I get a surge of excitement when I spot bright-colored signs at street intersections. Yard sales are the one place left to get amazing deals on used goods. This is especially true in the Seattle area as flea markets are few and far between, and thrift stores prices have caught up with their level of trendiness. Here are just a few of my tips and tricks to getting ready for the garage sale season so you can score big!
—-Time it right —-
—-Make a game-plan—-
—- Location, location, location —-
—- Haggle —-
—- Grab your insurance —-
—-Come prepared —-
Here are a few items I find essential on the hunt.
- A big sturdy bag. This can be a backpack, canvas tote bag or reusable grocery bag. This is VERY important. Use as a shopping basket and with it on your shoulder, you’ll still have hands to rummage. If parking and walking from house to house, this will carry it all. On the bigger, multifamily garage sales, I might even pick up some wheeled luggage (or bring your kid’s radio flyer) to tote my wares.
- Small bills. Stock a lot of $1’s and $5’s. Because it’d be embarrassing to haggle your way down to a couple bucks and hand the seller a $50. Also, sellers appreciate it.
- Cell phone. Did you find that perfect navy blue couch, but didn’t bring the truck? This is your life-line to outside help. Often sellers will hold on to the bigger items till the end of the day, to give you time to hunt down transport options. Often I prearrange emergency help before a day of garage sailing. Luckily my family values a good bargain so they will usually do the favor. In addition, cell phones are great maps that help you get orientated in unfamiliar neighborhoods and locate the nearest ATM.
- Bungee cords. In case you don’t have nice friends and family with a truck (or own a truck yourself). With enough bungee cords you can put some pretty big items on the top of your car. Just, don’t quote me on that….
- Space measurements. If you’re shopping for larger items, keep a list of what you need, with measurements, dimensions and sizes. That way you won’t forget, and you’ll know when it’s the perfect fit.
- Tape measure, to make sure that darling armoire/bench/couch will fit in your house.
- Fabric Swatches. I typically look for a lot of home decor, so I like to bring pictures of rooms in progress and fabric swatches. This makes me make smarter design choices.
- Water and snacks. My husband will get hangry fast, so we make sure to guard against any problems of the stomach. Sunscreen isn’t a bad move either!