Navigating those early morning garage sales doesn’t take much except for a bit of keen know-how. Here are some tips to make the most out of your Saturday morning sale hunt.

Arrive Early

Though you might get a better bargain later in the day when the sellers want to rid their file, the earlier you arrive, the better the selection. There are certain things that tend to sell out early, furniture specifically. Try to get out the door at 6am, when most of the garage sales start, especially if you are looking for something in particular, and you know the seller has one.

Bring Cash

Don’t head on your garage sale route without some cash in hand. Though I wouldn’t put it past everyone, the majority of folks aren’t going to be accepting credit cards, debit, or personal cheques. Bring a pile of change and small bills for quick and efficient exchanges.

Bargain and Barter

Bargaining and bartering at yard sales is essential, and it all starts with being friendly. Don’t use the words, “What’s your best price?” or “How low will you go?”. Try rephrasing that to something such as “Would you consider less?” Or ask about bulking items together if you’re getting more than one thing. Biggest thing here? Don’t be shy. They expect and you are expected to haggle.

First Come, First Serve

So you spot it. And you hesitate. And you aren’t too sure. Well, it’s pretty possible that in a second or two it might be gone. If it is something you want, take it into your possession, then go to the yard sale folks and start negotiating. Otherwise, it could be taken in an instant. If you love something and can probably think of a way to make it work, pick it up. Give it some paint, sand it down, or resell it. Either way, if you think you’ll love it, then get it while you can.

Scope out the ‘Hood

When you’re planning your route the day before (a good idea – check out the local listings the night before), look for clusters in neighbourhoods. Often you’ll be able to hit many sales in one small area. When you’re planning your destinations, think of what you are looking for an go to where you’ll find that sort of loot. Looking for antiques? Check out retirement communities and estate sales. In need of baby stuff, head to the ‘burbs and other family sales.

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