I had barely gone to any garage sales before a couple weeks ago. I never grew up going to garage sales, and every time that I had gone in the past, I never found it that exciting. Most of the time it was just junk, and I always thought, if they don’t want their junk why would I want it?
Then everything changed.
We moved to New Mexico a little bit ago, and are in the process of creating some really awesome friendships. Husband sometimes has to work weekends, so I have some friends that invited me to go garage saling with them. (Yes, I know that saling isn’t a word, but it feels like it should be so I’m going to continue to use it).
I was hesitant, because I had never had much success at garage sales, and it seemed like a morning of just wandering around, but I thought at least I would have good company.
Oh boy was I in for a surprise. Little did I know, garage saling is serious business. You are on the hunt for garage sales, and it’s super exciting when you find one. You are on the hunt for the best deals, for the best quality. It’s almost as if it’s a game, the person running the garage sale is trying to get the most money out of the products they are selling, and you are trying to get it down to the lowest price.
Sometimes, garage sales are a bust, but then you just move onto the next one. I can easily spend a morning just looking at other people’s junk. We are still considered “newly weds” so there are some things in our home that aren’t necessarily crucial, but it would be nice to have. One of them is an ironing board, so I was delighted when I found one for $2. I think garage sales are a great option especially for those starting out, as you can find great deals for good prices.
Although I am still technically a garage sale newbie, here are some of the tips and tricks that I’ve picked up
At some point, you’re just going to get hungry. Eat a good breakfast, or bring snacks with you so that you don’t have to stop to get food.
2. Make it into an adventure
Bring friends with you, and have some ideas of what you want. I knew that I needed a filing cabinet, so I’ve waited until I found one for a good price ($5!). Bring your friends so the time goes by quickly. It’s also a cheap date idea or just a good way to hang out with someone without spending a lot of money.
3. Bring hand sanitizer
At the very least, just wash your hands once you’re done. Hand sanitizer is nice since you can bring it with you, and I can almost guarantee that your hands will feel grubby after.
4. Have time to look around
Garage saling is not necessarily an activity to be rushed. Have time on a Saturday morning to find a few good sales, and look around at each of them. There is also time spent driving around looking for signs. Make sure you have enough time to enjoy it all.
5. Evaluate whether the price is fair, or try to barter down.
Perhaps this is the most important tip I have. Garage sales are not set prices like stores, you are allowed to barter with them, and most people expect it. Some people try to barter down no matter what, but I don’t feel right about this. I evaluate how much I want to spend on it, and if it’s not that price, I just politely ask the person if they would take __ amount instead. The worst thing they can say is no, but most of the time they will either accept or give you a counter offer. The whole point of this is just to make sure that you feel comfortable with the price that you are paying.
Do you enjoy garage sales? What are you tips/tricks?