Up-scaling Your Garage Sale-ing

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When it comes to weekend favorites, a few things come to mind. A casual dinner with close friends, morning coffee on the patio, a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood and, of course, a bit of shopping can make the end of a long work week a welcome sight. Add a little garage sale-ing to the mix, and for some the weekend becomes ideal. Whether you catch a subdivision tag sale on the way to a soccer game, or precisely plan your perusing with a map of must-sees and a dependable GPS, searching for secondhand gems can give the weekend a whole new meaning. So whether you enjoy shopping for home décor or finding that perfect vintage necklace to top off your Saturday evening outfit, take a few tips to upscale your fabulous finds.

Decide What You Are Looking For
Some experienced shoppers thrive on vying for vintage goods, while others search for collectibles and one-of-a-kind pieces. Maybe you are on the hunt for like-new table linens or enjoy browsing antique jewelry. Have a mindset of what you might like to purchase and plan your sale-ing around your goal.

Timing Your Tag Sales
Check the local paper, craigslist and online sources such as yardsales.net and yardsalesearch.com for sales happening near you. If you know you have a Saturday morning blocked off for perusing garage sales, then block out a few hours and take your time. Of course, some of the most tantalizing treasures are found on a whim or when you are actually looking for something else. Just be open to uncovering great stuff on the go.

Find Your Style!
Just because you are shopping someone’s cast offs doesn’t mean you can’t find your own diamond in the rough. Before your treasure-hunting experience, determine your style! Are you midcentury modern, contemporary or French Country? Try scouring your favorite magazines for design ideas, check out online sites for inspiration or pin some DIY projects on Pinterest. Analyze all of these things, and then determine if there are particular patterns or themes. This is a great place to start.

Research (A Bit)
If you are looking for specific antiques or decor that might be valuable, make sure to do your homework. Check online for similar products that you might be milling over in your mind. What kind of pricing does some of these items bring? Sometimes the most valuable items are purchased at a sale and then brought home only for the purchaser to find that the piece is worth quite a bit more. And if you are just not sure about purchasing a particular item, then move on. Take some time to ponder your potential purchase and come back if you can’t stop thinking about it. Of course, if your prize is gone when you return, then it might have not been meant for you anyway.

Bring Your Cash
When it comes to garage sales, owners of the goods want the green stuff. Make sure to have plenty of cash on hand or keep a stash in your locked car. No one wants to hold items for a perfect stranger while she tries to locate the nearest ATM. Arrive prepared with small bills and some change. It makes the day run more smoothly for everyone, not to mention giving you a little advantage if you are trying to negotiate on a price.

Speaking of getting the best deal, ask for a discount if you think the pricing could be a bit more fair. Bargaining is usually a bit easier if you are already buying a couple of items at the given price and asking for a better deal on the most expensive item. The garage sale owner will be more apt to come down on the price if you are helping to deplete her inventory.

Set Your Limits
You can’t adore everything, and if you do then you might end up buying too much, not to mention having no place to put it. If you truly love something that needs some TLC–such as a new paint job, change of fabric or minor repairs–then make sure you have the time and resources to complete your project. And don’t buy something just because the price looks right to you. Save money and time by getting things you really like.

Know Yourself
If you absolutely love something, buy it, because contemplating too long may result in another shopper managing to take it off the market. Sometimes even the experience of perusing a perfect garage sale can be exhilarating. Be open to ideas but keep your goals in mind as you linger over could-be treasures.

And above all, have fun. Even if you come home empty handed, there’s always the possibility of next weekend’s fabulous find. HLM

Sources: weekendtreasure.com and sheknows.com.