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What's your top garage sale tip?

by Rachael Koch (follow)
Money (149)      Shopping (184)      Garage Sales (2)     
Photo: Ildar Sagdejev

Garage sales are a common sight on a Saturday morning. Sometimes I go and find absolute bargains, sometimes i buy nothing at all. What are your top tips for shopping at a garage sale, and what are your tips for hosting them?

#Garage Sales
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Top Answers
For hosting:
1.Do not sit in a chair facing people as they approach your home,look busy.
2.Say a quick 'Hi' and leave it at that.
3.Don't be a pest! leave them to look in peace.
4.Make sure you have plenty of change & and use a 'bum-bag' on you.
5.Make sure you have bags and newspaper to wrap stuff up.
6.Please don't have a sausage-sizzle, people want to get in & out.
7.Put signs up that people in the car can read!
8.Please take signs down after the Garage Sale...don't leave on street's.
9.Watch your 'stuff', it can go missing very quickly...but do it carefully.
10.Anything you don't sell and want, leave on the street for ''Free'.

For Buying:

1.Try not to haggle, your getting it cheep 80% of the time...anyway.
2.Be polite.
3.Look where you are walking,so you don't stand on their 'wears'.

More rules for selling.
Be realistic in your pricing. People are looking for bargains. If you want a better price try Gumtree etc. Some people really enjoy the haggling process and it can be fun. Remember if you don't sell it you have to to deal with it later. My friend even offered a free stubby at the end of the day if people would just take something.
Hosting tip: Be prepared before the day starts, because people will be at your door from the word go. Buying tip: Ask yourself, do you really want it?
I never see people holding garage sales in the UK. I've never known the policy on them. It will probably be different between countries, but do you need a licence or anything, or can you just decide to put a table in your front garden one day and put loads of stuff on sale?
In Australia people don't need a permit to hold a garage sale. They usually advertise in classifieds or online that they are having a garage or yard sale, make a few signs to attract the locals and as you suggested put everything out on the front lawn. It's usually really cheap because it's just excess stuff that people want to get rid of, they make a bit of money back on their old stuff and you as the customer just might get a bargain.
Don't haggle if you're buying, things are ridiculously cheap at garage sales anyway. If you're having one, don't forget to take your signs down after the event - it's really frustrating to drive past a one week old "Garage Sale Today" sign.

Preparation is everything. Be clear on what items you want to sell, and know your prices. Offer guests/customers a complimentary tea or coffee. It's a good gesture.
Don't make the area look like a scrapyard. Take pride in some thought for presentation. I know it's not a permanent shop, but you are more likely to clear your stuff for sale if you show care towards the items.
If you plan on visiting garage sales, do a bit of homework, check the local newspapers for listing and see if there are some garage sales that you must visit. Plan the morning for an early start. The earlier you visit, the more likely you will find things you like.
It's often worthwhile combining a country road-trip with a garage sale searching expedition. I've often found some real treasures way out of the city where less people are likely to be looking for collectibles or things of value. Just recently, on a trip to the Hunter Valley in NSW, I picked up some collectable old Chinese snuff boxes which I plan to resell...hopefully for a good profit.
I think garage sales are fun but it is a lot of work to host one.
When hosting
1. Put a price on everything. Some people won't ask the price because they feel embarrassed if it is higher than they want to pay.
2. Start pricing your items and collecting bags etc well before the sale
3. Try to display things on tables, trestles etc rather than the ground to make it easier for people to look through the items. The ground is fine for plants, hardware items, bigger stuff etc
4. Enjoy the social side of the day

For buyers
1. Take plenty of change with you. It helps the seller out. Also if you have just haggled for a better price you don't want to be handing over a big note which suggests you could easily have paid the asking price and now the seller has to find change.
2. Don't make disparaging comments about the items for sale to your partner/friend who has come with you.
3. Enjoy looking even if you don't buy.
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