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
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
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
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
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.