8. Combine items for better deals
I’ve found the best deals by grouping items together. For example, last week I saw a box of books marked at 25 cents each. I counted 26 books in the box, which would have been $6.50. Instead, I offered the seller $5 to take the whole box. I saved $1.50, and the seller didn’t have to fret about not selling every book by the end of the day – everyone wins. I usually go for boxed items, but I’ve seen people bring up handfuls of toys, clothes, or dishes and get a discount.
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9. Don't haggle too much
While haggling is just part of shopping at a garage sale, you’re not always going to win. People often place an emotional value on their belongings and aren’t willing to part with them for anything less than a ridiculous price.
My friend once put a (very) used brass coffee table on sale for $250, thinking she’d get at least $200. For three days people came by and offered her everything from $20 to $75, but she wasn’t budging. More than a few people stood there for a while haggling with her. But it didn’t matter, because she had placed an emotional value on that coffee table.
In my opinion, it’s a good idea to make one or two offers and then walk away. You could be missing out on a great deal at another garage sale by standing there arguing with an emotional seller.
10. Come back on the last day
People have garage sales for two reasons – to make money and clear out space in their house. The first day is all about making money. By the last day, they’re looking out at everything left and realizing they’ll have to cart it all to Goodwill or drag it back into the house. And that’s when the markers come out and the prices get slashed.
I once bought a bookshelf marked $30 for $5 because the sale was ending. Since then, I always try to hit the last hour or two of garage sales – I’ve gotten stuff for half price and even free that way.
And if you end up buying so much stuff you have to throw your own garage sale – I’ve thrown a few in my day – check out 13 Tips for a Super Yard Sale to learn the best way to make the most money.
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