Garage Sale Guidelines and a Little Teaser

>> 8.28.2009

As crazy as things are for me at the moment (uh, remember what happened yesterday?!), I'm still planning on taking a couple of hours this weekend to check out a few garage sales. There are about 1,000,001 things I'd like to get for my home and I don't want to have to scramble at the last minute (you know, after the walls are painted and everything is put in place) and have to buy anything full price! Hopefully, I'll cross off a few items off of my list by going to sales in the next few weeks. There are handful of guidelines that I'm not shopping without:

1. Go late-
Going early will give you the best selection, but it will also give you the highest prices. Usually, the sellers will have high hopes of getting top dollar for the first couple of hours, but by 10-11 am, the sellers are practically giving things away (and sometimes at 12, everything is free!).
*This doesn't mean that you shouldn't go early, just know you're not as likely to find a solid oak dresser for $5 that way.
2. Language is key-
"Will you take xxxx for this?"
"Could you make me a deal on both of these?"
"The best I can do is xxxx. Can you take that?"
3. Travel (a little)-
Surprisingly, wealthy people enjoy putting on sales as much as anyone. Their prices won't be higher, they'll just have nicer stuff. I usually pick the neighborhoods with the style of houses that I would like to live in someday; the owners usually have similar tastes to mine.
4. Check out the advertisements-
A little research could help find the bigger sales. Craigslist and the local paper are usually the most popular places for people to post their sales. I usually have a few that I plan on going to then drive the main street of that neighborhood looking for signs from other sales.
5. Look for the signs-
A trick that usually works is to look for the nicest looking signs- the ones that are hand written with bubble letters. In my experience, these are female DIY-types who usually care about nice looking things and have them to sell.
Warning: The "nice sign" approach does not to apply to those that were printed from the computer... Once, I was tricked into driving 2 miles to a college-guy sale (gross!).

Hopefully, my trusty garage sale guidelines will serve me well this weekend (*crosses fingers for inexpensive/ modern light fixtures*). Have any great guidelines that you'd add to the list?
Oh, I promised a teaser didn't I...

This is a hint about one of the major projects that I'm taking on. Can you guess what it is?


Bromeliad August 28, 2009 at 10:24 AM  

College guy sale - cracked me up.

:::Lyzz::: August 28, 2009 at 3:42 PM  

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I think these are great tips as I usually frequent garage sales myself. As far as sharing the costs of outdoor updates with a neighbor, I know how you feel since our fence is not covered by HOA. So, we have to talk to our neighbor to share that cost. What a painful process, but I'm glad at least painting our exterior is covered by HOA.

Audra August 28, 2009 at 6:02 PM  

Great Tips! I follow these as well, prefering to mix up my areas a bit. One of our favorite haunts is the Goodwill in a very chi-chi neighborhood. We scout the neighborhood for yard sales then hit the fantastic Goodwill on 50% Saturdays. Happy hunting. Keeping my fingers crossed and saying a prayer to the Yard Sale gods to bless you with light fixtures!

natienka August 28, 2009 at 6:13 PM  

Alright, tell us what it is ;]

Mary Grace Thomas August 28, 2009 at 6:35 PM  

Thank you for the tips on this Yard Sale Eve...

When hunting for vintage finds I like to ask the seller about the story behind the item, if there is one. This worked well at one sale and he ended up giving me something...I guess he appreciated the genuine interest in his junk.

Also, SweetLoveVintage says to always check the free box. Smile

Mary Grace Thomas August 29, 2009 at 3:24 PM  

One more tip...did you know that Goodwill offers a discount card? The ones here don't advertise it, but it costs 15.00 for one year and gives a 10% discount on your purchases.

Kerry September 1, 2009 at 4:20 PM  

Has anybody guessed correctly yet? I think it's a spray bottle and you're tackling some of those popcorn ceilings...

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog September 1, 2009 at 4:52 PM  

Yep, great guess Kerry... it needs to go! Actually, it's only one of the projects I have going on right now (we're talking major chaos over here). Stay tuned!

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