“Hey KT, what’s your favorite season?
“Garage sale season.”
But forreal. I love getting up at 8am and going to garage sales – both for myself & for my reselling business on eBay. Most of the time, it’s cheaper than thrift stores. (Can we talk about how thrift stores are becoming more expensive? Well, by expensive I mean like $4 for a shirt. But still. I guess that’s a conversation for another time.) Also, you can bargain with some people and the stuff is usually higher quality/better condition than thrift stores.
With that being said, if you’re planning to visit some garage sales this summer, here are a few tips that can help you!
- Plan your timing strategically.
Originally, I was going to say “get there right when the garage sale starts.” But that’s not always the best strategy, it depends on what your goal is. For example, my mom typically goes around noon when people are more willing to negotiate. She buys furniture and decor super cheap to repurpose, so getting to the “good stuff” first thing in the morning isn’t necessarily important to her. But, if I’m going for name brand clothing, I’d want to get there first thing so that I get the best selection. So just make sure you have a plan that fits your goals.
2. Don’t be afraid to bargain – but don’t lowball.
I’ve bargained at garage sales more times than I haven’t. There’s nothing wrong with making an offer, and most people expect it. However, I won’t make an offer if it’s early in the sale or I think it’s priced fairly. If I’m buying a handful of stuff, often I’ll just ask if I can buy everything in my arms for $20 (or whatever a fair deal is). That way, they don’t have to sort through all the pricing and I get a bargain out of it. However, don’t be offensive and offer something ridiculously low. Unless it’s like, the tail end of the sale and they’re just begging to get rid of things. Just assess the situation and be wise.
3. Don’t buy it just because it’s cheap.
This tip also applies to thrift stores, sales, etc. Don’t buy something just because it’s a good deal! I fell into this trap when I first discovered thrift stores/garage sales, and I’m glad I’ve snapped out of it since then. To counteract the temptation to buy cheap things I don’t need, I make a list of the things I’m looking for. The list doesn’t have to be super specific, for example… “I’ll check the clothing, books, dishes, and furniture when I go.” It can be as vague or as specific as you want, just make sure you know your limits.
4. Plan your route the night before.
A lot of garage sales are posted on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and other platforms the night before the sale. This is beneficial especially if you’re looking for specific items. This can help you get to the right sales at the right time! Also, be on the lookout for neighborhood garage sales.
5. Wear a crossbody purse or fanny pack (good thing they’re back in style).
Pretty self explainable. You’re gonna need your hands to sift through/hold stuff. Sorry, no carts or baskets at garage sales. (But if you want, bring a reusable shopping bag to hold stuff).
6. Be a baller.
Grab some coffee and a donut beforehand. Sport your favorite shades and a fanny pack. Go kill it out there. Be a nice human. It’s fun if you make it fun!
…Just had to add that last tip. 😉 Hope you enjoyed my tips. I know they’re pretty basic, but they are essential! Let me know if you have any tips for me… I’m always open to learning new things!
Thanks for reading!