The warm weather is finally upon us and with it comes a favourite past time: garage sales. Learn how to shop at garage sales the right way with these 10 easy to follow tips
10 Best Tips on How to Shop at Garage Sales
You have the desire to decorate your home but you are on a budget. You know that there are good scores to be had at garage sales but the whole concept makes you feel a little unsure. What with the haggling, the searching, and the approaching a strangers space. It’s all just a bit overwhelming.
I get it. I hear it all the time, “I’ve always thought about going to a garage sale but I wouldn’t know where to start.” Fortunately, I have a ton of experience both selling and buying at garage sales and I can teach you exactly how to prepare for garage sales and how to shop them like a pro.
Approaching Garage Sale Shopping the Right Ways
Garage sales are a DIY decorators dream come true. The unbeatable prices, coupled with the hunt, and the creative spontaneity can be an irresistible to many of us.
If you haven’t yet discovered the benefits of shopping garage sales for home decor you are in for a treat. It is the perfect solution for those of us who love decorating our homes with beautiful decor pieces but want it all done on a budget.
Garage Sales Can Save You Mega Decor Money
I have shopped and I have sold at many a garage sale.
Hubby and I are both avid DIYers and garage sales are often a fun date-day out. There is just something about the thrill of the hunt. It’s like a little zing in your belly. What treasures will there be to find?
You know the one. You’ll be walking the dog and suddenly a bright, red sign will catch your eye. Big, black, bold letters offer the crucial information:
How to Shop At Garage Sales Like A Pro
Now, there are some basics you should know for how to shop at garage sales the right way so that your shopping experience is enjoyable and so that you increase your chances of it being successful.
You plug it into your GPS and add it to your calendar. Oh, this is going to be good! You start going over all the things you hope to find. Maybe they will have the perfect dresser for your little girls room or another beautiful piece for your milk glass collection.
The possibilities are endless.
How Do I Prepare For Garage Sale Shopping?
When you put effort into the preparation the whole experience runs smoothly. If you want to know how you should be preparing for garage sale season the following tips are sure to start you off on the right foot:
How to Discover Local Garage Sale
- In Canada: Kijiji, Facebook Market Place, Yard Sale Treasure Map (Personally, I don’t really use Treasure Map all that often because I have found that the other two have more listings.)
- In the U.S: Garage Sale Finder, Facebook Market Place, Yard Sale Treasure Map, Craigslist.
- Old fashioned way still works so check out your local newspaper.
- On foot method: On your walks look for signs advertising upcoming sales. Take a pic with your cell phone so that you have all the information handy.
- Keep an eye open method: On a Saturday or Sunday while your out doing errands keep an eye out for any signs advertising sales and make a few spontaneous stops.
PRO TIP: Make sure that you read the fine print on the adverts. Sellers will often list the most sought after or more expensive items to attract customers. This will give you an idea of what you will find and whether it’s even worth your while.
Example: You need furniture for your teenage son’s new dorm room and the advertisement reads – toys, baby clothes, and exercise equipment. Sure they might have some furniture… maybe. But I say hedge your bets and instead head to the one that lists furniture and kitchen items as their first options. You’ll likely have more luck.
What Should I Wear to a Garage Sale?
I don’t know about you but I am all about comfort when it comes to just about everything. The next few suggestions will help you plan for what you should wear to garage sales so that you are happy and comfy.
What Should I Bring to a Garage Sale?
The items that you should bring to a garage sale can make all the difference in how the whole experience goes. For the optimal garage sale experience you should try and bring the following items:
Pack Smart – List of Packing Supplies You Should Have On Hand
It’s not wise to expect that sellers will have everything needed to transport your items safely. Some will be well prepared while other’s will take the less is more approach. Bringing the following items will help ensure that no matter what you find it will all get home safely.
- Cloth or plastic bags are great for carrying away all of your little items.
- Packing paper comes in handy when you need to wrap up those fragile items.
- Blankets or sheets are great for wrapping up larger art pieces or furniture.
- Elastics can be wrapped around items that may fall open, would be safer rolled up, or you want to keep a few items all together.
- Bungee cords are a need-to-have in case you find an irresistible furniture piece and you have to fit it in the trunk of your car.
- Masking tape is perfect for taping drawers close or for attaching smaller items to larger items.
- Zip Loc bags are great for corralling those smaller items.
- Totes or boxes in your vehicle are great for holding items together and to prevent them from moving around and possibly breaking.
PRO TIP: Keep all of these supplies in a small tote. Store the tote in your trunk, your garage, front hall closet, or the basement. That way, whenever you’re ready to garage sale shop everything is already packed and set to go. Also works well for flea markets and farmer’s markets.
How Do You Haggle at Garage Sales? Get the Best Price
These few easy tips will teach you how to haggle at garage sales in order to get that price point you are looking for… or at least close to it.
Common Garage Sale Items That Make Great Home Decor
Now that you know how to shop at garage sales and you have your treasures what do you do with them? Try a few of the following suggestions for decorating your home with garage sale finds:
Ya Basic, How to Shop at Garage Sales Tips
These are the basics for knowing how to shop at garages sales. Learn these, and you will be already a step towards pro.
Garage Sale Shopping Faux Pas You Want to Avoid
- Being a garage sale snob. This includes turning your nose up, insulting the person’s things, or open mouth laughing at the options.
- Turning into a road hog. Find a proper place to park. Not beside another car, on the boulevard, or in the middle of the street.
- Being all Daddy Warbucks and bringing only large bills won’t gain you any favours. Plus, like I mentioned above, it’ll likely end up costing you more in the end.
What Should Not Be At Garage Sales?
The following items should not be at garage sales and if they are you should not be buying them:
Jenny’s Finishing Thoughts On Garage Sale Shopping
Now, armed with all the knowledge you need on how to shop at garage sales like a pro you can head out prepared and ready to find those great home decor deals.
What could be better? Your doing something good for the environment, saving yourself a ton of money, and you are getting to use your creativity to create a beautiful home.
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