Friday, November 14, 2008

Yard Sale Tips

The economy is in the pooper...your 401K is gone...employers are shutting their doors....Lipstick Jungle is getting the boot...but do not fret my pet! I know what can keep your hard-earned green in your bank accounts - YARDSALES to the rescue!

And I am here to share with you some yardsaler tips that most of you probably already know. But for those virgin tag salers, this is your day - cause tomorrow could be your chance to take the plunge into the world of cheap finds and quality goods at knock-out prices.


This unopened puzzle was right up my alley - $1 was the price asked. After some hemming and hawing and some price talking, I opened my purse and pulled out two quarters - "Would you take fifty cents?" SOLD. The key to getting a discounted price is to express a whole lotta interest, then ask the price. After they tell you the price...get a tortured look on your you really, really want the item but it would mean the difference between eating and buying this puzzle. But you really, really want it. You are so torn. Make sure they see your pain. Then go for the jugular.

Provide a offer that is accompanied by the exact dollar amount. Once the seller sees the money available - it is hard to turn down. Plus, if you pull out a whole dollar and asked for change, the seller would probably want the whole dollar cause it is in their hand. Greedy seller :) Case in point - bring lots of change cause there are a lot of items that only cost a nickel, a dime or under a buck. And always ALWAYS ask for a price reduction - dude, you are doing them a favor by cleaning out their old junk - and like the good book says "ask and you shall receive".


So the seller has a wide variety of chotchkeys, or childrens clothing, or jewelry? Great! This translates into a better deal for you! What is the price of one item? Look at the whole lot and pick out your favs. Ask directly if the host of your tag sale will give you a deal if you buy more than one - maybe two for the price of one, maybe three for the price of one. Most times, the seller just wants to get rid of the bounty. Recently, I put this in action when buying some clip-on earrings for my Grandma - three for the price of two...sure, a buck a piece wouldn't have been bad in the first place but every greenback counts! I even checked out how much they would be via ebay to ensure I got a decent deal. SCORE! Now I hope she likes them...eeek!

I also played this tip at a yardsale in order to snag some drywall. Drywall you say? Yup - the dude let me have it at $1 a piece because I bought thirty pieces. If I buy it at Home Depot it's $11 a sheet. That is a savings of $300! Sure, I had to beg my boyfriend to come haul it into his truck and I am sure that the backrub I gave him in gratitude was priceless (aren't they always honey?!?), but it was well worth the effort when it came time to drywall our basement!

So remember multiple items means multiple savings.


When my brothers and sister and I were little and my mom would take us clothing shopping, she would ask "Do you love it? Would you wear it everyday? Do you LOVE it?" It now is a running family joke. But the point she was making was this: Let's not buy it unless you will actually USE it. And the same applies to garage sales.

If you like it - great. Dream outloud. But if you can actually see a valid, useful application of the item in your house - that is when you can consider loosening your pursestrings.

This great little cedar chest was calling our names as we stepped outta the car. How much? Twenty bones. Well worth it. I implemented tip #1 and it was now $15. Loaded it up and knew exactly what I would do with it.

A light sanding and a coat in white made the little beauty perfect for housing my flipflops and kicks. Plus now I have a place to perch while shoeing my feetsies. Sure, it might change colors or change positions in this room or even change jobs later down the line - but this is one piece that I know I could honestly answer -




A thousand points to mom for teaching me that quality cheapness does exist and how to score it...

So I hope these few little tips help remind you that a whole slew of items are awaiting you at your local yard/tag/garage sale and that a tortured look can take you far. Do you have any priceless tidbit of yardsalers insider info that you wanna share? Do tell me cause more than likely, I will LOVE your tips and I will use it every weekend!


Freckles Chick said...

I adore that chest you made over! What a gem of a find. Shoes never had it so good.

I esp. agree w/ "buy only what you love". This mantra has helped me avoid so many impulse buys!

When I buy clothes, I use a little trick where I divide the price by how many times I think I'll wear it. That gives me the cost of each "wear" which really puts things into perspective for me. $20a wear? No thanks. $.50 a wear? I'll take it.

Thanks for the tips, K!!

Lindsey said...

Great tips! Thanks for sharing!

Tag Sell It Community Manager said...

These are great tips. We get a lot of tips about how to host a sale, so it's great to see some of these.

-The team at

a peachtree city life said...

i am super jealous of your closet!

Emily said...

Love that chest, I'm not a good yard saler, but I should probably become better. Love FC's clothing idea.

Katie said...

Hi Ya'll -

Thanks Freckles for that amazing tip - I will definitely implement it next tag sale! Vintage style - here we come :)

XO - Katie