Awesome Veteran Tricks for Saving Money While Finding Garage Sale Shopping Bargains!
OK, so here are some unique tricks that we have used over the last 12 years of yard sale shopping and garage sale flipping for profit in order to get the lowest possible price on garage sale shopping bargains:
- The “Irresistible Large Bill” – This trick can work with even a $5 or $10 for small items and books, but it works even better for $20 or $50 bills. When you find a goldmine garage sale, stack a bunch of stuff near the pay table, and offer them about half of the sticker price. Hold the $20 or $50, and say something along the lines of: “Wow, great sale! I found all of this stuff and I think it came to a little over $20… would you take this (hold up the $20 bill)? Almost always works, even if the total is $40+.
- The “I only have (fill in the $ amount).” This one is admittedly a bit dishonest, but it works great. Garage sales are all about negotiation anyways, so you are getting lied to yourself by the hosts half of the time. If you do this for any amount of time, you will hear “I don’t know..it worked the last time I tried it..” many times, when the host knows the item does not work. Anywho… for this garage sale bargaining method, you go to the pay table with items totaling $12, and hold the $10. You say, “Man, I really like this stuff, but I only have this ($10 bill). Would you take $10?” Almost always works if the prices are close to the offer. Just keep one $10 bill in your wallet, and a $5 or $20 in separate pockets to use for this method.
- Closely inspect the item, and point out the defects, especially if there are missing accessories, etc. Say: “This is kind of cool, but it has a crack here and it is missing a piece, would you take (insert price)?” You can also ask if there are instructions for electronics. If they don’t have them (they never do), act disappointed and say “well then, would you take __?”
- The “Fill a Box or Bag” Method – This works great for small toys, nick-nacks, books, and CDs/Records. Go up to the host and say: “Hey, you have a lot of books (or whatever) that I like. Could I fill up a box (or bag) for $5?” Its a win-win for both of you. You get garage sale shopping bargains, and they get rid of a bunch of stuff.
- This works awesome, and I chuckle each time…(later). Take two similar items to the pay table, one that you like and want to buy, and one that is a higher priced item. Say: “I like both of these items. Would you take __ for both?” Make them a low-ball offer (you really do not want both items). When they say no, say: “OK, I understand. Well, how about just this one for $10, then?” This works great because the host feels bad because they already turned you down for the combo offer. Most people don’t like saying ‘no’ to nice people more than once.
- The “over-exuberant customer” method. Take an item that you want to bargain on to the table, and act really excited about it. “Oh man, I’ve been looking for this (these) forever! I can’t believe you have one! I used to have one of these growing up!” Hosts will usually negotiate on price, if they think that the item is going t somebody that really wants it or needs it. Works well for rare items and collectibles.
- The “walk-away”. This one comes with some risk. Don’t use this one if you really want a certain item. Offer the host a low price on a bunch of items or one of the highest priced items at the sale. When they give you a counter-offer, say “Nah. I guess I’ll go back to that other sale and get that other deal.” Then walk away without buying anything. I ‘ve had multiple hosts change their mind and take my offer. They want to sell that high priced item, and you are often their best chance to get rid of it. You can always go back several minutes later, and say that you changed your mind and buy it. Of course, there is a risk that somebody else might buy the item before you come back.
- The “good guy (or gal) approach”. Buy a couple of items, and say as you are leaving: “Hey, you know, if you don’t sell all of those books or items, I’d be happy to get rid of the leftovers for you. Saves you a trip to Goodwill, or filling up your garbage cans.” You can even offer to pay a small amount for the leftovers. Again, it’s a win-win. You have to spend the time to come back later, but you get a bunch of stuff for free (or cheap), and the host gets rid of the rest of their stuff. You can get a ton of garage sale shopping bargains this way.
Vintage Clothes are a Great Source of Garage Sale Shopping Bargains. You could Bundle a Bunch of These Tops, and Have a New Unique Mid Century Wardrobe. Check Out Our Selling Mid Century Modern Page or Selling Used Clothes Page to Learn How to Flip These Items for Cash!