Robin Spangenberg
Northeast Signature Properties, LLC | 508-277-4144 | robin@nesignature.com


Posted by Robin Spangenberg on 6/18/2017

Shopping at yard sales is an art. First you have to find the good yard sales, then hunt down the best deals while avoiding distracting impulse buys, then you have to smartly negotiate your offer. Sure, there will be a lot of competition out there, but with the right planning you can give yourself enough of an advantage to find the hidden gems amongst all of the junk that people get rid of at their yard sales. In this article, we'll give you a crash course in yard sale shopping. Come Sunday afternoon, you'll be heading home with a smile on your face and that perfect addition to your home in your trunk.

Finding the right sales

The first step to finding the best yard sale deals is to find the right yard sales. Sure, it can be fun to aimlessly drive around your area Saturday and Sunday morning looking out for yard sale signs, but there are smarter ways to use your time.
  • Craigslist. Many people post announcements on Craigslist when they're going to have a yard sale. They'll often specify a date, time, and the type of things that will be for sale. If someone says "MASSIVE multi-family moving sale" you can be pretty sure there will be lots of good stuff there.
  • Facebook. Search Facebook for local community pages for your town or city. Oftentimes people make pages for buying and selling in their area, or just to have heated debates about local happenings. Sometimes, however, people post about their upcoming yard sales.
  • Local news. If your local newspaper has a classifieds section they might advertise yard sales as well.

Making your shopping list

When you go to a yard sale you should be prepared in terms of what you're looking for. You want to avoid making impulsive buys on things you don't need, but you also can't expect to find the exact color and model of vacuum cleaner that's on your Amazon wish list. Think of some things you'd like to look for and determine whether getting them at a yard sale makes sense. Plan your transportation accordingly. If you're looking for big items, make sure you bring a truck or SUV that can fit what you're looking for. Bring bungee cords, rope, a tarp, and whatever else you think you might need. Then head out to the sales.

When you find that must-have item

So you've found the exact vacuum cleaner you were looking for AND it's in great shape. It has a tag on it for $30 and the proprietor of the yard sale is going on about what a great vacuum cleaner it is. Before you start throwing money at them, consider these tips:
  • Research. With a smartphone in your pocket, you basically have instant access to valuing any object. While you browse other items, pop open your phone to read reviews, check used prices, and see if it's a deal that makes sense.
  • Be friendly. Sure, yard sales are all about making a quick buck, but neighborhoods are about community. Don't be afraid to share some small talk with the proprietors of the yard sale. It might pay off in the end.
  • Negotiate. There are general rules of negotiation that have been proven to get you better deals. Your first offer should be lower than what you're willing to pay. For example, if the vacuum is $30 and you're ready to pay $25, offer the salesperson $20.




Tags: home   yard sale   sale   shopping   garage sale  
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Posted by Robin Spangenberg on 6/11/2017

There are several undeniable benefits to having an occasional garage sale on your property, but there's a lot more to it than just setting out a few unwanted items in your driveway and raking in the cash. If you're an entrepreneur at heart, then holding a garage sale should be second nature to you. Good organizational skills and a basic knowledge of advertising is helpful, as is the ability to do a little friendly negotiating. By adopting the mindset of a small business owner, you'll tend to be more effective in dealing with the many details of planning and running a garage sale. From putting up signage and doing advertising to handling customer relations and merchandising, knowing the basics of business marketing will definitely be to your advantage. If you've never held a yard sale before -- or if you could use a quick refresher course -- here are few helpful tips:

  1. Cost-effective advertising: While cheap classified ads can help draw a bevy of eager bargain hunters to your home, you can also get a lot of mileage out of free forms of advertising. Garage sale signs, which can be purchased cheaply at any hardware store, can attract dozens of potential customers. In addition to posting a sign directly in from of your house, other good spots are nearby intersections and street corners. Handmade signs can sometimes work, but they have to legible, easy to read, and rigid enough to resist wind and moisture. Other free methods of advertising include flyers, posting announcements on social media, and taking out free ads on Craigslist.
  2. Preparation and presentation: When the day of your garage sale arrives, you need to be organized, prepared, and ready to welcome your first customers early in the morning. Publicizing the hours of your sales event is a necessary part of the planning process, but don't be surprised if you see a few cars starting to pull up before you've finished carrying all your items out to your driveway. Garage sales always attract hard-core bargain hunters who do not want to miss a single item. In all likelihood, the first few hours will be the busiest, and attendance will probably drop off in the afternoon. As far as preparation, getting all your items set aside and labeled (priced) the night before will help avoid last-minute stress, awkward delays in getting started, lost sales, and impatient customers. Display tables are optional, but will make it easier for people to browse your sale items.
  3. Time investment: While some families devote the entire day -- or even the whole weekend -- to their garage sale, others limit the event to four hours on a Saturday or Sunday morning. A lot depends on your patience, how fast your items get sold, and whether you have any plans for the afternoon. At a certain point, you'll start noticing diminishing returns on your time, so you might decide to wrap things up and count your money around noon.
Holding a yard sale can be a great way to make some extra money and get rid of household clutter, but be prepared to devote time and energy to the event -- before, during, and after. Mother Nature can also be a factor in the timing of a garage sale, so keep an eye on the forecasts and reschedule if the weather doesn't cooperate.




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