February 26, 2008

Garage Sale Tips For Buyers

I know a lot of stay at home mommies are great at perusing garage sales and finding great buys that they can then turn around and resell for a profit on Ebay and other sites. So I thought I'd pull together some tips from garage sale savvy moms and post them here for those of us not quite as skilled at garage sale techniques.

Have dollar bills readily available. Sellers will be more likely to take a dollar for a $2 or $3 dollar item if they don't have to make change!

Although the more common advice is to always get to a garage sale early, you might want to try going later sometimes as well. This is because sellers will be tired and more willing to make deals on the stuff they do have left.

Gather everything you want to buy and ask the seller how much for the lot. Sometimes it is better to let the seller give you a price for everything you are holding before you offer a price, because the seller might actually give you a lower price than you were about to offer. If not, then negotiate to get the price you want.

Map out your garage sale route before you head out. Buy the paper a day or two before the sales, and know where you want to start with first, and then map it out from there.

Try to go it alone. This means no kids, if possible. You'll move quicker, and will be able to focus on the purchases you really want to make

Many toy manufactures will send you replacement pieces for their toys. So if you come across a popular toy that is missing a piece or two, and you can get a great price for it, you may want to buy it and then call the manufacturer for the missing piece(s). Often they will send them to you free. So you will have a great toy at a great price to resell on Ebay or a second-hand store.

And if you are looking for baby/children items, such as playpens, strollers, car seats, etc. always check out cpsc.gov to find items that have been recalled. Make a list before you head out as often times garage sales will have items that have been recalled.

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