I love shopping at yard sales; not only for the great bargains but just the thrill of the "hunt". :)
I posted a while back that I would make a list of some yard sale shopping tips ,
so here goes.......
1. wear comfortable clothes and shoes. don't wear sandals or flip flops. most sales are in the mornings and there is dew on the grass. you rolling across the yard because your feet slipped in wet shoes is not a pretty picture.
2. okay, #2 has to do with #1. never go to a yard sale in your finest duds or tons of jewelry. you are there to get a bargain. you don't want people just thinking you are a rich tightwad if you are bargaining.
3. don't worry about taking the mercedes out of the garage; drive your hoopty. :) hoopty means your old beater car or truck. I have had people show up in spanking, brand new vehicles and quibble over paying a $1.00 for an item. I figure it like this, if they can drive a brand new vehicle then they can pay the $1.00.
4. take change and lots of smaller bills. by smaller bills I mean one, fives, and tens. please dont go to a yard sale and spend 25 cents , then want to pay with a 20.00 bill. thats so uncouth. lol
5. also, put money in different pockets. I usually carry ones and fives( less than 10.00) in my right hand pants pocket, other bills on the left. that way if I am trying to bargain on an item. I can make it seem like I only have a few dollars left. teehee, it works!!!
6. have sunglasses , you will need them!
7. make a list of all yard sales you are interested in, I take the newspaper, scan the addys, then mark over the sale with a pencil or highlighter with a 1,2,3, etc. in the order of how I am going to them. this prevents you from running back and forth across town.
8. take a marker to mark through them as you have left the sale, it saves on being confused. :)
9. take water, coffee and something to snack on till you are done for the day. :) I usually take an apple, muffins, crackers, etc. you want to have energy all day; nothing like dealing with a cranky shopper at a sale.
10. take a friend yard saling? well, only if they do not like the same things as you do! seeing two ladies who showed up together aggaravated cause they both want the same thing is not a pretty picture either.
11. got a few things that you are looking for? make a list in a handy little notebook. look at it that morning or between sales if you have a far drive.
12. keep window measurements ( or any other measurements) on hand in case you find some great looking curtains or furniture pieces that may or may not fit.
13. small screwdriver and tape measures. you will need screwdriver to check battery compartments or to take legs off a bigger piece. tape measure to see if that perfect table matches up with your measurements( in your handy little notebook)
14. take a small box and some newspapers with you. the small box is for glassware or fragile items in ( or if you are like me , just cause things are little, I lose them. ) and the newspaper to act as padding or to wrap things in.
15. handi wipes are a good thing. you never know what kind of germs you can pick up. let me tell ya, I have went to some scurvy sales and found good stuff. thank goodness I had handi wipes in the vehicle!!
16. don't be an early bird. well, you can go early, wait in the car, unless you see someone else shopping, then RUN over there and check out the goods!!
17. seen something kinda high priced? you may want to make a note of it, especially if they won't bargain with you right then- it may be worth stopping back later in the day. if you make a map in a circle of your home, its easy to backtrack. :)
18. know your community! there is no point in looking for baby or kid stuff in a retirement area.
19. goes with #18... I usually find cool , vintage pieces in a retirement community. those little old ladies think that old scales, suitcases, emb. pillow cases are useless. I picked up vintage aprons for 25 cents each a few years ago. :)
20. don't rely on sizes in clothing. remember most items have been washed( and shrunk)!
21. always open containers. no matter what it says on the outside of the container, they may have used it for something else. you dont want to buy what you think is legos and get home to find hairbands or something else.
22. if you go to a "bag" sale( where everything is like a $1.00 a bag) . take the time to roll clothes OR fold. you will get more goodies in a bag.
23. take a cotton ball for running over the edges of glasses and other pieces. the cotton ball will "catch" on knicks that you might not see by looking.
24. back to battery operated things. always open the battery compartment to make sure it's not corroded.
25. take sticker prices off ASAP. the longer they are there the more stickiness they leave.
26. have a yard sale budget. ( I know that should have been #1)
27. there is nothing wrong with buying used clothes!! Some people turn their nose up at the thought of buying "used" clothing. Consider this: when you go to a hotel, you sleep and use towels that hundreds of other people have dried their naked bodies on etc etc. Even clothes and shoes that you buy brand new in stores may have been tried on by many others. get my point??!!
28. if you see something that you arent sure about, pick it up and carry it around while you continue to look. you will be glad you did.
29. look at things for their potential use. ex.- old boots make great planters, mason jars are great candle holders, etc
30. found something big and cant take it with your right then? make sure you get a receipt!! if it's a dresser or couch (with cushions), then take a drawer or cushion with you. that way no one comes in , offers more money and then all you get for the return trip is your money back. no one is going to offer money for a couch missing a cushion or a dresser minus one drawer. get what I am saying?
31. if you go to a sale and dont see anything you need then don't buy! if leaving a yard sale without buying , smile and politely say, "I dont see anything I need. I hope you have a great sale today".
32. leave animals and small kids at home. I know you are thinking , who would bring a dog. but I have seen it happen., I love dogs but not all people do. I sure don't want to be trying to shop with someones dog wrapped around my leg or licking me. YUK!
33. Park as close to the sale as possible - but not in or in front of anyone's driveway. Beware of fire hydrants and "no parking" signs. I've seen plenty of folks ticketed at tag sales. They're cash bonanzas for police departments.
34. Avoid the trap of unmarked items. The seller is looking for you to make an offer. Some sellers actually mark items as "make an offer." Never volunteer a price before the seller tells you their price. It often is less than you would have offered to begin with.
35. Keep in mind upcoming birthdays, holidays or other special occasions. You can often find very nice gifts at garage sales. They are especially good places to buy Christmas ornaments and decorations.
36.Keep in mind that it's so easy to resell items on eBay. If you see someone selling something you know is worth much more, consider buying it to resell. (that's what I did with the vintage aprons).
37. For sales that are being held on both Saturday and Sunday, go on Saturday — there’s not likely to be anything good left on Sunday, and the people holding the sale might be sick of it after the first day and not even have the sale on the second day. i love the ones that start on thursdays or fridays. most people are working these two days and that means more bargains for me!
38. yard sale day and its raining?? look for inside sales, garage sales, etc. some people won't bother going. that means another day of good baragins for me!! lol
39. look for plants and starters. I have got lots of things ( especially perennials) for less than $1.00 each at sales. it's a great, inexpensive way to add to your landscape.
40. take pictures of your goodies when you get home. we want to ooh and awe over your goodies with you!
I am so glad it's nearly yard sale time again! I'd love to hear your yard sale suggestions!