How to score deals at Garage Sales!

garagesalesignGarage sales are an art form. If you know how to go garage sailing in the right way they can be quite profitable, in the sense that you can save a ton of money buying objects people don’t need anymore.

1) Get out there early:
The early bird gets the worm.  Get out garage sailing early before anyone else has had a time to shop. You will get the best deals and the merchandise before it gets picked over. Don’t even bother to go to garage sales after lunch 😛

2)Look everywhere!
Check out the tables, under the tables, look in boxes and don’t feel shy to move things around to get a better vantage point. You never know when you’ll spot something of value under something else.

3)Get familiar with VALUES of items.  If you can purchase the item at a significant price reduction just because someone else doesn’t need it anymore it’s a BONUS if you can use it.

4)Learn to haggle!
A lot of people love to bargain when they go to sales.  Try and offer a lower price than what the owner is offering.  The worst they can do is say no – be fair and offer a reasonable price.  You  don’t want to insult them.  Another way to get a good deal is to buy a group of items and make a flat rate price for all of it. This almost always works because you’re taking several items off their hands instead of one.

5) Hit busy intersections – this is often where you will find a congregation of multiple garage sale signs.

garagesale6)Shop from the car – if you’re in a hurry.  Drive by the sale and see what kinds of things they have out.  Sometimes you can see what they have from the car to see if it may be worth getting out and checking further.

7)Bring cash – you never know when you’re going to find a really good deal.  Bring cash with you so that you can be prepared to scoop up a good find.

8)Look for items you can fix or recycle etc.
Garage sales are lucrative for items that people don’t see the value in. If you can spot an old vintage piece of furniture and strip the paint off of it and refinish it only making a few minor repairs you can really invest in the value of the item and get something fabulous out of it at the end.

9)One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
You have to think about what an item can be used for in your home. But also remind yourself that again your space and money is valuable too. And no one really needs to have a clutter filled home.garagesale2

Why this?  If you think ahead what you will need in the near future for your family sometimes you will give yourself the opportunity to find that item in advance at a better price than if you had bought it in a store. For example.  My son is in size 4T right now so I am investing my money and time into garage sales to find him the clothing he will need 5T and up.  I buy what is in good condition and on the cheap.

Make a list of things you need and things you want.  Know the difference. You don’t want to be stuck with stuff you’re not going to really use.  It’s easy to get caught up in a good deal – if you don’t need the item but it’s a good price! Be careful!

11)Take the kids along. You’d be surprised at how great my 4 year old is at haggling. Give them their own money so that they can learn to deal with it in the proper way. How to keep it safe in a wallet on their persons, how to interact healthily with money in an exchange kind of way, what it feels like to run out of money and have to just LOOK, how to earn money for chores etc.

12)Bring snacks along so that you’re not tempted to eat out when you and the kids get hungry!

13)Plan out your route.  Stick to a path. Look up garage sales online, on Kijiji, in the newspaper, in various garage sale communities.  Many community centers hold garage sales and those are always great to stop at too.  Make sure you plan where you are going to be driving so that you pick the shortest path. You can stop at other sales you see in between.

5)Kids clothes
7)Exercise equipment
8)Appliances (don’t be shy – ask to test them before you buy)
10)Sport equipment
11)Craft items

List of things that I would suggest staying away from
1)Hats – for sanitary reason
2)Blankets, stuffed toys unless can be washed thoroughly first
3)shoes (kinda gross unless in good condition easily cleaned)
4)Left over products – don’t buy opened beauty products, makeup, nail polish, perfume – you don’t know how old these items are or if they’re expired.
5)car seats – It’s hard to know if they’ve been in car accidents, or if they’re new enough to be considered safe under Canada’s health and safety laws
6)Food – ya just don’t know how old it is!

Things to check when buying Garage sale items:
1)Smell – if you’re buying anything fabric check the smell to see if they came from a smokers home
2)Condition – check for scratches on cds, cracks etc
3)Cleanliness – typically you can tell how clean a person is by the cleanliness of their junk
4)Age can make an item valuable – or not so valuable depending on what it is.
5)Size – will it fit into the space you need? Have a pocket tape measure in your purse ready to go if you’re furniture shopping.

I hope this article was helpful.  Please feel free to comment with any other tips or suggestions.
<3 Michelle

5 thoughts on “How to score deals at Garage Sales!

  1. Destinie Fedoruk

    Love getting books at garage sales, avg kid book at book store $6-10. Garage sale .25$. Also kids clothes and outside toys. There is always a dramatic decrease in large item prices because they take up so much room.

  2. Tabitha Lennox

    ALWAYS check Jewelry junk bags! I scored a gold ring and got 42$ at the pawn shop only paid .25c for the whole bag!!!

  3. Melanie Meilleur

    Transcona is the (unofficial) Garage Sale Capital of Winnipeg. Day street at McMeans usually has 10-25 sales posted every weekend.


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