I’m not sure whether to be mad at you readers out there, or whether I should just be grateful that I have f-i-n-a-l-l-y discovered the madness of yardsale-ing! I am 100% hooked and it is quickly becoming my favorite Saturday morning activity! There’s nothing else that will get me out of bed earlier than normal on a weekend than the smell of a good bargain! 🙂
This past Saturday was my second weekend out and I had a few things in mind and $20 in my hand (well, I had a little more in my purse but I didn’t want to pull it out unless I absolutely NEEDED it)! The main thing I’ve been looking for are some beach items to use this summer when we go in August. Can we say used beach canopy anyone? I figured if I stumbled upon any other super good deals on home stuff or clothes, that would be nice too.
Before I get to showing you my loot for the day, I thought I’d share a few tips that I’ve started to learn along the way.
1. Plan your route ahead of time.
This is pretty self explanatory. Have an idea of what area of town you’d like to hit by looking up sales on Craigslist or some other internet site (or the newspaper if that’s your thing). If you are looking for upscale items/brands, keep that in mind and plan to visit houses in an upscale neighborhood. If you are looking for exercise equipment, don’t go to a yard sale that is advertising mostly baby items. Etc, etc, etc.
2. Get started early.
The good stuff will probably go quickly, so if you want to have the best selection, get going around 7 or 8am. I hate mornings myself, but you’ll be glad you started early when you get some great items and you’ll have the rest of your day ahead of you!
3. Have a set amount of money in your pocket and call it quits when it is gone.
If you’re like me, finding good stuff at super cheap prices can be an adrenaline rush. Just because it’s a nice item and priced low doesn’t mean you need to have it! I ended up buying something that I probably won’t use a ton, but I sort of justified buying it because it was really cheap. Setting a dollar limit for your day will help keep your urges to overspend in check. It will make you think twice about whether you really need the items. After all, the point is to get what you need at a great price, not to buy things just to buy them. Hoarders anyone?
4. Pace yourself.
Don’t get super excited and go nuts at the first stop. Remember, there are lots of stops ahead and there’s no reason to spend all your money at the first house, unless they have exactly what you were looking for! See #3 to keep yourself in check. Also, don’t forget that you can always come back to a house later once you’ve had a chance to hit up some other sales. If that item at house #1 is still on your mind later, then go back and see if it’s still there! But, if you’ve forgotten about it by the time you get to house #2, then you weren’t missing out by not buying it!
4. Negotiate if you aren’t willing or can’t pay sticker price.
In general, I can’t stand hagglers, but I believe yard sales are a totally different ballgame. (Sort of how you NEVER pay sticker price at a car lot). First off, some people are living in a fantasy world and think that their clutter is worth way more than it really is. If folks are looking to get a fantastic price on their stuff, then they should sell it by some other means. The way I see it, you are offering to remove the item from their possession instantly, so that has to be worth something! Secondly, if you think the sticker price is reasonable but you simply can’t afford it or don’t want to spend that much on it, make them an offer. The worst they can say is NO and you walk away or you pay full price anyway. Paying sticker price is so ingrained in my mind that this entire concept of negotiating is still new to me, but I’m slowly learning!
5. Bundling is your friend!
If you want to negotiate on price and are buying multiple items, then bundling is the way to go! Just have an idea in your head of what you are willing to spend on the whole batch of items and make them an offer. More than likely, if they want to get rid of it, they won’t waste the time trying to figure out the math and just make a gut decision (hopefully in your favor).
I’m sure there are more tips out there, so feel free to make a comment! I’d love to hear thoughts from any fellow yardsale-ers!
Now, onto my finds for the morning!
Black picture frame, Little Einstein’s DVD, plastic booster seat, white mirror/hook wall piece, small lamp, plastic toy lawnmower (not pictured), children’s beach chair with carrying bag (not pictured) – $12 for everything
The women’s jacket was for me and should be a good staple for my closet. I’m trying to be more strategic with my clothing purchases and fill in the gaps in my closet with good staples or layering pieces.
The kids items were obviously for Savannah and/or Brady. The beach chair will be great for the beach! The white mirror/hook piece will go in the utility room to put keys/light jackets on. I had just commented the other day about needing something like that in there! The black frame is for my stairway – I’ve been trying to slowly accumulate black picture frames that I can stagger up the stairway with family pictures!
Have you been to any yard sales lately? Any tips for us newbies out there?