Bargain Hunter's Guide: Garage Sale Tips

Advice for shopping at garage sales that teach you to be successful without stress. Information on strategy, haggling and planning on locations.

Nearly everyone has had a garage or yard sale and almost all have had at least one bad experience. From selling that old tea pot for five dollars then finding out it's worth seven hundred to having virtually no customers show up. When you're done with your sale do you find yourself wondering if it was worth it? Don't give up! With careful planning and attention to detail you can have a high sales, low stress sale.

To begin with, give yourself two weeks to get everything together and prepare it. Always hold your sale on the weekend and remember Sunday is usually the busiest day. Weather is another thing you have to consider-make sure you kepp up on the forecast. Enlist all family to donate their unused things, set up a drop-off area in your garage-it'll save you time later.

Go ahead and plow through all of your stored items and the back of your closet. A tip to keep in mind with almost everything-If you haven't used it or worn it in the past year, sell it. Sort your children's clothing and set aside things they've outgrown or no longer wear. If a clothing article is in good shape wash it and put it with the sale stuff. Children's clothing can be a top seller if it's in clean wearable condition.



Most item whether they're clothing or appliances don't have to be immaculate-people know they're buying used. However with few exceptions it should all be clean. If you're willing to spend a few minutes wiping off that coffee pot you're likely to get a few extra dollars for it. If you're selling furniture-double check under all the cushions for crumbs and dust bunnies.A fabric refresher spray works wonders on stored furniture and clothing. I prefer not to pre-price items-I'm willing to bargain, especially if someone is buying a lot. If you're unsure of how much to charge, ask yourself. What would I pay for this in it's condition and go from there.

About a week before your sale you'll want to put a ad in the local paper advertising it. Be specific about times, some people will come as early or as late as you'll let them. Get around twenty-five dollars in fives, ones and quarters-you don't want to run out of change! Decide what you will display items on- tables or whatever and make sure they're clean of dust and spiderwebs. Get a electric cord reasdy so people can test appliances if they want to, One more note-keep a light bulb on hand to test lamps.

On the day, set up early so it's all ready to go. Arrange the appliances and such near the electric cord, hang all clothing and spray it again with fabric refresher. (Stored clothes ten to smell musty). Relax, smile and say hello to everyone- have fun. At the end of the day you know it was worth it.

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