It seems like yard sale signs are always popping up! People use yard sales as a way to sell items around their home that aren't getting used and are causing clutter. This is a great opportunity for you to get your hands on furniture, electronics, housewares and more at a bargain. Here are some of our best tips for scoring a great deal at garage and yard sales.
Plan your route
There are so many online resources now to find garage and yard sales in your area. You don't have to look for homemade road signs to point you in the right direction. Get on websites and apps such as Craigslist, YardSaleSearch or Yard Sale Treasure Map. Now you can find yard sales in your area and hop from one to the next throughout the day.
Research what you're looking for ahead of time
If you're hoping to snag a particular item, such as a TV, record player, vintage jewelry, etc., research it ahead of time on eBay to see how much it's going for so that you're better equipped to negotiate if you find what you're looking for. This will also save you from overpaying. Or, if you happen upon an item at a yard sale that you love but you're unsure whether it's selling for a fair price, look up the item on the spot using the eBay phone app.
Bring cash and small bills
It's becoming increasingly common to find yard sale hosts using credit card readers attached to their phone as a means of payment. However, cash is always preferable — especially if you're visiting an estate sale or going to a neighborhood with older residents. In these places, people are less likely to take credit cards. Also, for haggling purposes, take small bills with you. It's awkward if you negotiate the price of an end table from $50 to $20 but all you have in your wallet are $50 or $100 bills.
Know the right way to haggle
The art of getting a great deal takes a little bit of patience and relationship building with the seller. Before you suggest a much lower price on an item for sale, get to know the seller. Ask about a few different items, where they come from and how old they are. Strike up a friendly rapport and then ease into negotiations. However, don't be afraid to walk away if the seller simply won't budge. Some people just aren't interested in bargaining. If that's the case, move on and maybe you'll have better luck at the next yard sale.
Test any electronics before purchasing
If you find any electronics, such as TVs, radios, phones or tablets, ask the seller to demo the items for you first. Insert batteries if they're needed, or plug the item into an outlet to ensure that it works. Nothing is worse than getting home with a new item just to find out that it won't turn on or that the picture or sound quality is poor.
Buy in bulk
A good way to get a deal is by purchasing multiple items from the seller. If you find a set of teacups, some mismatched plates and some linen napkins, ask the seller how much they'll charge for everything in a single purchase. Oftentimes, sellers are more willing to give you a deal if you're buying multiple items because their goal is to sell as many things as possible so they don't have to bring them back into their home.
What tips to do you have for scoring big at yard sales? We'd love to hear from you!