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Be a Successful Garage Sale Buyer

Aug 17, 2007
Did you ever get the bargain of your life at a garage sale? Or have you been like me and have gone to a garage sale to pick up a few good books to read and end up buying a 250 dollar telescope that when you got it home didn't work? Next time come home from a day shopping at garage sales feeling like a winner.

Go with a purpose. It is best to have some items in mind that you want and ask if they have it. Know what certain used articles sell for, you will appear knowledgeable and confident to the seller.

Make sure you have all your garage sale equipment with you. Have sizes on hand in case you hit a jackpot on the exact size and type of clothing you or your family may want. Always carry a tape measure. There is nothing like seeing that perfect corner cabinet for sale for practically nothing but you hesitate because you are not sure if it will fit. Small bills and change are imperative. It is easier to negotiate if you have odd amount such eight dollars instead of ten or sixty six cents instead if one dollar.

Establish a rapport with the seller. Ask questions - get to know about the item you are looking at. Find out where, when, why, how. This can give you the ammunition you need to bargain with. Remember the emotional factor the seller may have for a certain article and respect him for it. If you can show the seller you relate to that they may give you a better deal. When I have done this I have ended up buying other items they originally did not have for sale.

Don't be sneaky unless you expect it in return and don't play mind games. When I have had garage sales, I could usually spot those people trying to scam me and, instead of dealing with them I usually just waited for them to leave.

Be considerate; don't go earlier then the time advertised. If you go as soon as the garage sale opens you may find a better selection. However, if you go towards the end, you may get a better deal.

Also, remember the section of town you are in. In rural areas you may find a better deal on a lawn mower then in the middle of a city.

The bottom line is to be prepared and rested. When you are prepared you can think best and negotiate with confidence. If you are successful you may even find bargains to resell on eBay.
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