Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Garage Sales can Save You Money or even Make You Money

I love garage sales also know as yard sales, moving sales, rummage sales or tag sales. I have been a garage sale junkie for over 30 years. I have held them and I have been to thousands of them.
The main reason I go is to hunt for treasures to sell on eBay. I have sold on eBay for years. I read other blogs and see people complain of the cost to sell on eBay. Yes the costs have gone up but just think of it. When you put up something you want to sell it can possibly be viewed by people all over the United States or world wide. And of course you can also find things that may interest you from around the US. ( Just watch the shipping costs )
Of course we also love the thrift stores and that is a way we spend part of many days.
We deal in mainly books ( even owned a used book store in Minnesota for 12 + years) Those are some of my favorite memories. My store and my customers. I also am interested in vintage postcards, photos and other items of interest.
Well back to garage sales.. this is a great way to find treasures and even what you need for daily life. You can find clean Blue Jeans hardly worn, designer clothes and purses. dishes, furniture and of course the collectible.

First you need to find them. Look in your daily paper, check out Craigs list. Craigs list has a tab under items for sale for garage sales. Craigs list can be good and is free and sometimes the poster does not follow through with their sale and this can be a waste of time and gas. And then just driving around and looking for signs is a fun way.

Go early, the best things can go first but then you can sometimes get a better price later in the day or the second day.

Bring small bills and coins. No one wants your twenty dollar bill.

Do not be afraid to ask if they are open to a lower price. Last Saturday we stopped at a sale. It is hot in Texas and they have been there for a couple of hours already. They have about 8 nice cookbooks that I can sell on eBay, amazon and other sites I sell on. They have a price of $2.00 and $3.00 each. That is not a bad price considering they are fairly new, clean and hard covers but I need to buy at a better price to sell. I nicely ask are you open to offers. I can give you a dollar a piece for the hard covers and then offer a dollar for 2 or 3 soft cover cook books. They say yes. I am happy and so are they. They do not have to bring these cook books back into the house and I have something to offer some one on the Internet who wants this cook book and even with the shipping cost may be the only way for them to buy.

Wear comfortable shoes , clothes and keep your purse close to you. Better yet wear a belly pack.

Bring your own bottle of water. Some sellers offer water but they want a dollar a bottle.

One thing I will buy is lemonade from some cute little kid. And if the glass is large I will give them an extra quarter as a tip and tell them I want that part to go into their savings bank. That excites them and their mother and makes me smile. Three or four smiles for a quarter is well worth it.

Of course you need to take gas into account so try to find neighborhood, block, multi-family or even city sales so that you can visit many sales in the same area. My hubby and I love to garage sale so this is entertainment to us and of course part of our business.

There are some things you do not want to buy at a garage sale. First thought is a used mattress. Others say shoes but I have found great shoes barely used for myself or to sell on eBay. Check items over really careful. Look for stains, tears and in books I also look through it. I do not want books underlined, highlighted or moldy.

If you looking for items for children be sure it is not a recalled item. You can go to check out http://www.recalls.gov/ for the most recent recalls issued.

If you are searching for furniture know your measurements and take a small tape measure with you. If something is electric ask to plug it in. If I am buying Cd's I bother to look inside to make sure CD is in there. People forget them in machines and do not check before selling.

So have fun stopping at garage sales and not only are you saving money, you are helping someone else declutter and you may even find some sweet treasure.

If you are in need of a cook book or whatever visit me at http://shop.ebay.com/merchant/turnabout01_W0QQ_nkwZQQ_armrsZ1QQ_fromZ

Well this is some of my ideas and tips. Happy hunting and be safe