Saturday, May 2, 2009

Tricks of the trade

Ah. There is no better time than Saturday mornings at 10AM when I get home and unload all of my garage sale spoils. I told myself I wouldn't go today. After all, last week I went on a garage sale-ing extravaganza and I thought I had had my fill for the next little while. This morning at 6:30AM though my eyes popped open and I started getting ancy. A huge neighborhood just down the road was having their annual garage sale and I couldn't possibly keep sleeping while others were out bargain hunting! I promised myself I would be EXTRA picky and headed out.

Best deal of the day?

These little numbers for fifty cents. Just the right size and way cuter than I could have picked out for myself at the store. Plus I bet they retailed at least $15 but seeing as how they are American Eagle I bet it was more. I had a pair kind of similar that I splurged and bought for $18 last year, swiper ate off both the bows, then chewed on the heel which makes me trip and fall all over the place. These are cuter and about 1/50th the cost!

And then I found some practically new Robeez for Ivy, sure they won't fit for a while, but HELLO! Retail $30? Craigslist $12? Me? 3$ and they are all still white and cute and....yeah.

And just last week I nearly paid $30 for a Cozy Coupe like this.

These thigs sell like hotcakes on craigslist for anywhere from $20-$30, I mean really like hot cakes. I would email as soon as one would be listed and they were always gone before I could get them. They retail for $79. Craigslist $30. Me? $10

So can you see how it is addicting? I try not to fill my house with Junk, but easy come easy go. Now if Bentley isn't playing with the Cozy Coupe? No loss, I can hock it on craigslist for more than I paid! Those Robeez are going for about $10 used on ebay.

I always wondered why I didn't like shopping and recently I've figured out it is because stuff is so expensive and even if you fork over the money to buy it it likely won't fit right or will get stained really? What's the point?

By garage saleing for three hours on a Saturday morning I get my shopping fix, I pay no more than a dollar for things usually and if they get stained? Who cares! If Swiper chews up my new shoes I will be really sad, but at least I won't lament over how much they cost, fifty cents is cheaper than a doggy chew toy!

I've learned some garage saleing tips and I know you are all oh so interested... so listen up.

* Hit the neighborhood sales. It's not really worth the time and energy to go to an individual garage sale - they probably don't have your kids size anyway or it will be the wrong gender...yadda yadda. Neighborhood sales are the best.

* Prices are negotiable. Buy a few things and ask if they'll take less for it. Got $10 worth of stuff? I bet they'll take $8 probably $7.

*The early bird and the really really late bird get the worm, but especially the early bird. At least in our part of town tons of guys going around in pick up trucks make the garage sale rounds really early. They don't waste time. They walk up to the saler, ask prices for big items and haul them away. Likely before you've even thought about getting up and out of bed. So, get there at 7 and it's not really worth your time after about 930. At around 11 you can start getting good deals from people since they've realized their stuff is over priced and they are likely just taking it to Goodwill in twenty minutes anyway, but it's likely been really picked over.

*One thing I learned last week is to just walk up and ask about the big items you are interested before you start picking through clothes (like bikes, ride-ons, etc.) because odds are someone will snatch it while you are going ga ga over their cute kids clothes. Can we tell I am bitter? While I was getting some cute clothes some guy came and asked a lady the price for a radio flier trike in perfect condition. Two dollars. TWO. That jerk. I would have paid FIVE.

* If they have things individually priced get out of there. If people take the time to price each piece of clothing or book or whatever than it is likely the prices are too high and they are too sentimental about it ( I was SO guilty of this at my garage sale). Look for a giant sign that says "all clothes fifty cents" or whatever.

* My rule is that I hardly ever will pay over a dollar for a piece of kids clothing. Maybe if I really really really like it. And a dollar is pushing it, usually I draw the line at fifty cents.

But these are all just my own rules. I go every weekend, so if I bought every cute thing I saw for two dollars I would be chock full of stuff. So I had to set some boundaries : ).

What has been your best garage sale find?


Anonymous said...

Oh, man, do I miss the Texas garage sales/consignment shopping. In Utah it seems like they are mostly individual yard sales, and they are usually families with 6+ kids trying to get rid of 20 years worth of junk--junk they think is worth WAY more than it is. Come on. A shirt that 3 of your daughters passed down to each other isn't still worth $2. Even if it's from The Children's Place. But we did find a pretty nice white metal bunk bed, with mattresses in good condition, for I think $30, as well as a working, nice lawn mower for $40. And possibly the most-used garage sale purchase is the dress-up collection, ballerina tu-tus, princess dress, etc. for $10. Not a great deal for 3 items, but worth it for how much we have used them.

Bart said...

My brother bought a nice hair brush at a garage sale. I guess I'd be a little surprised if he still had it, but only because he keeps his hair short enough that he doesn't really need a brush.

Seems kind of gross to me now. Haha.

Gretchen said...

Have you found me a double jogging stroller yet? Seriously though, I had no luck at that sale I went to last night, so now I need your help, oh wise one...

Janae said...

Makes me want to move to Texas. Utah STINKS! I have never found ANYTHING good.

Susie said...

Those Robeez look like they need a watermelon hat to go with them. How old will she be when she wears them?

Jill said...

For some reason garage sales (or any type of sale) scares me. I hate feeling rushed to get a good deal and fighting a crowd to see that I just missed something good. I'm sure it's different in Texas, but do you look in the newspaper to find out where they are or when they start? I'm going to give it a try this summer. You re-inspired me!

Stefanie Miller said...

Thanks for the tips Kris! You really inspire me to go garage saleing, except I'm worried my experience would be more like Ang described- maybe around here you have better luck with stuff besides kids' clothes? I'll have to give it a try.

Stephanie said...

Kristi~I love you! I love to bargain shop at garage sales or resale stores. I know what you mean about going for the good stuff first. There is nothing worse when you are bargain shopping to lose the bargain to someone else and then regret it! I bet most of what we owned, clothes or furniture, for the first 10 years of our marriage was used. Once kids get older you can't even give their clothes away because they are so hard on them. But when they are little it can be heaven getting great things for next to nothing!