Guest post from Micah of Home Faith Family:
With the warmer weather approaching and neighborhoods coming back to life, there’s no doubt you’ll soon be seeing those bright pink and green signs on the street corners with arrows pointing in hundreds of directions.
Why should you care about other people’s stuff? I asked my husband this same question (I didn’t grow up yard selling and thought only junk was sold). I am so glad my sweetheart proved me wrong.
My family and I have literally saved thousands of dollars from yard sales each week. We were able to purchase the children’s clothes, new kitchen appliances, needed baby supplies that would have otherwise broken the bank, the kid’s Christmas presents, and so much more. And everything we have bought has been in great or new condition.
So, grab your local Friday and Saturday newspaper (online or print) and other social media outlets to map out your route and have fun!
Here are 7 tips to help you successfully navigate and save money at yard sales.
Tip 1: Wake Up Early
Most yard sales start at 8 a.m., however, I’ve known several to start at 7 a.m.! Set an alarm, go to bed early on Friday night, and be committed.
I will admit, I struggle with early morning wake-up time, but I promise that once you get going on your day (have a quick cup of hot chocolate to help wake you up), the money you will save is worth it.
Tip 2: Make it a Family Affair
Would you believe me if I told you we take our three children (all under the age of three) yard selling? Would you believe me if I told you it’s not as crazy, scary, or as inconvenient as it sounds?
By taking our children to the yard sales, we are teaching them basic financial principles and skills at a young age.
There was one home our family went to and our daughter saw something she really wanted. She had a certain dollar amount to spend (which she earned). If she’s able to make a decent argument for purchasing the item then we give her the money.
My husband is starting to work with her on negotiation skills, which brings us to our next tip.
Tip 3: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask
Never be afraid to ask or suggest a lower price. My husband and I were at a home where there was an 8.5-quart crock pot (brand new, still in box) for sale. The people wanted $20, and I asked if they would be willing to consider $10.
They said “YES!”
When you ask for a lower price you are saving yourself more money. Plus, if they don’t want to sell the items at a lower price, they will say no.
If they DO say no, your next question should be, “how low are you willing to go?”
Never ask, “are you willing to go any lower?” This is a yes/no question and cuts off all negotiation.
The reason for asking the “how” question is to start a conversation about prices. Finally, you need to ask yourself “are you willing to pay ‘x’ amount of dollars for the item you are wanting?”
Tip 4: Bundle
When you arrive at a home that seems to have everything you’re looking for, be ready to negotiate and work out a lower price with the owner. A great way of doing this is to bundle items together and request a lower price for the whole lot.
For example, if you’re buying a bunch of items and the total is $18.75, you can be comfortable offering between $15-18.
The important thing to remember is the majority of people are willing to work with their customers and generally want their “stuff” gone. They are willing to sell at any decent asking price.
Tip 5: Don’t Offend
When negotiating prices, don’t point out the faults in the item. It’s dirty, it has holes in it, stains, scratches, etc. This will not help you win the seller over, in fact, it’ll usually make them mad.
Tip 6: Look Anyways
There have been so many yard sales that look like they have nothing, but after stopping, we find many wonderful treasures.
This was the case for my husband. We went to a home and all I saw was tables and tables and tables of clothes. He still had us pull over anyway and he found a brand new CB radio (one he’s had his eyes on for months now). The CB radio retails for a little over $100 but the seller was only asking for $20. This hasn’t been the first time something like this has happened to us. Always look!
Tip 7: Have Fun!
It’s important to have fun, otherwise you won’t enjoy going to yard sales.
As you wake up early, invite your family to come along, learn to ask for a lower price, and have fun, you will be saving your family money all while finding great deals.
Please leave a comment and let us know more about your favorite yard sale finds.
Micah Klug, author of “50 Freezer Meals: Easy Dinners for the Busy Family” runs the Home Faith Family blog to help people strengthen their home, faith, and family by living simple without losing quality or sanity.