July 22, 2015


I grew up going to garage sales and let me tell you I didn’t always like it at all. I would be so annoyed when my mom would slow down as she passed houses holding sales, as I knew she couldn’t resist a garage sale to save her life. Putting my Mom near a garage sale was like put a re-covering alcoholic in a bar, just not advised, AT ALL!

As I child garage sales were annoying but it built the foundation for my career in home fashions. I’m going to list a few key notes when enjoying garage sales this summer.

Some times you plan to go to a garage sale and other times, you happen to drive pass one on a lovely Sunday afternoon. Try to have some type of direction of what you are going to be shopping for. Be clear whether you are looking for living room accessories, casual frocks or vintage furniture finds. Whatever you are looking for have a good idea of what it is you want. This will help you stay focused and on track while shopping. Unlike shopping at antique shops & vintage stores there is less consistency and predictability of products at garage sales. Stick to a plan and if you are thinking of purchasing item you may not an exact use for, think if it worth the cost and try to think about how or who you can gift it to in the vent of you not being able to find a personal use for it. 

"I don’t have a budget!" You don’t know how much that annoys the crap out of me when potential clients tell me that. Everyone has a budget. Budgets may vary in size and flexibility but they exist for EVERYONE. When my clients say "I don’t have one" I say “ok, so you are comfortable spending {I insert a ridiculous amount}?” The client usually then say, "oh no, I don’t want to spend that much” and I say, looks like we found your “NON-EXISTANT budget”. I digress, let's get back on topic here. Make sure you have a strong idea of what you are willing to spend and what you DON’T want to spend. Knowing you budget will serve as a guide, a guide to help you cipher through the amazing finds & stay on track. It’s not uncommon to go over board and come home with pieces you may not have uses for. To avoid that from happening simply give your self some financial direction. If it's a drive by garage sale stop, as you are scoping out the finds and parking you car, tell yourself "I'm only going to spend this amount" or if you see an awesome antique chair tell yourself "I'll purchase that piece as long as it's within this amount." This will for sure help you stay on task and not leaving the garage sale dissapointed in how much you have spent.

When you get to the scene of the crime {the garage sale} you now have an idea what you are looking for and what you want to spend. So gather all of your pieces before you start bargaining prices. The reason for this is simple. People have garage sales to quickly get rid of items they no longer need in exchange for money. The two main objectives are GET IT OUT to GET MONEY. They want the items out of their home and for cash to enter the home. When you gather all of the items you wish to purchase, the garage sale host will see all of the items you desire and therefore be more accommodating with the final price.  Instead of haggling prices for each item present it as a bundle deal, everyone like bundles, both sellers & buyers. Most things work out better as a package deal, and garage sales are one of them.

If you are looking for something in particular research it. This way you can truly understand the deal you are getting on your purchase. If you are looking for a mid-century buffet you can simply research the styles & their costs. Many times I have clients who tell me something is expensive. I tell my clients there is a difference between “it’s too expensive” vs “I can’t afford it”.

TOO EXPENSIVE: The idea that it’s too expensive insinuates it’s not worth the price tag which has been applied to the product/service. 

I CANT AFFORD IT: I can’t afford it means you understand the value and worth of it, but at this time; your bank account isn't cooperating with you & your desired purchase. 

Two VERY different things. Make sure you understand the value of what you are looking for, the last thing you want to do is pass up an awesome deal because you THOUGHT it was too expensive. Don’t be THAT person!


Now I learned a lot about both haggling & threatening from my Mom. I like to say she actually threatens, while I haggle. There is a time and place for both, you just have to know who you are negotiating with. Now, out of all the purchases you will make in your life, garage sale haggling/negotiating will be of the least difficult and aggressive, but a great place to learn & understand the haggling vs threatening process. There are variations within the merchant culture. You will know who you can haggle with and who you can "threaten" with. They say you get more bee's with honey than vinegar. I would recommend haggling. You see, you are already getting a wheel, deal & a steal by shopping at a garage sale. No need to over indulge and take advantage. Either way you look at it, you are getting a deal. It's a garage sale right? So keep your garage sale karma high by taking it easy on the host and not try to push them to hard regarding decreasing the price. 

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For my garage sale & yard sale fanatics, you would love this new app. YardSailr is an  free app which allows you to shop & sell your treasures online. Yes, you heard correctly a virtual Yard Sale from your phone or PC. Check it out and please give me your feedback. I love hearing different perspectives of new products & trends. 

I Hope you found this article useful. I take great joy in enlightening my readers and ensuring my blog posts leave them informed and empowered making decor decisions. If you have awesome garage sale tips, let me know below, don't keep all the good stuff for yourself. Sharing is caring! 

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