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Category: | Shopping Help |

Related Links:  | Clothing |

2nd Hand Shopping


By Nikki Willhite

With the coming of warmer weather, many people will be cleaning out their "stuff". The swap meets will open up, and the garage sales will abound!  Here are some tips for the sellers and the shoppers.


List your needs and think ahead. Know what you are looking for. List the things you will have need of in the next couple of years. It can be hard to pay money for items you are not quite ready for, but more economical in the long run. You may not be able to find it when you need it at a good price. This is true of things like children's clothing, books, videos, and household linens.

Schedule your shopping time and shop with regularity. You are going to have to invest time and energy on a regular basis to find the bargains you are looking for. You can't expect to make one or two trips and find what you need.

For retail stores- watch for sales, and plan to attend them. Not all thrift stores have them, but when they do, the savings are even greater. For garage sales, shop in the best neighborhood you can travel to. People with more money readily give away their things and replace them often. Most can't be bothered with garage sales.

When you are shopping remember to buy quality items (more likely found in good neighborhoods also). It's not a good buy if it isn't going to last.

If you feel the price is too high, negotiate.Your best price negotiations are done at the end of the day, when the sale is almost over and the merchandise will probably be disposed of.

Train your eye to ignore the junk, and find the bargains. That can be hard to do. Merchandise surrounded by junk looks bad. When you take it home, it will look a lot different.

Keep of list of items you are looking for. Write down dimensions for tablecloths, and sizes of clothing/shoes for your family. Keep a template of your children's feet, as shoe markings often fade.

Be a smart shopper and keep an eye out for collectibles and antiques. Many people/stores do not know what they have! Take a look at what people are selling on Ebay. If you want to see some action- look at how the fabric sells. Some people make a business of buying items at a discount, and then selling them for profit.

Be thorough. Check out all the items. Don't miss a great bargain! Spend your time at the sales and not driving around the city in circles, or getting lost. Plan your route. If you use a CD like Street Finder, you can pinpoint each location on a map.


Advertise, give directions, and post signs. Post your signs in prominent places a few days before the sale. Use balloons to draw people to your home.

Get lots of help with your sale! You need other eyes and hands when it gets busy.

Try and get your neighbors to join with you. Multi-family garage sales are better attended.

Display your items as attractively as possible. Take the time to clean, dust and mend if needed. Bring as much as you can to eye level, as people don't like to bend. Keep your items organized and sorted so quick shoppers can quickly find what they want. If you are selling clothing, string ropes or chains to hang clothes.

Mark all items with the prices clearly visible, as some people don't like to ask. When someone makes you an offer, if you don't like it counter with another offer.

Keep your money close to you. Wear a purse across your body or a fanny pack. Have plenty of change. If you decide to take checks, ask for ID, and look to see how high the check number is. This can be an indication of stability, although some banks now let you pick your starting check number when you open a new account.

Be realistic in your pricing. For large items, a good rule of thumb is to charge half the cost of what if would cost new (if it is in good condition). Check your paper's classified ads to get a price comparison.

If someone makes you an offer at the beginning of your sale that you don't want to take, ask for his/her phone #. You can always call them later and accept their offer.

Have fun....and find those bargains


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Category: | Shopping Help |

Related Links:  | Clothing |

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