags - Very often sellers do not have bags so you may want to take your own bags to avoid walking around the car boot or yard sale holding your purchases in your hand. Without free hands, you are unlikely to find bargains.
- Take small change - Remeber a yard sale is not a shop and it is unlikely that you will get discounts if you are flashing $100 bills.
- Know the prices- It is hard to find deals and haggle with car boot sellers if you do not know the original value of the item. If you are looking for something, do some research, including what it sells for used. You may want to check out ebay to get an idea.