There are many strategies for getting the best deals at garage sales. Sometimes if you can’t be the FIRST person there when the garage door opens, it is best to be the LAST person!
Not everyone is looking for the same things. You never know what you are going to find at the end of the sale, and it is often going to be cheaper than it was at the beginning of the weekend!
Items will be half-price, bag sales happen, and the free box overflows in the final hours of the average garage sale. Don’t be shy about dickering. Build a pile of stuff and make an offer. If you are crafting or gathering objects for charity, ask if they would be willing to donate.
Sometimes they have already started to throw stuff out or pack up by the time you arrive. As a courtesy, I always ask if I can junk pick if good stuff is on the curb while the people are still present packing up. I also always ask permission to shop if I arrive when people are in the process of closing their sale. If they don’t want me there, I politely withdraw. Don’t take it for granted that you have a right to rummage!
Many people hit the end of a sale and just want everything gone. Others will scrape up every scrap of junk that should have gone to the landfill and pack it up for next year’s sale! When I have a sale, I’m firmly in the “I just want it gone” camp. I don’t bring anything out of the house that I want to bring back in at Noon Saturday.
I used to have group garage sales regularly, involving someone who was breaking up housekeeping for one reason or another–fantabulous stuff priced to go. We were just about to pack up one of these sales when a fifteen-passenger van pulled up. A woman and a man got out and wandered around. The woman bought some Gourmet magazines and then the man came back and asked if he could make an offer for everything I had left! I just looked at him dumbstruck, then glanced over at my sister and said, “Take it all for FREE. I just want it all gone! Here, we’ll help you pack it up!”
It definitely was a missed opportunity for a little more profit (by that time, it was all my stuff), but I loved the looks on their faces. I figure that everyone should have a little unmerited favor in their lives. I sure have enjoyed more than my fair share of it. Begonia