garage sale season: tips & tricks for being a savvy shopper

It seems like every few blocks I drive by lately I see a sign that says something along the lines of, “HUGE SALE! This way —->” With that, I’d like to announce that garage sale season appears to be in full swing my friends. For all those frugalistas like myself out there, this is basically another way of saying it is Christmas time in summer. You can’t see it, but I am doing a little happy dance as we speak as you read.

It never fails to amaze me how those sale signs have the power to completely detour me from my initial destination; I set eyes on one and there’s no turning back – I’m a slave to the sign. I don’t consider myself the spontaneous type in the slightest, yet it’s funny that such a simple piece of cardboard with an arrow on it can suddenly make me impulsive. (And on that note, you can read more about a little adventure of hastily following a sale sign here.)

But enough about my fixation for following those sneaky signs, today I am sharing with you my five favorite tips on how to be a savvy garage sale shopper!

  1. Look for city-wide. Throughout the summer, various cities put on a “city-wide” or “neighborhood” sale — ultimately a great way to hit several sales in one day. Local churches also often hold large community sales.
  2. Map it out. If you plan on going to multiple sales, especially on city-wide sale days, check the listings in the newspaper and map out a route to save time and gas.
  3. Carry cash. Make sure to have a variety of different bills and change for easy buying.
  4. Be an early bird. To find the best items, you want to get to sales as close to when they open as possible.
  5. Bargain. The great thing about garage sales is that you have the option to negotiate prices or bundle items. Most people are eager to get rid of the stuff they’re selling (espeically towards the end of their sale) and will more than likely agree to your barter more so than not, just so long it is reasonable of course.

Whether you’re a garage sale virgin or veteran, hopefully you found my suggestions useful. Happy saling!

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