Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer on a tight budget or a frugal spender, there are plenty of deals to be had at garage sales. Like a ritual, every spring there are plenty of street sales where homeowners set up shop in front of their property.
Yard sales are the perfect time to socialize with your neighbours and score a deal. Instead of buying something brand-new, you can find items you need at bargain prices. Here are some tips to save money at garage sales, without getting carried away and overspending.
Browsing with a List
Similar to when you make a trip to the supermarket, you should create a garage sale list before you head to a yard sale. A list is a good way to keep your spending in check – it’s especially easy to give in to temptation and buy a nice pair of shoes because it’s a good deal, even though you already have a closet full of shoes at home. A list will make you think twice before spending all the cash you have on other people’s junk.
Browsing with a Budget
It’s important to include spending at a garage sale as part of your family budget. Before you head to a garage sale, bring only the amount of cash you can afford to spend – that way you’ll be less likely to splurge and overspend. Before you purchase an item, ask yourself if you really need it, or if it’s just going to sit in your garage for the next year and collect dust.
Timing is Everything
The best time to shop at a garage sale is almost always right at the beginning or right at the tail end. Showing up bright and early is often a good idea because all the best items will still be left. You can snatch them up before others do. If you go to yard sales at the end, sellers may be more willing to negotiate with you just to get rid of their items.
Ask for What You Need
If you are looking for a specific item, don’t be shy to ask the seller for it right off the bat. The sellers may have what you’re looking for, but may have simply forgotten to put it out. As the saying goes, the squeaky wheels get the grease – it doesn’t hurt to ask!
Don’t Show Up with an Empty Stomach
They say you shouldn’t go to the supermarket when you’re hungry – the same can be said about garage sales. The last thing you want to do is spend 8 hours searching for deals, only to pick up a pizza and blow all your savings. Instead pack a lunch or some snacks so you’re not starving.
Plan Your Route
Gas isn’t cheap – it’s silly to drive halfway across the city just to save $10 on a sweater. Plan your route and figure out where all the best sales are. You can often score a good deal in your own neighbourhood – instead of driving, why not walk and take a bundle buggy with you?