Shopping Tips For National Garage Sale Day (August 10)
by Deborah Shelton -

  1. A-hunting we will go. It never fails; when you want a garage sale, you can't find one. So, look through the newspaper and find the sales that you want to attend. A map of the area may come in handy to make a schedule/plan for your day since you don't want to miss anything. Look for the sales that have "pre- viewing" hours, and visit those first.
  2. Remember what Mom always said. You know the saying: The early bird gets the worm…and the late one gets what the bird left on the rock. (Is it just my mom who adds that last part in?) Be prepared to shop early for the best selection.
  3. Leave the stilettos at home. Always wear comfortable clothing and shoes when pounding the pavement for garage sales.
  4. Pennies from heaven. Remember that you're not going to Bloomingdales; so leave the hundred dollar bills and credit cards at home. Carry only small bills such as $1 and $5, along with a couple of $20 for more expensive items. It is the rare garage sale that accepts personal checks.
  5. You want HOW much? Be prepared to haggle over price. If you aren't good at this, then bring along a friend to play the good cop/bad cop routine. My husband always plays the bad cop. That's how I got a lime green chaise lounge for $15! (No, it isn't lime green anymore. I found a bold of burgundy fabric at another garage sale for $2 and reupholstered it myself.)
  6. Well, I'm not sure… If haggling doesn't work and there is a high-priced item that you feel you can't live without, ask what time the sale ends and then come back. Chances are, if it is still there, the price will be right.
  7. Diamonds in the rough. You just never know what you'll find at a garage sale. Bring along an antique buyer's guide, a rag, and silver polish to find jewels among the junk.
  8. Cash and carry. It's a good idea to bring along your own canvas tote bag or similar bags to carry your purchases. The seller may not be able to accommodate.
  9. Cha ching! Garage sales are a great way for the buyer to cash in, too. Keep in mind that most appliances, baby items and exercise equipment can be resold at consignment shops.
  10. Beware the garage sale bait. Don't buy Betamax tapes just because they cost a nickel (unless you're a collector). There is a reason they're only five cents; and when you realize that, they will end up in your own garage sale.

Deborah Shelton is the author of The Five Minute Parent: Fun & Fast Activities for You and Your Little Ones. Visit The Five Minute Parent for fun rainy-day activities, family links, and a free email newsletter filled with project ideas, guest articles, contests and so much more! 

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