Yard sales, tag sales, garage sales… doesn’t matter what you call them – they are a bargain hunter’s paradise. Of course, maximizing time and dollars are key to a great treasure hunt!
Maximize your money:
- Don’t be afraid to negotiate. Most people are not offended at a lower offer. They want to get rid of their items, and you want a good deal. Negotiating does not mean you are cheap. It only means you do not agree on the value yet.
- Ask for the price. Sometimes nice items will be unmarked – don’t be nervous to find out how much they want or offer what you’d pay. It may have just been overlooked in the haste of getting everything out for sale.
- Carry small bills and change. They make paying faster, plus it looks better if you’ve just negotiated a lower price.
- Get a sense of ‘expected value’. Glance at the prices as you approach. This will communicate instantly if you’ll be seeing eye-to-eye on value. If prices are around your thinking, bargains could be abounding. If not, leave before you spot something you can’t live without.
- Make a cheat sheet. Keeping a list of what you actually need helps you say no to impulse buys.
- Don’t buy something just because ‘someone could use it’. Only buy items you have a plan for. Otherwise, you’re just accumulating more unneeded items at your house.
Maximize your time:
- Check your local newspaper and online for information on block, church and multi-family sales in your area. Plot your route around these, hitting individual sales as you go.
- Evaluate ‘stage-of-life’. Larger items reveal the stage of life the sellers are in. For example, you may want to skip a sale with baby toys and a stroller out front, if you are not shopping for baby items.
- Do the ‘drive-by decision’. Most people put the best stuff out front, closest to the road – so if what you see you consider junk, move on. Other items are likely to be more of the same.
Ask if they have what you’re looking for. If you’re on the hunt for a particular item, ask right away.
Written by: SavingsAngel Di (blog angel) on May 18, 2012.