Advice For Getting the Absolute Best Deals on Yard Sales

yard sale

Yard sales are pretty hit or miss, and it all depends on the individual shopping. For some, the idea of hitting a yard sale filled with baby items, play toys and outdoor playground items for their toddlers is the best thing that happened all weekend. For others, it’s pointless. For some, estate sale-type yard sales are the biggest treasure around. And still, for others, those filled with junk and useless items that don’t seem to work and haven’t all their bits and pieces are the best finds. Some people like to turn someone else’s unwanted stuff (or junk) into their personal treasure to keep or fix and sell at a higher price. The point is this; yard sales are successful only if you find what you are looking for. I cannot tell you what makes a yard sale successful, because I simply do not know what it is you want.

What I do know, however, is that there are some helpful hints that allow shoppers to get the absolute best deals possible at yard sales. Even though you might think that you are already getting a deal since someone is selling their belongings on their driveway, you can still haggle, negotiate, wheel and deal and get even better deals at times. Before you hop in your car early on a Saturday morning filled with nervous excitement and happy anticipation, let us give you a few tips and tricks to try out when it comes to getting the best deal on the items you cannot live without.

Start Online

Did you know that many people now advertise their yard sale ventures online prior to actually putting anything on their porch or their driveway? Social media, online newspaper ads and classifieds make it much easier for sellers to drum up interest and business in the neighborhood prior to their sales. It lets people know what’s coming and gets them excited about certain pieces. The best thing you can do is search for local yard sales upcoming in your neighborhood online (try local resale pages, news pages and social media links) and see what’s being offered in future sales. This lets you see what is up for grabs, how much is being asked, and it even allows you to compare prices on duplicate items at numerous yard sales.

There are also a few yard sale sites dedicated to allowing people to list their items for upcoming sales, as well as inform the public about upcoming sales. Yard Sale Search, Garage Sales Tracker and even Craigslist are super resources for those looking hard at finding a great sale in the near future.

Dress the Part

You don’t want to look like a homeless person when you show up to shop yard sales, but you also don’t want to look like you can afford to buy everything brand new. What you want to look like is an average person who maybe needs to find good deals to stay afloat. Some sellers will take a look at a woman in Tory Burch flip flops and a Lilly Pulitzer shift and refuse to haggle because you can clearly afford to pay $200 for a pair of flip flops and another $200 on a dress. So skip the designer wear and look average when shopping.

Create a Relationship

When you head to a yard sale, do yourself a favor and find the owners of the home and begin a conversation with them. Make it friendly and light, and get them talking. Ask them what’s the purpose behind the sale; a move, a major clean out, a renovation? Find out a little about them. Form a quick relationship with the homeowners and you will find that they’re more likely to work with you when you haggle. Once you become friendly, sellers are more likely to work with you since they feel a sort of connection.

Bring Small Bills

We will discuss haggling and negotiating in just a moment, but there is one important tip to consider first and foremost; bring small bills. Spending five minutes working to get the price of something down from $20 to $7 is going to cause sellers to consider renegotiating once they see you whip out a $100 bill and ask for change. Take the small bills with you. Break up your $100 bill into fives and ones and maybe a few $10 bills. And do not carry all your cash with you when you walk into the yard sale. Take a handful of it and show it to your seller, letting them know it is all you have. They will likely work with you more so if you pull out your cash and show them how little you have on you. Remember; these people don’t want to have this stuff at the end of the day, so they’re going to sell it to you.

Negotiate the Right Way

Begin with a reasonable offer. If something is being sold for $100, do not offer $20. Offer $65 and go from there. The seller will likely move the price down a bit, regardless, but they do not want to work with ridiculous offers. Additionally, you should amass a collection of items, and ask for a total price for the entire set. This might end up getting you an even better deal all around since these are people who want to get rid of their belongings. They’re going to be far more likely to get rid of things in bulk for a smaller price.

Walk Away

If a seller refuses to negotiate, start putting the items you are interested in right back where you found them. You might end up walking away once or twice, but most sellers at a yard sale are not interested in losing out on making at least some money instead of finding out they have to throw things away or find a place to store them once again when the day is over. You have the power here, if you remember to use it correctly.

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